Calhoun County students outscore state on STAAR tests

Elena Watts By Elena Watts

July 12, 2013 at 2:12 a.m.

Calhoun High School students surpassed state standardized test averages in all five areas tested.

They excelled in reading, math, writing, science and social studies.

The state tests students in grades three through 12 with the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, which replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills in the spring of 2012.

"While we saw successes in some content areas, our scores still reflect that we need to continue improving instruction," said Deborah Swope, director of curriculum and instruction for Calhoun County school district.

Kelly Staloch, whose daughter, Kaitlin Staloch, just finished her sophomore year, understands the intent behind the test but does not agree with the stress it puts on students.

Her daughter, who performed well on the STAAR test, takes advanced placement classes but was an emotional wreck around test time, as were her friends, Staloch said.

"And they give the same test to kids in the general program struggling to get Cs as those breezing through advanced placement classes," Kelly Staloch said. "My husband and I don't have a lot of faith in the test scores because they're skewed and unfair."

Kaitlin, 16, agreed the pressure was too much. Although they were pleasantly surprised by their scores, she and her friends were frustrated and worried during the test.

The high school physics scores were 19 percent higher than the state average.

Also exceeding state averages were algebra I by 13 points and U.S. history by 27 points.

Andy and Kasandra Spears, of Port Lavaca, have a son entering the fifth grade and a daughter entering the eighth grade.

"I'm very happy with the school district," Kasandra Spears said. "It has lots of academically aimed extracurricular activities that have nothing to do with athletics."

The elementary and junior high schools met or beat state averages in nine areas and fell short of state averages in eight areas.

Fifth-grade reading and math and eighth-grade math surpassed the state scores by the highest amount. Eighth-grade social studies, seventh-grade math and sixth-grade math fell furthest short of state averages.



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