Skip to main content

Improving Student Outcomes

Over the past six years in Houston ISD, 106 of the district’s 281 schools have received a failing grade at least once. In 2018 alone, more than 44,000 students attended an HISD school that received a D or an F rating — which is to say, one out of every five of the district’s students. Each one is a child who is being failed by a system that is supposed to build them up and create opportunity. In the most recent state A-F Accountability ratings released by the Texas Education Agency on August 15, 2019, 21 HISD schools received an F rating. One of the failing campuses, Wheatley High School, has received a failing rating for seven years in a row and has performed well below state averages on nearly every metric.

For the sake of our students’ future, we must all do better and that starts with what we expect of our leaders of the district. A culture of dysfunction, perpetuated through self-serving behavior and poor decisions by the board of trustees, has gone on too long. This dysfunction has created uncertainty and roadblocks for everyone in the district — the administration, principals, teachers, parents and most important, our children. This level of failure is unacceptable and must be addressed. 

Prioritize All Houston Students

  • The Houston ISD school board’s long-term failure to consistently support all of our schools and create opportunity for all of our children warrants new leadership. HISD needs a fresh start.

  • The Greater Houston Partnership insists on a local board of managers composed of a diverse group of Houstonians who will prioritize our children and create sustainable conditions where clear-minded decisions can be made. 

  • This is a time for the Houston community to come together. This is an opportunity to create a student-centered culture of governance and lift the entire system.

Principles for Improving Student Outcomes

The Greater Houston Partnership has laid out five principles we believe members of a local board of managers must embrace.

As we navigate a period of uncertainty in Houston ISD, the Partnership will remain focused on these guiding principles for how we will do better for our students. Resetting the culture requires district leaders to be held accountable for their failures. It also requires a plan for a thoughtful transition that returns control back to the electorate, but with a stronger culture of governance established within the district that prioritizes our children.

Prioritize students by establishing a positive culture of student-focused governance and accountability within the board and administration.
Focus on addressing the needs of the lowest-performing campuses while continuing to grow excellence of successful campuses.
Improve student outcomes by establishing campus-level autonomy and accountability to empower principals and teachers to implement targeted solutions.
Identify and implement programming that has led to high student achievement and supports teachers.
Elevate all students, teachers, and campus faculty by engaging parents and community members to become more involved in public education from the boardroom to the classroom.

Partnership Op-Ed

Read the Partnership Op-ed: HISD Students Deserve a New Board.

Read More

Texas Education Commissioner Morath - Keynote Address

Outlook on student outcomes at inaugural State of Education.

Watch Now

Texas School Accountability Ratings

View the A-F ratings for Texas ISDs and specific schools.

Read More

Related News


Small Biz Insider: Advice for 2020 Graduates, Houston's Newest Entrepreneurs

Houston-area colleges and universities graduate more than 100,000 students each year. But 2020 is an especially challenging year for these new graduates, including those who aspire to start their own business venture. Houston faces a dual economic challenge stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the oil downturn. Together, these two factors have created an economic situation that’s quickly surpassed unemployment numbers from the Great Recession of 2007-2009.  Our guests on this episode are: Dr. Yolanda Norman is the Assistant Director of the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering Career Center and leads the UH Cooperative Education Program. She is also the founder and CEO of FirstGenCollege Consulting.   Dr. Hesam Panahi is Interim Executive Director of the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He's also a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the Jones Graduate School of Business as well as a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Houston. Here are some highlights from this episode:  Is now the best time to be an entrepreneur in Houston given the economic conditions? Yes and no. Dr. Panahi said on the one hand, there are a lot of new opportunities to innovate and new problems to solve. Plus, with so many furloughs and layoffs, there's a pool of very talented people available to pull into the startup ecosystem. But raising money for your venture will be tough. Dr. Panahi said many are putting whatever resources they have into their existing businesses and investments, so finding someone to write a check will be difficult.    Graduating without a job or venture opportunity? Take inventory of your skills and projects. Dr. Norman and Dr. Panahi said they've had several students who've either had their job offers rescinded or had new job start dates pushed back to next year. So what now? Dr. Norman said new graduates should consider the projects they've done, their capabilities and what they can bring to the table. Include that in your resume and cover letter. Tell others what value you can offer as an entrepreneur.    Adopt an entrepreneurial mindset, whether you're planning to start your own business venture or not. "There are things entrepreneurs do that you can apply in your day-to-day routine," said Panahi. Entrepreneurs take on a ton of risk, not knowing what the outcome is going to be, and they try to mitigate that risk as much as possible but are flexible enough to quickly change direction if they need to. Even if you don't want to be an entrepreneur, get involved in entrepreneurship programs and you'll find bits and pieces that'll be useful to you.    Small Biz Insider is presented by:    Click here for more COVID-19 resources for small businesses. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information.  The Small Biz Insider podcast is part of our digital series highlighting entrepreneurs in the greater Houston region who are making a big impact in the small business community.  Subscribe to Small Biz Insider through these popular podcast players: Listen on Apple Podcasts Listen on Google Podcasts Listen on Spotify
Read More

Governor Abbott and Judge Hidalgo Issue New COVID-19 Orders

This morning, Governor Greg Abbott announced a change to certain elements of the Reopen Texas plan.  Per Governor Abbott’s order, effective at noon today, all bars and similar establishments must close. These businesses may remain open for delivery and take-out. Beginning Monday, June 29, restaurants may remain open for dine-in service, but at a capacity not to exceed 50 percent of total listed indoor occupancy. Previously, restaurants were allowed to operate at 75 percent of capacity. Outdoor gatherings of 100 or more people must be approved by local governments, with certain exceptions, and rafting and tubing businesses must close. The governor’s executive order can be found here.   In Harris County today, Judge Hidalgo announced a change in the COVID-19 threat level system, which advises county residents on the local level of transmission. Judge Hidalgo raised the threat level from Level 2, “significant and uncontrolled level of COVID-19”, to Level 1, meaning that “residents should minimize contacts with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs.” Judge Hidalgo also issued a Stay Home advisory, which encourages residents to remain at home whenever possible. These measures signal that the Houston region is at an inflection point, and we must join together to stop the spread. We believe that residents across the region should stay home as much as possible. This should include office workers who are back in the workplace but could effectively work from home. We encourage employers to strongly consider returning to a work-from-home model where it is practical. We also ask companies to remind their employees that their actions when out in public – away from the workplace – will likely determine whether the virus enters the workplace. Maintaining social distancing, wearing masks in public spaces and washing hands are all key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus at this critical moment. Managing Positive COVID-19 Cases A reminder that if someone in the workplace does test positive, we have developed a protocols document that helps address the actions businesses should take to mitigate the risk to others. Get the latest information on Governor Abbott's order, industry best practices for reopening, and the Partnership's work safe principles here. Visit the Partnership's COVID-19 Resource page for updates, guidance for employers and more information.
Read More

Related Events


Save the Date: State of Education

A strong education system is the bedrock of long-term success for our young people and Houston's ability to remain competitive with a talented workforce. The Partnership is a leading advocate for a high-quality…

Learn More
Learn More

Become a Member Today

Interested in joining the Partnership? Take the next step and learn how you can make an impact on Houston.

Executive Partners