ABILENE, TX -

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness results show Abilene ISD is mostly on track or above the state standards.

The STAAR tests were given for the first time in Texas public schools last spring. It replaces the TAKS tests.

Abilene ISD Administrators say they are happy Abilene students are passing in most areas, but they still have some hurdles to overcome.

"It's been very challenging receiving these standards in January when we are also in the process of trying to prepare for the 2013 assessments as well as analyze the data from the 2012 assessments," said AISD Director of Accountability Jeannie Forehand.

Normally the district receives the scores in June. To add to this, teachers won't receive a sample copy of future test questions for two to three years.

"We're not at all afraid of any accountability," said Dr. Cathy Ashby, Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. "We do feel like this testing system can be punitive in that a student who doesn't do well, doesn't receive their high school diploma or isn't promoted to the next grade level."

AISD Superintendent Heath Burns said even though this first round of scores is please, they still have areas of improvement.

"We still have plenty of room to grow," said Dr. Burns. "There's still performance gaps between ethnicities and between affluent students and impoverished students. We can't be satisfied until we close those gaps completely."