Good news was reported last week about the five-year record of the El Dorado Promise scholarship program, which provides scholarships to all qualifying graduates of El Dorado High School thanks to a $50 million investment by Murphy Oil Corporation.
The program, deservedly, made big news when it was announced in 2007. For many students in the audience that day, it meant college actually was in reach. A boy in a purple letter jacket probably summed it up best when he threw up his hands in clenched fists and yelled, "YES!"
As one would expect, families have moved to El Dorado and enrolled their children in its schools, enabling the school district to buck the trend of declining enrollment experience by neighboring districts these last five years.
Other goods stats abound, too: the graduation rate is up as is the college-going rate. Achievement test scores are up, too.
No doubt, the possibility of attending college has provided the motivation not only to attend El Dorado Schools, but to take the classes that will prepare students for college and to do well in those classes.
Murphy Oil deserves all the gratitude it has received, and more.
Still, don't forget the work that the school district and the El Dorado Education Foundation have put in over the past 15 years. Their accomplishments, from beefing up the curriculum to providing students with all kinds of academic supports, truly made the time right for the Promise Scholarships.
So hats off to everyone involved in this incredible story.
You can find the complete study at www.eldoradopromise.com.