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BISD TAKS scores rise in some areas, decrease in others
by Bill Clough
Jun 27, 2011 | 1080 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Beeville Independent School District students showed both positive and negative progress over last year, according to the results of the 2011 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests.

During an unusually lengthy session, BISD Superintendent Dr. Sue Thomas reviewed the scores at the BISD board’s regular meeting June 21.

Third, fourth and 11th-graders showed improvement in the reading portion of the test; fifth and eighth-grade scores were unchanged, but the scores for sixth, seventh, ninth and 10th-graders were lower.

Ninth-graders had the largest drop in reading scores — more than nine percent lower than last year.

Only the reading scores for fifth and ninth-graders were higher than the average state scores.

The lowest percentage of students passing the reading portion of the test was 74 percent by sixth-graders; the highest percentage was 11th-graders at 97 percent.

READING*

GRADE 2010 2011 STATE

3 83 86 89

4 80 83 85

5 90 90 87

6 77 74 84

7 79 75 86

8 87 87 89

9 86 78 89

10 87 82 91

11 90 97 95

*Percent of students passing

Math? Well, do the math.

Third, eighth and ninth-graders showed improvement over the previous year; fifth-graders stayed the same; the scores for all the rest dropped.

Tenth-graders enjoyed the highest improvement of almost 15 percent with a score of 51 compared with 44 the year before.

The question the board is seeking to answer is why the discrepancy between the math scores for fifth-graders and sixth-graders? Fifth-graders scored 89; sixth-graders scored 59 — a drop of almost 34 percent.



MATH*

GRADE 2010 2011 STATE

3 79 80 87

4 87 83 88

5 89 89 86

6 64 59 83

7 60 57 81

8 67 69 80

9 44 51 70

10 61 52 74

11 85 81 90

*Percent of students passing

Thomas cites a number of reasons that could help explain the sudden drop in scores between the fifth and sixth grade.

“The students are switching from having one or two teachers, who can give more individual attention because they are with the students almost all day, to going to middle school where they have six teachers a day. I’m not saying this is the cause,” she cautions, “but it is a factor.”

Similar drops appear in the science scores. Four grades — fifth, eighth, 10th and 11th — take the test; all but the eighth grade scored lower than last year and all were below the state average.

SCIENCE*

GRADE 2010 2011 STATE

5 84 79 87

8 54 64 79

10 68 55 76

11 86 83 91

*Percent of students passing

Writing scores, taken by fourth and seventh-graders, both dropped from last year and were below the state average.

WRITING*

GRADE 2010 2011 STATE

4 90 88 90

7 94 93 94

*Percent of students passing

Eighth, 10th and 11th-grade students took social studies tests. Only the eighth-graders showed improvement over the previous year; all were below the state average.

SOCIAL STUDIES*

GRADE 2010 2011 STATE

8 89 90 95

10 87 80 93

11 96 95 99

*Percent of students passing

Thomas says the district will use statistical analysis to try to determine the cause of the poor showing in math and science.

“If a large percentage of students miss the same question, we will look to see if the subject was taught incorrectly, or perhaps the question could have been better worded.”

In her presentation to the board, Thomas showed that in many cases the same students showed a strong improvement when passing from one grade to another.

For instance, last year’s 10th-grade students showed a 12 percent improvement in reading this year.

The same students showed a 33 percent improvement over last year in math; in science, up 22 percent.

“They’re the same kids,” Thomas says, “they have the same brains.”

In addition to intensive analysis of the 2010 and 2011 scores, Thomas suggests the leadership of the middle school probably will be subject to greater scrutiny.

Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.
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