How local school districts measured in testing after dramatic drop in STAAR test scores

HOUSTON – The number of students failing to meet grade-level went up statewide across all grade levels and nearly all subject areas according to results of the Spring 2021 STAAR test released Monday by the Texas Education Agency.

In a press release, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath called the data “disheartening” adding, ”teachers and school leaders are building action plans to support students in the new school year with policymakers directing resources where they are needed the most.”

KPRC 2 reviewed data provided by TEA for three of the Houston area’s largest school districts:

HOUSTON ISD

In Houston Independent School District 41% of students failed to meet standards in reading in 2021 compared to 32.5% in 2019 when the STAAR test was last administered before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In math, the number of students failing to meet standards nearly doubled, from 27.5% in 2019 to 52.3% in 2021.

CY-FAIR ISD

In Cy-Fair ISD, the number of students failing to meet standards in reading increased to 24% in 2021 from 20% in 2019. For math, the percentages jumped from 18.7% in 2019 to 32.5% in 2021.

KATY ISD

In Katy ISD, the number of students failing to meet standards in reading grew from 12.8% to 15.1% and from 11.6% to 19.5% in math.

The TEA said the declines were greater in school districts with a higher percentage of students learning virtually.

Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, acknowledged the pandemic impact on learning but said the poor STAAR results were also due to problems with the administering of the test in April 2021.

“The test administration was a disaster the technology, did not work for our students. We do not believe that it is an actual assessment of what kids are learning or not learning because of the circumstances around the pandemic, and the additional circumstances around the actual testing,” he said.

Parents can learn more about their child’s scores by clicking the link here.


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Emmy-winning journalist, native Houstonian, reader, dancer, yogi.