HISD scores strong gains on
3rd grade TAKS test

Spanish-language students beat state average

March 25, 2004 – HISD third graders made strong gains on the TAKS reading test this year, with passing rates up three percentage points over last year even though passing the test was harder. HISD students made more progress on the test than the state average, and HISD’s Spanish-language students scored better than their counterparts around Texas. Eighty seven percent of HISD third graders met the TAKS standard in English this year, up from 84 percent last year, and 88 percent of Spanish-speaking students passed, up from 85 percent last year. HISD tested 10,380 third graders in English and 5,188 students in Spanish.

The percentage of HISD students earning the highest mark of “commended” soared to 31 percent on the English test, up from 19 percent last year, and up to 32 percent on the Spanish test, up from 19 percent last year. “Our third graders made strong progress and we are very proud of them,” Superintendent Kaye Stripling said. “It was harder to pass the TAKS test this year, and yet HISD schools still saw strong gains. Our teachers, our parents and most importantly, our children, deserve congratulations for their hard work.”

HISD’s Spanish-speaking students scored better than the state average, while students taking the test in English were four points under the state average. HISD’s Spanish-language students beat the state average passing rate by five points (88 percent passing rate for HISD compared with 83 percent for the state as a whole.)

HISD’s progress was better than the state of Texas as a whole. The state average passing rate rose two percent, compared to three percent at HISD, and the percentage of students statewide achieving the highest “commended” rating increased nine percentage points, compared to 12 percentage points for HISD English-speaking students and 13 percentage points for HISD Spanish-speaking students.

HISD 3rd Grade TAKS Reading

      English    87% passing                Up 3 points

                         31% commended       Up 12 points

      Spanish   88% passing                Up 3 points

                          32% commended      Up 13 points

Three HISD elementary schools, Memorial, Sanchez and Davila, had a 100 percent passing rate – all third graders passed either the English or Spanish version of the test. Thirteen other HISD schools had 100 percent of third graders who passed the Spanish test. They are Bruce, Dodson, Easter, Gregg, Sugar Grove, Helms, MacGregor, Oates, Pugh, Will Rogers, Wilson, White and Gregory-Lincoln schools. Sixteen other HISD schools had 100 percent of third graders who passed the English test. They are Allen, Browning, Burbank, Condit, Harvard, Holden, Kelso, Kolter, Lovett, Port Houston, River Oaks, West University, Law, TSU/HISD Lab, T.H. Rogers and School at Post Oak. “It’s an enormous achievement for all students to pass the TAKS test,” Dr. Stripling said. “These HISD schools worked hard to achieve that great milestone and we congratulate them.” Under TAKS standards, a student taking the English TAKS earns “commended” status for answering correctly at least 34 of 36 test questions correctly. On the Spanish TAKS a student earns commended status for answering 33 of 36 test questions correctly. While the percentage of all 3rd graders statewide who earned the honor of commended on the English-language test was higher than HISD (35% to 31%), HISD students far exceeded the state average in commended performance by Spanish-language students. HISD African-American, white and disadvantaged students also reached commended status at a higher rate than the state average.

3rd Graders Achieving Highest Grade of “Commended”

In Spanish   African-American       White              Disadvantaged













Dr. Stripling said while everyone at HISD is proud of the progress, “there is much work to do. Next year, the passing standard will be even higher, and that’s as it should be. So today we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.” This year students needed to answer 23 of 36 questions correctly to pass the English test, and 22 out of 36 to pass the Spanish test. Last year students needed only to answer 20 questions correctly to pass the English test, and 19 questions correctly to pass the Spanish test.

In 2005, based on this year’s scores the passing standard will rise to 25 out of 36 question in English and 24 out of 36 in Spanish. If next year’s passing standard had been in place this year, 83 percent of HISD third graders taking the TAKS reading test in English would have passed, and 84 percent of Spanish-test takers would have passed.

(For more information, contact the HISD Press Office at 713-892-6393)

Adriana Villarreal
Deputy Press Secretary
Houston Independent School District
Every Student. Every Day.


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