Hundreds of students, teachers, principals and support staff cheered the district’s recognition as the first two-time winner of the Broad Prize in Urban Education – a national distinction that comes with $550,000 in scholarships for graduating seniors.
Nine graduating seniors from HISD schools were awarded scholarships from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation at a news conference held during the organization’s second visit to Houston in two years.
“We’re so excited to be back in Houston for a second, consecutive year,” said Karen Denne, chief communications officer for The Broad Foundation. “We love coming back to districts that are repeat finalists because it means that their practices are working.”
Houston among nation’s top four urban districts for second straight year
For the second consecutive year, HISD has emerged from the pack of the nation’s 75 largest school districts to be named a finalist for the most coveted honor a public school system can win: The Broad Prize for Urban Education.
Houston ISD high school seniors are now guaranteed at least $150,000 and as much as $550,000 in college scholarships if the district wins the top prize. The award is given to the one urban school district in America that has consistently demonstrated the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among poor and minority students. Finalists were determined based upon a wide-ranging review of student achievement data from the 2008-2009 school year through the 2011-2012 school year in an effort to reward consistency.
This spring’s Houston Independent School District graduates will receive $150,000 in scholarships from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
Update, May 29, 2013: The Broad Foundation increased its scholarship giveaway to $165,000 in an effort to distribute more financial assistance to HISD students.
The scholarships are a result of HISD being among the four national finalists for the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, which was awarded today to the Miami-Dade County Public Schools. This was Miami-Dade’s fifth time to be a Broad Prize finalist. HISD won the inaugural Broad Prize in 2002.
“We were honored to be among the final four of 75 urban school districts for the most prestigious award in education,” HISD Superintendent Terry Grier said. “The consistent progress that our students have made over the past several years is a direct reflection on the hard work put in by the teachers, principals, and every member of Team HISD.” Continue reading
Update: 10 a.m.
Superintendents, principals, and teachers from the four districts named as finalists for the Broad Prize for Urban Education participated in the “Mind the Gap” panel discussion to share ideas about strategies being used to close the achievement gap. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, Fondren Middle School Principal Charles Foust, and Berry Elementary Teacher Gaby Oliveros represented HISD. They discussed the importance of data-driven instruction, teamwork, and use of technology in the classroom.
Dr. Grier and Mr. Foust also shared information about HISD’s bold school turnaround effort, Apollo 20. Foust said Fondren MS, an Apollo 20 campus, uses Title I funds to pay tutors to help reinforce the material that students are learning in the classroom.
Oliveros, HISD’s Teacher of the Year in 2010, told the panel about HISD’s teacher support specialists. She said their observations help her and her colleagues become better teachers.
The wait is nearly over for the Houston Independent School District and the three other national finalists for the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education.
On Tuesday, Oct. 23 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will announce the name of the school system that beat out 75 national competitors for the title of best urban district in America. All four finalists made the cut for the Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize because they demonstrated the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among poor and minority students from 2008 to 2011.
The other finalists this year are: Corona-Norco Unified School District in Riverside County, Calif., Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and The School District of Palm Beach County, Fla. Aside from bragging rights, the winning district earns $550,000 in college scholarships for students who graduate at the end of this school year. The other finalists receive $150,000 in scholarship money from The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.
HISD staff will gather at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center to watch the announcement live, beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. The announcement will also be carried live online at www.houstonisd.org.
“We are honored to have the national education spotlight on the students, teachers, and staff who make Houston schools great,” said HISD Board of Education President Michael Lunceford. “We have high expectations for every student, and we are proud that more of them are rising to meet the challenge each day.”
Members of the HISD Board of Education and Superintendent Terry Grier will be among those in New York City on Tuesday for the announcement.
“For years, HISD has been led by a visionary Board of Education that is willing to make the tough decisions that consistently put the interests of children first,” Dr. Grier said. “It is that unwavering focus on high academic standards, and hiring and retaining effective teachers and principals that led directly to the impressive progress that Houston’s children are making in the classroom.”
Houston won the first ever Broad Prize in 2002, and could be the first two-time winner. Among the reasons why Houston ISD was chosen as a 2012 Broad Prize finalist:
- HISD’s African-American graduation rate improved faster than in other urban districts nationally. The graduation rate of Houston’s African-American students, as shown by the average of three nationally recognized graduation rate estimation methods, increased 13 percentage points from 2006 to 2009.
