EDINBURG, TEXAS – A Rio Grande Guardian International News Service source said he heard Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath speak at a retreat on South Padre Island about Region One Education Service Center dropping from No. 1 to No. 20 for mathematics.

Calls to Morath’s press office to confirm this were not returned.

However, the story was repeated by Region One EDC Director for Place 5 (Cameron County), Ruben Cortez at an accountability report public hearing in Edinburg on Thursday. Cortez said Morath said it would takes years for the Valley to get back to the top.

Valley schools and students proved Morath wrong, Cortez said, as he learned about Region One’s incredible rebound after Covid 19.

The purpose of the public hearing was to learn about TEA’s 2022 accountability ratings. Region One (RGV and Laredo) outperformed the State as a whole for A & B ratings. 

The “A” rated school systems in Region One were Brownsville, Edinburg, Hidalgo, Jim Hogg County, Laredo, Los Fresnos. Lyford, McAllen, PSJA, Raymondville, Rio Grande City Grulla, Roma, San Perlita, Sharyland, South Texas, Triumph Public HS – Laredo, Triumph Public HS-RGV, United, Valley View, Vanguard Academy.

The “B” rated school systems in Region One: Brooks County, Donna, Edcouch-Elsa, Harlingen, IDEA, La Feria, La Joya, Lasara, Mercedes, Mission, Monte Alto, Point Isabel, Progreso, Rio Hondo, San Benito, San Isidro, Santa Maria, Santa Rosa, Webb, Weslaco, Zapata.

Region One Executive Director Daniel P. King said he received a call from a reporter for a statewide news organization asking what the “secret sauce” is for Region One school districts. Something special must be happening because in other parts of the state schools in poor neighborhoods are not doing as well. King said schools in Region One are doing well because their teachers reflect the student body and therefore go the extra mile to ensure they succeed. “The rebound has been tremendous,” King said.

Brownsville ISD Superintendent René Gutiérrez said Valley schools are doing well because they do not accept excuses.

Editor’s Note: The Guardian secured an exclusive interview with Dr. King as soon as the public hearing was over. Here it is:

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Here are some videos from the public hearing:

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