Although disparities exist by race and ethnicity, the gap has closed over the last ten years, and all racial and ethnic groups have seen improvements. Hispanic students have seen graduation rates improve the most—from 72% for the class of 2005 to 88% for the class of 2015. The four-year graduation rates for Black students increased from 75% for the Class of 2005 to 87% for the Class of 2015.
Gaps in graduation rates by income have narrowed in recent years, although disparities persist. The E 3 Alliance reports that the graduation rate for low-income students in the Class of 2015 was 85%, compared to a 96% graduation rate for moderate to high-income students, a gap of 11 percentage points. This gap has narrowed since the Class of 2007, when only 60% of low-income students graduated, compared to 88% of non-lowincome students, a gap of 28 percentage points.
Graduation rates for area districts have improved over time. All school districts listed in this graph have seen an improvement in graduation rates from 2011 to 2015, except for the Del Valle School District, which saw a 2% decrease in the four-year graduation rate. Lago Vista ISD had the highest graduation rate, with 100% of students in the Class of 2016 graduating. Austin ISD had the greatest improvement, with high school graduation rates increasing from 80% in 2011 to 89% in 2015.
Slightly less than half of Austin ISD students graduate high school meeting the State’s “college ready” standard. The college readiness indicator in the most recent Texas Academic Performance Report is defined as the percentage of graduates that meet or exceed the college ready criteria on the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA), the SAT test, or the ACT test. The TSIA measures college readiness to determine whether students are ready for college level work. In previous years, the indicator had been calculated using senior year TAKS scores. Thus, caution must be used in comparing Class of 2015 rates to previous years.
Pathways of Promise is an initiative by the E3 Alliance to research how to improve middle school math success, especially for under-served populations. Partners of Pathways to Promise include 18 school districts and post secondary institutions that are committed to increasing the percentage of students who pursue more rigorous mathematics pathways and who enter college within the first year of graduating from high school.
You must be present to learn. Students who attend school regularly and who do not change schools during the school year are more likely to graduate on time. “Missing School Matters” is a partnership of multiple partners focused on improving school attendance. The goal is to increase attendance by an average of three school days per student. The State of Texas funds schools based their Average Daily Attendance, so this increase in attendance would increase state funding to Central Texas schools by $34 million.