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High School Graduation

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status = better

We achieve our full potential.

We have the education, skills and opportunities to achieve
our full potential and lead meaningful, joyful lives.

89% of Central Texas students graduate from high school in four years

Indicator: % of Central Texas students who graduate from high school in four years

Goal: Increase the percentage of Central Texas students who graduate from high school in four years

Target: 95% for the Class of 2020

Key Trends: Over a five year period, from 2010 to 2014, high school graduation rates in Central Texas increased from 84% to 89%, indicating that we are on-track to achieving the community goal of a 95% high school graduation rate by 2020. Improvements in the high school graduation rates have occurred for every racial and ethnic group, though achievement gaps remain. The greatest rate of improvement in graduation rates has been seen for Hispanic students. In the Class of 2004, only 73% of Hispanic students graduated. In the Class of 2014 86% of Hispanic students graduated from high school in four years.

what the data tell us

Graduation rates have been steadily increasing in Central Texas . Eighty-nine percent of Central Texas students graduated in four years for the Class of 2014, and graduation rates have increased 12% since the class of 2007.

Definition: Four year completion rate for grades 9-12

Data Source: Texas Education Agency, E3 Alliance

Data Considerations: This data only includes students who graduated from high school in four years. It does not include students who received their GEDs. This data is not directly comparable to graduation rate data produced for prior graduation classes due to changes in data definitions by the Texas Education Agency. The Central Texas data includes 35 school districts and was aggregated by E3 Alliance.

the story behind the indicator

Rates of high school graduation have improved over the past five years in both Central Texas and the state as a whole. In 2014, 89% of Central Texas high school students graduated in four years. Achievement gaps by income have narrowed in recent years, though disparities persist. The E3 Alliance reports that the graduation rate for low-income students in the Class of 2014 was 84%, compared to a 96% graduation rate for moderate to high-income students, a gap of 12 percentage points.

Disparities in graduation rates by race and ethnicity also exist. For the Class of 2014, 96% of Asian and 94% of White students in Central Texas graduated in four years, compared to 86% of African-American and Hispanic students. The gap between African-American and White students was 8% for the class of 2014, unchanged from 8% in the class of 2004. The gap between Hispanic and White students was 8% for the class of 2014, compared to 19% in the class of 2004. Even greater disparities emerge when this data is analyzed by gender. Click here for an E3 report prepared for the Greater Austin Area My Brother’s Keeper Initiative on this topic.

a closer look

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» 4-Year High School Graduation Rate, Central Texas, by race and ethnicity

Although disparities exist by race and ethnicity, the gap has closed slightly over the last ten years, and all racial and ethnic groups have seen improvements. The chart below compares graduation rates by race and ethnicity for the Class of 2004 to those of the Class of 2014. For the Class of 2014, 96% of Asian and 94% of White students in Central Texas graduated in four years, compared to 86% of African-American and Hispanic students. The greatest rate of improvement in graduation rates has been seen for Hispanic students. In the Class of 2004, only 73% of Hispanic students graduated. In the Class of 2014 86% of Hispanic students graduated from high school in four years.

Definition: Four year completion rate for grades 9-12 by race and ethnicity

Data Source: Texas Education Agency, E3 Alliance

Data Considerations: This data only includes students who graduated from high school in four years. It does not include students who received their GEDs. This data is not directly comparable to graduation rate data produced for prior graduation classes due to changes in data definitions by the Texas Education Agency. The Central Texas data includes 35 school districts and was aggregated by E3 Alliance.

» Central Texas graduation rate, by income status

Gaps in graduation rates by income have narrowed in recent years, although disparities persist. The E3 Alliance reports that the graduation rate for low-income students in the Class of 2014 was 84%, compared to a 96% graduation rate for moderate to high-income students, a gap of 12 percentage points. This gap has narrowed since the Class of 2008, when only 62% of low-income students graduated, compared to 89% of non-low-income students, a gap of 27 percentage points.

Definition: The graduation rate for students considered economically disadvantaged and those not identified as economically disadvantaged in the Austin Independent School District.

Data Source: Texas Education Agency, E3 Alliance

Data Considerations: This data only includes students who graduated from high school in four years. It does not include students who received their GEDs. This data is not directly comparable to graduation rate data produced for prior graduation classes due to changes in data definitions by the Texas Education Agency. Students are defined as economically disadvantaged if they are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches or other public assistance. The Central Texas data includes 35 school districts and was aggregated by E3 Alliance.

» 4-Year Graduation Rate, without exclusions

Graduation rates for area districts have improved over time. All school districts listed below have seen an improvement in graduation rates from 2008 to 2014, except for the Eanes School District, which maintained a 96% graduation rate. Lago Vista ISD had the highest graduation rate, with 99% of students in the Class of 2014 graduating. Manor ISD had the greatest improvement in its graduation rate; going from 66% in 2008 to 85% in 2014.

Click this graph showing Four year completion rate for grades 9-12 for more information Click on graph to view a data table of this information.

Definition: 4-year graduation rate, without exclusions

Data Source: Texas Education Agency

Data Considerations: This data only includes students who graduated from high school in four years. It does not include students who received their GEDs.

» % of High School Graduates that are College-Ready

College readiness rates in area school districts have trended upward over time, though they vary by district. The greatest improvements in college readiness occurred in Del Valle ISD and Lago Vista ISD which both experienced a 67% improvement in college readiness rates. In 2008, only 24% of Del Valle students graduated from high school “college ready,” and in 2014 the rate increased to 40%. Lago Vista ISD’s college readiness rate went from 49% in 2008 to 82% in 2014. Only one school district experienced a decline in college readiness. Pflugerville ISD’s college readiness rate went from 51% in 2008 to 48% in 2014.

