TEA releases Spring 2021 STAAR, EOC assessment results
The Texas Education Agency Wednesday released the spring 2021 State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and End-of-Course (EOC) assessment results online with data related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students.
Results were released by TEA for exams in mathematics and reading in third through eight grade students, exams in writing for fourth and seventh grade students, exams in science for fifth and eight grade students, exams in social studies for eighth grade students and high school EOC exams for Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology and U.S. History. Parents can find out how their student performed on the STAAR and EOC exams at a local level by visiting TexasAssessment.gov and entering their student’s access code and date of birth.
Results for STAAR and EOC exams are rated on a performance scale of Approaches Grade Level, Meets Grade Level, Masters Grade Level and Did Not Meet Grade Level. TEA stated Wednesday that as a result of learning disruptions by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of students statewide not meeting grade level increased from 2019 in all subject areas and grade levels except in English I and English II.
“Districts with a higher percentage of students learning virtually experienced larger learning declines in all grades and subjects,” TEA stated in the release. “For example, districts in which 25 percent or less of students were learning virtually for most of the year saw a 9-percentage point drop in satisfactory performance in mathematics from 2019 to 2021 as compared to districts in which 75 percent or more of students were learning virtually, which saw a drop of 32 percentage points.”
Mathematics had the largest decline in proficiency across all levels, according to TEA. The agency added that districts with a high percentage of students learning virtually experienced a greater degree of decline in all grades and subjects and those with the highest percentage of in-person learners mostly avoided learning declines in reading.
“Thankfully, from early on, Texas prioritized the availability of in-person instruction during this tremendously difficult year. When students come into Texas public schools, they are well-served by Texas educators—a fact that these scores confirm. But it is also painfully clear that the pandemic had a very negative impact on learning. I shudder to consider the long-term impact on children in states that restricted in-person instruction,” Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said. “Now, we have full assessment results in hand for nearly all Texas students. The data may be disheartening, but with it, our teachers and school leaders are building action plans to support students in the new school year. Policymakers are using it to direct resources where they are needed most. And parents can log into TexasAssessment.gov to understand how well each of their children learned this year’s material, and how to support the academic growth of their children moving forward. Armed with the best information, working closely together, and with significant new supports from the Texas Legislature, we will provide stronger academic growth for students than ever before.”
During this exam period 85% of eligible students participated in the grades 3-8 STAAR assessment compared to the 96% in 2019, while 90% of eligible high school students participated in the EOC assessments compared to the 97% in 2019. The overall participation in the spring 2021 exam was 87% and of those who participated in the assessment, there was a slightly higher concentration of economically disadvantaged students than of participating students, according to TEA.
“The high level of participation—even among students who remained virtual most of the year—allows for comparisons with the most recent year for which we have assessment data (2019) and ensures more students will benefit from enhanced academic supports that come with having access to the robust information STAAR provides,” TEA stated in the release.
TEA said the Texas Legislature acted to address the lost learning opportunities this year with bills like House Bill 4545, which allows parents of eligible students who took an assessment to have the opportunity to access high-performing teachings and benefit from additional tutoring. The agency is also planning to work with school systems this summer and in the coming years to expand the accelerated learning efforts by providing rigorous instructional materials, additional teacher support, targeted tutoring and help to expand learning time.