SAN JUAN, July 4 - The first of a two-part series on PSJA's Early College Initiative will air on the News Hour on PBS at 6 tonight.
The school district has been winning rave reviews from the education world since Dr. Danny King became superintendent in July 2007. King was keynote speaker at a conference in Washington, D.C. recently that was hosted by the U.S. Department of Education. The conference focused on high school graduation initiatives.
PSJA was featured in Education Week's “Diplomas Count 2012” publication recently. And state Sen. Juan Hinojosa has filed legislation to replicate PSJA’s highly regarded dropout recovery program across the state of Texas.
PSJA has almost 32,000 students. Ninety nine percent of them are Hispanic and 89 percent economically disadvantaged.
Under King’s leadership, PSJA has worked to ensure every single student gets the opportunity of earning at least 12 college hours by high school graduation, with many earning more - up to an Associate’s Degree. By 2010, PSJA had already almost doubled the number of graduates enrolling in college after completing high school.
King believes PSJA is on course to become a national leader in producing college ready, academically bi-literate high school graduates.
Arianna Vazquez-Hernandez, PSJA’s public information officer, said it is a great honor for PSJA to have been chosen from across the nation for the PBS feature. She said a News Hour team has been working on the project since April. She said a film crew came down to the Valley to video PSJA in May.
“We are really excited about this opportunity to showcase our district's progress towards our vision of graduating students that will be College Ready, College Connected and College Complete,” Vazquez-Hernandez told the Guardian.
“This feature really acknowledges the hard work of our entire district staff, student body and our wonderful community support. it is also a testament to the great educational opportunities available at PSJA ISD and in our Rio Grande Valley. This is truly only the beginning.”
Anyone that misses the live airing during PBS News Hour at 6 p.m. can watch the story online from Thursday at http://learningmatters.tv/.