HISD students 'stepped up' on 2024 STAAR test, achieving best academic growth, superintendent says

Mycah Hatfield Image
Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Houston ISD 2024 STAAR results show students achieved academic growth
HISD Superintendent Mike Miles said the 2024 STAAR test results show students exceeded expectations and had one of the best growth rates.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles said 2024 STAAR results show students achieved one of the best academic growth years that the district has ever experienced.

On Tuesday, Miles held a press conference giving an overview of how HISD students performed on the assessments this year and referred to the students as having done "great."

"So, how did we do? Third through eighth grade STAAR exams, it's very similar to end-of-course exams in high school. Our kids did great. Our teachers did great," Miles said during the conference. "They achieved one of the best academic growth years that the district has ever experienced. The NES schools (New Education System) posted even higher gains than the district."

Overall, Miles said the NES schools improved more than the non-NES schools, and the district did better than the state numbers. The state numbers will be released on Friday, but Miles has already been able to review them.

In addition, Miles said students also managed to narrow the achievement gap by several percentage points, but they still have a large gap to close.

"The gap is still large. We have a huge achievement gap in our district, but we're narrowing it, which is really good," he said. "The whole district did well, but our minority students did even better closing the gap. These results far exceed expectations for year one growth. I knew we would get results, this level of growth even I didn't expect."

SEE ALSO: Houston ISD's state takeover could end sooner than expected, TEA-appointed superintendent says

He specifically showed results from Wainwright Elementary, an F-rated school that was converted to the NES model. In 2023, 17% of the school's third-grade students "met or exceeded expectations" in reading. In 2024, the number increased to 46%. In 2023, 11% of their fifth-grade students "met or exceeded expectations" in math on the STAAR tests. In 2024, the number grew to 54%.

When asked how he thought the STAAR test results would be received by those who have been critical of the changes, Miles said he hopes that the questions and comments surrounding NES will shift from "NES is going to fail" to "Why does NES work?" and "Why is there a difference?"

Miles added that in reading and math, NES schools had the largest single-year increase of any urban district in Texas ever. He said that we'll be even more impressed with HISD's results once we see the state results.

"Our kids stepped up, and our teachers stepped up. They rose to the challenge. There's no question it was a tough year with all the changes," Miles said.

An additional 45 schools will transition to the NES model for the 2024-25 school year, making a total of 130. Miles believes the test results justify the decision to expand the program.

He believes there is even greater room for improvement in test scores in the upcoming school year.

"We will start on August 12 running," Miles said. "It won't take three or four weeks to get used to engagement strategies, the NES model, what does it even mean, this or that. We won't have that."

For more on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, X and Instagram.