Eanes and Lake Travis ISD students performed above state standards on a new end-of-course (EOC) exam, according to preliminary results released the week of June 12.
The new State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness is a more rigorous end-of-course exam and has more tests than the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam, which has been the standardized end-of-course exam since 2003. The STAAR exam is being implemented in phases and was administered in the 2011-12 school year to students in the third through ninth grade.
The results released the week of June 12 were only for ninth graders and middle-schoolers taking upper-level courses. Of the seven tested subjects that ranged from world geography to biology, Eanes and Lake Travis ISD students exceeded the state average in every area.
"Taking into consideration that this is a completely revamped and more rigorous assessment than TAKS, we are pleased with the overall results of our end-of-course exams," said Myra Pettit, LTISD assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, in a statement. "We thank our teachers and support staff for preparing our students for the transition."
The number of questions students must get right on the STAAR will annually increase until 2016, when the final passing requirements will be in place. The phased approach is so students and teachers have more time to adapt to the exam's more difficult requirements, according to a statement from Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott.
Eanes ISD Superintendent Dr. Nola Wellman said having completed the first implementation of the STAAR exam will allow teachers to help students who struggled on the test.
"While we are pleased overall with our results on the STAAR EOC tests, we see the opportunity for improvement to meet the 2016 standards," she said in a statement.