This Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released results from the 2023 STAAR test, including data aggregated at the state, region, district, and campus levels. Overall, the data showed marked increase in math scores, which had dipped significantly in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic first hit. The data revealed continued stable recovery in student math, science, and social studies scores.
This years’ STAAR results are the first batch of results released after the exam was significantly redesigned as part of the implementation of House Bill 3906 (86R) and HB 3261 (87R). HB 3906 made several changes to the exam to “better align with classroom instruction” including placing a cap on the number of multiple choice questions on the exam. HB 3261 requires that the STAAR test be administered online.
Despite these significant changes to the exam in the wake of the already turbulent pandemic period, students performed better than many would have expected.
While the statewide results did show improvements in aggregate math scores compared to last year and the year before, math scores are still significantly below pre-pandemic levels. Aggregate social studies and science scores are also below pre-pandemic levels, while reading scores have surpassed pre-pandemic averages.
In 2019, 47% of students scored at or above grade level in reading-language arts compared to 52% this year. In 2019, 50% of students scored at or above grade level in math compared to 43% this year.
Even with these better-than-expected results in statewide aggregated scores, these improvements have not occurred equally, and certain subgroups and specific districts have had varied results. For example, testing results for economically disadvantaged students are further below those students’ pre-pandemic performance averages than their non-economically disadvantaged counterparts. Emergent bilingual students have had a more significant recovery in post-pandemic test scores compared to the general population.
Students that did not pass the STAAR exam this year are subject to provisions of HB 4545 (87R) and HB 1416 (88R), which will result in certain students being entered into accelerated instruction programs.
STAAR test results will have a significant impact on the A-F accountability ratings that will be released in September, as was previously reported in the Texas AFT Hotline earlier this month.
A full breakdown of statewide STAAR results is available here. STAAR aggregate level data by state, region, district, or campus are available to view and download on the Texas Assessment Analytic Portal. Selected breakout results are available but not districtwide reports.