On January 21, the San Antonio Current published a revealing article, detailing the recent education survey results from WalletHUB, a financial website. And sadly, the results showed that the Texas public education system ranked low in most categories, including educational attainment, school quality, and gaps in achievement between gender and races. Texas was ranked a disheartening 49th in the High School Degree Holders category, 19th in the Quality of Education category, and 43rd in the Educational Attainment category.
As the second largest populated state in the country with approximately 23.8 million residents, education must be prioritized. IDEA Public Schools, since its inception in 2000, is doing whatever it takes to close this achievement gap and see that all students are successful to and through college.
IDEA Public Schools has had a 100 percent high school graduation rate, a 100 percent college acceptance rate and a nearly 100 percent college matriculation rate for 12 consecutive years. College acceptance is embedded in every IDEA program from our AP course requirements to field trips to our Collegiate Summer Away programs where students can participate in summer programs at local colleges. Every IDEA senior is required to apply to at least six colleges or universities; and we have seen the success in this process year after year. IDEA’s entire team works together to make sure that each student is accepted to college and succeeds once they’re there.
Secondly, we know that talent is universal while opportunity is not. Data shows that a student’s zip code is often one of the top predictors of student achievement. This should never be the case. With 75 IDEA schools in Texas and growing, we have strategically placed schools in areas where families lack access to high quality public schools and where there is demand for more great schools. Our admission process is open to all students, we have no zoning or district limitations for our students, and our schools are tuition-free. For us, it’s simple. Any child can succeed if their potential is unlocked.
Thirdly, as a network that serves students of all genders and races—specifically serving more than 95 percent Hispanic and Latino students—IDEA is making great strides to close the achievement gap among races. Stanford University’s Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), recently released a comprehensive report that identifies IDEA Public Schools as one of the highest performing public school networks in the country, delivering the equivalent of 80 extra days in math and 74 days in reading instruction per year. Overall, the findings of the study show that networks, like IDEA Public Schools, that are achieving significant and positive growth can serve as a model of best practices that drive and increase academic achievement.
Lastly, the keys to success are no secret. Take a look at our recent blog post about the nine steps that IDEA takes to get our students to and through college. Parents, we know it takes a village for students to succeed. We can’t do it alone. This is why we partner with you and employ high-quality, nurturing teachers who provide students with a challenging curriculum. At IDEA, our goal is to meet each student’s individual needs because academic success when we teach children at their level—letting them advance quickly on material they understand and helping them fill deficits in subjects where they struggle.
Learn more about our model that ensures 100 percent of our students graduate from high school every year and how this model could be replicated across the state of Texas. Applications for the 2019-20 academic year are open!