The top administrator at the Texas Education Agency recently lauded five Rio Grande Valley school districts, recognizing them for "extraordinary work.”
Education Commissioner Michael Williams recognized 24 Texas school districts — including five Valley districts — Friday for what the agency calls "postsecondary readiness."
The distinction honors school districts that prepare students for college and post-high
Five Valley school districts made the list: the Valley View school district, the Los Fresnos school district, the Sharyland school district, South Texas ISD and Vanguard Academy in Pharr.
"These kids, with all the obstacles that they have, with all the violence taking place over there in Mexico, with all the bad influences out there, I think it says a lot that they're still able to be successful," said Valley View Superintendent Rolando Ramirez.
Just 24 districts statewide made the cut.
The state Education Agency picked the school districts based on ACT and SAT scores, career and technical education programs and dual-credit course completion rates.
"Earning any type of distinction under the state accountability system is commendable and should be a source of pride in that community,” said Education Commissioner Michael Williams, according to an agency news release. “Achieving the postsecondary readiness distinction reflects extraordinary work taking place within a district or charter while affirming a strong commitment to all their students.”
Valley View, Los Fresnos, Sharyland and South Texas ISD earned the distinction for the second straight year.
The majority of Valley View students come from households considered economically disadvantaged, Ramirez said, and most have parents who didn't attend college.
Teachers assign students to study a new university every year, Ramirez said, and send high school students to visit colleges.
Valley View also offers dual-credit classes, allowing a motivated student to graduate with a high school diploma — and an associate's degree.