STAAR math and reading score declines in Cy-Fair ISD reflect trends statewide

Cy-Fair ISD has seen a general increase in the number of students who have failed to meet grade level expectations for the STAAR and EOC exams from Spring 2019 to Spring 2021. (Adobe Stock Courtesy)

The results of the Spring 2021 Administration’s Texas State Academic Readiness Assessments released on June 28 showed that Cy-Fair ISD students performed better than the state average. at each grade level. However, the percentage of students who passed exams was lower in almost all subjects in the spring of 2021 than in the spring of 2019, the last time the STAAR tests were administered.

Texas officials have said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on students, leading to a noticeable drop in STAAR’s performance. STAAR tests did not take place in 2020 due to the pandemic, but state average scores in 2021 showed a 4% decrease in the number of students reading at grade level or above and a drop of 15. % of the number of students doing math at grade level or above as of 2019.

“These numbers are all very precise in terms of what conclusions one might draw,” Texas Education Agency commissioner Mike Morath said at a June 28 press conference. “I think it’s much more important for individual families, for every child whose STAAR results we have, it allows educators and parents themselves to create action plans to help these students progress in terms of literacy and numeracy. ”

Leslie Francis, assistant superintendent for communication and community relations at CFISD, said many students missed instructional time with their teachers during the pandemic.

Additionally, she said all students are required to take the STAAR in 2019, but only students learning in person are required to take the tests this spring.

“You can’t compare the 2019 and 2021 STAAR administrations,” Francis said in an email to Community impact journal. “The expectations for student participation in STAAR 2021 were very different from those of STAAR 2019.”

According to Morath, statewide STAAR participation was around 87% in 2021, compared to 96% in a typical year.

TEA data shows that the smallest performance declines were seen in districts where 76-100% of students were learning in a traditional rather than virtual classroom.

“What we now know for sure is that the decision in Texas to prioritize in-person teaching was critical,” Morath said.

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