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Boyd High School STAAR test results shine

By Jimmy Alford | Published Wednesday, June 11, 2014

All the numbers are in and Boyd ISD students have shown stunning STAAR test improvement.

The school board heard reports this week from all principals, but the best news came from the high school, where an average of 23 percent more students passed across the board compared to 2013 scores.

“I’m loving these numbers,” said board Vice President Jana Tate.

Assistant Superintendent Barbara Stice said the results reported Monday night are for all students tested, and the passing percentages could change slightly when adjusted for certain factors, such as taking out students who moved in after Oct. 31, 2013, and segregating eighth-grade algebra test-takers from their high school counterparts.

BHS passing rates by subject:

  • English I – 73 percent passed compared to 48 percent in 2013
  • English II – 77 percent passed compared to 55 percent in 2013
  • Biology – 97 percent passed compared to 74 percent in 2013
  • Algebra I – 90 percent passed compared to 59 percent in 2013 (This percentage will decrease after eighth graders are taken out)
  • U.S. History – 86 percent (No student elected to take this test in 2013.)

“It’s a lot better than last year,” said BHS Principal Scott Nedrow. “I told you all last year we had a plan of action, and I think these scores speak for themselves.

“There is room for improvement. When you make these kind of gains in a year, there is no reason we can’t be in the 90s next year,” he said. “Until we’re at 100 percent, there is still room for improvement. I’m very proud of the high school staff.”

Nedrow credited the newfound success to several strategies, including freshmen creative writing classes and algebra labs, as well as school administrators and teachers planning assessments and discussing instructional plans.

“I’m proud of my staff,” Nedrow said.

While the gains in passing rates weren’t as large for the middle school, they did see improvement in all areas.

“We really thought, based on assessments, we would be in the 90s in most areas, but we came up a little short,” said BMS Principal James McDonald. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of our campus, we have improved, we’ve seen gains and that is outstanding. The algebra scores are phenomenal. However, we know we are not where we could be.”

Every BMS eighth grader that took the algebra test passed, up from 91 percent in 2013.

McDonald talked about the overall improvement and how close they were in some areas to 90 percent passing.

“If you look at our assessment and our benchmarks, the data showed we would be higher,” McDonald said. “Now we are doing a lot of planning, saying ‘this is what we got and this is where we need to be.'”

In eighth grade, passing rates saw a 5 percent bump in reading, math and science. Social studies was the area with the highest increase at 13 percent.

In seventh grade, 3 percent more passed the reading test, 5 percent more passed math and 6 percent more passed writing. Sixth-graders saw an 11 percent rise in reading passing rates and a 17 percent rise in math.

Boyd Intermediate School fifth-graders saw little improvement with only 2 percent and 1 percent gains in reading and math, respectively. Fifth-grade science saw a 3 percent decrease in passing.

Fourth-grade passing rates didn’t change in reading, but writing and math saw 11 and 12 percent jumps. Third-grade math improved 5 percent, but reading fell 7 percent.

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