The Port Arthur News
According to scores released by the district on Monday, Nederland Independent School District is below the state average in just three subjects on the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness and end of course (EOC) tests.
“I'd like to commend our teachers and our building-level administrators for the hard work they did,” said Stuart Kieschnick, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “It was not easy.”
The STAAR test replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test in spring of 2012, and is given to students in grades three through eight. High school students are required to pass EOC exams in Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry, biology, chemistry, physics, English I, English II, English III, world geography, world history and United States history. A student’s score on each EOC assessment is worth 15 percent of their final grade for that course.
Sixth graders in the district were three points below their Texas counterparts, with a 71 percent passing rate. The district’s freshmen were well below the state average on the World Geography EOC exam, coming in at 74 percent to the state’s 81 percent. NISD sophomores fell just two points short on the World History EOC exam, at 68 percent.
Kieschnick said that the social studies struggle is not unique to the district.
“For a long time, the social studies scores were always real high, but in the last couple of years, we've seen very low scores,” he said. “Apparently they've put a lot of rigor on the social studies test. Our focus now is to include that rigor in our instruction so as to match the test.”
The results provide the district with a starting point for the 2013-14 academic year, Kieschnick said.
“Making that transition from TAKS to STAAR, there was a lot of unknown at first, but as a district we just kept going forward and tried to ramp our instruction,” he said. “Now we'll look and evaluate and make adjustments where it's needed. We don't really need to stay where we're at. We always want to improve.”