I won’t use the cliché: “Houston, we have a problem.” But HISD has lots of problems at its poorest performing schools. The question is how do they fix it.
Superintendent Terry Grier is starting a new program ths year called Apollo 20. It doesn’t involve any space suits or shuttles, but the district does hope the program will help skyrocket student’s grades and test scores. Former principal Jeremy Beard was hired to oversee the program.
“We’re looking for people that have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that possess strong math skills. The commitment is ten months beginning August 2nd. There’s a twenty-thousand dollar salary for ten months, up to 5-thousand dollars bonus depending on student achievement. There’s also benefits including healthcare coverage.”
The district is hiring a total of 270 tutors. Some are for high school and other for elementary. Students who are struggling will see a tutor everyday and will also have to attend class on Saturday twice a month. Beard says the tutors should be able to help the students in a way the teachers can’t.
“When you’re able to work with a child everyday for an hour one-on-one, of course you’re going to build a better relationship than can if I’m teaching English at the high school level and I have 120 students. It’s going to take more time to build that relationship and trust.”
Beard says it’s not that the teachers are doing a bad job, it’s just harder to give a child attention who has fallen behind when the teacher needs to focus on the rest of the class.
“We know that it’s tough when you have a classroom twenty, thirty kids. It’s hard to differentiate for every single child knowing they’re at all different levels. This way, we’re balancing whole instruction with individualized instruction.”
You can apply for one of the tutoring positions by going to HISD’s website houstonisd.org or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.