The Pasadena ISD graduation rate jumped above the 89 percent mark during the 2014-15 school year -- exceeding the state average by 1.1 percent -- according to new data released last month by the Texas Education Agency.
The graduation rate hike – which showed a jump from 88.9 percent the previous year to 89.4 during the new ratings period – was part of the latest Texas Academic Performance Report of public schools.
Pasadena ISD’s dropout rate showed a significant decrease, from 1.8 percent to 1.4 percent. The state dropout average is 2.2 percent.
STAAR testing results showed passing percentages of Pasadena ISD students improved or remained steady in nearly every subject. Although falling short of state averages in some subjects, the district received an overall rating of having met the state performance standard.
“We are proud of our students’ performance,” said Dr. DeeAnn Powell, Pasadena ISD’s acting superintendent of schools. “While we know there is room to improve, these results show how their hard work has already started paying off.”
Dr. Powell will assume the duties of superintendent on Feb. 2.
Another report bright spot for Pasadena ISD was a 6.4 percent increase in students taking advance placement or college courses as part of the Pasadena Early College High School.
The PECHS program allows freshmen to enroll in classes through San Jacinto College. This gives students the opportunity to earn an associate degree at the same time they earn their high-school diploma.
College and career readiness among Pasadena ISD students is 10.4 percent above the state average this year, the data showed. School officials credit, among other things, the opening of the Lewis Career and Technical High School.
CTHS provides students with an opportunity to graduate with a diploma, earn college credits and gain professional certification or a license in high-demand areas, such as pre-engineering, robotics, nursing, veterinary technology, automotive collision, welding, cosmetology, culinary arts and other fields.
Officials say the continued improvement in the graduation and dropout rates can be attributed to, in part, programs like the Walk for Success and alternative courses available at the district’s Community School and Tegeler Career Center.
During the Walk for Success, district staff members and community volunteers visit the homes of high-school students who have not re-enrolled in school to encourage them to return.
The Community School allows students – those 18 years and older who are a few credits shy of graduating -- an opportunity to earn a diploma. Tegeler Career Center offers smaller class sizes so students receive more one-on-one instruction with teachers.
Pasadena ISD schools also offer computer-assisted instruction for credit recovery and initial credit for those falling behind.
To view the full report, visit https://rptsvr1.tea.texas.gov/perfreport/tapr/2015/index.html and search for Pasadena ISD.