Education News

HISD Aims To Improve Math Scores On STAAR

Over a year ago, the Houston Independent School District started getting ready for the state's new, tougher standardized test. Now that the latest scores have been released, HISD is looking at how to improve next year.


Houston public school teachers got extra training so they could prepare their students for the new standardized exam, the STAAR test.

It’s harder than the old one.

The Houston Independent School District also started a major reading initiative this year.

Jason Spencer is with HISD. He says based on the latest test scores, those efforts paid off.

“The majority of our students met the challenge. Our passing rates were generally around the 70 percentage point area.  Some were lower. Some were a little bit higher. We know that a lot of our students are on track to do well in college and the workplace. We also know we still have a lot of work to do.

One area that needs a lot of work is seventh grade math. Barely half of seventh graders in Houston passed the math exam.

Spencer says the district will look at what math skills seventh graders should have learned — plus skills for fifth and sixth grade.

“We want to make sure we’re teaching them the right skills. Because if a student sits down to take an exam, they could know all the material that their teacher taught them that year. But if that isn’t the same material that’s on the test, there’s a disconnect there. So that’s the first thing we look at — to make sure they’re teaching the skills that they’re being tested on.”

Next year the stakes are high. So when those seventh graders are in eighth grade, they will have to pass in order to start high school.

From the KUHF Education Desk, I’m Laura Isensee.




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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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