Press Release

    The Best School Districts in Texas for Latino Students
    2000-2003


    College Station—A report released by the Texas Educational Excellence Project (TEEP) finds that Latino students continue to improve their performance in Texas. While improvements are being made throughout the state, some districts are making more impressive gains while other districts show room for improvement.

    Statewide averages allow TEEP to pinpoint and rank the schools districts that are doing the best job of educating Latino students. Other districts may be able to improve the quality of education and student performance by implementing the policies and programs used by the top school districts.

    The researchers at TEEP are aware that there are differences across the various districts that must be considered. TEEP researchers use a technique that allows them to take into consideration such factors as financial resources, teacher quality, and district policies and how these constraints affect the performance of Latino students.

    The Mount Vernon Independent School District provides one such example. Taking environmental resources and constraints into account, the predicted three-year average pass rate for Latino students at Mount Vernon was 74.2 percent. The 2000-2003 Mount Vernon Latino average pass rate was, in fact, 87.65 percent. This impressive pass rate for Latino test-takers helps the district achieve the highest score in our ranking system. Their superintendent attributes their success to a number of variables. Mount Vernon Independent school district uses both extended day and extended year school programs. Tutoring is offered free of charge to all students in the district, and there are mentoring programs available for at risk high school students. Nutritional programs are also a part of the winning formula for Mount Vernon. Their Breakfast of Champions program offers free breakfast to all students in elementary school and free or reduced breakfast to other students. Other schools that are performing well are Angleton ISD and La Joya ISD. Angleton ranked second on our list with a pass rate of 89.88 percent, which is 12.68 points higher than expected.

    The top ranked schools represent a diverse spectrum of Texas school districts. The ranking recognizes both small and large districts. In addition, TEEP separately ranks those schools that have more than 15,000 students. The top rated large school is La Joya, which was 12th overall on our list.

    The Texas Educational Excellence Project seeks to apply scholarly research to educational policy issues in order to make recommendations for greater quality and equity in Texas school systems. TEEP is a joint program of Texas A&M's George Bush School of Government and Public Service and the university's Department of Political Science, with research associates at the University of Texas - Pan American, University of Texas at Dallas and Oakland University.

    Click here to to go directly to the full report