Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Texas Graduation & College-Ready Rates 2013

Today there was a very misleading article in the Dallas Morning News: 1 in 4 Texas high school grads ready for college, ACT results show.  It tries to give the impression that 25% of students in Texas graduate college ready.   The more accurate number is possibly less than 6%.

The report linked to this article states very clearly that only 82,373 students took the ACT tests used to make the 25% determination. How many students took the SAT, or took neither test, was not given.

According to the Texas Education Agency there were 392,040 students in this same student group when they were in the 9th grade in 2009/2010. Three years and 7 months later only 82,373 of those students took the ACT! What are we hiding? While Texas may claim that 1 in 4 high school grads are graduating ready for college, where are the missing students?  Did they take the SAT?   How did they do? 

These numbers indicate that less than 6% of the 9th grade class of 2009/2010 finished high school with their Class of 2013 as college ready.   Do we need more data from SAT tests that may help improve this percentage, or would those numbers help?   Fortunately Texas is constantly improving as shown clearly in the following enrollment by grade history.

Texas K-12 Enrollment by Grade & Graduation History: 1997 to 2013
(Click above image to enlarge.)
Somehow TEA is also claiming an 87.7% high school on time graduation rate for Texas students: "Last year, the Class of 2011 in Texas set a graduation rate that was among the highest in the nation, and now the Class of 2012 has bested that number," was said Commissioner Williams and released by TEA on 8-6-13.  
Here is a Texas Tribune article from 11-29-2012: Texas Posts Top High School Graduation Rates, But Why?   This article gives a much more accurate view of the Texas graduation rates, rates that are much closer to 75% than to 87% when you count all children.