Saturday, June 19, 2010

Passing rate improves for Texas test to graduate

In light of the previous post on this blog, although more students are passing the test, still many are not and being punished for it. Very sad.


The Associated Press
June 3, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — A higher percentage of public high school students passed the test required for graduation this year than last year, the Texas Education Agency announced Thursday.

Passing rates also improved for students in the third through fifth grades and the seventh through 11th grades who took the state's standardized test, and high school juniors also showed improvement, according to a TEA statement.

The agency said nine of 10 seniors who took the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills this year passed, compared with an 86 percent passing rate last year.

However, the agency said the passing rate for those in the sixth and eighth grades fell slightly due to toughened passing standards.

The new standards, called vertical-scale adjustments, allow a grade-to-grade comparison of student's scores to measure the student's academic growth.

"These test results provide proof that students and teachers worked hard this year and that the reforms we have implemented are working," said Education Commissioner Robert Scott.

"If graduation rates improve as the TAKS scores did, we should be on track to see a rise in recognized and exemplary accountability ratings for high schools later this summer," he said.

Among eighth-graders, 91 percent passed the reading test and 80 percent passed the math exam. Eight-graders must pass the tests to advance to high school. The math result was an improvement over last year, but the reading test results were a 2-point drop from last year because of the raised passing standards, according to the TEA.

Sixth-graders had a passing rate of 86 percent on the reading test and 82 percent on the math exam. The math result was a 1-point improvement over 2009, but the TEA said the tougher passing standards resulted in a 5-point drop in the passing rate on the reading test.

Fifth-graders must pass the reading and math tests to advance a grade. The TEA says 85 percent passed the reading test on the first try, while 86 percent passed the math without needing a retest. Among those who took the test in Spanish, 73 passed reading and 44 percent passed math.

The earliest test administered, those for third-graders, showed a 92 percent passing rate for reading and 86 percent for math.

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