Good Reason Houston Voices Optimism over Reading Scores, Concerns with Math Results in 2024 Houston STAAR Test Results

Good Reason Houston also cites a promising intervention in Houston ISD; GRH  user-friendly data dashboard provides deeper view of education trends

HOUSTON – June 26, 2024 – Good Reason Houston, an education nonprofit  committed to ensuring that every child in every neighborhood across the Houston region excels in a world-class public school, today said it was encouraged by reading results in  the  2024 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test, but expressed concerns over continued math challenges.  

The 2024 STAAR test results, released by the Texas Education Agency, is a standardized assessment that measures student achievement and progress on key academic subjects. The results provide valuable insights into the academic performance and progress of students in the Houston region and reflect both the academic achievements and challenges faced by students over the past academic year.

“As we review the 2024 STAAR test results, we are encouraged by the progress made in reading, but we also recognize the urgent need to address ongoing challenges in math, which has not rebounded since the pandemic,” said Cary Wright, CEO of Good Reason Houston. “Results in Houston ISD are promising after the first year of targeted transformation efforts. HISD’s gains give us hope that bold actions can raise achievement for every child in every neighborhood in our city.”

Wright noted that reading gains are likely to have ripple effects across subjects and over time, as foundational reading skills enable students to build knowledge across disciplines. “We believe that the adoption of a strong, research-based reading curriculum in many districts has contributed to this growth,” said Wright.

At the same time, Wright noted that math is an area of concern, particularly the decline in Algebra, which is strongly connected with postsecondary completion. 

“We’ll continue to support districts in identifying and implementing strong curriculum and providing differentiated support to students,” he said.

Finally, HISD’s results across subjects stands out and is an early sign that the New Education System , the newly implemented model with intensive and intentional design components, can raise the bar for all students. STAAR results are an important indicator of how public schools are preparing students for college and career. The released results are preliminary and can be downloaded by individual campus or district from the TEA. To increase access to results, Good Reason Houstonhas created a user-friendly dashboard that enables users to view year-over-year results for select Houston districts and campuses serving the central Houston area.

Key Highlights from the 2024 STAAR Results Across Public School Systems Serving the Central Houston Area:

Regional reading results showed continued gains.

  • Nearly half (48%) of students across the region are performing on grade-level in reading. This is the highest level of reading achievement in the last decade.
  • 7 out of 15 districts included in our analysis saw gains in 3-8 reading or English 1 EOC.
  • Galena Park, HISD and Sheldon ISD saw the greatest year-over-year gain in 3-8 reading.
  • Sheldon ISD and YES Prep Public Schools saw the greatest year-over-year gain in English 1 EOC.

Regional math results remained stagnant, still not rebounding to pre-pandemic levels.

  • 6 in 10 (39%) students still do not meet grade level expectations in math. This is an 8 percentage point drop since 2019 (47%).
  • Only 4 of 15 districts saw growth in 3-8 math.
  • Algebra results year-over-year varied widely across districts, with moderate gains in HISD, Klein ISD, Harmony Public Schools, and IDEA Public Schools and major declines in Channelview ISD and Sheldon ISD.
  • Algebra results also remain well below pre-pandemic levels. Today 45% of test-takers scored in the meets or exceeds level, compared to 59% in 2019

HISD is improving at an unprecedented rate.

  • Academic gains from 2023 to 2024 outpaced the State, Region, and other large urban districts across Texas.
  • HISD is the only district in our analysis that saw gains from 2023 in 3-8 reading and math as well as English 1 and Algebra EOCs.
  • Black, Economically Disadvantaged, and Emergent Bilingual student populations put up the highest rates of proficiency recorded since at least 2014.
  • Houston ISD improvement is largely due to New Education System (NES) reforms. NES campuses’ percentage point gain in students meeting standards is 2x that of the district’s gains for both math and reading. 

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Good Reason Houston is an education nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that every child, in every neighborhood, excels in a world-class public school and thrives in the Houston of tomorrow. The organization builds awareness of, advocates for, and advises school systems on measures aimed to improve the quality of education available to all. Today the organization partners with 25 public school systems that collectively serve 700,000 students across 900 public schools in the Houston region. Good Reason Houston seeks to cultivate a shared regional vision for educational quality, to build the capacity for change required within districts and the greater Houston community, and to foster collective ownership to support student-level results for kids across our city. Learn more at goodreasonhouston.org.  

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