This week, the Austin American Statesman compared Austin ISD only to such surrounding districts as Eanes and Leander. These districts are not as ethnically diverse as Austin, and the average family income is much higher. It is more fair to compare our district with urban districts in other parts of the state that have similar demographics and face similar challenges in educating more students who are just learning English or who live in poverty.
With this kind of comparison, we have found that Austin students exceeded the passing rate of the other “Big 8 districts” — which includes Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Ysleta — in three tests (English I Reading, English I Writing, and Algebra I) and large differences were seen between Austin ISD and other Big 8 districts, especially in English I Reading and Writing. Austin outperformed other comparable districts by:
- 8 to 16 percentage points for English I Reading;
- 6 to 20 percentage points for English I Writing; and
- 1 to 16 percentage points for Algebra I
In Biology and World Geography, Austin ISD ranked second among the Big 8 districts.
Our students and teachers have worked very hard this year to prepare for this new testing system, particularly in ninth grade, because these students will be required to pass end of course exams in order to graduate. In reviewing these preliminary results, I believe their hard work is paying off, and that our students and staff are up to the challenge of this new state accountability system.
Congratulations to our hard-working students and staff!