HISD makes significant gains in student achievement outcomes

The ratings are in, and the Houston Independent School District has made significant academic gains since the last time letter grades were given by the Texas Education Agency.

HISD earned a solid B+ from the TEA and maintained its overall 88 rating from 2019. The TEA did not give grades the last two academic years as school districts navigated the pandemic.

“We know we have a lot of work still to do, but the rating from the TEA is heartening and worthy of celebration,” said Superintendent Millard House II. “Our students and staff stayed the course as we charted new territory in addressing learning loss. The work doesn’t end here, and we know we have areas where we need to grow even more.”

Since 2018, the TEA has implemented an A-F rating system. For the 2021-2022 ratings, no campus will be identified as a D or F, but rather “Not Rated – Senate Bill 1365” as a transition from the COVID-19 global pandemic.

This year, 10 campuses are Not Rated (SB 1365). In 2018-2019, 50 schools received a D or F rating.

After being on TEA’s list of struggling schools for eight years, Wheatley High School earned a passing grade C and was removed from Improvement Required status.

“Our scholars, faculty, and staff took on all challenges by working hard and showing tremendous grit,” said Joseph Williams, former principal at Wheatley High School. “I am elated that this perseverance is being reflected with this passing rating. They are truly deserving of this recognition and the historic Phillis Wheatley High School will continue to be a beacon of light to the Fifth Ward/Denver Harbor and Greater Houston community.”

Henry Middle School, a campus at risk of state intervention, earned a C rating after four years of unacceptable performance and a D rating in 2019.

HISD schools saw improvements district-wide, with 94% of campuses earning A, B, or C ratings, up from 82% in 2019 and 78% earning A or B ratings, up from 50% in 2019:

  • 96 campuses earned an A rating, up 39 campuses from 2019
  • 117 campuses earned a B rating, up 39 campuses from 2019
  • 43 campuses earned a C rating, down 43 campuses from 2019

The highest increase across the district came from Osborne Elementary School, which moved from a 59-F in 2019 to a 96-A in 2022.

In total, 79 campuses increased their overall rating by 10 or more points.

Contributing to the vast improvements is the input of $1.16B in ESSER funds coming out of the pandemic to address learning loss. A look at how those dollars are being allocated has been made available to the public and can be viewed in the ESSER portal.

While many HISD schools have shown tremendous academic progress, a few continue to need additional supports.

In 2019, Kashmere High School pulled out of Improvement Required status with a C rating after eight years of unacceptable performance, but the school dropped back down to Not Rated (SB 1365) for the 2021-2022 school year. The campus has been placed back on the list of schools for improvement.

This academic year, 24 underserved and underperforming campuses will be part of HISD’s new RISE transformation cohort. These campuses will receive additional support to implement new instructional materials, monitor after school programs and activities, support college- and career-ready students, keep the campus safe, establish effective routines, and support a student-centered campus.

“These are not one-size-fits-all strategies, but they are tied to the specific needs at these campuses,” said House. “We are not afraid to make big changes. We will make sure that staff, teaching and learning, student supports, and resources at all these campuses are ready and able to improve student outcomes.”

A handful of HISD campuses are not rated by TEA due to special student populations that do not take STAAR exams or do not take the tests in large enough numbers to be rated.

The full report can be viewed here.