Lockhart students make gains in test scores
By LPR Staff
Preliminary data released by the Lockhart Independent School District shows considerable gains at most levels of student testing on the 2008 Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. Though Assistant Superintendent James Rabe has not yet completed or released a complete analysis of student testing results, early d
ata indicates that all but one LISD campus may rise to the level of “Recognized” this year.
Students at Lockhart High School continue to struggle with testing standards. In all but three sections of the Tenth Grade TAKS test, LHS students fell below state averages, but still earned percentages high enough to rate the school as “Academically Acceptable.” In fact, with the exception of the Eleventh Grade Math scores, all scores at the high school level showed marked gains, with up to a 13-point gain at the tenth grade level.
If raw scores were the only factor in determining academic accountability ratings, the Lockhart Independent School District would fall squarely in a “Recognized” level, with an “Exemplary” rating not too far out of reach. However, Rabe said when student populations, dropout rates and other factors are added into the equation, those results could change.
“It takes time and research to put together the final presentation of the scores,” he said shortly after the scores were released. “But what these initial results show is that we were successful in focusing on the areas that needed improvement and making improvements in those areas.”
The two most notable increases came at the tenth-grade level, where last year’s students scored only 50 percent on Science testing and 58 percent in Math. Though scores in those areas had increased from years prior, after a low point of 43 percent in both areas in 2006, the scores still show room for improvement. An estimated 63 percent of students passed the Tenth Grade Science test, and 67 percent passed the math portion. The Science scores were below the state average of 64 percent.
The Eleventh Grade test scores are a normal cause for concern for students and parents, as seniors who have not passed all elements of their Eleventh Grade (Exit Level) TAKS test may not “walk” at graduation, under district rules.
Passing rates this year are higher than last, with 86 percent passing Language Arts, 71 percent passing Math, 93 passing Social Studies and 75 percent passing Science. Again, these scores are slightly below state standards, and still mean that as many as 25 percent of this year’s seniors are in danger of not graduating.
Lockhart Junior High School, considered by many to be the district’s “flagship” campus, continues to show a high level of scoring. In all areas except Eighth Grade Science and Seventh Grade Reading, LJHS students earned scores placing the campus in the “Academically Exemplary” range. Seventh Grade Reading scores fell short of “Exemplary” by only one point, while Eighth Grade Science needs a seven-point boost. Regardless, all scores at the Junior High level are up by at least one point over last year.
At the Elementary level, as well, test score continue to climb, with the averages of the four elementary campuses nearing the “Exemplary” level, as well. To attain an “Exemplary” rating, scores must reflect a 90 percent passing rate in all segments of the test, and Lockhart’s elementary students are rising to that challenge, scoring over 90 percent in all areas except Fourth Grade Reading (88), and Eighth Grade Math (84).
Rabe expects to have the raw data analyzed and accountability ratings ready to present to the LISD Board of Trustees later this summer. However, the initial results show that student success continues to improve, and the goal of LISD ranking as an “Exemplary” district may finally be in sight.