New data from PfISD show students boosting academic performance over previous school year

Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker addressed the PfISD board Oct. 21. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker addressed the PfISD board Oct. 21. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker addressed the PfISD board Oct. 21. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Recent figures from the Texas Education Agency show districts that experienced higher percentages of virtual learning during the 2020-21school year also saw underperforming grades on the state's State of Texas Assessment and Academic Readiness, or STAAR test.

Pflugerville ISD was a mostly virtual district during the 2020-21 school year, and an Oct. 21 presentation from Chief Academic and Innovation Officer Brandy Baker showed that in most cases district performance was similar to statewide STAAR scoring.

According to TEA figures, state districts with fewer than 25% in person attendance for most of the 2020-21 school year saw 9% increase in students not meeting expectations in reading and a 32% increase in students not meeting expectations for math compared against the 2018-19 school year.

For districts with more than 75% in person attendance for the 2020-21 school year, there was only a 1% increase in students not meeting expectations for STAAR test for reading and a 9% increase for math compared against the 2018-19 school year.

When broken down by socioeconomic status, figures show economically disadvantaged students performed even lower for reading and math within both the mostly virtual and mostly in person districts, and Baker said PfISD was also similar to state figures in that regard.


However, Baker said while she is not excited about the TEA data, she is highly encouraged by new district numbers showing current student performance numbers are rising.

"I am happy about what is happening for our kids," she said. "We are pretty much above pre-COVID[-19] numbers in almost every area."

Baker cited as one example a 20% increase in performance for seventh grade mathematics districtwide this school year versus last school year.

Baker said she would come back to the district in November to further unpack district data on student performance through categories including race, special programming and economic status.

"This is the first time that I was just joyful for our students and our teachers [since the COVID-19 pandemic began]," Baker said.

Following her presentation, the school board commended Baker and district teachers for their hard work.

"I appreciate you looking at this and how we turned the ship around, so to speak," Superintendent Douglas Killian said.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.


MOST RECENT

RoboCo X earned its fourth championship in five years at the 2021 UIL robotics competition. (Courtesy Hutto ISD)
Hutto High School robotics team takes UIL state championship

Hutto High School's robotics team, RoboCo X, earned its fourth championship in five years at the 2021 UIL robotics competition.

Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin; House of Pies opens in Cypress and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 8.

Williamson County Commissioners Court will discuss allocating the remaining CARES Act funding during its Dec. 14 meeting. (Claire Shoop/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County officials discuss how to spend remaining federal coronavirus relief funding

County Treasurer Scott Heselmeyer said the county has approximately $18 million remaining of the $93.4 million Williamson County received from the CARES Act.

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

A child gets a COVID-19 shot in November, shortly after the Food and Drug Administration authorized use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 through 11. (Courtesy Dell Children’s Medical Center)
Travis County, Austin Public Health report uptick in COVID-19 vaccine demand

Officials said that booster and pediatric shots are driving the surge.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

City and Austin EMS Association representatives discussed a pay increase on the third day of negotiations (Darcy Sprague, Community Impact Newspaper)
Austin EMS Association lays out argument for $27 per hour starting pay

The increase would represent almost a 42% increase in starting salary for EMS medics.

The 6.5-mile project will be an important connection for the pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks, according to city officials. (Courtesy Austin Public Works)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: City of Austin begins design of urban trail on abandoned rail corridor; 12 things to do in and around New Braunfels this holiday season and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 6.

John Brotherton co-owns Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock and Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pflugerville, Round Rock business owner John Brotherton makes a priority of helping community

John Brotherton is a restaurateur and barbecue aficionado—he owns Brotherton’s Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville and is a co-owner of Liberty Barbecue in Round Rock—but for many, he is much more than a local businessman.

Courtesy Henry Huey
From light drives to live radio shows: Your December to-do list for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

Many events in the Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto areas have taken on a holiday theme, but there are plenty more activities to participate in for the month of December. 

Supply chain hurdles in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto hurting businesses, suppliers and consumers

In local communities, recent supply chain bottlenecks driven by inflation and labor shortages are putting business owners, suppliers and consumers in increasingly difficult positions during the busiest shopping season of the year.

People join hands around the Circle of Hope Community Center sign. (Courtesy Circle of Hope Community Center)
From animal assistance to community building: A 2021-22 volunteer guide for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto

Help out your community in a number of ways throughout the year by volunteering with local nonprofit groups in Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto.