The Houston Independent School District purpose is to provide the “highest-quality” public education to “strengthen the social and economic foundation of Houston”. The district’s annual report to the nine trustees that make up the school board includes trends in graduation rates, standardized test scores, and teacher effectivity over the past few years.
In the report, the district claims to be making slow but steady improvements in education and college preparation by implementing new programs like the college advising initiative, pushing all students to sign up for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and forcing students to take the SAT.
In the STAAR End of Course for ELA for the past three school years about 47% of high school students scored at the unsatisfactory level while for Algebra I about 34% of high school students scored at the unsatisfactory level.
Only about 57% of students enrol in higher education within one year of high school graduation.
Only 14% of HISD students scored at least 1110/1600 on the SAT or at least 24/36 on the ACT.
While the number of suspensions and expulsions remain the same, the number of reported bullying for 2015-2016 increased just over 300% compared to 2013-2014 and increased just over 200% compared to 2014-2015.
One potential contributing factor for the increase is the full roll out in 2015-2016 of the Power Up laptop program which provides each and every high school student with their own personal laptop for the school year.
The four year high school graduation rate is about 81% while the dropout rate is 10%. About 25% of HISD students end up getting a college degree and about 50% people who graduate from HISD end of with a college degree in 6 years. which is about average for the United States.
The report of the Board of Trustees Report shows that the largest school district in Texas still has a lot of work to do to fulfill its purpose to provide the “highest-quality” public education.
The report is available on the Board of Trustees Website on the last few pages of the December 2016 Official Agenda Document.