Yesterday, I was playing cards with my buddies and I got a royal flush. You should be impressed, after all a royal flush is rare.

Except, we were playing with jokers, 2’s and 3’s wild. And I did use three wild cards. But still, a royal flush is a royal flush. Don’t you agree?

Now some numbers:

2624 / 1159

3153 / 2212

1456 / 3280

145 / 727

Those numbers are some results, with wild cards and without wild cards. Let me explain. Texas just released its school accountability rankings. It claims to have 2,624 exemplary campuses, 3,153 recognized campuses, 1,456 acceptable campuses and 145 unacceptable campuses. But that is when the state uses a slew of politically motivated wild cards. Take away exemptions, exceptions and the statistical smoke and mirrors game that is TPM and you actually have 1,159 Exemplary campuses, 2,212 Recognized campuses, 3,280 Acceptable campuses and 727 Unacceptable campuses.

That is the brutal truth and here is my advice / warning based on that truth.

1. If your campus received its rating based on a wild card, don’t give it back. After all, you didn’t make the rules.

2. If your campus received its rating based on a wild card, don’t go crazy with the celebrations, you and your campus still have some work left to do.

3. Regardless of how you received your rating, that was last year. We’re starting a brand new year and a brand new game. Focus on the present.

I was talking to a principal just last week, whose rating was based on more than one wild card. His comment was, “It’s going to be tough for us to keep this rating.”

My response was, “It will be tougher for us to actually earn it.”

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…