Editor's note: This article has been updated to clarify that the scores released on Aug. 16 are the percentage of students who passed the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams.

The percent of Tomball ISD students in grades 3-8 approaching grade level either improved or remained within two percentage points of 2022 scores for the spring administration of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, except for fifth grade science and third grade Spanish math scores, which fell seven and 30 percentage points, respectively, according to results released Aug. 16.

Diving in deeper

The Texas Education Agency released STAAR scores for school districts across Texas on Aug. 16, including TISD’s scores for students in grades 3-8 who were tested in English or Spanish in the core subjects of reading, math, science and social studies.

Public school students must perform to at least the “approaches grade level” standard to pass the test. For spring 2023’s grades 3-8 test results:
  • The percentage of fifth grade science students and third grade Spanish math students was 83% and 50% approaching grade level, respectively, compared to 90% and 80% in 2022.
  • Eighth grade reading students were the group with the highest percentage of passing students with 94% approaching grade level while the group with the lowest percentage of passing students was third grade Spanish math.
  • Of the 22 total tested subject areas, TISD improved in 12 subjects from 2022 to 2023 and saw no change for three subjects.
  • TISD had higher percentages of passing students than the state average in all subjects except for third grade Spanish math, where 50% of TISD students and 57% of statewide students approached grade level.
  • Fifth grade Spanish math saw the most growth in passing students from 2022 to 2023 with the percentage of students approaching grade level jumping from 40% to 80%.
Put in perspective

Because the STAAR was redesigned in 2023, this year's scores cannot be directly compared to those of previous years. House Bill 3906 in 2019 mandated a redesign “to better align with classroom instruction,” officials said.

"The 2023 STAAR assessment this past school year was redesigned significantly by the TEA. ... The format of the test not only looked different from any other prior state assessment, but the rigor also increased. TISD teachers fully embraced the difficulty of this new test and continued to implement high quality instruction,” TISD Chief Academic Officer Michael Webb said in an Aug. 16 emailed statement.

The redesign was a multiyear collaboration between the TEA as well as state educators, students, parents and community members, according to TEA officials.
  • This was the first year tests were administered almost exclusively online.
  • Assessments this year emphasized writing skills.
"I'm extremely proud of our students and teachers for successfully adjusting to this new redesign,” Superintendent Martha Salazar-Zamora said in an Aug. 16 emailed statement. “Our STAAR results demonstrate positive growth as well as validate the hard work put forth by everyone this past year.”

Zooming out

Statewide, students have recovered from reading and language arts learning loss due to the pandemic, according to the TEA. Meanwhile, schools are struggling to bring scores to prepandemic levels in math.
  • The percent of students statewide approaching grade level for all five high school end-of-course exam subjects—Algebra 1, English 1, English 2, biology and U.S. history—increased this spring compared to last year, showing continued academic recovery in the aftermath of pandemic-related disruptions.
Families can view their child’s individual exam scores at www.texasassessment.gov. Learn more about statewide results here.

Danica Lloyd, Dave Manning and Brooke Sjoberg contributed to this report.