HISD student SAT, Advanced Placement test scores improve

Houston ISD students saw an increase in their SAT math, reading and composite scores during the 2013-2014 school year, according to a recent college readiness report from the College Board. Students who took the college entrance exam on HISD’s SAT School Day in April improved their reading scores by six points and their math scores by four points.

“Our goal is to see every HISD graduate ready for college,” said HISD College Readiness Assistant Superintendent Rick Cruz after making a presentation Thursday to the HISD board on how the district prepares students for college. “When our students are college ready, they have the academic preparedness, skills, and mindsets to complete a college course of study successfully without remediation.”

According to the report, the number of HISD students who scored 300 or below fell by almost 13 percent on the SAT reading section and decreased by 21 percent on the math portion. The report also shows that students enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) or honors English and math were more than three times likely to meet the College Board’s college readiness benchmark, which consists of scoring 500 or higher on the math, reading and writing SAT sections and a SAT composite score of 1550 and up. On more than 8,000 HISD AP exams, students scored a 3 or higher, making them eligible to receive college course credit. The number of AP exams with a score of 3 or higher increased by more than 400 from the previous year at HISD while the number of AP exams at the lowest scoring level of 1 decreased by 700.

HISD will hold AP curriculum training sessions for AP teachers and recognize their commitment to providing a rigorous level of instruction in the classroom at the district’s AP Ramp Up on Aug. 12 at Westbury High School.

The event is one of numerous district initiatives to help prepare students for college. Other programs include a PSAT camp and PSAT and SAT School Days where 9-11th graders take the test for free during a school day on their campuses. Students can prepare for both college entrance exams through an online test preparation program offered free to all high school students. The department also assists students in searching and applying for scholarships.

The HISD 2014 graduating class was awarded $254 million in scholarships and financial aid to attend college, up by more than $70 million from the previous school year.