The Texas Education Agency (TEA) continues to release data on student academic achievement in the previous school year, an especially important metric for gauging our recovery from the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our most recent analysis focuses on 3rd-8th grade Reading and Math preliminary results for Dallas County students who are experiencing economic insecurity, categorized by TEA as "economically disadvantaged" (defined as qualifying for free and reduced lunch). Please note: these results are preliminary, and the data may change somewhat through September.
Here are five initial takeaways from the preliminary data.
Academic achievement for students in economic instability is trending upward: 39% of Dallas County students experiencing economic disadvantage met reading standards, which is an 11 percentage point increase since 2021. 28% of the same students met math standards, which is a 6 percentage point increase since 2021.
We have exceeded pre-pandemic achievement in reading, but not math: With a 4 percentage point increase, more Dallas County students experiencing economic disadvantage met reading standards in 2022 then before the pandemic started in 2019. However, math results show a 12 percentage point decrease since 2019.
Dallas County results are roughly comparable to the state's: Texas had a 13 percentage point increase in students experiencing economic disadvantage meeting reading standards since 2021, compared to the 11 percentage point increase in Dallas County. Both Dallas County and the state had a 6 percentage point increase of students in economic disadvantage meeting math standards since 2021.
Numerous Dallas County school districts saw significant gains:
- Irving ISD, Garland ISD and Grand Prairie ISD all had a 14 percentage point increase in students experiencing economic disadvantage who met reading standards since 2021.
- Desoto ISD had a 15 percentage point increase in students experiencing economic disadvantage who met reading standards since 2021 and 10 percent increase since 2019.
We still have more work to do: While there were some encouraging reading gains that show progress, we know there is still much work to do: 61% of Dallas County students categorized as economically disadvantaged did not meet reading standards and 72% did not meet math standards.