HARLINGEN, RGV Focus, a collective impact initiative of Educate Texas, has unveiled its 2019 annual report and scorecard.

As with last year’s report, the title is “Contigo,” which is Spanish for “With You.”

The scorecard tracks the key metrics RGV Focus has identified to be important in understanding education in the Rio Grande Valley. It also tracks how the Valley scores in comparison to those for the state of Texas. 

“In this year’s annual report you will see that Rio Grande Valley students now match or out-perform their Texas peers in eight out of 12 key indicators,” said Rodney H. Rodriguez, senior director at RGV Focus.

Rodriguez offered a few highlights:

  • 51percent of RGV high school students are completing Advanced Placement or Dual Credit Courses, exceeding the state average of 43 percent;
  • 73 percent of RGV seniors are completing the FAFSA application for higher education financial assistance, exceeding the state average of 64 percent;
  • 80 percent of RGV higher education graduates are finding employment or furthering their education at 4-year colleges, exceeding the state average of 75 percent.

“This is big,” Rodriguez said. “Contigo, our collective efforts are working.”

Dr. Patricia McHatton, executive vice president for academic affairs, student success and P-16 integration at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, agreed.

“Through new partnerships, a strong framework for analyzing and improving equity in our work, and a deep commitment by RGV education, community and business leaders alike, we’re seeing more students achieve in K-12th grades and into postsecondary education than ever before,” McHatton said. “This momentum must continue if our students and region are to thrive, especially given the challenging environment right now.”

RGV FOCUS Deputy Director Katherine Diaz said the 2019 report represents the sixth consecutive year that RGV FOCUS has met or exceeded the majority of its key indicators since the 2014 report was first released.

“Our scorecard data tells a powerful story of high-performing students in the Valley,” Diaz said. “We are outperforming the state in many areas – such an accomplishment and a tribute to the power of a truly invested, community-wide collaborative.”

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian will post an in-depth interview with RGV Focus Senior Director Rodney Rodriguez in the next few days.

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