Editorial board opinion: Three cheers for VISD's success
July 31, 2010 at 2:31 a.m.
Stand up and cheer for our schools. Yes, it's time to celebrate.
We can't help but be bubbly about the tremendous accomplishment of the Victoria Independent School District. A large district like Victoria must do a lot of things right to earn the second-highest rating possible from the Texas Education Agency.
The recognized rating is the highest ever for VISD since the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills system began. It reflects well on Superintendent Bob Moore's leadership and on every campus teacher and staff member. The community also should take a bow because educating our children truly is a team effort.
As the district prepares to open three new schools this fall, we can't recall a time when people were so excited about education in our community. The $159 million bond issue passed in 2007 is becoming an exciting reality.
This week's achievement can be traced to the community's decision in May 2007 to invest in public education. Victorians declared then that they wanted their school system to be among the best in Texas.
The TEA rating is evidence Victoria schools are there. Eight of VISD's schools rated exemplary, the best it gets. Another nine received recognized ratings.
Smaller school districts with a more homogenized student population generally stand a better chance at scoring higher on standardized tests. For VISD, a larger district with a diverse enrollment, this is a special accomplishment.
VISD had to overcome last year's unacceptable rating, which was caused by a low completion rate for economically disadvantaged students. The district took that rating to heart and worked hard during the past year to turn around that one indicator.
The opening of Victoria East and West high schools and a fourth middle school should further increase the number of students who graduate. The biggest obstacle to the district's success for the past decade has been the consolidated mega-high school that few liked.
With this troubled chapter behind it, VISD is poised for years of success. The district still faces many challenges, such as closing the achievement gap between minority students and Anglos, but Moore has laid out a vision for improvement, starting with smaller learning communities.
The new ratings are cause for much celebration. As schools open this month, we should be sure to give an extra smile and pat on the back to the teachers and staff who will be there to greet our most precious resources, our children.
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.