Both Pearland ISD and Alvin ISD students remained at or above the state average across all subject areas and grade levels, according to spring 2021 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness results, but saw overall scores follow the descending trend from 2019 seen statewide.

The Texas Education Agency disclosed the results of spring 2021 STAAR tests on June 28.

“The data may be disheartening, but with it, our teachers and school leaders are building action plans to support students in the new school year,” TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said in a news release.

Following the state trend, the percentage of students that achieved the approaching grade level criteria decreased in both PISD and AISD from their 2019 data.

Despite most scores decreasing from those in 2019, PISD saw its math scores soar above the state average: Third through seventh grade scores in the district were all above 80% when it came to students meeting the approaching grade level or above category. Even eighth grade math scores, which were the only ones that were not above 80% in the district, were still six percentage points higher than the state average at 66%. However, the district’s eighth grade math scores fell from where they were in the district in 2019, which was at 94%.

“Compared to the state decline, Pearland shines,” PISD Chief Academic Officer Nyla Watson said. “We have some areas where strong interventions will be needed; overall, we saw minimal declines. Our remote students did not fall significantly below our face-to-face students. We definitely have work to do for long-term success, but we are looking forward to students being on the campuses and starting interventions on an individual basis.”

Seventh grade writing scores, however, improved in PISD—rising from 82% in 2019 to 84% in 2021.

AISD saw scores drop significantly in math exams across all grade levels when compared to 2019 scores. The largest drop came from fourth grade math scores that dropped from 79% of students approaching grade level in 2019 down to 65% in 2021, but it was still higher than the state average for fourth grade math, which was 58%.

Reading scores were a strong point for AISD when compared to the state average: All grade levels except sixth grade had its reading test scores finish above 71%.

"Credit goes to the dedication of our staff who continued to provide engaging instruction both face-to-face and virtually," AISD Superintendent Carol Nelson said. "We required any student who was failing to return to face-to-face instruction. Some of our schools had over 90% of their students back."

Similar to PISD, AISD also saw an increase in seventh grade writing scores from 65% of students approaching grade level in 2019 to 68% in 2021.

Scores in 2019 and 2021 for sixth and seventh grade reading remained exactly the same in AISD with 69% of students approaching grade level for sixth grade reading in 2019 and 2021. Seventh grade reading test results were 74% in both years as well.

“Armed with the best information, working closely together, and with significant new supports from the Texas Legislature, we will provide stronger academic growth for students than ever before,” Morath said in the news release.