John Wink (copy)

Carthage ISD Superintendent John Wink says this year's STAAR scores are a starting point. The district is aiming to best statewide and regional scores on every level by the end of a three-year period.

Carthage ISD students taking the annual STAAR tests beat the statewide average on several tests and improved their year-over-year scores in several subjects, based on Spring 2019 scores released this summer by the Texas Education Agency.

The district bested statewide scores for all of its high school exams. When it came to 3-8 STAAR tests, the district beat statewide scores in third grade reading and math, and eighth grade reading, math, science and social studies.

Superintendent John Wink told trustees at their June meeting that this was his and the district’s starting point, pointing out where the district had bested state and Region 7 scores out of 22 areas.

“Our goal in three years is that we’re going to be ahead of the state and region in all 22 of them,” Wink said. “That’s where the work begins. We’re already starting that process. In areas where we can gauge growth — so we may not have been ahead, but we made growth to catching up with the state and region — out of 17 possible areas, we made growth in 11 of those areas. So we have started off in the right direction for the most part. The areas that did not see any growth, we’ve got a plan in place.”

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test, or STAAR, is given to students in grades 3-8 and select high school courses each year. Students’ scores were given different performance labels, including “masters grade level,” “meets grade level,” “approaches grade level” or “did not meet grade level.” Scores earning the “masters,” “meets” and “approaches” labels are considered passing scores.

Fifth-graders and eighth-graders must receive a passing score on reading and math tests to be promoted to the next grade level, with students who did not pass having the opportunity to retake the tests.

Parents can visit texasassessment.com to see specific information about their student, including STAAR questions and students’ answers.

Wink told trustees they would be using the STAAR results to identify areas that need improvement.

“Data is information, not condemnation,” he said. “Whatever our scores are, when they’re good we’re going to celebrate the hard work that everybody’s put in. When they’re not where they want to be, we are going to use that data to strengthen us, to figure out where we go next.”

Wink praised the hard work of teachers, leaders, students and parents.

“We’re going to use this data to strengthen us and figure out where we go next, and I look forward to next year to be able to show after a year of working the academic plan that I’m bringing in how much growth that we have made.”

Carthage ISD STAAR Results

Percentage of students who met the “approaches” level on their STAAR test, which is considered a passing grade, according to results released by the Texas Education Agency. Carthage ISD results include students’ 2019 scores compared to their 2018 scores on the same test a grade level below — showing how students’ scores went up or down from one grade to the next.

Subject Statewide 2019 2019 2018
3rd Grade Reading 76 82 --
3rd Grade Math 78 83 --
4th Grade Reading 74 61 74
4th Grade Math 74 66 70
4th Grade Writing 65 54 --
5th Grade Reading 77 73 64
5th Grade Math 83 76 72
5th Grade Science 74 65 --
6th Grade Reading 66 61 75
6th Grade Math 79 77 88
7th Grade Reading 74 72 63
7th Grade Math 73 67 73
7th Grade Writing 69 67 --
8th Grade Reading 77 78 70
8th Grade Math 81 82 69
8th Grade Science 79 81 --
8th Grade Social Studies 67 71 --
Algebra I 84 91 --
Biology 88 92 --
English I 63 76 --
English II 67 76 --
History 93 95 --

Libby Elementary School

In third grade, 82 percent of students passed their reading test, with 45 percent earning the “meets” level and 25 percent earning the “masters” level. Statewide, only 76 percent of students passed the test, with 44 percent earning “meets” and 28 percent earning “masters.”

Eighty-three percent of third-graders passed their math test, with 43 percent at the “meets” level and 19 percent at the “masters” level. Statewide, 78 percent of students passed, 47 were “meets” and 24 were “masters.”

Baker-Koonce Intermediate

In the fourth grade, 61 percent of students passed their reading test, down from 74 percent last year on those students’ third grade test. This year’s Carthage scores had 28 percent earning “meets” level and 14 percent earning “masters.” Statewide, 74 percent of students passed, with 43 percent at “meets” and 22 percent at “masters.”

On the fourth grade math test, 66 percent of students passed, down from their 70 percent last year. This year’s scores had 37 percent of Carthage students earning “meets” and 21 percent earning “masters” level. That’s compared to statewide results, where 74 percent of students passed, 46 percent met “meets” standard and 28 percent met “masters” level.

On the fourth grade writing test, 54 percent of Carthage students passed, with 17 percent met “meets” and 5 percent met “masters” standards. Statewide, 65 percent of students passed, with 33 percent meeting “meets” and 10 percent meeting “masters” standards.

