Broad Committee Arrives at HISD to See District’s Progress

Team of researchers will meet with teachers, principals, staff to evaluate district for prize

May 22, 2012

A decade after HISD won the inaugural Broad Prize for Urban Education, committee members for the 2012 Broad Prize have arrived at HISD to evaluate the district again as a finalist for the largest education award in the country given to school districts.

Superintendent Terry Grier said he is proud of the district's overall performance and improvements in student achievement gaps among poor and minority students—gains that have led to the second nomination.

"It really speaks to what our teachers, our principals, and all of Team HISD has been able to accomplish," Dr. Grier said. "I could not be more proud as the school superintendent to work in a district where you are one of the four finalists for the Broad award."

Among the reasons HISD was selected as a Broad finalist:

- Steady gains in graduation rates among African-American and Hispanic students.

- Increased participation rates for African-American and Hispanic students on SAT, ACT, and Advanced Placement exams.

- Notable gains on math and science state assessments among Hispanic middle and high school students.

HISD's achievement during the evaluated school years was supported by data-driven transformations in three key areas: human capital, access to rigor, and building a "no excuses" culture. (See PowerPoint from Dr. Grier's presentation to the Broad committee outlining those transformations.)

Dr. Grier said HISD leaders of the past and present laid the foundation that led to a second nomination.

"HISD won the first Broad Prize in 2002 because this district was led by visionary people who truly believed that every child has the ability to excel in the classroom if we give our teachers and principals the tools they need," Dr. Grier said. "I'm proud to say that this children-first philosophy still guides every decision we make in HISD today and that it is producing results."

The other finalists this year are: Corona-Norco Unified School District in Riverside County, Calif., Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and The School District of Palm Beach County, Fla.  The winner of the 2012 Broad Prize will be announced on Tuesday, Oct. 23, in New York City at the Museum of Modern Art. 

"All urban districts have much more work to do to help students of all backgrounds thrive," said Eli Broad, founder of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. "However, Houston can be proud that on a robust set of measures of student progress, students of all backgrounds in HISD stand out among urban students nationally for their academic performance and improvement."