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Vargas pleased with preliminary STAAR results
by Coy Slavik, Advance-Guard Editor
Jul 26, 2014 | 412 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
GOLIAD – Goliad ISD Superintendent Emilio Vargas was happy with his students’ scores in the preliminary State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests, but knows there is still plenty of room for improvement.

“Overall, we’re pleased,” Vargas said. “We still have areas that we need to look at. As I review our scores, I categorize them as where we’re doing good, where we’re average and an area of concern. As a district, we have an area of concern with our reading and writing scores.”

Goliad ISD students exceeded overall state scores in Grades 3-8. Ninety-eight percent of eighth-graders had passing scores. Seventh-graders (73 percent), sixth-graders (83 percent), fifth-graders (86 percent), fourth-graders (72 percent) and third-graders (76 percent) also graded out above the state average.

“The middle school had some really bright spots,” Vargas said. “Eighth-grade social studies was 25 points above the region average and 25 points above the state.

“Our eighth-grade science scores were 10 points above the region and nine points above the state. Our eighth-grade math was a minimum of 11 points above the region and the state.”

Eighty-three percent of ninth-graders passed the algebra portion of the test.

The passing rates dropped in reading, especially at the elementary level. Just 63 percent of fourth-graders passed the reading test while 71 percent of third-graders earned passing scores.

“One of our biggest gaps is also with our low socioeconomic students,” Vargas said. “We are undergoing and engaging in poverty training. That will be a huge aspect of what we’re working on and focusing on along with really placing a strong emphasis on reading at our early grade levels.”

Vargas said the tests revealed disparities among ethnic groups.

“We still have a big discrepancy between our Anglo and Hispanic population,” Vargas said. “We’ve shown improvement. However, we need to still work in that area and show sustained improvement over a course of the next several years.”

Vargas said Goliad ISD faculty have participated in workshops this summer to address the students’ biggest needs.

“We are setting forth some new initiatives to support the changes and expectations we have,” Vargas said.

“Goliad is a remarkably hard-working school district. We have some really good staff members.”
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