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The Education Gap in San Marcos

todayMarch 18, 2017 8

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By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor

Walking around campus, you may notice that there is always a lot going on. From the fliers passed out on the quad to the bustling students walking up and down the Alkek stairs, you’re launched into a world that is populated with people just like you. While many people realize that San Marcos is home to Texas State University, many don’t consider the need that the residents of San Marcos carry, particularly when it comes to educating the youth.

San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District is not one of the best school districts in the state despite being in the same town as the fifth largest university in Texas. As a part of House bill 2804, schools undergo a A-F grading system to measure four “domains” which measures how student are doing in school.

The domains measure four things:

  • Overall student achievement
  • The difference between students’ STARR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) test score to the year before
  • Closing achievement gaps (particularly between socioeconomic classes)
  • How prepared they are to move to the next grade level (for high school, it is in terms of college readiness)

San Marcos CISD received a C/D report card as a district. This is upsetting to me especially because Texas State was reclassified by the Carnegie Foundation to the second-highest designation for research institutions about a year ago. How can the school district around one of the up-and-coming research universities receive such low scores for overall performance?

While it is great that the university has received such recognition from Carnegie, it should consider the impact it can make on the local schools in town. Photo by Madison Tyson.

After some research, I learned that Texas State has a department called Center for P-16 Initiatives. Although they do have some programs that help with assisting local high-schoolers when they begin to apply for college, it’s frankly too late. It is important that students learn about college and the options they have to pay for it before they are in their senior year of high school. Furthermore, if a student has never thought about going to college, their grades may not be to par or they may just abandon the entire idea of higher education because they don’t think they could go.

While I do applaud the few Texas State departments that take an initiative to serve the youth in San Marcos like the Department of Health and Human Performance and KTSW for their summer camps and mentoring programs, I’m disappointed that the university has removed the Department of Community Relations and neglected to appoint a clear alternative for additional support for education enhancement for the San Marcos youth. Over the course of the year, the Office of Community Relations would bus every single San Marcos 6th grader to see the college campus in their backyard. Most of the time, it was the first time and (most likely be the only time) that the students had ever stepped foot on to Texas State.

It is surprising that Texas State doesn’t develop or dedicate a department like Community Relations to ensure that the San Marcos youth is college ready. It is a huge loss and disappointment to know that students in San Marcos CISD are not ready for college by state standards, and they live in the backyard of the state’s fifth largest school.

Featured image by Madison Tyson.

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