Bright Spots

Recognizing Bright Spots for Students in Poverty and Students of Color

Bright Spot Blog Series

10 February 2016

In our previous bright spots post, we explored those partner districts achieving outlier year-over-year gains during the 2014-2015 school year. Here we take a closer look at those campuses where economically disadvantaged students and students of color achieved outlier success in ’14-’15.

With nearly 3 out of 4 of Dallas County’s public school students eligible for free or reduced price lunch, the performance of our economically disadvantaged scholars is crucial to our region’s future success. Looking at campuses as a whole and the overall performance of their economically disadvantaged students in 2014-2015, notable outliers well exceeding Dallas County’s overall economically disadvantaged student performance on STAAR exams (26% Postsecondary Readiness Rate in Grades 3-5, 24% in Grades 6-8) emerge. Several districts have multiple highest-achieving outliers among non-magnet campuses, including Richardson, Dallas, Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Garland, and Mesquite ISDs.

Over 4 in 5 Dallas County public school students are Hispanic or African American.Eliminating achievement disparities is imperative for the educational and economic success of our region. Looking at 3rd Grade Reading STAAR performance at the Postsecondary Readiness standard, several campuses across Dallas County stand out in supporting their Hispanic and African American students’ success. Several examples for Hispanic studentsemerge in Dallas and Garland ISDs, while campuses where African American studentsout-perform their peer group countywide are more widespread—with multiple examples in Richardson, Grand Prairie and Irving ISDs among others.

The above charts are merely illustrative of the mission of the Commit! Partnership— using data, identifying best practices, and working together to spread what works so that we help all students in our region flourish. Each campus or district highlighted above has a story behind the data—of great teaching, leadership, parent engagement, partnerships, or otherwise—that we all can and must learn from.

As we continue our blog series, we will explore some of the policies and practices behind the bright spots in Dallas, Grand Prairie and Irving ISDs. You can download the complete bright spots PDF here