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Moving Beyond No Child Left Behind

2011 November 11
by HISD Communications

This week, I testified before a Senate Committee in Washington D.C. about efforts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I was proud to represent HISD and share exciting news about the work our principals and teachers are doing to boost student achievement.

The legislation being considered would have a profound effect on students and teachers across the country, including here in Houston. HISD supports efforts to close the achievement gap and ensure that all students are prepared for college and the work force by promoting higher standards in our schools. We believe that many of the provisions of this bill improve upon core tenets of No Child Left Behind.

The proposed law requires schools to take drastic steps to turn around persistently low-performing schools. In HISD, we did this by implementing the transformation model that is outlined in the bill. Our Apollo 20 school turnaround program is based on key principles of successful charter schools including effective teachers and principals, more instructional time, high-dosage tutoring, data-driven accountability, and a culture of high expectations. We think we have some of the most cutting-edge research for turning around large urban schools, and we believe districts need to have the flexibility to use targeted federal Title I funds to help some of our most troubled schools.

While there are aspects of this legislation that we think should be tweaked, we applaud the lawmakers for embracing out-of-the box thinking and our shared belief that all children are college material.

Click here to read my full testimony from the Senate Committee Hearing.

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