Local students’ preliminary test scores from the state-mandated Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills (TAKS) continue to show improvement at Glen Rose ISD.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) released results of the mathematics TAKS tests last week to school districts across the state and local administrators and faculty are touting students’ scores once again this year.

Superintendent Wayne Rotan announced the preliminary scores to school board members during their regular monthly meeting Monday night, saying the district is well on its way to receiving a high accountability rating from the TEA at Glen Rose Intermediate.

“We had excellent results, and what’s even better is that a large portion of our fifth graders received a ‘commended performance’ rating,” said Rotan.

According to TEA, commended performance is the highest performance level set by the State Board of Education on the TAKS test. Students who achieve commended performance have performed at a level that is considerably above the state passing standard and have shown a thorough understanding of the knowledge and skills at the grade level tested.

Although the scores have not been recorded as official, local administrators are proud of the performance on the mathematics portion of the TAKS test as more and more students pass the exam each year.

Locally, of all fifth graders taking the TAKS math test at the Intermediate campus, 95.2 percent of students passed the exam - a slight increase over last year’s fifth graders which had a pass rate of 94.8 percent.

The largest gain over last year’s fifth grade TAKS test-takers was in the number of students receiving a commended performance rating. This year 67.3 percent of fifth graders had two or less wrong answers on the TAKS - up from 44.1 percent of fifth graders in 2007.

Eighth graders’ TAKS mathematics scores were also released last week showing a nearly 6 percent increase in student pass rates. This year, 83.9 percent of local eighth graders passed the exam, compared to 78.3 percent of eighth graders in 2007.

Of those at Glen Rose Junior High taking the TAKS math test this year, 20.3 percent received commended performance ratings - a slight decrease from the 24.6 percent of eighth graders who took the exam in 2007.

Last month, GRISD reported that the district’s third, fifth and eighth grade students had made gains on the TAKS reading test, with all three grade levels having a 90 percent or above pass rate.

All portions of the state-mandated test are considered when the TEA releases its school accountability ratings, including acceptable, recognized and exemplary.

The TEA will provide districts statewide with a full report in the coming weeks that breaks down TAKS scores based on race and socio-economic levels, after which school systems are charged with narrowing the performance gaps in their student body sub-populations.