NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test scores are in and for the most part Dallas Independent School District (DISD) 5th and 8th grade students scored well.
Texas Education Agency (TEA) spokesperson Lauren Callahan explained that something different this year is the breakdown of scores, or report card of student standings. Child performance is now sorted into four categories -- Approaches Grade Level, Meets Grade Level, Masters Grade Level, and Does Not Meet Grade Level.
"The levels 'approaches, meets and masters' all indicate that a child has passed the assessment, but they indicate different things as you go up the level," Callahan said.
Any student who fails the initial STAAR test is tutored can re-take the standardized exam two more times. Those who still do not pass the state assessment exam are held back a grade, unless a parent appeals and a placement committee unanimously agrees to promote them.
Callahan said the various scores of 5th and 8th students ebbed and flowed. "We saw just a slight dip in reading scores in both grade levels as compared to the March 2016 rates, and we saw a slight increase in both grade levels in math over the same time period. So, overall our students are doing very well."
More than 80-percent of 5th graders passed the math portion of the STAAR test and 71-percent passed the reading portion, while three-quarters of 8th graders passed both.
There don't appear to have been any hiccups with this year's exam, as opposed to last year when problems plagued the standardized test.
More than 14,000 students across Texas had answers erased last year, or were given the wrong test version. There were also a number of delivery mix-ups and scoring problems. In response, ETS, the company that administers the STAAR test, was fined by the TEA and ordered to make some $20 million in improvements.
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