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Data / Mixed Results on Grades 3-8 STAAR Show Need For Continued Learning Acceleration

Dallas County Schools Systems Show Steady Progress On End Of Course Exams 2

Data

Mixed Results on Grades 3-8 STAAR Show Need For Continued Learning Acceleration


Student growth slowed across Texas and in Dallas County, according to new data from the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Today, the Agency updated the Family & Research Portals with data from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test for grades 3-8. Across all tested grades and subjects (including end-of-course exams, for which data was released last week), the percentage of students meeting state standards declined by one point in both Dallas County and the State of Texas.

Standardized assessment data are crucial to understanding how many of our students are meeting important benchmarks in core subjects such as math, science, and reading/language arts. In particular, the ability to read by third grade has been repeatedly shown to positively affect lifetime outcomes. That's why we are paying especially close attention to the number of students meeting state standards in third grade reading, which has declined by two points statewide and four points across Dallas County.

“With fewer than half of our students meeting grade-level standards on math, science, and social studies, these results are not what we’d hope for our county and state,” says Commit Chief State Impact Officer Bridget Worley. “Without A-F accountability ratings this year, these scores offer some of the only insights into how schools and students are doing.”

This new data allows us to identify and learn from districts who are defying statewide trends and driving growth for their students. Cedar Hill ISD grew the amount of students meeting state standards in fourth-grade reading and math by over five percentage points, and in sixth-grade reading and math by over ten. Sixth-grade reading was a bright spot for several Dallas County districts, with DeSoto, Irving, Lancaster and Mesquite all exceeding average statewide growth.

Worley continues: “Fully unpacking these results will take time and honest reflection. Thankfully, existing analysis of growth from previous years illustrates the student-centered policies worthy of investing in at the state and local levels in order to improve outcomes: access to high-quality early childhood education, rigorous curricula paired with quality professional development, high-impact tutoring and effective educators.”

This data for grades 3-8 follows the June 7 TEA release of student assessment data from STAAR end-of-course (or EOC) exams. Those results were noteworthy for showing steady growth on the part of most traditional school systems in Dallas County, with over half of the high school students tested in the county meeting state standards across all EOC subjects for the first time since 2019.

The Commit Partnership holds itself accountable, in part, to growth on STAAR results in all grades and subjects in Dallas County as part of its true north goal to increase living wage attainment for young people in the region. Commit will have in-depth analysis of trends in Dallas County and across the state in the coming weeks and months as more information becomes available.

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