Click this graph showing percentage of  High School Graduates that are college ready for more information Click on graph to view a data table of this information.

Definition: Percent of high school graduates who scored at or above the criterion score on both the TAKS, SAT, or ACT English language arts and mathematics tests.

Data Source: Texas Education Agency

Data Considerations: To learn more about college readiness criterion visit the TEA's website here. This data does not include the college readiness rates of high school seniors who dropped out, continued high school, or received a GED.

» map: Graduation Rate by high school, Austin MSA, Class of 2014

The map below shows the four-year graduation rates for the Class of 2014 for high schools in districts located in the 5-county Austin-Round Rock Metro Area. The map demonstrates a geographic disparity in graduation rates between schools located in different areas of the region. The majority of school districts in the Austin region, though, graduate 90% or more of their students.

map showing the four-year graduation rates for the Class of 2014 for high schools in districts located in the Austin MSA.

Definition: Four year completion rate for grades 9-12

Data Source: Texas Education Agency. Map was created by the Community Advancement Network.

Data Considerations: This data only includes students who graduated from high school in four years. It does not include students who received their GEDs. This data is not directly comparable to graduation rate data produced for prior graduation classes due to changes in data definitions by the Texas Education Agency. Cedar Ridge High School is not included on the map, as 4-year graduation rates were not both available for this school for the Class of 2014.

» map: Percent of Students Graduating College Ready, by High School, Austin MSA, Class of 2014

The map below shows college readiness rates for the Class of 2014 for high schools in districts located in the 5-county Austin-Round Rock Metro Area. Generally, college readiness rates are higher at high schools located towards the western portion of the metro area, and lower at high schools located towards the east.

map showing the Percent of Graduates that are College Ready in districts located in the Austin MSA.

Definition: Percent of high school graduates who scored at or above the criterion score on both the TAKS, SAT, or ACT English language arts and mathematics tests by high school. To learn more about college readiness criterion visit the TEA's website, here.

Data Source: Texas Education Agency. Map was created by the Community Advancement Network

Data Considerations: This data does not include the college readiness rates of high school seniors who dropped out, continued high school, or received a GED. This data does not include the college readiness rates of high school seniors who dropped out, continued high school, or received a GED. Cedar Ridge High School is not included on this map, as 4-year graduation rates were not both available for this school for the Class of 2014.

some local efforts to improve this indicator

Collaborative Initiatives

  • Austin Community College works with area school districts to create stronger connections between high school and college. ACC Tech, Early College Start, and Early College High School ease the transition to post-secondary education by providing opportunities for high school students to complete college credit while in school.

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  • Local school districts are increasing the number of high school that offer Early College Start classes on campus. Austin ISD is expanding Early College Start from three to four campuses, allowing students to earn up to two years of college credit before graduating from high school.

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  • The Manor ISD/ACC Career Certification Center opened in November of 2015. This first of its kind center, provided in partnership with Austin Community College, offers high school juniors and seniors opportunities to earn industry certifications in Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant, PC Technician, HVAC, Electrical Pre-Apprenticeship and Mechatronics.

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  • Manor ISD’S New Technology High School offers project-based learning focused in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Students are accepted through a blind lottery and are representative of the demographics of the district at-large.

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  • Pathways of Promise is a partnership between the E3 Alliance and UT’s Center for STEM Education that provides professional development to middle school math teachers with the goal of increasing the number of students who pursue advanced mathematics. Currently on 6 campuses, the goal is to expand to 12 campuses in 5 school districts in 2016.

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  • The E3 Alliance, Austin Area Research Organization, Central Texas Education Funders, Incite Marketing, Emmis Communications, and various school districts across the region have launched a “Missing School Matters” attendance campaign. The goal is to increase attendance by an average of three school days per student. The State of Texas funds schools based their Average Daily Attendance, so this increase in attendance would increase state funding to schools by $34 million.

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  • The E3 Alliance Central Texas Education Profile is a comprehensive regional view of education trends and outcomes in Texas, with data available according to racial, economic, and gender breakdowns. The Central Texas Education Profile provides a wide range of actionable and relevant data for our region and connects the dots between student achievement and economic prosperity for our community. It includes data on the region’s demographic changes, early childhood education, K-12 student achievement, achievement gaps, absenteeism, high school graduation, college and career readiness, college enrollment, and student and economic outcomes and implications.

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Plans, Data, and Reports

  • The E3 Alliance’s Blueprint for Educational Change reports that on-time graduation has a positive affect on future employment and earnings. According to their research, a majority of jobs will require a credential beyond a high school degree by 2020. E3 works with public and private organizations to align strategies that promote on-time graduation and connections to higher education.

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disproportionately impacted

The American Psychological Association states there are numerous risk factors, which in combination with each other, raise the probability of a student dropping out of high school:

  • Individual Risk Factors (e.g. truancy, poor school attitude, etc.)
  • Family Risk Factors (e.g. low-income, lack of parental involvement, etc.)
  • School Risk Factors (e.g. negative school climate, low expectations, etc.)
  • Community Risk Factors (e.g. high crime, lack of community support for schools, etc.)

According to the E3 Alliance, students who were retained in 9th grade, students who were frequently absent, and students who moved or changed schools frequently were less likely to graduate in four years than other students.