Dallas ISD makes significant gains, earns B rating

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Dallas ISD made significant gains despite COVID-19 challenges to learning and maintained its pre-pandemic score of 86. With the B grade from the Texas Education Agency, the district has a baseline for success as staff, students and families begin the 2022-2023 school year. 

“These results clearly reflect the hard work and commitment of our staff and the innovation and versatility that drives Dallas ISD,” said Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde. “The ratings provide encouraging data points that will map the programs and supports for this year. As I have told our schools, ‘You got us here, preparing students during difficult circumstances, now, let’s go!’ We have work to do, but excellence is within our grasp.”

The ratings from the Texas Education Agency are the first to be issued since 2019 due to two years of COVID-related pauses. TEA rated 1,195 districts and 8,451 campuses using grades A-C and a Not Rated designation, based on districts’ and schools’ data on student achievement, school progress, and closing the gaps.

Dallas ISD registered achievement gains in reading from 2021 results and often matched pre-pandemic levels in grades three through eighth across all three student groups—economically disadvantaged, African American, emergent bilingual. Significant progress was made in math but work still needs to be done to return to pre-pandemic achievement levels and to close the gap for all student groups. 

Among African American students, Dallas made meaningful gains and stayed largely consistent in both reading and math in comparison with the state. In reading, achievement levels from third through eighth grade improved significantly from those during the pandemic, and in all cases met or exceeded pre-pandemic achievement levels. Reading gains from 2021 to 2022 were as high as +17 percentage points for this student group. 

In math, results for African American students are up substantially at all grades and levels but are not at pre-pandemic levels. This is consistent with gains in math among other urban districts and the state. 

Reading and math results are also similar among economically disadvantaged and emergent bilingual students—reading results show substantial gains from 2021 for both groups to meet or exceed pre-pandemic levels while math results show improvement but mostly did not meet pre-pandemic levels. One exception were results in fifth grade reading among emergent bilingual students, which registered a decline from 2021 and pre-pandemic levels.  

In addition to the district’s grade, every campus is also rated. Including the local accountability ratings—which are more demanding than the state’s—the district had:

  • 26 campuses rated A (Accomplished)
  • 123 rated B (Breakthrough)
  • 59 rated C (Competing)
  • 14 Not Rated (Developing)
  • 8 Not Rated (Focus)

Of 227 schools, 68% had at least one distinction, 26% had at least four distinctions, and 9% had all seven out of seven distinctions. Some schools are not eligible for distinctions and not all schools are eligible for all seven distinctions, which acknowledge campuses for outstanding achievement based on the outcomes of several performance indicators. They are awarded for achievement in several areas and are based on performance relative to a group of campuses of similar type, size, grade span, and student demographics. 

 Dallas ISD’s reading and math scores in grades third through eighth increased significantly across the board compared to 2021 results, and in many cases surpassed 2019 achievement levels. Compared to other districts with similar demographics, Dallas ISD matches the growth and leads in achievement levels in reading in third through eighth grade. In math across grade levels, Dallas ISD shows similar growth as the state and other districts but did not match pre-pandemic achievement levels—a trend that was true across the state and other urban districts.

 In high school end of course results, Dallas students made greater gains than the state toward pre-pandemic levels in Algebra I, biology and U.S. history despite having registered a significant decline during the pandemic. In English I and II end of course exams, student progress was slightly greater or similar to state. Results in all end of course exams indicate more work needs to be done to continue closing the gap for these grades.

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