HISD Superintendent Terry Grier stepped up to the podium today with a smile on his face.
"Basically the good news for Houston students is that more of our young people are earning their high school diplomas on time. And the number of students dropping out of school is on the decline."
The numbers released were based on last year’s data but it counts towards this year. Grier came to Houston in September 2009 so these figures reflect part of his current reign. When it comes to graduation and dropout rates Grier sees positive upward trends in the data.
"Four year graduation rate for the class of 2010 was 74.3% which was 4.3% improvement from the 2008/2009 school year. Our dropout rate meanwhile is headed in the opposite direction and now stands at 12.6% a 3.2 decline from 2009. The dropout rate again increased among every racial and ethnic group."
Grier believes adding programs like the Grad Lab has helped. This is where students get extra help from a ‘graduation coach’ to complete courses they’ve failed. Grier says unfortunately three schools did not make the cut this year, Jones High School, Ryan Middle School and Texas Connection Academy. They’ll be rated as “academically unacceptable”. So despite today’s good news he believes there’s a lot done but a lot more to do.
We’ve celebrated and we’re gonna celebrate some more but we also know we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us.