Alarming statistics out of Midland shows a widening achievement gap among minorities in the district.
Data from the Texas Education Agency says in the 2014-2015 school year 89.5 percent of White students graduated, 79.4 percent of Hispanic students got their diplomas and 73.5 percent of black students walked across the stage.
Simply put that means one in four African American students in Midland ISD won’t graduate on time.
After reviewing the data and noticing the disparities, interim superintendent Rod Schroder calling for academic reform.
“We gotta know where we are…It’s important for us to know our current reality so we can get better,” Schroder said. “I tell my staff that for every student that doesn’t graduate, we’re creating a permanent underclass.”
Schroder initiating Academic Reform focused on three specific categories growth mindset, no excuses and instructional process.
Growth mindset means says educators must understand they need to expect growth from their students. Teachers should seek ways to improve their instructional time to better serve the students. No excuses means MISD officials won’t shift responsibility to anyone or place blame everywhere. Teachers and staff will work to get whatever the task is done.
Lastly, campuses must have instructional processes and use them across the board in order to create processes.
“The strategies I told you about really don’t involve money,” Schroder said. “They involve attitude, beliefs and a good process.”
Aside from academic reform, the community must be on board. Robbyne Fuller, Executive Director of the African American Entrepreneur Chamber of Commerce explains she’s up for the challenge.
“We all know it takes a village to raise a child so to me if we have one kid who isn’t gradating that’s too many,” Fuller said.
Fuller explains less diplomas means less local businesses. She plans to link with area organizations focusing on shrinking the achievement gap.
“We want all of our children graduating so we will work with area organizations and other churches to fix the problem,” Fuller said.
Some aspects of Schroder’s plan have already been put into action. He’s hoping to see some real results by 2017.