- HISD increased the percentage of Hispanic and African-American students taking college readiness exams more quickly than other urban districts nationally.
- Between 2008 and 2011, SAT participation rates for HISD’s Hispanic students increased by 15 percentage points.
- In this same period, Advanced Placement (AP) exam participation by Hispanic students increased 13 percentage points, an average of about 4 percentage points per year-an improvement rate that ranked in the top 10 percent of all 75 Broad Prize-eligible districts.
- In 2011 alone, the percentage of HISD’s African-American students taking an AP exam — 23 percent — ranked in the top 10 percent of Broad-Prize-eligible districts.
- Similarly, the percent of HISD’s Hispanic students taking an AP exam in 2011—29 percent—ranked in the top 20 percent of eligible districts.
- A greater percentage of Hispanic and low-income students reach advanced academic levels in Houston than in other urban districts in Texas. In 2011, the percentage of HISD’s Hispanic students that performed at the highest achievement level (Commended) in math and science at all school levels (elementary, middle, high school) ranked in the top 30 percent statewide compared to Hispanic students in other Texas districts. In addition, the percentage of Houston’s low-income students that performed at the highest achievement level in math at all school levels and in elementary and middle school science ranked in the top 30 percent statewide compared to low-income students in other Texas districts.
This year’s four finalists were selected by a review board of 13 prominent education researchers, policy leaders, practitioners and executives from leading universities, education associations, civil rights advocates, think-tanks and foundations. The review board evaluated publicly available academic achievement data that were compiled and analyzed by MPR Associates, Inc., a leading national education research consulting firm.
In selecting the finalists, the review board looks for urban school districts that show the greatest overall performance and improvement in urban student achievement while reducing achievement gaps among poor and minority students. Among the data they consider are SAT, ACT and Advanced Placement participation rates and outcomes, graduation rates, state assessments in reading, math and science, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, student demographics including poverty, state test rigor, per pupil expenditures and district size.
Over a two-month period last spring, teams of educational researchers and practitioners led by the education consulting company RMC Research Corporation conducted a four-day site visit in each finalist district using a research-based rubric for district quality to gather qualitative information, interview district administrators, conduct focus groups with teachers and principals and observe classrooms. The teams also interviewed parents, community leaders, school board members and union representatives. A selection jury of prominent individuals from business, industry, education and public service then chose the winning school district after reviewing both the student achievement data and the qualitative site visit reports.
The Broad Foundation does not play a role in selecting the finalists or the winner.
Palm Beach County and Corona-Norco are both first-time finalists, and Miami-Dade is a five-time finalist.
For more information about The Broad Prize, please visit www.broadprize.org.
District’s graduation and dropout rates reach best levels under the modern accountability system
HISD’s streak of declining dropout rates and increasing graduation rates hit four years for the class of 2011, according to preliminary Class of 2011 figures released by the Texas Education Agency.
HISD’s latest dropout rate of 11.8 percent and four-year graduation rate of 78.5 percent are the best they have been under the accountability system Texas put into place in 2007. And while the district’s overall enrollment has remained steady during that time period, the number of annual graduates has risen strongly from 6,978 graduates in the Class of 2007, to 9,070 graduates in the Class of 2011 – a 30-percent increase of 2,092 diplomas in just four years.[slideshow]
“Houston students are proving they are willing – and more than able – to achieve academically when we show faith in them and put them in a position to succeed,” said Trustee Michael Lunceford, president of the HISD Board of Education. “We all know the dropout rate remains a critical problem in our city, but we are making strong progress. The students, with help from the school administrators and teachers, have made a concerted effort to stem the tide of dropouts”
A decade after HISD won the inaugural Broad Prize for Urban Education, committee members for the 2012 Broad Prize have arrived at HISD to evaluate the district again as a finalist for the largest education award in the country given to school districts.
See photos of the committee visit to J.P. Henderson Elementary School below:[slideshow]
|What:||National educational experts will tour the Houston Independent School District on Wednesday to gather information for a jury of former U.S. secretaries of education, governors, university presidents and CEOs to decide whether HISD will win the 2012 Broad Prize for Urban Education, the nation’s largest education award that carries with it $550,000 in college scholarships. This four-day “site visit” will include interviews with district officials, principals, teachers, staff, parents, students and community representatives, as well as classroom observations. Best practices collected during the site visit will also be shared with urban districts nationwide.
|Wednesday, May 23
10:30 a.m. School and classroom tour with Superintendent Terry Grier, panel of national education experts, and Principal Herlinda Garcia.
