Dear AISD Community,
When AISD students cross the stage during graduation, they are not alone. They bring the hopes, dreams and best wishes of the families, teachers and community members who have nurtured their hearts, minds and lives.
I am pleased to announce your work has culminated in our students' latest achievement: AISD graduation rates have reached an all-time high of 84.1 percent for the Class of 2013. This is a 1.6 percentage point increase from the previous year and nearly a 10 percentage point gain during the past five years, according to the Texas Education Agency's new report on graduation and completion rates.
Graduation rates increased for every student population in AISD—across all ethnic groups and for English language learners and economically disadvantaged and special education students.
As state performance standards continue to increase, AISD students are performing exceedingly well and graduating at record rates. From pre-kindergarten through high school, our school communities are working hard to ensure all our students have the support they need to reach their full potential—and to graduate. Simply put: As educators, we believe if one student does not complete high school, that is one student too many.
Throughout AISD, students who have faced educational challenges historically are making significant gains. Graduation rates for:
- Hispanic students increased by 2.3 percentage points, from 78.6 to 80.9 percent;
- African-American students increased by 2.5 percentage points to 82.1 percent;
- economically disadvantaged students increased by 2.6 percentage points to 81.5 percent;
- special education students increased by 2.9 percentage points to 66.5 percent; and
- English language learners increased by 5.4 percentage points to 69.5 percent.
As we welcome students back to school and prepare to move our work forward during the next academic year, I remain keenly aware that AISD's achievement begins with you as you teach and inspire the next generation of graduates—one class, one lesson and one student at a time.
Dr. Paul Cruz