About 140,000 HISD students took the Stanford 10 and its Spanish-language counterpart, the Aprenda test in February. The results show encouraging performance in every grade compared to students across the nation. The Stanford and Aprenda are comparative tests as opposed to the TAKS, which is an attainment test. Diana Castillo is the principal at Pilgrim Elementary in southwest Houston and says HISD faces unique challenges.
"Many times our teachers are playing catch-up. We've got kids that come in throughout the year and it sometimes makes it a little bit difficult. With persistence and dedication, we see great things happen."p>Students in the 11th grade performed the best, scoring at the 61st percentile compared to other high school juniors across the country. HISD began using the Stanford and Aprenda tests in 1997.