TAKS scores: Some guidance for parents

Results announced Tuesday say how students performed on the TAKS statewide.

But what about your child?

If you haven’t already, you should soon be receiving a Confidential Student Report, or CSR, from your child’s school. Some districts, such as the Arlington ISD, sent scores home Monday. Others, including the Richardson ISD, expect to distribute scores with regular student report cards this week.

What to look for

The most basic question: Did your child pass? (It’s not as easy to tell as you might think.) Look for the word “yes” or “no” under the heading “Met Standard.” There should be a separate mark for each subject area your child was tested in.

See what knowledge areas your child needs work in. Each test is divided into distinct objectives. For instance, sixth-grade math includes probability and statistics, geometry and spatial reasoning, and mathematical processes and tools. Check which of these objectives your child missed the most questions in. (Explanations for what the objectives mean should be in a brochure accompanying your child’s CSR.)

In each subject, your child has been given a scale score – a four-digit number roughly between 1,000 and 3,500. Caution: These scores are not directly comparable, so a 2,100 in science doesn’t necessarily equal a similar skill level as a 2,100 in social studies. The passing level on scale scores also varies from grade to grade and test to test.

If your child failed one or more sections, his school should provide a study guide to help him practice skills over the summer. If your child doesn’t receive one, ask when he will. Sample tests from last year are available online at www.tea.state.tx.us/student.assessment. Click on “Released Tests.”

— Joshua Benton