From staff reports

The Killeen Independent School District announced late last week preliminary data on state assessment test scores for the 2010-11 school year.

Although KISD’s overall scores compared to last year’s showed slight percentage drops across four of the five Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test subject areas, the district noted that this year’s data included a broader cross section of students.

For the first time, students who took the TAKS Alternate and TAKS Modified were included in the 2010-11 scoring. Students enrolled in special eduction classes or those who are not performing up to their grade levels are among those who take the modified and alternate versions.

KISD Superintendent Robert Muller described the preliminary data as showing “strong results.”

“These strong results are a credit to the hard work of all staff and students as well as the excellent teaching that occurs throughout the school district,” Muller said.

According to KISD, the 2010-11 preliminary data showed 89 percent of all students passed the TAKS reading/English language arts portion; 93 percent passed the social studies portion and 91 percent passed the writing portion.

In the math and science testing portions, 81 percent of KISD students met the TAKS standard.

The 2009-10 results showed 90 percent of KISD students passed reading/ELA; 95 percent passed social studies and 93 percent passed writing. In last year’s math testing, 81 percent of students met the TAKS standard while 82 percent met the standard in science.

Looking beyond the KISD, the Texas Education Agency and Commissioner of Education Robert Scott touted the state’s overall results this year as “showing dramatic academic growth.”

“We’re very proud of the academic growth Texas students have shown during the TAKS era,” Scott said. “TAKS, along with increasing curriculum standards and a focus on college readiness, pushed our students to new performance levels.”

Beginning next school year, students in grades three through nine will take the the new state assessment test known as STAAR, or State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. The STAAR testing will reportedly be more rigorous with an emphasis on college readiness.

The TAKS testing will continue to be taken by students entering grades 10 through 12.