Archive for November, 2019

APPLES TO APPLES COMPARISONS

Just how good are our student achievement results in Pearland ISD – and how well do they predict the success of the very diverse population we serve?

It is legitimate to state that student/community economic circumstances and demographics are often primary predictors of student success in public and private schools.  Some studies state that “out-of-school factors account for 70% or more of variation in tested achievement.” *

We are proud to be a highly diverse community and student body in Pearland.  At present, our student body consists of 35% Hispanic students, 35% white, 15% African American, 11% Asian, and 4% Other.   Approximately 30% of our student body is “economically disadvantaged” as defined by federal statute.

It is important for Pearland ISD to ask how we measure up – in terms of an “apples to apples” look at the academic performance of each sub-population within our schools – as compared to those same sub-populations statewide.  TEA tracks our district’s performance data for the following relevant sub-populations:   Economically disadvantaged, Hispanic, White, African American, Asian, Special Education, and English Language learners.

The latest available data for comparison purposes are from the results of the 2017/18 school year – as recorded on the Texas Education Agency website.  There are literally hundreds of data points that measure results.  But the most comprehensive summary measure is the percentage of students who are approaching grade level or above on all subjects and all grades tested on the required STAAR exams.

Amazingly, Pearland ISD outscores ALL of the equivalent statewide sub-populations on these tests.  Our African American students score a whopping 17% higher than Texas-wide African American students.  Hispanic students score 10% higher; economically disadvantaged students score 8% higher, White students are 5% higher; Asian students are 3% higher.and our English Language students score 11%  higher.  Also our English Language learners score 11% higher and our Special education students score 8% higher.

There are other valid comparisons:  Our graduation rate (99%), drop-out rate (less than .1%), college ready graduates (60%), Advanced Placement scores, etc. are WAY higher, per sub-population than statewide results.

One important measure for college admissions is the SAT test.  How do our sub-populations measure up?  Under the “all students” category, we are an astronomical 100 points higher than the state average (1119 vs. 1019).  With regard to each sub-population mentioned above, we also soar above statewide results once again.  For example, our African Americans score 84 points above their African American peers statewide.   Our Hispanic students score a whopping 120 points higher than their peers.  And our economically disadvantaged students score 91 points higher than their statewide peers.

Our educators continue to set new records.  They are not complacent.  These results above are certainly encouraging.

One important way to measure the success of diversity efforts in any school district just might be the actual educational results.  This bodes bright promise for Pearland ISD students.

*https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/11/05/were-public-schools-better-way-back-when-giving-todays-schools-an-honest-grade/