Chronicle editorial: HISD ‘willing to lead in the right direction’ with proposed Houston Innovative Learning Zone

An editorial in the Houston Chronicle praised the Houston Independent School District for showing that it understands the need for strategic vocational education in high schools.

For decades most people assumed that a college education meant a good career. As we have learned, that isn’t necessarily true, and there has been a push to return vocational training to high school classrooms. We have advocated for more strategic vocational education in high schools (“Jobs under the radar,” Page B6, Jan. 8), and we’re pleased that the Houston Independent School District, with its proposed Houston Innovative Learning Zone, shows that it understands this current conversation and is willing to lead in the right direction.

Under the proposal, students at five HISD campuses would have the chance to earn associate’s degrees and receive career training in high-demand technical fields. The editorial pointed out that HILZ goes beyond classroom training and includes steps to “help students get a foot in the door for future jobs.” For students who pursue college after HILZ, the resulting associate’s degree will leave them “well-placed to apply to a four-year program.”

And while HILZ promises to be an excellent job-training program, its proposal also demonstrates that HISD has been listening to its constituents. The push for greater career and technology education offerings hasn’t just been from politicians, but from students and the Houston community. HISD has heard this call and responded appropriately. We hope that school leaders maintain this program at top standards, turning it into one of the school district’s key achievements.

Click here for the full editorial.

Click here to learn more about HILZ.