TAKS Test As Tough As Advertised

East Texas Schools get their report cards from the state, and some did not do very well. This is the first year Texas has used the new TAKS test to replace the old TAAS. Students, teachers and administrators discovered the TAKS lived up to it's tough billing.

10TH Grade TAKS Passing Percentage
Eng. Math S.S. Sci.

Longview H.S.

63 69 82 63
Spring Hill H.S. 55 70 89 68
Pine Tree H.S. 72 84 98 84
Jacksonville H.S. 62 74 85 71
R.E. Lee H.S. 73 76 88 74
John Tyler H.S. 50 53 76 49
State Average 72 71 86 69

The percentage of sophomores passing the test at Longview High School did not beat the state average in any of the four tests; Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, or Science. Spring Hill High Schoolers did beat the state's average on the Social Studies portion. But, the other three sections turned up lower than average scores. Pine Tree was the only Longview high school to surpass the state's marks in all four tests.

Jacksonville found a mixed bag of results. The 10th grade students were able to beat the rest of the state in Math and Science. But, Jacksonville's English score was 10 percent lower than Texas as a whole.

In Tyler, there is a split result. Robert E. Lee High School beat the state in all four tests. But cross town rival John Tyler was well below the state average. John Tyler recorded the lowest scores of the six high schools we compared.

Many of the results for TISD's first TAKS test were positive. But two specific areas showed big deficits. Tyler middle schools and high schools did not do well in the science portion of the TAKS. And John Tyler High School's numbers were so low, they brought the district's results as a whole below the state average.

Superintendent David Simmons said the scores at John Tyler were the single most disappointing aspect of this round of tests. Not only were the total passing rates below Texas' average, but every subset in all four of the 10th grade tests were also below the state. On the Science exam, the scores for African American students were four percent lower than the state. Hispanic students ended up 15 percent lower than the average. White students had the best results at JT on this part, but they were still lower than the average. And Economically Disadvantaged Tyler Sophomores scored 12 percent lower than similar students statewide.

Tuesday afternoon, Simmons said he hopes the district can learn from these results so they don't repeat the problem next year. "They will definitely be part of our campus improvement plans, as well as our district improvement plans. That's what we need to walk away from this round of TAKS with is to use the benchmark data for improvement."

One TISD school deserves special recognition for TAKS results. Every third grader at Bonner Elementary passed every part of the TAKS. It was the only elementary school class in Tyler in which every student passed.