11:15 a.m. Media availability, Q&A with researchers, Broad Foundation rep and superintendent
|J.P. Henderson Elementary School, library
1800 Dismuke Street
|Why:||HISD is one of only four urban school districts nationally to be in the running for the 2012 Broad (rhymes with “road”) Prize for Urban Education and $550,000 in scholarships. Houston was chosen as a finalist in April for having topped 71 other large urban districts nationwide in making student gains. This is HISD’s first time returning as a Broad Prize finalist since winning the inaugural award in 2002.The Broad Prize is awarded annually by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, a national education philanthropy based in Los Angeles that seeks to ensure that every student in an urban public school has the opportunity to succeed. The award honors urban school districts that demonstrate the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement in the nation while reducing income and ethnic achievement gaps.
The winning school district, which will be announced on Oct. 23 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, will receive $550,000 in college scholarships for high school seniors who graduate in 2013. Each finalist district will receive $150,000 in scholarships. Seventy-five large urban school districts nationwide were eligible for the 2012 Broad Prize. Other finalist districts this year are: the Corona Norco Unified School District in Southern California, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the School District of Palm Beach County, Fla. For more information, please visit www.broadprize.com.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation was founded by self-made entrepreneur Eli Broad and his wife Edythe, both graduates of Detroit Public Schools. Bringing together top education experts and practitioners, the foundation funds system-wide programs and policies that strengthen public schools by creating environments that allow good teachers to do great work and enable students of all backgrounds to learn and thrive.
Houston ISD boasts the eight-county region’s top three elementary, middle, and high schools, according to the 2012 Texas Public School Rankings announced Monday by Children at Risk. The rankings include schools from 58 school districts, plus charter schools.
The results mark HISD’s strongest showing since the non-profit child advocacy and research organization began issuing the rankings in 2006. The announcement was made during a ceremony at HISD’s High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, which is among the region’s top 15 high schools.
The news comes on the heels of this month’s announcement that HISD is among four national finalists for the county’s most prestigious public education award – The Broad Prize for Urban Education. Selected from a field of 75 eligible school districts across America, HISD was chosen as a Broad Prize finalist because of Houston students’ strong academic performance since 2008 and the district’s shrinking achievement gap.
“HISD has a much-deserved reputation for offering some of the best schools in America,” Superintendent Terry Grier said. “These recent accolades show that our work to replicate this excellence in more schools serving neighborhoods throughout Houston is working. HISD is proving that great teachers working in schools led by great principals are more than capable of helping students overcome obstacles and eliminate excuses for failure.”
Half of the region’s top 10 elementary, middle and high schools for 2012 are HISD campuses. For the third year in a row, HISD’s DeBakey High School for Health Professions earned the No. 1 spot. T.H. Rogers took the No. 1 spot on the middle school list for the second straight year, and also earned the No. 1 spot on the elementary school list after coming in fourth in 2011.
HISD’s top 10 schools for 2012
T.H. Rogers (No. 1)
Lyons (No. 2)
River Oaks (No. 3)
West University (No. 5)
Condit (No. 6)
Burrus (No. 10)
T.H. Rogers (No. 1)
Project Chrysalis (No. 2)
Energized for Excellence (No. 3)
Lanier (No. 10)
DeBakey (No. 1)
Carnegie Vanguard (No. 2)
Eastwood Academy (No. 3)
East Early College (No. 8)
High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (No. 10)
Children at Risk also singled out several other HISD schools for special recognition.
Lee High School was named the Most Improved School in the region. Lee is one of four high schools taking part in HISD’s ambitious Apollo 20 program that uses research-based strategies aimed at turning around schools with a long history of poor performance. After one year, students in HISD’s Apollo 20 schools produced academic gains on par with the nation’s most prestigious charter schools.
DeBakey High School was named the region’s top high school for math and science.
Lyons Elementary School and Pilgrim Middle School were named Gold Ribbon schools.
The Children at Risk rankings consider multiple factors designed to tell whether schools are not just meeting minimum passing standards, including: percentage of students scoring at the “commended” level on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, SAT scores, graduation rates, and the percentage of students earning college credit through AP, IB or dual credit courses. Student poverty rates also factor into the rankings. The rankings also consider the annual academic growth made by students in math and reading.