HCISD middle schools surpass peers across state and nation in college readiness benchmark


Eighth graders at the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District exceeded their peers across the state of Texas and the nation on college readiness benchmark results recently released in the 2015-2016 Preliminary SAT (PSAT) 8 Benchmark.

The PSAT 8, one of a series of assessments administered by the College Board, measures how well 8th graders are mastering the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college.

“Cultivating college readiness begins before high school,” stated Dr. Alicia Noyola, Chief Academic Officer for HCISD. “Our goal is to prepare students, in part by monitoring their progress throughout their education, so that all students succeed after graduation.”

The PSAT 8 provides students, parents, teachers, and administrators with the feedback needed to ensure that a rigorous curriculum is delivered and mastered by students. Based on student mastery in two areas, evidenced-based reading and math, results are correlated with the SAT, an assessment that predicts how well students will perform in college. Meeting benchmark standards in 8th grade demonstrates that students are on track to succeed in college.

HCISD students outperformed the state and the nation on the college readiness indicators, evidenced-based reading and math, gauged on the PSAT 8. According to the report, 52% of the HCISD students assessed are on track to succeed in college. In contrast, only 43% of Texas students and 41% of students nationwide are on track.

“As a community, we set a course with the vision of creating a system of world-class schools so that all students are provided with an excellent education, and these results affirm that HCISD is transforming learning for global achievement,” said Dr. Nolan Perez, President of the HCISD Board of Trustees.

In addition to outperforming the state and nation academically, HCISD tested a larger percentage of its students. While many schools administer the PSAT 8 to a select group of students, HCISD administered the assessment to 64% of enrolled students, 16% more than the state and 26% more than the nation.

“Earning a college degree opens doors and provides opportunities,” said Dr. Art Cavazos, HCISD Superintendent. “We are committed to assessing student learning to ensure that post-secondary readiness is achieved. The PSAT is one part of our comprehensive plan to build world-class schools.”

How does a school district go about creating world-class schools that cultivate college readiness in the 21st century?

“Plan the work and work the plan,” states Cavazos.

High-quality data drives instruction, helping students and teachers understand areas of strength and areas in need of improvement. Assessment data, such as the PSAT, is an integral part of the district’s plan to ensure that students graduate ready to succeed.

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