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More than 76K Texas students fail state tests for 3rd time, but many will advance anyway


DALLAS — More than 76,000 fifth- and eighth-graders in Texas failed standardized math or reading exams on their third try this summer, according to the Texas Education Agency.

The state agency said 11 percent of fifth-graders and 9 percent of eighth-graders failed in reading, the Dallas Morning News reported ( ). In the math section, 9 percent of fifth-graders and 11 percent of eighth-graders did not pass.

Texas law says students in those grades must pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, or STAAR, tests in reading and math to advance. It was aimed at curbing the practice of automatically letting students advance to the next grade regardless of their achievement.

But the law also allows a student to be promoted if his or her principal, teacher and parents agree to overlook the test results.

The state's education commissioner, Michael Williams, suspended the requirement for the 2014-15 school year in the math section. He said the move was necessary because of new math standards being introduced this year. Students will still have to pass in reading.

The Texas Education Agency results showed that failure rates on the standardized tests were high for minority students in the two grades. About 17 percent of black students and 14 percent of Hispanics in the fifth grade did not pass the reading test. About 5 percent of white students failed.

The results for students in eighth grade were slightly better, with 13 percent of black and Hispanic students failing the reading exam compared to 4 percent of white students who did not pass.

Information from: The Dallas Morning News,

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