The HISD Board of Education voted Thursday night to extend Superintendent Terry Grier’s contract through June 2014, signaling their commitment to continuing the bold initiatives that began with his arrival in 2009.
Trustees Paula Harris, Greg Meyers, Manuel Rodriguez Jr., Larry Marshall, and Harvin Moore voted for the extension. President Michael Lunceford and trustees Juliet Stipeche and Rhonda Skillern-Jones abstained. Trustee Anna Eastman voted against the measure.
Trustees who voted in favor of the extension said Dr. Grier has delivered on his promise of swift action to raise academic performance among all children and set HISD on a path to become the best school district in America.
“In 2009 we went out on a superintendent search. The board said we need someone bold and with a vision,” said Trustee Greg Meyers. “If you look at the data tonight, we’re on track. That’s something I feel confident about. … I’m proud to say this superintendent has followed the charge and put together a staff that is dedicated to doing what’s right not for the adults, but for the kids in this district.”
Trustee Paula Harris cited “huge jumps” in student achievement during Dr. Grier’s tenure.
“At the end of the day, what we’re here for is an increase in student achievement and that’s what we’ve been seeing,” Harris said. “We’re working for all 204,000 of our kids.”
The vote drew immediate praise from the leader of Houston’s largest business advocacy organization.
“The business community has been a strong supporter of Dr. Grier and HISD,” said Jeff Moseley, the Greater Houston Partnership’s president and CEO. “GHP is delighted that the Board extended his contract to the benefit of the students, faculty, and staff of HISD.”
Under Dr. Grier’s leadership, the district has launched several initiatives aimed at making HISD the best school district in America. The philosophy that guides these initiatives, HISD’s Strategic Direction, was developed at Dr. Grier’s direction in partnership with the community. For six months in 2010, HISD staff conducted a series of community meetings throughout the city in an effort to gather input from all people. From this process, the HISD Board of Education embraced five Core Initiatives that strategically guide HISD’s efforts. Those initiatives are:
- Effective Teacher in Every Classroom
- Effective Principal in Every School
- Rigorous Instructional Standards and Supports
- Data-Driven Accountability
- Culture of Trust through Action