Media Statement: Texas 2036 President and CEO Margaret Spellings on Texas STAAR Results

Today, the Texas Education Agency released its 2022 Grades 3-8 STAAR results. The following media statement is by former Secretary of Education and Texas 2036 President and CEO Margaret Spellings.

The latest grades 3-8 STAAR results show Texas students are resilient – and that when our state focuses on the essentials of reading and math, we can see real improvements. Coming out of the major disruption caused by the pandemic, we must applaud educators for the significant progress that Texas students have made.

These results demonstrate that assessing, measuring, and understanding students’ performance provides one of our most powerful tools to understand our state’s needs and accelerate our recovery from the pandemic.

Across the board, students improved in reading. It’s clear that the reading academies and evidence-based reading practices implemented by bipartisan majorities in the Texas legislature are resulting in more Texas students learning to read. But we can’t take our foot off the accelerator yet. We applaud the progress by Texas students but also must recognize that only 50% of 3rd graders are reading at grade level.

COVID learning loss has been most widespread in math. We see that both in the results for grades 3-8 and the Algebra I results released in June. Texas students are behind and will require more targeted tutoring and additional instruction in these foundational STEM classes, which will be essential to attaining family-sustaining, economy-sustaining 21st century jobs of the future.

These results highlight what’s working and what isn’t. Statewide assessment helps policymakers, parents and the public understand the strengths and weaknesses of our education system in order to help all students succeed.”