By Wyatt Goolsby
MIDLAND - The results are in, and more students across the Permian Basin are excelling at the eighth grade level. That's according to state-wide numbers from the TAKS tests held in February. And a focus on reading in the last couple of years has paid off.
"We're proud of their success. We're proud of their achievement on this first administration of the TAKS reading exam," said Woodrow Bailey, with Midland ISD.
92 Percent. That's the passing rate for eighth graders across the state. And at West Texas School Districts, like MISD, the 94 percent success with the reading test hasn't come without years of preparation.
"These students that are eighth graders this year were the first ones that actually under the SSI - the Student Success Initiative as 3rd graders," added Bailey.
So, Midland Administrators said the state accountability requirements, as part of the No Child Left Behind system are working. But it's not the only reason they said students are doing better.
"It's attributed to what's going on the classroom," explained Bailey. "How teachers are intructing students and what students are gaining from their instruction."
However, with such high numbers for the reading test, doesn't that mean students are learning one skill and missing out on others?
"Our instruction is TEKS driven and not necesarily TAKS driven. We want to make sure that our instruction is aligned to the TEKS, which is the state curriculum of objectives that they have to actually meet, and so if you teach the TEKS or if they are aligned to the TEKS, then they are going to be successful on the TAKS," said Bailey.
School Administrators said even if a student wasn't in the over 90 percent group that passed the first time, they said in the past, students have done well the second time they take it. Those TAKS tests will be offered again once in April, and once during the summer.