High School Transformation
Change the Paradigm
Houston Independent School District (HISD) became the first two-time winner of the Broad Prize for Urban Education. The prize is a high honor for school districts, often called the Nobel Prize of school reform, and comes with $550,000 in college scholarships for the winner’s graduating seniors. The Council of Great City Schools—a consortium of the largest urban school districts—named Houston’s superintendent, Dr. Terry Grier, its urban educator of the year for 2014. Onstage at a recent school district event, Dr. Grier recalled a visit to the White House, when President Obama told him, “You know, I don’t think anyone innovates quite like Houston ISD.” Visit some of the innovative high school transformation initiatives here.
The Futures Academy Program gives students the opportunity to earn an Associate’s degree and valuable industry certifications in high-demand career fields while in high school – FOR FREE! The Futures Academy collaborates with Houston Community College to provide students courses of study that offer valuable technological and academic skills.
Transforming the way students learn is an approach HISD is implementing by connecting strong core academics to demanding career and technical education, and real-word experiences. HISD students enrolled in participating Linked Learning schools gain an advantage in high school, postsecondary education, and careers. Students can choose from industry-themed career fields, such as engineering, arts and media, and biomedicine and health as they engage in challenging project-based instruction linked to real-world applications.
In order to prepare Houston’s students for a world beyond the four walls of a classroom, HISD has launched Power Up, a districtwide initiative aimed at transforming teaching and learning. Power Up is about “powering up” all 282 of our schools to create a personalized learning environment for today’s 21st-century learners and to enable teachers to more effectively facilitate instruction, manage curriculum, collaborate with their peers, and engage today’s digitally wired students.
To be truly successful in a 21st century global market, HISD graduates must be responsible decision makers, skilled communicators, strong leaders and critical thinkers. They also must be adaptable, productive and ready for college.