The University of Texas at Tyler Innovation Academy students in grades 3 through 8 received higher passing rate scores than the state average for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR).
According to preliminary results released by the Texas Education Agency, UT Tyler Innovation Academy students in eighth grade received a 92 percent passing rate for reading, compared to the state's percentage rate of 78. Fifth graders received an 87 percent passing rate in reading, compared to the state average of 78 percent.
Innovation Academy superintendent Dr. Jo Ann Simmons said she is very proud of the hard work of the district's students and teachers this past year.
"Although we are pleased with our STAAR preliminary results, the bigger celebration is the fact, that within each of our schools, we have developed a culture where students are motivated and embrace learning," Dr. Simmons said.
"When students develop ownership in their learning, the possibilities are endless," she said. "The Innovation Academy enrollment is growing daily because of the fact students and parents are seeking a culture that challenges students and prepares them to be college-ready."
In addition to the 5th and 8th grade results, all grade levels achieved above state average. Innovation Academy schools have a 90 percent passing rate at the current standard and a 54 percent passing rate at the standard used for the college readiness index, compared to the state average of a 76 percent passing rate at the current standard and a 41 percent passing rate at the standard used for the college readiness index.
Eighth graders enrolled in Algebra 1 performed at a very high rate on the high school End-of-Course (EOC) exam. They had a 95 percent passing rate at the current standard and a 73 percent passing rate at the standard used for the college readiness index.
Jaclyn Pedersen, the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, said that STAAR scores have increased about 20 percent from 2013-14 across all subject areas while it appears the state averages have remained relatively flat. She gives credit to the strong partnership between the teachers, parents, students, university faculty and the district curriculum coaches.
The mission of the UT Tyler Innovation Academy is to develop students who leave school STEM College and Career Ready. STEM College Ready indicates students are prepared to enroll in a STEM major at a university. Typically, this means they are calculus-ready upon graduation or have completed calculus in high school. For the 2015-16 academic year, the UT Tyler Innovation Academy will serve grades 3 to 9. It is currently accepting applications.
For more information about the district and state scores, visit the district website at UTTIA.org.