Dallas ISD studentsâ scores continue to lag behind their Texas peers on college entrance exams and state standardized tests, district officials said Tuesday.
In a presentation to DISD trustees, student data shows that students made extremely small gains from the previous year on the SAT and ACT, two college entrance exams. Seniors in Dallas ISD last school year scored an average of a 17.2 on the ACT â" below the stateâs average of 20.8. However, the Dallas school district ACT score is up from the previous yearâs average of 17.1.
Dallas ISD saw about the same gains on the SAT. Seniors scored an average of 863 on the reading and math portions of the test, up from 860 in 2011.
Superintendent Mike Miles has made increasing the number of students who take the ACT and SAT a major goal in the coming years. Currently, about 75 percent of DISD seniors take the SAT or ACT.
Miles told principals in August that the district will invest in ACT and SAT prep classes to encourage more students to take the tests. However, with more students taking the test, Miles predicts the scores will decrease.
âIâm OK with that. We need to get a real read of where our kids are,â Miles told principals during a training session. âThen we need to build that baseline.â
Trustee Mike Morath discussed that topic Tuesday, saying that he wants 100 percent of seniors taking the test. Last school year, 4,482 students took the SAT. Nearly 3,000 students took the ACT. The district has about 7,800 seniors a year.
âIf the other 25 percent of the students take the test, this measure will go down,â Morath said.
DISDâs chief academic officer Ann Smisko also discussed the latest TAKS scores for 10th and 11th grades and preliminary scores from STAAR, Texasâs new standardized test that replaces TAKS. While the STAAR test scores from last year donât count, they show the DISD students scored below the state average.
It also showed that in DISD, achievement gaps within racial groups remain a huge problem.
âWhatâs great about these results, we can see so clearly where we have to work,â she told trustees. âWe have to work across all these subjects areas for every kid. What it says to us is that we see the size of the task ahead of us.â
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