William Adams sees improvements in scores compared to last year

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

The declining trend in TAKS math and science scores in the area are representative of declining numbers in those subject areas across the state, officials said.

The majority of Alice schools saw a decrease in TAKS math numbers, with the exception of William Adams Middle School.

Seventh-grade students saw an increase over last year, from 61 percent meeting standard to 64 percent meeting standard on their TAKS math exam this year.

The eighth-grade students experienced increased growth in their TAKS math numbers, with 46 percent meeting standard last year, to 68 percent meeting standard this year.

Across the board, Alice ISD showed improvements in TAKS reading and writing numbers, with slight decreases in fifth and eighth grade TAKS science scores and slight increases for sophomores and juniors in science.

AISD superintendent Henry Herrera said the slight decreases in math and science are indicative of what is being seen all over the state.

He said some of the criteria used on the test rose as much as five points this year, and with ever increasing standards, the district is working hard to increase numbers.

"The writing came up fairly well, and reading is something we always focus on," Herrera said. "We are going to take a look at the comparisons, and if we follow students from one grade to the next, we see the increasing numbers in math."

When compared with their math performance last year as seventh-grade students, where they had 61 percent meeting standard, those same WAMS students now in the eighth grade, had 68 percent meeting standard.

"We would like to do a little better, and we are taking a hard look at math and science," Herrera said.

For the first time this year, AISD joined a Curriculum Collaborative through the Region 2 Service Center, which provides the same framework for math and science classes that are found in larger school districts in Houston and Dallas, but still allows room for tailored lesson planning. Herrera hopes to see increases in student performance as the program takes hold.

"We always want to do better, and we are showing some spurts of growth," Herrera said. "Our students, teachers and parents are working very hard on this, and I want to thank them for their efforts."

Hillcrest Elementary School had 100 percent of its fourth graders pass the TAKS writing exam.

Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco ISD students in fourth grade saw large growth in all subject areas this year. Reading saw an increase from 58 to 73 percent passing, and math scores jumped from 54 to 83 percent this year. Eighth- and ninth-grade students also saw big jumps in their math scores, with eighth-grade students going from 50 to 76 percent meeting standard, and ninth-grade students jumping from 29 to 47 percent meeting standard on the TAKS math exam.

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.