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High expectations are paying off for HISD’s high school students

2014 April 16
by HISD Communications

You don’t have to look far to see evidence of the faith we have in our high school students at HISD, and how the increased rigor we’re requiring is reaping rewards

One major example of our high expectations is the arrival of another SAT School Day next Wednesday. HISD has made arrangements for all juniors to take the college entrance exam on their own campuses, and we pick up the registration free. This year, we’ve even added a highly regarded prep course that’s been available online for free over the past few weeks, that would have ordinarily cost $500.

We want this easy access to the SAT to signal to our students that we know they’re capable of going to college – and growing numbers are.

That brings me to an update of our EMERGE students – our high-performing, low-income seniors who have received special attention to awaken them to the possibilities of attending Tier One and Ivy League schools at no- or low-cost. At last count, we’re up to 58 acceptances at these top U.S. colleges and universities. Most EMERGE students will be the first in their families to attend college, and many never had higher education on their radar.

Finally, it’s rewarding to see how our emphasis making rigorous Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs more readily available in HISD has earned 32 of our 44 high schools a place on the Washington Post’s prestigious list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. Carnegie Vanguard, in 11th place, Energized for STEM (32nd), the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice (51st) and Challenge Early College (94th) all made it into the top 100 of the 2,050 schools that were ranked nationwide.

Yes, success is about Effective Teachers and Principals, about 21st century technology and facilities. But it’s also about setting the bar high, about letting our students know we believe in their ability to succeed.

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