GAP Analysis Report 2013

Executive Summary of the 2013 Report

In spite of rapid change in the ethnic diversity of the region, Whites are expected to remain the largest ethnic group among the young adult population of the region through 2020, in a state with a Hispanic majority for this age group.

Important in interpretation of this and subsequent gap analysis reports is a change in the state accountability system that pertains to the assessments employed and the way their results and other school data are reported.  This report includes detailed information about the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and End of Course (EOC) tests.  Although not directly comparable, both TAKS and STAAR results are presented in this report. 

The 2013 report offers longitudinal data going back to 2006 for college readiness indicators pertaining to regional high school graduates through the 2011-12 school year.  Data about college readiness (measured by TAKS/STAAR scores of graduates in English Language Arts, mathematics and both subjects, AP/IB indicators, and SAT/ACT results) showed patterns of progress were similar for the state and region.  Student scores on the state assessments have increased over time.  Gaps in the achievement of ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic subgroups continued in spite of subgroup gains.  AP/IB participation has been consistently high for our region compared to the state as are the percentages of students in the region who take the AP/IB tests and those who achieve the criterion scores.  SAT/ACT trend data showed modest increases in percentages of students taking the tests in the state and region. The percentages of students meeting or exceeding the test passing criteria tended to be higher for students in the region (30%/32% in 2012) than for those in the state (25% in 2012).

Percentages of high school students enrolled in advanced courses have increased by about 10% in the state and region since 2003.  Breaking out dual credit enrollment since 2009 shows the region lagged behind the state on this college readiness measure.  Instead, AP/IB courses are more likely to be taken by students in the north Texas region compared to the state.

Since 1996, the number of students enrolled in higher education in Dallas, Denton, Collin, and Tarrant counties has doubled.  In spite of increasing college enrollment for all subgroups, there were gaps for African American and Hispanic compared to White students, for males compared to females, and for socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Students who entered college not requiring developmental education were more likely to graduate or to persist in their programs than those requiring developmental education.   More than 50% of regional students who entered 2-year colleges required developmental education.   Students in the region who entered 4-year colleges not requiring developmental education were less likely to graduate than those of the state in general.  Of high school graduates who entered postsecondary education in the region, 26% completed a degree or certificate within 6 years, which is similar to the state data.

The employment rate for graduates of 2-year colleges in the region was about 69% and for 4-year colleges in the region, about 74% from 2009 to 2012.  The employment picture in terms of employment rate and mean wage was slightly better for students in the region than in the state.