Skyrocketing Pearland ISD averages on the SAT test and other college prep indicators are reasons to celebrate!
The average SAT reading score in Pearland ISD for the class of 2014 is 515, Math 530, and Writing 500. When combined, this is an average score of 1545, compared to a Texas-wide average score of 1432. Our scores increased (in one year!) by 18 points in reading, 21 points in math, and 20 points in writing — while Texas-wide scores decreased on each of the 3 tests! These stellar results were accomplished even though we tested MORE students in 2014 than in 2013. (Approximately 65-70% of our graduating seniors take either or both the SAT and ACT before graduation.)
Similarly, our College Board ACT scores reached an all time high of 22.5. This compares to a state average of 20.9.
Not coincidentally, we’ve also experienced a massive increase in the number of students taking Pre-Advanced Placement and College Board Advanced Placement courses. These college-level courses are the best preparation for university study. Perhaps one of the most amazing statistics for the Pearland ISD graduating class is that 126 students achieved the national honor titled “Scholars with Distinction” for passing 5 or more AP tests. That’s a 40% increase over the previous year.
On top of that, we’ve seen a massive increase in the number of students taking dual credit (college/high school) courses within Pearland ISD. For the current year (2014-15) we have 2,270 students taking such courses — twice the number enrolled 5 years ago.
For charts/graphs on these figures, see this link: Student Assessment Results – College Readiness
On top of the academic honors, these results represent a combined savings to PARENTS of millions of dollars in tuition when our students enroll in colleges and universities. For example, comparing the college hours earned in Pearland ISD with the tuition charged by Texas A&M, we calculated a collective savings of approximately $5.8 million. As the father of seven children, I can’t begin to tell you how valuable that is!
I am incredibly happy with these district results. Our students, teachers, and principals deserve primary credit. What are some of the contributing factors that accelerated student accomplishment in this area?
- The massive increase in Pre-AP and AP enrollment over the past several years — beginning in grade 5 and above
- The massive increase in the number of students taking college-level dual credit courses
- Last year, we began elective courses in SAT/ACT prep. Approximately 200 students took that course. We’ve also made available other commercially available SAT/ACT prep opportunities.
- We’re rewarding teachers whose students have both high participation rates and passing rates on AP tests. (We’re expanding our incentives this year to include results on the state-mandated STAAR and EOC tests.)
- Our Advanced Academics Department has been doing many different things to infuse college-level material/programs/classes into our district-wide efforts — and have tracked results. And new innovations/AP courses have just begun this 2014-15 school year.
- Our Curriculum & Instruction staff has worked to embed SAT/ACT/AP-level material into the standard curriculum for each grade level — and to train our teachers on its use.
Our people are working hard to sustain and enlarge upon these stellar results. In and of itself, that is a formidable challenge, but our people are incredible!