Math Pathways | High School Math Profile: Central Texas & El Paso

Math Pathways | High School Math Profile data for
Central Texas & El Paso.

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Math Pathways | High School Math Profile

Math skills are vital for student success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Research shows that when education systems support student completion of math all four years of high school, and provide the access and support to complete advanced math courses like Advanced Placement (AP)/International Baccalaureate (IB)/Dual Credit math in high school, students are more likely to successfully obtain a postsecondary credential and earn a living wage job. Exposure to high-quality math instruction in the classroom across the pipeline helps students thrive and excel in the higher skills needed for college and career.


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The Importance of Math Pathways

Math is a skill that builds upon previous concepts, and math skills often atrophy quicker than other skills outside of the classroom. E3 Alliance research consistently finds that completing four years of math in high school, with the fourth year of math aligned to college-level coursework, significantly predicts postsecondary success. Education systems can support students in meeting this goal by:

  • Encouraging students to take math all four years of high school,
  • Ensuring access to high quality math instruction,
  • Providing access to diverse math pathways that align with students’ college and career goals,
  • Adopting practices to accelerate students based on math aptitude rather than teacher, parent, and student perception of ability,
  • Ensuring all students take at least one college-aligned course in high school

32%

6,862 / 21,295

Central Texas

College Aligned Math Completion Rate

31%

3,111 / 10,014

El Paso

College Aligned Math Completion Rate

The Amount of Math Students Take Matters

E3 Alliance research found that students who take four years of math in high school, regardless of the level, are twice as likely to complete a postsecondary credential, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in six years compared to students who took less than four years of math.

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The Amount of Math Students Take Matters

E3 Alliance research found that students who take four years of math in high school, regardless of the level, are twice as likely to complete a postsecondary credential, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in six years compared to students who took less than four years of math.

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Taking More Math Allows Students to Explore Diverse Math Pathways

Over the past ten years, math course-taking patterns have changed significantly, and it is important to understand these changes so that we support students with appropriate advanced math pathways aligned with their career aspirations.


When districts provide diverse math offerings, like statistics and quantitative reasoning, in addition to the traditional pathways of algebra to pre-calculus and calculus, they provide students with pathways that may more closely align with their college and career goals. When these courses also allow students to earn college credit, they ensure that their students have a head start towards a postsecondary credential or degree.

 

The good news is, despite changes to policy that no longer require students to take four years of math, approximately three out of four seniors are taking and completing four years of high school math. Taking this fourth year ensures students’ math skills stay fresh in their mind, and allows them the opportunity to take a math course that is aligned with their college or career goals.

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High School College Aligned Math Completion Increasing in Last Decade

Texas has seen an overall upward trend in high school college aligned math completion rates for the past ten years.


See how the trend in your region compares to the state at large by using the comparison feature.

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Persistent Disparities Exist in High School College-Aligned Math Completion by Household Income

Even as Texas education systems provide more access to college-aligned math, not all students are provided the same opportunities to complete these courses in high school. Disparities in high school college-aligned math completion rates for students from low-income households as compared to students from non-low-income households persist, even as completion rates have increased for both groups over the past ten years.


Use the comparison feature to view the trend in your region as compared to the state. Is the trend moving in the same direction? Are the disparities increasing, decreasing, or remaining the same over time?

 
 
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Disparities in High School College-Aligned Math Completion by Race Persist Over Time

In Texas, all student groups have seen an increase in high school college-aligned math course completion. Although the trends have been similar across groups, the disparity between the highest completing groups and lowest completing groups has persisted.


Use the comparison feature to look at trends in your region by race over the past 10 years, as compared to the state. Are disparities increasing or decreasing in your region? Do some groups trend in different directions than others? How might policy play a role in shifting these disparities?

 
 
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