It is May in Texas. This means we are in the midst of state testing season. Our 5th and 8th grade learners have taken the first administration of STAAR Mathematics and Reading and we have received these results. Those learners who did not meet grade level performance will retake the assessment this week in the second administration.
Statewide results included:
- 5th Grade Reading: 71% passing
- 5th Grade Mathematics: 81% passing
- 8th Grade Reading: 76% passing
- 8th Grade Mathematics: 74% passing
This means 29% of our state’s 5th graders will need to retake the assessment in Reading and 19% in Mathematics. Also, 24% of our state’s 8th graders will need to retake the assessment in Reading and 26% in Mathematics.
Learners in grades 3, 4, 6, and 7 will also take STAAR Mathematics and Reading this week. According to the 2017 Student Success Initiative Manual from TEA, in reference to Mathematics and Reading:
Districts are now required to provide accelerated instruction to all students who do not demonstrate proficiency on STAAR. Whether they are in an SSI grade (grade 5 or 8) or a non-SSI grade (grade 3, 4, 6, or 7), students who do not meet the passing standard on STAAR must receive appropriate instructional intervention so that they will be able to make the academic progress necessary to do on-grade-level work at the next grade.
In addition to this requirement, it should be noted the descriptors of the passing levels of STAAR indicate a reference to academic intervention as well:
- Masters Grade Level (Passing) – Performance in this category indicates that students are expected to succeed in the next grade or course with little or no academic intervention.
- Meets Grade Level (Passing) – Performance in this category indicates that students will have a high likelihood of success in the next grade or course but may still need some short-term, targeted academic intervention.
- Approaches Grade Level (Passing) – Performance in this category indicates that students are likely to succeed in the next grade or course with targeted academic intervention.
- Does Not Meet Grade Level – Performance in this category indicates that students are unlikely to succeed in the next grade or course without significant, ongoing academic intervention.
It should be noted that even those learners scoring at the masters grade level performance level may need a little academic intervention. That is,
Intervention happens at all levels of the system.
We ask: For the struggling student, how do I use data to help address and overcome the learning gaps? For the successful student, how do I use data to help a student engage in deeper mastery of learning?
In the continuum from those learners who do not meet grade level performance to those who master grade level performance, intervention should be intentionally designed, based on the gap between each learner’s current academic reality and their goal, based on academic content standards.
In what ways are you creating a balanced intervention system of measuring learner understanding, providing intervention, and monitoring progress toward goals? In what ways are you providing this responsive-based intervention in a timely way, throughout the school year?
Within Article IV: Accountability for Learning within the Visioning Document, we read this premise:
IV.q Standardized tests to which high stakes are attached can become substitutes for the learning standards themselves and result in “teaching to the test” rather than teaching for attainment of the standard.
As a result, we work to design and facilitate interventions focused on the standards rather than on the STAAR. Remember, we are striving toward profound learning – when students are able to apply their learning to new situations, to synthesize, solve problems, create knowledge, and cultivate and utilize the full range of their capabilities.