Category Archives: Accountability

HISD STAAR scores show strong gains across multiple grades, subjects, and student groups

Houston Independent School District students showed strong gains that exceeded those made by the state in third- through eighth-grade reading and math, and on end-of-course (EOC) assessments in English I and Algebra I, according to preliminary 2018 State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) scores.

“This year, our students made significant progress on the state-mandated STAAR tests,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We are excited about what these preliminary results mean for our schools labeled by the state as Improvement Required and our district’s accountability ratings. HISD is shifting course and turning schools around. We know that it is critical that we continue our commitment to strengthening the supports in place to further advance our progress in student achievement.”

Overall, the spring administration of the 2018 STAAR grades 3-8 assessment results indicate the district held steady or showed increases in the percentage of students meeting the Approaches Grade Level standard in reading, math, science, and social studies.

Students receive a performance label of Masters Grade Level, Meets Grade Level, Approaches Grade Level, or Did Not Meet Grade Level on each STAAR assessment. The Approaches Grade Level label indicates satisfactory (passing) performance while the Meets and Masters labels indicate higher levels of achievement on assessments.

Reading results increased by three percentage points compared to 2017. Changes ranged from no change in grade seven to a six-percentage point increase in grade five.

Mathematics results increased by three percentage points compared to 2017. Changes ranged from no change in grade seven to a five-percentage point increase in grades four and eight.

District science performance in 2018 increased one percentage point compared to 2017. Grade five had a one percentage point increase, and grade eight stayed the same.

At the high school level, HISD students took nearly 79,000 STAAR spring EOC assessments. Texas students are required to pass five STAAR EOC exams – Algebra I, English I, English II, Biology, and U.S. History – to receive a high school diploma.

Results show the proportion of first-time tested students who performed at or above the Approaches Grade Level Standard increased in four of the five subjects (Algebra I, Biology, English I, and English II) and remained steady in U.S. History. The district’s increases exceed those of the state in Algebra I and English I.

The results also show that the percentages of first-time testers at or above the Meets Grade Level Standard and the Masters Grade Level Standard increased in Algebra I, English II, and U.S. History when compared to last year.

The percentage of students at the Masters Grade Level Standard increased in Biology, while the percentage of students at or above the Meets Grade Level Standard increased in English I.

Performance gaps between White and African-American and White and Hispanic students decreased slightly or remained stable for Algebra I, English I, English II, and U.S. History.

Between 2015 and 2018, the proportion of students performing at or above the Meets Grade Level standard increased for every racial/ethnic group in every subject. These increases range from one percentage point for Asian students on the Biology EOC exam to 15 percentage points for African-American students on the Algebra I and Hispanic students on the U.S. History EOC exams.

More than half of HISD students scored at or above the 50th percentile for the state in Algebra I (52 percent), U.S. History (51 percent), English II (53 percent), and English I (56 percent), and less than half in Biology (44 percent).

All reported STAAR scores include results for students impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In December 2017, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath removed the requirements for state promotion standards which would require STAAR retests in fifth and eighth grade reading or math in June 2018 for students who had not yet passed both subjects for districts within the Presidential Disaster Declaration for Hurricane Harvey.

On June 6, 2018, Morath announced school districts, campuses and open-enrollment charter schools directly affected by Hurricane Harvey would be eligible for special evaluation in this year’s state accountability system if they meet one of four criteria.

Under the agency’s Hurricane Harvey Provision, 2018 accountability ratings will be generated for eligible districts, charter schools, and campuses using available data. If a campus meeting at least one of the Hurricane Harvey criteria receives an “Improvement Required” rating, the campus would be labeled “Not Rated.” Districts can appeal any accountability-related decision, including the issuance of waivers. Appeals would likely be decided in late 2018.

Under House Bill 22, school districts will get their first A-F letter ratings in August 2018. However, schools will still be rated as Met Standard or Improvement Required. Schools will be given an A-F rating for the first time in August 2019.

HISD 2018 STAAR Results (English and Spanish Test Versions Combined)

Percentage indicates percent of students who met state’s current satisfactory passing standard of Approaches Grade Level.


Grade 3: 69 percent

Grade 4: 62 percent

Grade 5: 70 percent

Grade 6: 61 percent

Grade 7: 65 percent

Grade 8: 70 percent


Grade 3: 73 percent

Grade 4: 74 percent

Grade 5: 78 percent

Grade 6: 71 percent

Grade 7: 64 percent

Grade 8: 70 percent


Grade 4: 55 percent

Grade 7: 58 percent


Grade 5: 68 percent

Grade 8: 66 percent

 Social Studies

Grade 8: 54 percent

HISD 2018 STAAR End-of-Course Exam Results

Percentage indicates percent of first-time tested students who met state’s current satisfactory passing standard of Approaches Grade Level.

Algebra I:  81 percent

Biology:  82 percent

English I:  64 percent

English II:  65 percent

U.S. History:  89 percent

HISD’s data shows that strategies implemented to reverse a decade-long downward trajectory in STAAR scores are working. The district will continue to bring together effective teachers, strong leadership, and an environment of high expectations to transform the learning environment at each school and continue to show strong gains on STAAR assessments.



HISD Board of Education moves forward with performance review

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted in favor of requesting a performance review to be conducted by the Texas Legislative Budget Board (LBB).