In the fifth grade, 73 percent of this year’s students passed their reading test, up from that same class’s 64 percent on the fourth grade test. On this year’s test, 43 percent earned “meets” and 29 percent earned “masters” levels. Statewide, 77 percent of students passed, with 51 percent at “meets” and 29 percent at “masters.”

Seventy-six percent of Carthage fifth-graders passed their math test, up from the 72 percent on those students’ fourth grade math test. This year’s fifth-graders had 40 percent make “meets” and 19 percent make “masters” on the test. Statewide, 83 percent of students passed, with 56 percent at “meets” and 36 percent at “masters.”

On the fifth grade science test, 65 percent of Carthage students passed, with 38 percent at “meets” and 18 percent at “masters,” compared to the state’s 74 percent passing, 48 percent “meets” and 23 percent “masters.”

In the sixth grade, 61 percent of students passed the reading test — down from those students’ fifth grade scores last year, where 75 percent passed. Twenty-nine percent of students were at “meets” and 14 percent were at “masters” on this year’s reading test. Statewide, 66 percent of students passed, with 35 percent at “meets” and 17 percent at “masters.”

On the sixth grade math test, 77 percent of students passed, with 37 percent at “meets” and 15 percent at “masters.” Those same students saw an 88 percent passing rate on their fifth grade math tests last year. Statewide, 2019 students were at 79 percent passing, 45 percent “meets” and 20 percent “masters.”

Carthage Junior High School

Carthage had 72 percent of students passing their seventh grade reading test this year, compared to 63 percent of those same students who passed their sixth grade reading test. On the 2019 test, 47 percent of seventh-graders were at “meets” standard and 29 percent were at “masters.” Statewide, 74 percent of students passed, with 47 percent at “meets” and 28 percent at “masters.”

On the seventh grade math test, 67 percent of Carthage students passed, compared to 73 percent of that same class who passed their sixth grade math test last year. Thirty percent of students were at “meets” standard and 14 percent of students were at “masters” standard in 2019. Statewide, 73 percent of students passed, with 41 percent at “meets” and 16 percent at “masters” level.

On the seventh grade writing test, 67 percent of Carthage students passed, with 35 percent at “meets” and 15 percent at “masters” level, compared to 69 percent of students who passed statewide, with 40 percent of those students at “meets” and 17 percent at “masters.”

Seventy-eight percent of Carthage eighth-graders passed their reading test, up from how they did on the seventh grade test last year. Forty-seven percent of this year’s students were at “meets” and 24 percent were at “masters” standards. Statewide, it was 77 percent passing, 53 percent “meets” and 27 percent “masters.”

Districtwide, 82 percent of students passed their eighth grade math test, up from the 69 percent who passed their seventh grade test last year. Forty-one percent of students met “meets’ and 6 percent met “masters” levels on the 2019 test. Statewide, it was 81 percent passing, 55 percent “meets” and 16 percent “masters.”

On the eighth grade science test, 81 percent of students passed, with 45 percent at “meets” and 17 percent at “masters.” Statewide, 79 percent of students passed, with 49 percent at “meets” and 24 percent at “masters.”

On the eighth grade social studies test, 71 percent of students passed, with 35 percent at “meets” and 21 percent at “masters.” Statewide, 67 percent of students passed the social studies test, with 35 percent at “meets” and 20 percent at “masters.”

Carthage High School

Carthage High School students outperformed their peers statewide on the end-of-course exams in algebra I, biology, English I, English II and history.

In algebra I, 91 percent of Carthage students passed compared to 84 percent statewide. Seventy-four percent of Carthage students were at “meets” standard and 47 percent were at “masters.”

Ninety-two percent of Carthage students passed their biology test compared to 88 percent statewide. Sixty-five percent of Carthage students were at “meets” standard and 24 percent were at “masters.”

On the English tests, 76 percent passed English I and English II in Carthage compared to 63 percent and 67 percent statewide respectively. Fifty-eight percent of Carthage students were at “meets” standard and 10 percent were at “masters” on the English I test, while 59 percent were at “meets” standard and 11 percent were at “masters” on English II.

On the history test, 95 percent of Carthage students passed compared to 93 percent statewide. Eighty-one percent of Carthage students were at “meets” standard and 44 percent were at “masters.”

Reporter

Carthage native Meredith Shamburger has worked for the Panola Watchman since 2018. Before that, she worked at sister papers in Longview and Marshall; the Dallas Morning News; and The Daily Voice, a hyperlocal news company in Westchester County, New York.