AUSTIN — Almost 80 percent of fifth- and eighth-graders passed the Texas standardized math test on their first try this month while more than 75 percent passed the reading exam.

The Texas Education Agency released the numbers Thursday. State law requires students in fifth and eighth grades to pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness tests in reading and math to advance.

In math, fifth-graders had a 4 percent increase in passing rates on the first try compared to last year’s school year while eighth-graders had a 2 percent increase. In reading, fifth-graders saw a 1 percent decrease compared to last year while eighth-graders saw a 2 percent decrease.

Copperas Cove Independent School District students fared better than the state average. Among Cove eighth-graders, 87 percent passed the reading test, and 84 percent the math test.

About 81 percent of fifth-graders taking the math test passed, while 79 percent passed the reading portion.

“We are extremely pleased,” said Olga Peña, Cove ISD spokeswoman.

“It’s a testament to our students and teachers to keep improving.”

According to statistics released last summer, 79 percent of Cove students passed the reading portion of the STAAR test last year.

The same number passed last year’s math test. Peña said the district is still analyzing the recent test results.

Results from the Killeen Independent School Districts were not available late Thursday. A district official said some results may be released today.

Tests will be given again in May for those students still needing to pass.

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