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Editorial: Continue What Works, Fix What’s Broken in Houston ISD

A Houston Chronicle editorial points out the challenges of turning around struggling schools. While Houston ISD has its share of low-performing schools, it also has schools that have improved enough to avoid state sanctions, including Worthing High School, Henry Middle School, and Kashmere High School.

The editorial recommends the following steps to turn low-performing schools around:

  • Start with an inspirational, effective principal. University of Minnesota education researchers studied 180 schools in nine states and noted, “To date we have not found a single case of a school improving its student achievement record in the absence of talented leadership.”
  • Hire and train strong educators who have the skills to work with challenging student populations. Dallas ISD’s successful Accelerating Campus Excellence program hires master educators and offers them signing and retention bonuses to teach in struggling schools.
  • Finally, assuming that the state replaces school trustees, the replacements should be from Houston and put HISD students first. “HISD parents and community members worry…that a replacement school board that may not have children’s best interests at heart, that trustees may not reflect the values or the demographics of Houston,” the editorial reads.

Read “HISD isn’t all broken. Leaders should continue what works,” Houston Chronicle.

September 13, 2019