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Some East Texas schools come in above state STAAR averages while others struggle

By Bridget Ortigo
July 16, 2017 at 6 a.m.


Some East Texas school districts came in well above state averages on the 2017 preliminary results of state standardized testing while other school districts struggled in a majority of grades and test subject areas.

Hallsville ISD students surpassed their state counterparts in every grade and test subject area, according to preliminary results from the 2017 STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) test for third grade through high school students.

Harleton and Elysian Fields ISDs followed closely behind, surpassing state averages in all but two of the 22 test subject areas and grades for Harleton ISD and all but three test subject areas and grades for Elysian Fields ISD.

Texas Early College High School in Marshall, which serves grades eighth through twelfth only, beat state averages in five of its seven testing areas.

The area's highest overall math scores came from Elysian Fields ISD third- through eighth-grade students, with third- and seventh-graders scoring the area's highest math scores at 95 and 85 percent passing, respectively.

East Texas' highest overall reading scores came from Harleton ISD third- through eighth-graders with sixth-graders posting a 78 percent passing rate compared to the state's 67 percent passing.

In writing, Harleton ISD posted the highest overall passing percentages with its fourth-graders scoring a 94 percent passing rate, compared to the state's 63 percent.

Elysian Fields and Hallsville ISDs posted the overall highest science scores with Hallsville fifth-graders posting an 85 percent passing rate compared to the state's 73 percent and Elysian Fields eighth-graders posting an 88 percent passing rate compared to the state's 74 percent.

Hallsville ISD eighth-graders also posted the area's highest overall social studies passing percentage with 75 percent passing compared to the state's 62 percent.

Harleton High School posted the area's highest overall end of course STAAR exam test scores with the school posting the highest scores in English I. The school had 79 percent of its students pass the English I test, compared to 60 percent from the state.

The biggest dip from state averages for East Texas students came from Marshall ISD where the district came in below their state counterparts scores in 21 of the 22 testing areas.

Jefferson ISD followed behind Marshall with its students coming in below state averages in 18 of the 22 test subject areas.

Waskom and Karnack ISDs both came in below state averages in the majority of their students' testing areas. Waskom ISD student scored below their state counterparts in 13 of the 22 testing areas. Karnack ISD, which only serves grades third through eighth, came in below state averages in 10 of its 17 testing areas.

Karnack ISD posted East Texas' overall lowest scores in third- through eighth-grades math, reading and writing. The district's biggest gaps came in third- and fourth-grade math with the district posting just 25 and 29 percent passing in math, respectively.

In reading, Karnack ISD third- and fourth-graders again posted the biggest dips with just 17 percent of the district's third-graders passing and 31 percent of the district's fourth-graders passing the test. In writing, the school's fourth-graders posted only 36 percent passing compared to the state's 63 percent passing.

Marshall ISD posted the area's lowest overall science scores with the district's fifth-graders posting a 50 percent passing rate compared to the state's 73 percent.

Read more: Marshall ISD STAAR scores show gains, still below state averages

In social studies, Jefferson ISD eighth-graders posted the area's lowest passing percentage with just 37 percent passing, compared to 62 percent across the state.

Marshall High School posted the area's lowest end of course exam passing percentages, the biggest dip coming in English I and II, Biology and U.S. History. The school had just 40 percent passing in English I, and 47 percent passing in English II.

STAAR scores across the state were published later this year due to Texas Education Agency launching a newly revamped website for parents to log in and check their students' progress on and also access a new STAAR Report Card.

Parents should have received a STAAR report card for each of their students in the mail in June.

To access the revamped website, visit here.

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