Media Statement: Mary Lynn Pruneda on 2023 STAAR Results

Today, the Texas Education Agency released its 2023 Grades 3-8 STAAR results. The following media statement is by Texas 2036 Senior Policy Advisor Mary Lynn Pruneda.

The latest 3rd through 8th grade STAAR results show that Texas students and schools continue their progress in recovering from the impacts of the pandemic. Thanks to the hard work of students, teachers and school leaders across our state, academic performance has largely increased year-over-year – in some cases exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

These generally positive trends, however, are juxtaposed by a concerning decline in mastery-level performance, meaning that fewer Texas students are scoring in the top tier of performance on the exam. The results should also be viewed in the broader performance context that only about half of Texas students are at grade level in reading and less than half are at grade level in math. Student outcomes are improving, but there remains significant room for further improvement. To ensure every student has the chance to achieve their full potential, we must continue to invest in our public schools and in the data-driven strategies that help students succeed.

A strong, reliable assessment and accountability system helps guide and inform strategic investments in public schools. With the graduating class of 2036 entering kindergarten this year, legislators, school officials and educators must remain focused on increasing student outcomes at every level so that future generations are ready for life after high school. The decisions and investments we make now will shape the opportunities that generations of students will have following graduation to pursue higher education or start a meaningful career.

As we turn toward the upcoming special session, we hope the Legislature will continue to invest in data-informed strategies to build on this growth and continue to improve student outcomes.

At Texas 2036, we believe strongly that increased investment in our public schools is a key to ensuring Texas’ future prosperity. These results show that past investments are moving the needle for students and they make a strong case for increased investments for our most vulnerable students.