LIVE at Bob’s: A Back to School Conversation


EDINBURG, RGV – With schools starting back for another year, an in-depth discussion will take place today, Tuesday, Aug. 21, about how the Rio Grande Valley’s public education system has improved over the past ten years and what challenges still remain.

The Rio Grande Guardian’s LIVE at Bob’s show starts at 11:30 AM at Bob’s Steak & Chop House in Edinburg. The show is titled “Back to School – Public Education in the RGV” and the panelists are Daniel King, superintendent of PSJA ISD, Ana Gonzalez, executive director of Teach for America RGV, and Luzelma Canales, executive director of RGV Focus.

Jonathan Stevens

“The recently released RGV Focus annual report shows a snapshot of the Valley outperforming the state on nine out of 11 indicators,” said Jon Stevens director of development and strategy at Teach for America RGV. 

“Additionally, the  national advocacy group, Children at Risk, has visited the Valley to take a closer look at why our students are vastly outperforming what demographic data would otherwise suggest.”

Referring to the LIVE at Bob’s event, Stevens said he is looking forward to local educational leaders highlighting what they believe has been done, specifically in pre-K thru 12, to allow Valley students to beat the odds.

“Despite recent progress, we also know that the bar continues to rise as the interconnected world requires ever evolving outcomes from our education system,” Stevens said.

“Panelists will discuss current and future innovations to elevate the local educational system even further.”

The 85th Texas Legislature passed a law that requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to give A-F letter grades to every public school district in the state beginning in 2018. Last week, those rankings came out. Overall, Valley school districts did well.

Those to receive a “A” rating included Los Fresnos CISD, South Texas ISD, Sharyland ISD, Edinburg CISD, Vanguard Academy, Hidalgo ISD, McAllen ISD, Valley View ISD, and Roma ISD.

According TEA, school districts earn an A for Exemplary Performance when they serve most students well in high academic achievement and/or appropriate academic growth. 

Those to receive a “B” rating included Santa Rosa ISD, Santa Maria ISD, La Feria ISD, Brownsville ISD, Harlingen CISD, Point Isabel ISD, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD, IDEA OUblic Schools, Mission CISD, Monte Alto ISD, Horizon Montessori Public Schools, Mercedes ISD, La Joya ISD, Weslaco ISD, La Villa ISD, Progreso ISD, San Isidro ISD, Raymondville ISD, Lyfoird CISD, San Perlite ISD, and Lasara ISD.

Those to receive a “C” rating included Rio Hondo ISD, San Benito CISD, Edcouch-Elsa ISD, Donna ISD, and Rio Grande City ISD.

Mid-Valley Academy Charter District received a “D”.

Danny Vela

The percentage of Texas school districts earning an ‘A’ rating was 12.75 percent, while those earning the Post-secondary Readiness Distinction was 5.08 percent The percentage that earned both was a mere 3.58 percent. McAllen ISD was one of those.

“We have a lot of school districts in our area that were rated with an “A” in the accountability rating system. There are 1,200 school districts in Texas. 153 achieved an “A” rating. Sixty one of those also achieved post-secondary readiness. For McAllen to achieve one of those is a great accomplishment. To achieve both is a super accomplishment,” said McAllen ISD Board of Trustees President Danny Vela.