After considering public input since the May regular board meeting, trustees voted six to three to request a performance review from the LBB and concurrently withdraw their previous approval to procure an external performance audit. The LBB will begin working on the performance review this fall. Its findings will be used by the board in time to make informed decisions during the next budget cycle.

The Board also voted by a five-vote majority against the proposed 2018-19 school year budget. State law requires the budget be approved by June 30. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education to consider proposed 2018-2019 budget

Proposed budget includes $19.2 million for special education, dyslexia programs, Achieve 180 and a planned performance audit

 June 12, 2018 – The Houston Independent School District Board of Education will meet Thursday to consider adopting the proposed 2018-2019 budget.

The proposed budget includes $16.7 million in increases for special education, dyslexia programs and Achieve 180, the program introduced this school year to support underserved and underperforming schools, which will continue in place next school year. The proposal also includes $2.5 million for a forthcoming performance audit. Continue reading

HISD Board joined by mayor, lawmakers with message of unity for Houston’s children 

HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said Tuesday that the departure of Superintendent Richard Carranza does not change the vision and mission of the district, which remains committed to delivering a quality education to all children “in a unified way.”

“We are one vision, and that is to ensure IR (Improvement Required) schools come off IR, that we don’t have any additional schools go into IR, and that we can use our use limited dollars in a way that does the least harm to impact our classrooms,” Skillern-Jones said.

Superintendent Carranza accepts new role in NYC

She delivered the message standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow trustees, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, state Rep. Alma Allen, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. All emphasized that the city, state, and federal government have a role to play in ensuring the success of the district, and that the district is more than one person.  Continue reading

Superintendent updates collaborative on HISD wraparound services efforts

The trauma of Hurricane Harvey continues to affect students in HISD and across the Houston area, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told a behavioral health collaborative on Friday.

Representatives from more than 20 school districts gathered at the Center for School Behavioral Health collaborative luncheon at the United Way for an update on what HISD is doing to meet the mental health needs of students and teachers in the wake of the hurricane.

HISD Superintendent Carranza spoke about how critically important social and emotional services are to ensure that students are ready to learn. Continue reading

HISD surveys students and parents on magnet programs

HISD is seeking parent and student input on the district’s magnet programs in an effort to better understand our families’ needs. The survey is open to students or parents of students who:

  • Attend a magnet program
  • Do not attend a magnet program
  • Live within HISD but do not currently attend an HISD school

The survey can be found at It will be open until March 30.

HISD pioneered the development of magnet programs in the 1970s and is known nationally for its innovative offerings at more than 100 schools.

“We remain committed to magnet programs and school choice,” said HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza. “We want to be sure that our programs are in line with the district’s vision that every child, no matter where they live, has equitable opportunities and access to an effective, personalized education.”

The community will have opportunities to comment on the magnet program in public meetings that will be scheduled for the coming weeks.

Board of Education’s updated Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals focus on equity, improving student outcomes

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education recently adopted changes to the District’s Vision and Beliefs, and approved the addition of a Mission, Constraints, and Goal Progress Measures, to serve as the district’s roadmap to success.

“Together, the Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals represent a sharper focus on the very specific steps we as a district must take to improve student outcomes. The trustees on the Board of Education are united in our commitment to ensure that HISD delivers the best possible education equitably to all students in our district,” said HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams.

The Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals reinforce HISD’s commitment to equity, closing the achievement gap, meeting the needs of the whole child, personalizing learning for each individual child, creating safe, joyful learning spaces, retaining qualified and effective personnel, operating with transparency across all departments, and engaging meaningfully with the community in all major decision-making.

The Board’s Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals are on permanent display in a series of posters outside the Manuel Rodriguez Jr. Board Auditorium.

Read more about HISD’s Mission, Vision, Beliefs, Constraints, and Goals here.

HISD Board of Education to vote on extended days for schools with delayed start

Sept. 14 2017 – In its first regular meeting since Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Independent School District Board of Education Trustees will consider a proposal to make up instructional time lost because of the storm.  The Texas Education Agency approved waivers that exempt students from making up the first nine days the storm took away.  However, students at the 12 schools that suffered the most significant damage will have to make up any lost time beyond those days.

Here’s how the proposed plan works:  Students at the four schools scheduled to start on September 18 would be in school for 25 additional minutes every day.  Students at the eight schools scheduled to start on September 25 would go for an extra 55 minutes.  That extended school day would be effective from their first day of school until the end of the first semester in December. Continue reading

Superintendent outlines priorities at ‘Welcome Back’ event 

Achieve 180, wraparound services, and restorative justice practices are priorities for 2017-2018 school year 

Superintendent Richard Carranza outlined HISD’s top priorities for the 2017-2018 school year to school and district leaders at the annual “Welcome Back” back event on August 11.

Nearly 1,200 principals, deans, assistant principals, and district leaders packed Delmar Fieldhouse to hear Carranza’s message, which celebrated the successes of the previous year and outlined goals, initiatives, and challenges for the coming year.

Continue reading

Special Education conference focuses on meeting unique needs of every student 

HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza addressed more than 300 teachers and support staff members at the district’s fourth-annual Special Ed Conference on Tuesday at Pin Oak Middle School, encouraging them to create an environment where all children can succeed.

“We are at a critical juncture,” Carranza said later, when asked what he hoped the conference would achieve. “Too often, students with disabilities have been marginalized. We say NO, that is not what we are going to do here in HISD. I want all these educators to leave here on fire, to go back to their schools with great strategies and support so they can create incredible learning environments.”  Continue reading