Results from the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness show Plano ISD students scored better than state averages in every exam given during Spring 2021. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness results released June 28 showed Plano ISD end-of-course results rose slightly from spring 2019 to spring 2021 in English I and English II, with more students approaching grade level in those subjects, according to data from the Texas Education Agency and Data Interaction for Texas Student Assessments. All other PISD results, as well as statewide results, showed a decline from spring 2019 to 2021 in the number of students approaching grade level.
Results include exams in math and reading for grades 3-8, writing for grades 4 and 7, science for grades 5 and 8, social studies for grade 8, and high school end-of-course exams in Algebra I, English I, English II, biology and U.S. History, according to a June 28 release from the TEA.
“These numbers are all very accurate in terms of the conclusions one would draw,” TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said during a June 28 press conference. “I think far more important for individual families, for every child that we have STAAR results from—that allows educators and parents themselves to build action plans to support those students moving forward in terms of their literacy and numeracy.”
Officials from PISD did not have anyone available to comment on the STAAR results June 28.
Despite a drop in the number of students approaching grade level according to the assessments for grades 3-8, PISD remained above the state average in all subject areas, according to TEA data.
The release stated districts with a higher percent of students learning virtually in 2020-21 saw greater declines in assessment results.
Community Impact Newspaper previously reported PISD’s in-person learning population grew from 46% at the start of the 2020-21 school year to 57% in the last grading period of the school year.
“What we know now with certainty is that the decision in Texas to prioritize in-person instruction was critical,” Morath said. “Where we saw very high rates of in-person instruction, we saw almost no reading declines.”
PISD saw the greatest decline in eighth grade math with a more than 29% decline in the number of students approaching grade level from spring 2019 to spring 2021, according to TEA data. On the contrary, the district’s scores in English I and English II both rose 1% in the number of students approaching grade level from spring 2019 to spring 2021.
“This was not a year like any normal year that our students have had to face, that our teachers have had to face,” Morath said. “The impact of coronavirus on what school means and what school is has been profound. And unfortunately, the impact that the broader conditions of the coronavirus have had on schools in Texas and what … will likely be throughout the United States is significant.”
Matt Stephens contributed to this report.