I read today's Jason Spencer story in the Chronicle about the challenges school districts, and specifically HISD, are facing to educate Katrina-displaced students, and I was stunned.
He got it! Or maybe his editors got it...or maybe both!
As urban school systems go, Houston is considered better than average.
Last school year, more than 60 percent of HISD's students in grades three, five and nine scored above the national average on the Stanford Achievement Test. Fewer than one-third of the New Orleans Public Schools students in those grades beat the national average on the similar Iowa Test of Basic Skills during 2003-04.
"Those that ended up in Houston are lucky," said Robert Stockwell, who left a job as HISD's chief academic officer last year and now holds the same position in Baton Rouge. "They are in a system that is well prepared to help students be successful."
Specifically, Houston's reading program for elementary school students is far ahead of practices in New Orleans, Stockwell said.
"Houston is probably at a much higher level of organization and expectations than what would be expected in New Orleans," he said. "Reading, for many pockets of the city, was a major issue."
Wow! That's terrific!
I'll encourage you to read the entire story -- it's worth it. What HISD has done in less than a week, IS amazing, in spite of these educational experts whining that HISD isn't focused on lengthening its summer lunch program.