New Yorktown superintendent: 'We need some improvements'

Sonny Long

July 15, 2013 at 2:15 a.m.

Students in the Yorktown school district gave new administrators a glimpse of where they stand academically with the release of the preliminary STAAR results for the 2012-13 school year.

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests administered in the spring resulted in some positive areas and some areas that need improvement, said new Yorktown superintendent Alan Umholtz.

"We did well in some areas, not so good in some others," said Umholtz. "We need some improvements. These results show us where we stand, what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are."

At the high school level, reading II, world history and geometry stood out, as Yorktown students exceeded or surpassed the state passing average.

Highlights in the lower grades included an 82 percentage passing rate for third-graders in reading, besting the 79.1 state rate.

Writing scores also fared well as 75 percent of fourth-graders and 74 percent of seventh-graders passed compared to the state averages of 70.7 and 69.9 respectively.

Some of the Yorktown results were woeful.

"They've raised the testing standards. The state has really beefed up the language arts portion of the test," Umholtz said.

In math, only 48 percent of fourth-graders passed compared to 68.3 percent statewide. In social studies, only 36 percent of Yorktown students passed compared to 63 percent across the state.

The most startling number at the high school level may have been in algebra I (42 percent), reading I (42 percent) and writing I (47 percent).

The statewide passing percentage for algebra I is 82.1; for reading I, it is 70.1, and for writing I, it is 54.3.

Umholtz said some of the faculty hires he recommended to the school board address the testing issues.

"We've brought in some new teachers with specific specialties," he said. "I have no doubt this will help us continue to improve."



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