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The District received state results of the first administration of the STAAR tests for 5th- and 8th-grade reading and math. Comparative data from 2017 to 2018 shows improvement in passing rates and in each content area. The measurement is broken into three categories: approaches grade level, meets grade level, and masters grade level.
2017 1st Administration
2018 1st Administration
% Change from 2017 to 2018
Little Elm ISD
2018 1st Administration
1st Administration 2017
1st Administration 2018
Daniel Gallagher, superintendent for Little Elm ISD, credits teachers and principals for the results. “We as a district are committed to providing our students with a rigorous and relevant engaging learning experience."
Three years ago, the District adopted the Rigor/Relevance Framework through the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE). Administrators and teachers have worked to develop a strategic planning system for classroom instruction and it’s been the core focus of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) and the District’s Commitment to Excellence process.
Amanda Ball, director for Professional Learning and Advanced Academics gives credit to the work of the PLCs. “Research shows that it takes anywhere from three-to-five years to implement something and see the change. We are right there and now we’re digging deeper with the rubrics and our teachers are using them to plan lessons and really target teaching strategies for differentiated learning,” said Ball.
The Rigor/Relevance Framework has helped the District examine curriculum, instruction, and assessment along two dimensions of higher standards and student achievement. This also helps teachers monitor their own progress in adding rigor and relevance to their instruction and to select appropriate instructional strategies for differentiating instruction and facilitating higher achievement goals.
But out of all of this, how do you know it is working? Simply put - student performance and the data that supports it. The District analyzes data collected through standardized testing results. “The STAAR test is a little piece to all of this. But because it’s mandated by the state, we look at the data, because ultimately Districts are held accountable to those test results,” said Gallagher.
The results show last year’s data and how it compares this year’s data and student achievement has increased as much as 18%. “What I want our community to understand though, is what is most important to the District. It’s not standardized testing. It’s the incredible work our teachers are doing in the classroom. We will continue to develop relationships with our students, promote a positive culture, and help our students reach their full potential, no matter what,” said Gallagher.