As the school year comes to a close, we once again find ourselves in a time of both celebration and reflection. Another year has passed, we have celebrated the academic, creative, and athletic successes of our students, and our graduating seniors are on their way to new adventures. June is a time for teachers to calculate final grades and for report cards to be sent to families, and at the district office, we are poring over data from the year in order to determine the trends and patterns that point us in the direction of improved outcomes for students.
There is no doubt that we are moving in the right direction for our students, and the data from the last five years confirms this. Our students are performing considerably better than state and national averages, and TUHSD student achievement increases year after year. As a district, we track many data points. Here are just a few highlights of our success:
College Enrollment and Completion Rates
This is the first year that we have had college entrance and completion rates available to us as a district. In the coming years, we will continue to work to ensure that more students are prepared for success in post high school education.
- TUHSD has a far higher percentage of students who enroll in and complete college within six years than both the state and national averages. In fact, our college completion average is 8% higher than the national average.
Advanced Placement Courses
The research is clear–access to rigorous coursework in high school is one of the best predictors of success in a post high school environment. The statistics for our Advanced Placement courses are just one way that we assess rigor in our schools.
- Total number of AP courses taken per school year has increased from 2918 to 3729 over the past five years.
- Percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on the AP exam (generally considered a passing grade) is 8% higher than the California average and 24.5% higher than the national average.
- The percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher on AP exams has increased over the past several years even with the huge increase in numbers of students taking the courses.
The SAT website defines the test as a, “…standardized assessment of the critical reading, mathematical reasoning and writing skills students have developed over time and that they need to be successful in college.” Many of our students are also now choosing to take the ACT assessment, which is accepted by almost every college and university.
- Average SAT scores for all demographic groups at TUHSD have increased over five years.
- Total number of TUHSD students tested and percentage of students tested has increased over the five year term.
Graduates Meeting UC/CSU Requirements for 2007 – 2013
The University of California and California State University systems have set minimum entrance requirements for admission. Our courses are aligned with UC/CSU standards, and courses that meet the entrance requirements are noted in our course descriptions.
- There has been a 4% increase in the number of students who graduate with UC/CSU requirements over the past five years. This is well above the state average.
Academic Performance Index Growth Scores
The Academic Performance Index (API) is calculated by the state and incorporates a variety of measures including state assessments. The new state assessments, which are aligned to common core standards, will be given for the first time in spring 2015.
- API grew district-wide from 2009-2013.
- There has been a reduced gap between the achievement of our Hispanic students and non-Hispanic students from 2009-2013.
- There has been a reduced gap between low income and non-low income students from 2009-2013.
- All subject areas have shown a positive trend in average growth over the past five years.
These data points are a source of pride for our skilled teachers, staff, administrators, and trustees. As a district, we continue to monitor many data points so that we can be sure that our great schools continue to perform well and benefit ALL students. We are committed to ensuring that all students, even the highest achieving, learn and grow during their four years of high school. Continuous improvement is often difficult to attain in a high-achieving system, and so we are immensely proud of these accomplishments.
As a community, we have so much to celebrate this June. Our students are served well not only by our teachers and schools, but by the dedicated parents and community members who work so diligently to provide support and guidance. At the Tam District, what is best for students is the tenet that guides our work. Working together, we will continue to prepare today.