More Proof That Investing in Great Employees Pays Off

Anytime folks ask me what it will take to truly transform HISD into the best school district in America, I always give the same answer: "We have to make good on our promise to put a quality teacher in every classroom and an excellent principal in every school. Flashy programs and initiatives are doomed to fail without solid educators implementing them."

This week, we showed the HISD community more proof that our investment in great employees is paying off. Yesterday, we released results from the Stanford and Aprenda exams. These tests compare our students with their peers across the country, and I am proud to say that the students in HISD are now exceeding the national average in four out of five subjects. The children of Houston showed phenomenal growth, and the Stanford and Aprenda results mirror the improvement we saw on the TAKS.

We sent a special message to HISD employees to share this exciting news, but I want to once again recognize our teachers, principals, and staff for their outstanding work to boost student achievement. I also want to say a special thank you to our young people and their parents for the effort they put forth.

Michael Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, said this week that HISD is leading the way in teaching children more effectively and running schools more efficiently. He visited Houston and presented us with the Council's Award for Excellence in Financial Management. A panel of senior financial executives from some of the nation's largest school systems assessed the district's management practices and HISD is only the second district in the country to win the award. I want to congratulate Chief Financial Officer Melinda Garrett and Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla, and all the members of our financial and business operations departments for their hard work.

Even in these difficult financial times, HISD taxpayers can be confident that we are spending their money wisely, in ways that benefit our students.