Principals like Tiffany Chenier at McNamara Elementary School where barely half the students passed the writing portion of the test last year, but this year 92-percent passed. Chenier attributes that to many changes both she and the district made, so I asked her why weren't those changes made years ago.
"There was a time that it was okay for some students to be successful, and there was a thought, or a belief, that perhaps some may not be. That is no longer the case in our district, specifically, not in our school."
Dowling Middle School principal Barrett Brooks saw his test scores skyrocket as well this year. Passing the test was the focus of his staff members and each student. One in particular told him she knew she did well.
"We looked at all the grades, and in fact she passed every subject in all of the state-mandated tests. And at the end, she gave me a hug and said thank you."
Bill Stamps, KUHF, Houston Public Radio.