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District making plans to help students after drop in STAAR scores

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:23 AM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Across the state, STAAR scores were much lower than in 2019, especially for virtual learners, and that was the case in Central Texas as well.

Waco ISD said scores in math and science were lower than in past years. There were a few bright spots where students did well, but in some cases, scores were 10 to 20 points lower than where they were in 2019.

While the drop was expected, superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon said it’s still disappointing.

However, Dr. Kincannon said it was a challenging year and a half for the district. At some points, half of the students were learning virtually, and that includes right before the STAAR tests were taken.

Dr. Kincannon said the test results are just part of how they’ll make sure students are on track.

“We want to make sure that we look at multiple pieces of data on our students to really get a full picture of where they are rather than just one test,” Dr. Kincannon said.

Now, the district is looking toward next year, and how it can improve.

Waco is using federal funds, including stimulus money, to hire additional academic interventionists to help with small group teaching. The district is revamping libraries and beginning a reading recovery program.

This is in addition to the summer school that’s currently being offered, and Dr. Kincannon said the district is also holding some development sessions for staff to plan for next year.

She said parents should have confidence in the district.

“We are going to pick up where our kids are and build,” Dr. Kincannon said. “We know what the achievement of our students was, but we also know that those STAAR tests are only one piece of data.”

The district plans to test students again in the fall to get a better picture of where they stand after the last year and a half.

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