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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.

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Texas Education Commissioner Morath - Keynote Address

Outlook on student outcomes at inaugural State of Education.

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Texas School Accountability Ratings

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

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Houston City Council Members Discuss Economic Development, Resiliency

2/21/20
Providing a great quality of life and building a strong diverse economy was top of mind for four Houston City Council Members at the Greater Houston Partnership on Friday. They addressed a sold-out room at a Future of Texas event and included:  Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Martin, District E Council Member Abbie Kamin, District C Council Member Robert Gallegos, District I Council Member David Robinson, At-Large Position 2 Here are highlights from the discussion: Great Quality of Life: Building a more resilient Houston after Hurricane Harvey Council Members discussed the city’s response to Hurricane Harvey and how to build a more resilient Houston. Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin discussed the city’s work with state and federal partners to secure funding for Houston's flood resilience. He highlighted the Partnership’s Washington D.C. Fly-In next week as an opportunity to advance priorities in the region’s flood resilience with federal partners. Council Member Abbie Kamin discussed the City’s new Resilient Houston strategic plan, which will institutionalize resiliency planning in city departments and serve as a blueprint for flood mitigation and overall resilience in the City of Houston over the next decade. Strong, Diverse Economy: Economic Development in the City of Houston City Council Members discussed their priorities for the energy transition and economic development in the City of Houston. As Chair of City Council's Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committee, Council Member David Robinson talked about the importance of the development of the Ion as a center for innovation in Houston and transit-oriented economic development. Council Member Abbie Kamin touched on energy transition. She highlighted the Partnership’s strategic focus, which Partnership 2020 Board Chair, Bobby Tudor, Chairman, Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co., announced at the Partnership’s Annual Meeting in January. His remarks are available here. Council Member Kamin discussed the city’s renewable energy portfolio and her priorities for how the city can support the energy transition.  Homelessness in Houston During Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s inaugural address earlier this year, he announced an initiative to continue addressing Houston’s homeless challenge. During the Future of Texas panel discussion, Houston City Council Members also discussed their priorities for housing and supporting Houston’s homeless. As the Chair of the City Council Quality of Life Committee, Council Member Robert Gallegos, discussed potential policies to address Houston’s homeless challenge. Parks and Green Spaces Council Member Gallegos highlighted key parks and green space expansions and improvements within the City of Houston that are underway or soon to be completed. He expressed his support of the 50/50 Parks Partners initiative to uplift 50 neighborhood parks within the City of Houston. He also described the importance of connecting transit with parks, focusing on his effort to connect downtown Houston with Memorial Park, which is in the midst of a $200 million Master Plan improvement.  Next Month: Future of Texas On March 27, the Partnership will host its next Future of Texas panel focused on Higher Education and Workforce Development. The Future of Texas series, which is a part of our Business Resource Group (BRG), features elected officials shaping our state's future, giving Partnership members the opportunity to engage with these leaders and hear their perspectives on our city and state's most pressing issues. Learn more here.
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Education

Public Education Committee Hosts Panel of Educators

2/5/20
On January 24, the Partnership's Public Education Advisory Committee, chaired by Andy Waite, Co-President, SCF Partners, hosted a panel discussion featuring public educators in Houston. Sarah Tredway, an ESL Kindergarten Teacher at Baker-Ripley Elementary, Adrian Hudson a Fourth Grade Math Teacher at Sinclair Elementary, and Jennifer Collier the Principal at Spring Woods High School, met with members of the committee to discuss recruitment to the teaching profession, teacher retention and the impact of the passage of House Bill 3, Texas' school finance reform legislation, on their work.  Tredway and Hudson opened the discussion by highlighting the importance of having strong teacher mentors when they joined the teaching profession. Collier presented an overarching strategy to recruit and retain teachers by providing support to develop teachers individually. She highlighted successful methods to improve teacher retention, including hiring a teacher support specialist, who focuses on supporting new teachers, and she discussed incentivizing successful teachers to continue to teach. Hudson discussed the importance of facilitated peer-to-peer collaboration and mentoring, whereby teachers can learn strategies from each other and apply them in the classroom. He also expressed an interest in partnering with the business community to create opportunities for students to learn about careers in the region. Regarding the passage of House Bill 3, Tredway applauded the increased funding for early childhood literacy. She discussed the positive impacts it will have on her students and how it can improve student outcomes in early childhood and beyond. Hudson and Collier echoed the appreciation for the increase in new state funding for public education, particularly in support of teachers.  The committee will continue to develop forums like this to engage with educators and classrooms.  To learn more about the Public Education Advisory Committee, click here. For more information about the Partnership's priorities for improving student outcomes, click here. 
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