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STAAR test results show progress over time

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Preliminary results of this year’s STAAR test showed a predominantly positive trend, Sulphur Springs Independent School District trustees were told Friday at their board meeting, the result of a “building process” in the district.

That was the summation of SSISD Superintendent Michael Lamb, who discussed the results with the Board of Trustees.

The results were mostly positive compared to the tests results of last year, although fourth grade students struggled in both reading and writing. Lamb focused on long terms goals and importance of the new data.

“The hard part about these scores is we are not sure whether to be excited or not because it depends how you compare it,” said Lamb. “I hesitate not to get too happy or sad because these are preliminary — but overall, we are excited.”

Breaking down the numbers, Sulphur Springs students have improved in their STAAR reading tests in third, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades as well as performed above the state average. In seventh grade writing, 81 percent of students passed in comparison to the 72 percent Texas average. In eighth grade social studies, 68 percent of local students passed while the state average was 64 percent. Lamb stressed that to be victorious, students would have to improve over last year and average better than the Texas average.

Looking at the negative, fourth grade students struggled in reading and writing with only 70 percent and 60 percent of students passing, respectively. The state average is 74 and70 percent, which means next year some work will have to be done, Lamb said. Fifth grade and eighth grade had 64 and 63 percent of students passing in science with a 72 percent and 70 percent state average. After the summary, Lamb focused on the big picture.

“When you look at the numbers, there are a lot of things you can say. All of the numbers are improvements from last year and that’s something to be excited about,” said Lamb. “The important thing we are noticing is a trend that we need to capitalize on. When you look at eighth grade reading, 90 percent of our kids passed. Everyone in our district should be proud of that. That score did not happen over a year. That's a building process.”

Lamb summarized each year is a building block process and the scores are indicative of an overall success from third grade through high school. 

The high school scores were 89 percent in Algebra I, 94 percent in biology, 79 percent in English, 82 percent in English II and 94 percent in US history. 

“Even though there might be static in lower grades, what we are seeing is a improvement process over time,” said Lamb. “The seventh grade really starts to separate itself and it continues. We are getting these kids and working with them and every year we make more progress.” 

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Hudson Northcutt is making quite a name for himself this year for his speaking abilities. He’s advanced a number of times in three different speaking competitions: academic UIL, FFA and an American Legion contest.

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