, Port Arthur, Texas

June 20, 2013

PAISD STAAR scores fall short of state average

Erinn Callahan
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — cores released Wednesday by the Port Arthur Independent School District for the STAAR and end of course (EOC) exams showed a definite need for improvement.

PAISD fifth graders scored above state average on both the reading and math STAAR tests, with a 79 percent and 78 percent passing rate, respectively. Eighth graders mirrored their statewide counterparts on the reading test with an 84 percent passing rate and exceeded the state average on the math test with 80 percent of students passing.

Advanced Placement (AP) students in PAISD surpassed the state average of 97 percent on the Algebra II EOC exam with a passing rate of 99 percent, and 100 percent of the AP Physics students passed their EOC exams.

“The Port Arthur Independent School District is currently reviewing and assessing the STAAR/EOC scores for our district,” said PAISD Interim Superintendent Mark Porterie. “We are excited for areas in which our teachers and students have scored well.”

The school is also drafting plans to address areas of concern. Less than half of the district’s students failed to meet passing standards on three EOC exams — English I Writing (44 percent), English II Writing (31 percent) and World History (48 percent). For the last two weeks, Porterie said, the district’s teachers and curriculum specialists have worked on activities to deliver the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), which is the state curriculum for the 2013 -2014 school year.

 “We are excited to see the products that our teachers have produced to assist teachers in the classroom,” Porterie said.

The State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) was administered for the first time in the spring of 2012, replacing the less rigorous Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test, which had been in place since 2003. High school students are required to pass EOC exams in Algebra I, Algebra II, geometry, biology, chemistry, physics, English I, English II, 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.

Porterie said that the district has already taken steps necessary to embark on the path to success on both the STAAR and EOC exams.

“We continue to have a positive outlook regarding the direction in which the state has moved in order to assist districts in helping students without compromising the rigor that our students must have in order to be successful,” Porterie said.


Twitter: @ErinnPA