Austin elementary school students performed strongly in the new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exams. Middle schoolers didn't do quite as well.
Overall, the AISD passing rates for the STAAR—the standardized test that replaces the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS)—ranged from 82 percent in third and fourth grade reading to 58 percent in eighth grade social studies. Passing rates for most tests topped 70 percent.
AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphan had praise for her students.
“Amid increasing standards and declining resources, AISD students continue to perform well and transition to this new assessment successfully during a period of high-states testing. Overall, our students continue to be successful and our teachers are doing an outstanding job," Carstarphen said in a statement.
AISD students in third through fifth grade had a higher passing percentage than the statewide rate in every test category. Third and fourth graders exceeded the state passing rates in math by 9 percentage points.
But AISD middle schoolers fell at or below the state passing rate in every category. Eighth graders struggled most with Social Studies with a 58 percent passing rate. But the statewide passing rate on that test wasn't much better—at 59 percent.
AISD’s Board of Trustees voted to defer the rule that scores on STAAR exams make up 15 percent of a students grade for a second year.