The Houston school district says its students have made impressive gains in the latest round of Stanford and Aprenda tests, which measure students nationwide.
"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," the district said in a release. "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."
Superintendent Terry Grier said the district had cause to celebrate.
"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," he 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 spokesman Jason Spencer told Hair Balls the results showed the district's Apollo 20 program was working.
"Our Apollo sixth-graders (they're the ones who benefitted from individualized math tutoring) produced fantastic results on the Stanford math exam," he said by e-mail.
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He pointed to the single-year percentage point increases in the number of students beating the national average in math at the five Apollo middle schools:
Attucks: +16 points Dowling: +27 points Fondren: +20 points Key: +39 points Ryan: +1 point
The results in chart form can be found here.
"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," Grier said.