Preliminary STAAR Results Show More McKinney ISD Students Are Underachieving

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See the preliminary results of the STAAR test for McKinney ISD students. (Community impact staff)

The results of the State of Texas Preliminary Academic Readiness Assessments, or STAARs, show that local students are failing to meet expectations, especially in math, at higher rates than before the pandemic.

According to the Texas Education Agency, early results show that 40% of eighth-graders in the state failed to meet math expectations in the spring of 2021, up from 19% in the spring of 2019. For fifth-graders, 31 % did not meet math expectations for the spring. 2021, compared to 17% in spring 2019.

In McKinney ISD, the number of eighth graders who failed to meet math expectations rose from 10% in spring 2019 to 33% in spring 2021. Eighth grade reading also saw an increase, with 15 % not meeting expectations in spring 2021, compared to 11% in spring 2019.

A similar trend is also observed at the fifth grade level. For spring 2021 math, 19% of students did not meet expectations, compared to 14% for spring 2019. The percentage of students who did not meet expectations in reading at the fifth grade level is remained the same at 16%.
At a meeting of the Texas State Board of Education on June 23, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath spoke of the “academic damage” the pandemic has caused to the state’s school system. Morath said he expects the final STAAR scores to be released on Monday or Tuesday next week, but called the preliminary figures “problematic.”

“What this means is that the name of the game for us for the imaginable future is how to change our systems, in the 1,200 school systems in the state of Texas, to increase the speed at which we let’s speed up learning, ”he said. .

One of the reasons that students may have performed poorly on STAAR this year, according to Morath, was that they were “exposed to below grade material throughout the year,” which the students said. could not control.

He said that according to new requirements passed by the Texas legislature this year, districts must create a written plan on how they will accelerate learning for students who have not reached grade level in third, fifth and fifth grade. eighth grade.

“For students who are below grade level, this is what we need to do to catch up to them at grade level,” Morath said. “The number of students who are significantly below grade level is much higher this year than we have ever seen before due to the academic impact of COVID.”

MISD could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sandra Sadek and William C. Wadsack contributed to this report.

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