Many math, science scores below 50 percent passing

Sue Fleming, The Freer Press

Freer ISD 2007 spring TAKS test score results show some improvements as compared to last year's, according to official reports.

Across the board, Norman Thomas Elementary showed the most significant math and science test score increases.

Fifth grade math rose from 71 percent to 84 percent with science scores jumping a total of 32 percent, rising from 48 percent last year to 80 percent.

Fifth-grade reading numbers increased as well from 81 percent to 88 percent. Fourth-grade reading scores remained the same at 85 percent.

Seventh-grade writing improved a total of 10 percent, increasing from 88 last year to 98 percent this year as fourth grade writing scores remained the same at 96 percent.

Sixth-grade math dropped from 62 to 57 percent and eighth-grade math scores slightly decreased two percent, going from 75 to 73 percent.

Seventh-grade math showed an increase of one percent, 55 to 56 percent. Eighth-grade science scores fell a total of 21 percent, dropping from 63 percent to 42.

Ninth-grade reading scores increased from 77 percent in 2006 to 86 percent.

Sophomore TAKS math jumped 15 percent, increasing from 33 to 48 percent passing, with ninth-grade math scores rising slightly by one percent, from 44 to 45 percent passing.

Junior students (exit level) math scores rose from 60 to 64 percent. Sophomore students also gained in science, rising from 35 percent passing last year to 45 percent this spring.

Exit level science dipped 10 percent, from 67 percent to 57 percent passing, with social studies dropping as well from 87 percent to 72 percent.

"I'm very proud of our teachers because they had to overcome some obstacles his year and they did a good job,"said superintendent Edgar Camacho. "We had some teachers leave mid-year, something all districts face everywhere."

Camacho stressed many teachers had to leave their comfort areas to learn different time lines, implement new curriculum and the bar was raised with TAKS.

"Some were excited with the results and some let down but we're still looking at data, looking at all factors that affect the kids and we will never stop looking at what our needs are," Camacho said. "We strive to build a good foundation in elementary; take baby steps so as not to miss anything and will continue to do this. I always tell our teachers that if we're comfortable, we're not growing."

San Diego ISD students fared well in the younger grade levels overall, with increases seen in the ninth-grade math score to 35 percent meeting standard, over last year's 24 percent. Sophomore TAKS math saw a drop this year from 63 percent to 41 percent meeting standard. There was also a significant drop in science, with sophomore students dropping from 44 percent last year, to 21 percent this year.