HISD reports improvements on high school end of course exams


More Houston ISD students met or exceeded grade level on the English I, English II, Algebra I and biology end-of-course exams that are required for high school graduation, according to figures released by the district.

HISD saw a 3 percentage point increase in English I rates for meeting or exceeding grade level; a 5 percentage point increase for Algebra I and English II; and a 14 percentage point increase in biology. The rate stayed flat on U.S. history.

The Texas Education Agency plans to release statewide end-of-course results Friday, but HISD expects the results will show that the state’s largest school district lagged behind on overall passing rates but showed more growth than the state.

End-of-course exams sort students into four categories: did not meet grade level, approached grade level, met grade level, or mastered grade level.

While the state considers “approaches grade level” as passing, HISD only released met and mastered grade level percentages.

“Focusing on ‘approaches (grade level)’ for us is a lower bar. We want to focus on the higher bar, which is ‘meets,’” state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said.

The district’s goal was a 3 percentage points increase in the share of students meeting or exceeding grade level in all subjects, though Miles said a 1 -to-2 percentage point boost was “satisfactory.”

The Houston Landing adds some details and reminds us why this is so important.

Miles hinted that strong test score growth may put HISD on track to begin transitioning power back to democratic control two years from now.

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who has the authority to decide when to begin the transition, has said the return will happen when HISD no longer has any multi-year failing schools under Texas’ A-through-F academic accountability system. School district accountability ratings are largely determined by state standardized test scores.

“My gut says, looking at these scores, a whole bunch of schools are going to come out of intervention status,” Miles said. “If we can do this three years in a row, then maybe we can start to transition.”

Elementary student data hasn’t undergone a first round of data cleaning, which is why HISD has not yet released those scores, Miles said. But Miles said HISD’s youngest test-takers performed “even better” than high schoolers, based on the rough figures available.

That Landing story has a nice graphic showing the current year results versus 2023, for both NES and non-NES schools. The latter improved in all subjects except US History, but their scores were also higher to begin with. There’s a lot here to be happy about.

As Miles himself says, this is one year of data and that’s not a trend. Student outcomes are greatly important for a lot of reasons and I don’t want to underemphasize that, but there are plenty of other matters of concern, for which the picture is at best unclear. But we want our students to do better, and that also happens to be the fastest route to seeing the back of Mike Miles. This is good news. The Press has more.

Related Posts:

This entry was posted in School days and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to HISD reports improvements on high school end of course exams

  1. Meme says:

    A Republican telling the truth, keep believing.

Comments are closed.