More than 2,000 students, educators and community leaders gathered in downtown Houston Friday at the Hilton Americas Hotel for the 2013 Houston Independent School District State of the Schools Address.
"We are here today to see the beginning of the future of education," Superintendent Terry Grier said. "No longer can we think about education in the manner in which we experienced it. It's a whole new world and we are part of leading it."
Grier said HISD student achievement reached record levels in 2012. The district was rewarded by being named a finalist for the Board Prize for Urban Education for the first time in a decade. Those achievements include:
- a 45 percent increase in the number of college-level Advanced Placement exams passed by HISD students since 2009
- the highest graduation rate and lowest dropout rate ever for HISD under the modern accountability system
- a $130 million increase in college scholarship offers to HISD students since 2009
- hundreds more HISD students scoring at the college-ready level on the SAT
- students in HISD’s Apollo 20 school turnaround program are progressing at the same rate academically as students in America’s best charter schools
- lessons from Apollo 20 are being implemented in schools across HISD
"There is more to be done," Grier said. "Our focus is on becoming great all over. It’s a powerful mindset that’s being embedded in every facet of our district."