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Elementary and Primary Education
Houston Independent School District
News Release
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HISD Students Surpassing Their Peers on National Exam
Scores on the Stanford and Aprenda Exams Beat National Average in Four of Five Subjects 

Houston ISD students are out-scoring students across the nation on the Stanford and Aprenda exams in math, science, social science and language, according to data released Wednesday.

HISD students posted especially strong gains in math and science during the recently completed 2010-2011 school year. The number of students scoring above the national average in math now stands at 64 percent, a 6-point increase from the previous year and 9 points higher than in 2008. In science, 63 percent of HISD students scored above the national average this year, a 7-point gain over 2010 and a 12-point gain over 2008. Chart

The number of students surpassing the national average increased to 51 percent in language and social science. The number of students beating the national average in reading increased one point from last year to 49 percent.

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said Houston educators, parents and students should celebrate the fact that academic achievement improved in every subject.

“We believe these scores on the national Stanford and Aprenda exams add to the mounting body of objective evidence that HISD principals and teachers are getting the job done where it counts – in the classroom,” Dr. Grier said. “It is clear to me that the priorities set forth by our Board of Education – an effective teacher in every classroom, a quality principal in every school, data-driven instruction, rigorous instructional standards, and a culture of trust through action – are paying dividends.”

HISD previously announced that the percentage of students passing all subjects on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills increased 9 points this year and the percentage reaching the tougher “commended” mark jumped 5 points.

The Stanford exam is administered to students in grades 1-11 and gives HISD a way to compare Houston students to their peers nationally. The Aprenda is the Spanish version of the exam.

HISD’s progress is especially noteworthy because Houston’s student population is made up of more minority and low-income students than the national sample of students who serve as the reference group for the Stanford and Aprenda to which our students are compared. In HISD, 92 percent of students are non-white and more than 80 percent are from low-income families. The national sampling of students who set the standard on the Stanford exam, meanwhile, is 55 percent white and 40 percent low/middle income.

“Houston students are showing the nation that all children can excel and all children have the potential to become college material, if we provide them great teachers working in schools led by exceptional principals,” Dr. Grier said.

Ocean Star

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