BROWNSVILLE, RGV – Traci Wickett, president and CEO of United Way of Southern Cameron County, is promoting the latest educational attainment report card from All In Brownsville.

All In was established in 2011 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation with the goal of doubling the number of individuals in Brownsville who achieve post-secondary credentials with labor market value by 2025.

Traci Wickett

The new report measures Pre-K enrollment, kindergarten readiness, how 3rd graders are reading, 8th grade math, and high school graduation rates.

“We strongly believe in using data to make decisions, to use it as a flashlight to help us figure out where to go, rather than as a weapon to punish people with,” Wickett told the Rio Grande Guardian.

The new report shows the value of pre-K education. All In studied the performance of students who come from disadvantaged families. It found huge gains in the educational attainment of such students in kindergarten if those same students first received pre-K instruction.

“There is a strong argument in here for pre-K expansion and indeed universal pre-K. When kids start school ready, the evidence is they will finish on time and have more successful lives,” Wickett said.

Looking ahead, Wickett and the All In team hopes to add Los Fresnos and Port Isabel as All In communities.