Hire tutors, lengthen the school day, use data to check and double-check how your instruction is going and if you're talking about the three-year-old Apollo 20 project in Houston ISD, you'll be rewarded with significant improvements in math scores among elementary and secondary school students. In ... More >>
HISD didn't just absorb North Forest out of the goodness of its heart. There's some real benefits in the acquisition to the mega district and its superintendent. Hopefully for the kids as well.
SAT scores were stagnant for the third straight year, though African-American scores were up slightly. (If it has been awhile since you took the SATs, remember that a perfect score, the old 1600, is now 2400 with 800 points possible on each of the three sections -- reading, math and writing). Native ... More >>
Sometimes, Christmas comes early. That appears to be the case for the Houston Independent School District which, for the second straight year, was awarded the Board Prize for Urban Education. The award is in recognition of the district's overall performance and reduction of achievement gaps among po ... More >>
A little over a year ago, Houston Baptist University was mostly known for high academic standards and a men's gymnastics squad that achieved success in the 1980s. After a $10 million investment that helped pay for a football field, a full-fledged coaching staff and enough manpower to examine 300 a ... More >>
For the first time in ten years, the Houston Independent School District has a crack at winning a national competition that would net the district's seniors $550,000 in college scholarships. The Broad Prize, awarded by the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, "is the largest education award in the coun ... More >>
Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, is determined to get his taxpayer-funded scholarship bill through the Senate, and he's even willing to scale it back to do so. Patrick, with few members of the Senate Education Committee but plenty of audience, laid out Senate Bill 23 yesterday The bill, co-sponsored wi ... More >>
The Houston Independent School District is once again a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize, which celebrates urban education and who's doing it right. It's the third time HISD has been a finalist for the award, which began in 2002. The district won the nationwide prize -- which comes with a n ... More >>
State Rep. Harold Dutton, the bomb thrower of the Texas House, made the most compelling argument for not passing the state's new graduation and accountability bill last night: It doesn't fix the problem. No Child Left Behind, and its precursor Texas system, was created to make sure that, well, no c ... More >>
Bad News/Good News: Houston ISD didn't win the prestigious Broad Prize this year honoring the country's top urban public school districts. But just by being one of the finalists, it receives $150,000 in scholarships that it can hand out to its graduating seniors. The fifth time (as a finalist) was ... More >>
Houston's YES Prep has picked up the Broad Foundation's first top prize for charter school management organizations, winning a cool $250,000 for the charter chain. The inaugural award was announced at the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools Conference in Minneapolis this morning. The awar ... More >>
If there's anything that can fix public education, it's yet another standardized test with a bizarre acronym. Forget TAAS and TAKS -- get used to hearing about STAAR. (The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness, of course.) The Houston school district says STAAR is "much more rigorous" t ... More >>
Houston ISD got some great news today -- it's been nominated once again as a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education thanks to an increased African-American graduation rate, more African Americans and Hispanics taking Advanced Placement tests and a greater percentage than any other urban di ... More >>
The Houston Independent School District on Tuesday handed out awards to teachers for student high scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. The ASPIRE Award program is part of an ongoing effort to reward teachers for the success of their students. According to an HISD pres ... More >>
Some HISD schools are getting left behind.Step aside, Apollo 20. A slew of Houston ISD high schools are going to have to undergo serious overhauls to satisfy requirements of No Child Left Behind. Federal school and district ratings were released this afternoon. In a subsequent press release, ... More >>
Terry Grier on the high diveIn a startling reversal of previous statements and his own avowed philosophies, Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier today released a statement that he will recommend to the school board that teachers not be evaluated by their students' test scores this next scho ... More >>
Changes at Terry Grier's signature turn-around programIn today's Examiner newpapers, editor Charlotte Aguilar breaks the news that Jeremy Beard, the school improvement officer assigned to oversee the turnaround project for the district's low-performing schools, is leaving Houston ISD. Instea ... More >>
Margaret DowningTerry Grier stays on TAKS. It was a masterful performance. At the start of his press conference Thursday in which he announced gains in math and science student test scores, Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier announced that "We're not going to talk about accountability rat ... More >>
HISD results go backwardsHouston ISD has fewer exemplary and recognized schools, stayed exactly the same in the number of acceptable schools and increased in the number of its unacceptable schools, according to state accountability ratings based on preliminary TAKS results. Houston ISD Super ... More >>
Margaret DowningTrustee Michael Lunceford and Superintendent Terry Grier wade through another marathon budget meetingHouston ISD board members resolutely stayed anchored at the board room table for hours Monday, picking through programs, considering projections (What if there's a 3.3 percent ... More >>
Spinning the TAKS resultsSuperintendent Terry Grier released Houston ISD's first-round state test scores for fifth and eighth graders on Thursday, acknowledging at the start of the press conference that the results for middle school students in the Apollo 20 pilot project were of the most int ... More >>
Parents who bought into the TAKS hype dealt blow at HISD meeting.
