EDINBURG, Texas – Region One Education Service Center hosted a public hearing recently to review the latest accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency.

Region One ESC represents school districts in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. As with the pre-Covid years, school districts in Region One are outperforming the state average. There was a big dip during Covid when students had to learn remotely but now that they are back in school they are back on top.

At the conclusion of the public hearing, the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service obtained an exclusive interview with Region One Executive Director Daniel P. King. The video interview is contained at the bottom of this story. Here are some of the points Dr. King wanted to get across:

“Last year, the performance in Region One dropped tremendously. No ratings were given by the state due to a declared state of emergency. But, this year, as the students got back in the classroom with their teachers, Region One bounced up and outperformed the state. 

“Region One had dropped all the way from No. 1 to No. 20. Bottom. 

“This year, 2021-22, our students back in the classroom with dedicated teachers, hardworking principals, superintendents, board members, determined to provide the best for the students, Region One has risen back again to basically, overall, be a state leader. 

“Our teachers, our principals, school boards don’t make excuses about young people. There were some headlines around the state that communities of poverty didn’t do as well, on the rebound and on the scores. But, Region One was an exception to that. 

“A good number of our teachers, a good percentage of our teachers, were in the same shoes as those students – low income families, immigrant, migrant, first generation going, etc. And so when they look at the students they see themselves. And so they teach them the way they would have wanted to be taught. 

“So, we have already gotten calls from both school districts and (education) service centers, from media outlets at the state level saying how do you all do this in Region One. 

“One of the things I will really comment on, yes it is teaching strategies, yes it is content knowledge, yes it is all of those things. But, I would suggest that probably a lot of those things, districts everywhere are working on. The secret sauce that I think that we have is that our teacher looks at that student and sees himself. Kudos and hat’s-off the teachers and then, of course, the principals, the leadership all throughout the district and all the support staff.”