Across 13 tested subjects in Dallas County's 14 largest public school districts, the number of students meeting standards increased by 5 percentage points or more over a third of the time. The improvement comes as Dallas County school districts continue to close gaps with the state across grades three through eight, despite higher levels of poverty and more emergent bilingual students than the statewide average.
“Dallas County is not simply a geographic region or collection of public school districts,” says Commit Chief Regional Officer Chelsea Jeffery. “It is a learning community in which our education leaders are encouraged to collaborate and continuously improve together. And there’s no better way to collaborate than to celebrate and learn from student success.”
One of Commit’s core strategies is to identify bright-spot campuses and districts that are outperforming expectations and scale those strategies and policies producing those results across the region and state. Success in these districts is linked to a number of policies Commit advocates for, including full-day pre-K, investing in teaching and tutoring, and adopting high-quality instructional materials.
Within the first week of the STAAR data release, many bright spots from North Texas districts became immediately apparent. Below are a handful of standout statistics worth giving special notice, followed by a longer list of each district and subject area that grew 5 percentage points or more.
- Third graders in Cedar Hill ISD experienced much greater rates of success compared to the previous year in both reading and math, with reading up 8 percentage points and math up an astounding 12 points. This is likely driven by the district’s implementation of full-day pre-K in 2017, just before those third graders entered the public school system, as well as additional teacher and student support with high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) in the 2022-2023 school year.
- In the critical subject of fourth grade math, Dallas, Duncanville and Grand Prairie ISDs and Uplift Education each grew achievement by 9 percentage points. Irving, Garland and Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISDs notched increases of 8 percentage points apiece. This represents thousands more students now on track for advanced math pathways in middle and high school, which in turn makes them more likely to earn postsecondary credentials.
- Algebra I is similarly consequential for long-term success. That’s why we’re thrilled to see Garland ISD grow achievement in this critical subject by 10 percentage points in each of the past two years. Garland ISD staff attribute this success, in part, to the district’s commitment to both high-impact tutoring and high-quality instructional materials. Garland staff also attribute the success to structural changes such as creating new middle school and high school math coordinator positions, hiring instructional coaches (funded by a Texas Education Agency grant) and adding strategic teacher support, particularly for new teachers.