Latino students in the RGV are outperforming those in the rest of Texas in college-ready indicators

MCALLEN, Texas – Latino students in the Rio Grande Valley are outperforming Latinos across the state of Texas in college-ready indicators, according to data released by RGV Focus.

The group also found that economically disadvantaged students in RGV, which make up 85 percent of the region’s PK-12 student population, also outperform similar students across the state.

RGV FOCUS is a collective impact initiative of Educate Texas, an educational arm of Dallas-based Communities Foundation of Texas. Its mission is to transform college readiness, access, and success in the four counties of the Rio Grande Valley: Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy. Its vision is for all RGV learners to achieve a degree or credential that leads to a meaningful career. 

At a news conference held to announce its 2022 annual scorecard, RGV Focus stated:

  • Latino students in the RGV continue to outperform Latinos across the state in college-ready indicators
  • AP/dual credit completion – $53 percent in the RGV; 40 percent in the State
  • College-ready graduates – RGV 42 percent college-ready; state 34 percent
  • Economically disadvantaged students in RGV, which make up 85 percent of RGV PK-12 students, continue to outperform similar students across the state
  • College-ready graduates – RGV 38 percent college-ready; State 30 percent
  • STAAR 3rd grade reading – RGV 42 percent met; State 39 percent met
  • STAAR 8th grade mathematics – RGV 35 percent met, State 29 percent met

“The Valley now matches or outpaces the state in nine of 12 educational learning indicators. We’re making an impact, and there’s still much work to do,” said Rebeca Lopez, director of RGV Focus.

In a brochure released to coincide with the news conference, RGV Focus provides what it says are the five highlights from its 2022 data.

  • STAAR 3rd grade reading scores grew beyond 2019 levels
  • STAAR 8th grade mathematics score are rebounding post-pandemic and are on part with the State
  • Two-year higher education graduates employed or enrolled are up by two percentage points from 2021 and on par with the State
  • Four-year higher education graduates employed or enrolled are up by six percentage points from 2021 and are outperforming the State
  • FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) completion is up by 14 percentage points from 2021 and outperforms the State; RGV – 78 percent; State – 68 percent

The RGV Focus news conference was held at Texas A&M University in McAllen. Lopez emceed the news conference and shared much of the new data. It included remarks from Theresa Ann Capistran, Superindent of Point Isabel ISD and chair of RGV Focus’ leadership team. Another speaker was Francisco ‘Frank’ Almaraz, CEO of Workforce Solutions.

Here are their remarks:


Editor’s Note: The above news story is the second in a two-part series on RGV Focus’ 2022 Annual Scorecard. Click here to read and watch Part One, which features the analysis of Educate Texas Managing Director Chris Coxon.

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