TFA: It's about to be auditedThe Texas Education Agency has until January 31 to submit a report to the Texas Legislature that asks whether the much lauded Teach for America is doing much good for the low-income students in Texas. The Lege allocated TFA $8 million over last year and this year ... More >>
Oprah shows some Houston loveThat Oprah, she just can't stop with the giving.Today, in connection with a show on public education and the documentary Waiting for Superman, she announced a $1 million gift to the YES Preparatory charter schools here in Houston."We had no clue," Yes Prep CEO Chris B ... More >>
Photos by Christopher Patronella, Jr.HISD's Terry Grier with a student at an Apollo 20 schoolAs if surrendering your long, lazy summer to the start of another tedious school year is not hard enough, students from five HISD middle schools and four high schools are making that plunge an entire week ... More >>
Problems at two schoolsThe Texas Education Agency has declared Key Middle School and Kashmere High School "Academically Unacceptable" following an investigation into the standardized test cheating and other employee shenanigans at the schools.The TEA is reporting that "actions by some campu ... More >>
Mario Gallegos opens up with both barrels on Terry GrierTexas State Senator Mario Gallegos, Jr. has gone on the attack against Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier and his reform efforts, sending out letters to the school board and state legislators, in which he says his office has been investi ... More >>
Only 3.4 percent of HISD teachers are "below expectations" or "unsatisfactory""Of the 11 HISD schools rated 'Academically Unacceptable' by the Texas Education Agency in 2008-9, only two rated any teacher unsatisfactory" in any category of their evaluations. -- Source: HISD Human ResourcesIt was a ... More >>
Photo by Margaret DowningPrediction: In a year, Superintendent Terry Grier will either be a celebrated hero, or the scapegoat for pretty much of everything that goes wrong in the Houston Independent School District.As Hair Balls said before, there doesn't seem to be a go-slow switch in Grier's ar ... More >>
There's been a sudden round of mid-year principal shifts in the Houston school district, and it hasn't brought smiles.Energetic and popular Lee High School principal Steve Amstutz is moving on after failing to raise the troubled school's "unacceptable" Texas Education Agency status. His attempt t ... More >>
Photo by Margaret DowningHISD Superintendent Terry GrierIn a district where eight of its high schools and 11 of its middle schools don't even have a school counselor, the Houston Independent School District trustees got together for an agenda meeting early Thursday morning to talk "transformatio ... More >>
This is the tale of two teachers. Each of them inherit fifth-graders who test out at the start of the school year, on average, at third grade, fifth month. The kids are from the same neighborhood. They have identical demographics: roughly the same number come from single-parent homes, live in ... More >>
Caught on her cell phone today, Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, said that many people are distorting what Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a Tuesday eight-page speech about overhauling teacher evaluations.The speech wa ... More >>
Aldine finally says "You like me!! You really like me!!"Dewey Beats Truman, or something: Aldine ISD is no longer the perennial best loser in the prestigious Broad Prize for urban education.The Susan Lucci of school districts has been a finalist for the award three of the past six years without e ... More >>
Barack Obama has truly broken the mold in picking a Secretary of Education -- he's chosen the superintendent of the largest school district in his home state.Wait -- that sounds familiar. George W. Bush did the same thing, of course, when he tapped HISD's Rod Paige to come to Washington in 2000.The ... More >>
School test scores rise as more low-scoring students drop out.
Counting down: Our sixth- through tenth-place finishers
Stats show how district policies help whites with educational opportunities
A Texas journalist gives George W. Bush his due
What does it really mean to pass the TAAS?
For years, Harriet Ball miraculously boosted the test scores of academically at-risk kids in Houston. Finally, educators across the country are taking note.
HISD has a plan for reforming problem schools. But when it reached Bastian Elementary, not everything went smoothly.