This year’s standardized test scores for third- to eighth-grade students demonstrate how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted student learning in different subjects.

In reading and language arts, students have recovered from learning loss due to the pandemic, the Texas Education Agency reported. Meanwhile, schools are struggling to bring scores to prepandemic levels in math.

The TEA released results from the spring State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness on Aug. 16.

The tests were redesigned in 2023 “to better align with classroom instruction” following the passage of House Bill 3906 in 2019. The exams were administered almost exclusively online, focused on writing and included more questions that mirrored how students learned in class, officials said. Students requiring accommodations could still complete paper exams.

The details

Statewide, student performance remained steady in reading and language arts. In each grade, a similar or higher percentage of students met expectations for their grade level this year compared to 2022.

Students in all grades performed better in reading and language arts than before the pandemic. According to the TEA, 51% of third- to eighth-grade students met their grade level in 2023, compared to 52% the year prior. In 2019, 45% of students met expectations in reading and language arts.
“Teachers across Texas continue to work with passion and skill to help students learn,” TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said. “This year’s results show the efforts of our educators continue to deliver improved results for students.”

“Significant effects of the pandemic still linger” in math, the TEA said in a news release. Students in five of the six grade levels tested improved year over year, while sixth-graders performed equivalently to 2022.

In 2019, prior to the pandemic, 48% of students met expectations in math. This year, 42% of students met expectations, a three-percentage-point improvement from 2022.
Learn more

Families can visit to access their children’s individual STAAR results. The online portal includes students’ individual scores, how a student answered each question on their exams and recommendations to help the student grow academically.

“We recommend parents log in and learn more about their child’s STAAR scores,” Morath said. “Being fully informed about their child’s academic progress can help them work with their child’s teacher during the new school year.”

Stay tuned

The TEA will issue accountability ratings for all Texas public schools and districts Sept. 28, following months of revisions to the accountability system. Campuses and districts will be scored on an A-F scale based on Student Achievement, School Progress and Closing the Gaps for at-risk students.