Seguin ISD celebrates gains reported during second round of STAAR testing
Posted on 6/10/2016 7:41:00 AM.
(Seguin) -- The Seguin ISD is celebrating having 179 more students pass the second round of the grades 5 and 8 Reading and Math portions of the STAAR Test. The results released this week by the Texas Education Agency show the significant gains made in this particular go around of the state mandated State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness Test.
Sean Hoffmann, the public information officer for the Seguin ISD, says growth was seen in 19 of 22 areas across the district with all but two 5th and 8th grade reading math scores above 70 percent.
"After the first round of testing, you look at some of these schools, Jefferson had a 79 percentage passing rate in fifth grade reading. After the second round, they jumped up to 88 (percent). McQueeney jumped up from 84 to 89. Rodriguez had a six point jump from 73 to 79. Vogel, big 14 point jump from 60 to 74 and then Weinert went up from 84 to 91. We see the same pattern in fifth grade math as well. I'll give examples, Jefferson going from 69 to 78, Koennecke jumped four points to 98, McQueeney had a big jump from 79 to 95, Patlan, a tremendous jump from 41 to 66. In fact, Patlan had 21 more students pass the math test on the second go around," said Hoffmann.
The second round of testing was held in May. Following the release of preliminary scores in April, Hoffmann says the district hustled even more in getting the right tools to these students and campuses.
"You look back and say ‘how did this happen?’ Well it was administration having tutoring done on Saturdays. A board member, Mr. (Ricardo) Guerra was there on Saturday morning tutoring students. We feel that these jumps are reflective of everybody really working hard and focusing and being determined to see improvement across the board and that's what we see," said Hoffmann.
District officials list other highlights following the second round of testing. They say reading scores for African-American students increased from 54 percent passing after the firsttest administration to 80 percent passing after this year's second administration. This included standards that were higher. They also say that math scores for bilingual students increased from 47 percent passing after the first administration to 58 percent passing after this year's second administration. Three campuses also scored in the 90 percent range in math and two in reading.
Hoffmann says although gains were reported, the district understands areas of concern and is already preparing to make even more kids successful.
"It (weakness) fluctuates from campus to campus whether we're talking about reading or math, but still I think the message is that we're going to keep the foot on the gas pedal. This is something that you can't relax or let up on. We need to maintain that focus. We will still look at areas --we'll still look at campuses where we know we need to be more prescriptive. We need to look at where our focus is on those students and being able to provide, individualize instruction and tutoring at levels to where we can get those students to perform better year in and year out, because as we know, these standards increase every year. We're not going to sit back on our laurels. We've come too far, we're going to keep pushing ahead and look for additional increases next year," said Hoffmann.
Hoffmann says the the district is pleased to be able to share these results -- results that he says took a team effort.
"We feel that our students, our teachers, our administrators, the families of our students all came together to really work and focus on what the state is telling us that is important. It's really to get test scores up. That's a community expectation in Seguin. We've heard it over time. We feel we're addressing that and we think if these scores are pointing us --  in fact, we know these scores are pointing us in the right direction," said Hoffmann.
Students are required by the state to pass these two portions of the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness test in order to be promoted to the next grade level. Students who still didn't pass the second round of testing will be given a third and final chance to pass the test this summer. The test is needed only to be considered for promotion into the next grade level and will not be factored into the district's overall STAAR results.

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