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Recognizing the value of solid and steady improvement

2013 May 30
by HISD Communications

In HISD, we often talk about “value added,” which is a measure of growth, or how much something improves over time. And that is just what we had a chance to recognize when representatives the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation visited HISD this week for the second time in as many years.

Because the district was a finalist for the Broad Prize for Urban Education last year, it received $150,000 in scholarships to distribute among deserving members of the Class of 2013. But they found this year’s potential recipients so compelling that they broke their own rules and increased that amount to $165,000, so that nine graduating seniors could receive college scholarships of up to $20,000. (Read related story here.)

These winning students were not selected because they started out at the top of their game and stayed there. Instead, they were chosen because they had struggled academically, and over time, made steady and considerable improvements in their performance.

One young man confessed that he usually didn’t apply for scholarships for just that reason. Since he is not at the top of his class, he didn’t expect to win any. But at the scholarship announcement press conference, he told us that he was “pretty proud” to have won this one — and I am, too.

Please join me in congratulating José Herrera and the other eight scholarship recipients. They deserve our respect for persevering in the face of adversity, which is an essential component of Becoming Great All Over.

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