Tag Archives: ASPIRE

Rice University Study Shows Performance-Based Awards Improve Teacher Attendance, Retention, Students’ Test Scores

Programs such as HISD’s ASPIRE program improve teacher attendance, retention and increased students’ test scores, according to a study released by Rice University.

The study evaluated award-eligible teachers from HISD’s 279 schools to determine if receiving a monetary reward during the 2009-2010 school year positively influenced teacher outcomes in 2010-2011, according to a news release.

The complete report is available on the website for Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

The ASPIRE program (Accelerating Student Progress: Increasing Results and Expectations) began during the 2006-07 school year.

HISD Board of Education to Consider Revisions to Board Ethics Policies

The Houston ISD Board of Education will consider revisions to the board ethics policies on Thursday, September 13.  At the board’s request, the firm of Whitley Penn, L.L.P. conducted an independent review of existing HISD policies and best practices related to procurement and will present its recommendations to the board during the meeting.

The recommendations are intended to strengthen existing policies by requiring board members to further disclose potential conflicts of interest, and avoid the appearance of conflicts. The proposal also describes potential repercussions for when the policy is violated.  The revised policy would better define the board responsibilities and allowable contacts with vendors or organizations with which HISD is considering entering into a business or contractual relationship. Vendors would also have to provide conflict of interest disclosure statements and may be disbarred from doing business with the district for two years if trustees fail to disclose conflicts of interest.  

 Another item on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting:

 Modifications to the ASPIRE award for teachers and campus-based staff members, including school leaders, for the 2012-2013 school year.   The recommendations include increasing the maximum award amounts for teachers, principals, and assistant principals and increasing rigor in the requirements.   It would also include simplifying and streamlining the language regarding the awards.  The changes would refine the eligibility for receiving an award and would align criteria for the award with the teacher appraisal and development system that is now in its second year.            

 The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 13, 2012 in the board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th St., 77092).


The board is scheduled to receive status updates on a number of projects and vote on several programs, contracts, and grants. For a full copy of the Board meeting agenda, click here.  The board meeting will be carried live on HISD’s website and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Channel 99.

HISD teachers and campus staff earn $35 million for boosting student achievement

Superintendent Terry Grier will Visit Two Top Teachers on Wednesday

 January 24, 2012 – Students across the Houston Independent School District achieved unprecedented success in the classroom in 2010-2011, and the educators most responsible for the gains will receive their financial awards on Wednesday.

HISD is paying a total of $35 million to 12,390 campus employees under the ASPIRE Award program that aims to recognize those whose hard work resulted in students making more progress in one year than their peers elsewhere.

HISD students showed significant academic progress in 2010-2011. The number of students not just passing, but scoring at the tougher “commended” level on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills has never been higher. The district’s dropout rate has never been lower under the state’s current reporting system, and the percentage of students graduating from high school on time has never been higher.

Classroom teachers in HISD are receiving the bulk of the ASPIRE Award money – $30.5 million spread among 9,162 teachers. The average ASPIRE Award for teachers is $3,324.26.

This year, four teachers at four different campuses received the highest payout of $10,300. Those teachers are Debra Bunton (Highland Heights Elementary), Marcos Giannotti (Hobby Elementary), Chavis Mitchell (Osborne Elementary), and Stephanie Spurling (Hartsfield Elementary).

“These teachers personify the firmly held belief shared by all members of Team HISD that every child has the ability to excel in the classroom under the guidance of quality teachers working in schools led by great principals,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “The value that HISD educators bring to our city is immeasurable and these ASPIRE Awards are one way of recognizing the impact they have on our children.”