Speaking before a sold-out crowd, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza and HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams urged business professionals and state lawmakers to see public education as an investment to ensure the future success of every student that walks through a school’s doors.
“I am here to tell you that we must invest in every child,” Carranza said. “Regardless of where they live, where they were born, the color of their skin, their religion, or the language they speak. Every child at every school deserves a high-quality education that prepares them for a successful future … They are our future leaders, engineers, entrepreneurs, computer programmers. They are the fulfillment of Houston’s enormous potential.”
Carranza and Adams delivered their messages while speaking Wednesday to more than 2,000 guests at the district’s annual State of the Schools address held at the Hilton Americas-Houston and hosted by the HISD Foundation. Co-chaired by Doug and Sarah Foshee and Joe and Claire Greenberg, the program also featured the district’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. The award was presented to journalist and author Roland Martin, a graduate of Yates High School, and BP Vice President of Operations, Gulf of Mexico, Aleida Rios, a graduate of Milby High School.
Both Carranza and Adams touted the district’s commitment to diversity, ensuring equity within all schools, focusing more on student learning versus testing, and creating a world-class school district.
“Every child should have the opportunity to learn the skills they need to succeed, to discover their career path, and to have fun doing it,” Adams said. “Our investment in our students is this board’s top priority. We set goals to improve student achievement in under-performing schools; to ensure that magnet programs are available for all students who wish to attend our specialty schools; and most importantly, to ensure that all children will be reading on grade level.”
The program highlighted students, teachers, and schools from across the district. Among those participating were the Whittier Elementary School Band, Wisdom High School JROTC, Kashmere High School Drumline, Chavez High School Choral Group, as well as student speakers from Law Elementary School, Milby High School, and Yates High School.