Five stories that have North Texas talking: Poorer STAAR test performance this year raises concerns; electricity is easier to buy these days for most Texans; Tom Landry’s Dallas home is for sale; and more.
Texas students struggled more with passing their state required tests this spring than in 2016, according to preliminary results released.
The percentage of students who passed the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) this year was lower in all subjects except math when compared with last year's results, the Austin American-Statesman reports. The largest drops in passing rates were seen on reading tests for fourth and eighth graders, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Passing standards — the number of questions students need to answer correctly to pass — were bumped up in 2016, but stayed the same this year.
The test results not only determine whether fifth and eighth graders can move onto the next stage in school but also influence state accountability ratings, teachers evaluations and more.
Parents have voiced concerns over the preliminary scores and standardized testing in general. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath has been traveling around the state recently to promote a new online portal to help students chart their progress and improve their performance. [Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, The Associated Press]
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- Electricity is becoming cheaper for most Texans, except for those who live in an area with only one provider; prices have increased in a recent 10-year period. [Texas Tribune]
- Lawmakers passed a bill this session allowing community colleges to offer bachelor’s degrees in certain fields facing shortages, like nursing and education. [KERA News]
- The Dallas home of Cowboys coach Tom Landry is on the market. Just north of Preston Hollow, the 1962 custom-built ranch home is listed for a mere $1.2 million. [D Magazine]
- Who are the true heroes of Texas music? According to music critic Michael Corcoran, Willie Nelson isn’t one of them. [Art&Seek]