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Yoakum sees room for improvement on STAAR

By Sonny Long
July 19, 2013 at 2:19 a.m.


Yoakum superintendent Tom Kelley knows students in his school district have room for improvement on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test.

"Overall, we saw some areas of gain, which were exciting to us. We will continue to build in those areas," Kelley said.

"At the same time, we have definite areas that need improvement. We have identified those areas of weakness, and continue to work on a plan for improvement through staffing and resource allocation."

Areas where Yoakum students fared well were led by third-, fifth- and eighth-graders.

Those students exceeded state passing percentages in both math and reading.

High school scores in Reading 1 and Writing 1 stood out on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Only 47 percent of Yoakum students passed Reading 1 compared to 70.1 percent statewide, and only 32 percent passed Writing 1 compared to 54.3 percent across Texas.

They fared better in Reading 2 - 71 percent compared to 78 percent statewide - and edged out the state passing percentage in Writing 2 - 53 percent to 52.7 percent.

"Although the new assessment is very challenging, we feel that our overall scores will improve in the future," Kelley said.

Others agreed that the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness was rigorous.

Mandy Oliver's daughter, Jamie Oliver, took the test as a freshman last school year.

"She said it was a lot longer and much harder than the TAKS test," said Oliver.

The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test was the previous version of standardized testing in the state.

Oliver said Jamie and her classmates were prepared for the test.

"They spend the majority of the last semester preparing for it, and it really gets intense two weeks prior," said Oliver.

Jamie passed all areas of the test, her mother said .

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