Record Year For Houston Schools

The Houston Independent School District is celebrating what it calls a record year. Today they threw a big bash to honor the schools and administrators who helped make it happen. Bill Stamps has more.

“I can announce to you today. That HISD this year has the highest number of exemplary and recognized schools in its history under the current accountability system. 156 schools are exemplary and recognized!” (applause).

With that announcement by superintendent Abelardo Saavedra, the crowd of teachers, principals and parents erupted into applause. Saavedra says just twenty-years ago seventy-percent of district schools were on the state’s list of lowest performing. That would have been more than 200 schools. This year just 15 schools were rated unacceptable.

School board president Harvin Moore gives teachers the credit for bringing schools up to standard. Better teachers making more money.

“We raised teacher’s salaries more than fifty-percent since 1999. And on top of that we instituted addition performance pay based on valued added growth which payed out more than twenty-five million dollars this year.”

The School Board President says most of HISD’s students are listed as at risk, but he says just because someone is poor does not mean they should get a poor education.

Bill Stamps. KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.