Houston Independent School District
Overview
 
The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest public school system in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and the seventh-largest in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Houston ISD serves as a community school district
School district
School districts are a form of special-purpose district which serves to operate the local public primary and secondary schools.-United States:...

 for most of the city of Houston and several nearby and insular municipalities. Like most districts in Texas it is independent
Independent school district
An independent school district is a type of school district in the United States for primary and secondary education, which operates as an entity that is independent and separate from any municipality, county, or state...

 of the city of Houston and all other municipal and county jurisdictions. The district has its headquarters in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (HMWESC) in Houston.

In 2009, the school district was rated "academically acceptable
Texas Education Agency accountability ratings system
The Texas Education Agency accountability ratings system rates all public schools, charter schools, and school districts in the State of Texas.The criteria are the same for schools and districts, and are discussed below...

" by the Texas Education Agency
Texas Education Agency
The Texas Education Agency is a branch of the state government of Texas in the United States responsible for public education. The agency is headquartered in the William B...

.
Houston ISD was established in the 1920s, after the Texas Legislature voted to separate school and municipal governments.
Encyclopedia
The Houston Independent School District (HISD) is the largest public school system in Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 and the seventh-largest in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Houston ISD serves as a community school district
School district
School districts are a form of special-purpose district which serves to operate the local public primary and secondary schools.-United States:...

 for most of the city of Houston and several nearby and insular municipalities. Like most districts in Texas it is independent
Independent school district
An independent school district is a type of school district in the United States for primary and secondary education, which operates as an entity that is independent and separate from any municipality, county, or state...

 of the city of Houston and all other municipal and county jurisdictions. The district has its headquarters in the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (HMWESC) in Houston.

In 2009, the school district was rated "academically acceptable
Texas Education Agency accountability ratings system
The Texas Education Agency accountability ratings system rates all public schools, charter schools, and school districts in the State of Texas.The criteria are the same for schools and districts, and are discussed below...

" by the Texas Education Agency
Texas Education Agency
The Texas Education Agency is a branch of the state government of Texas in the United States responsible for public education. The agency is headquartered in the William B...

.

History

Houston ISD was established in the 1920s, after the Texas Legislature voted to separate school and municipal governments. Houston ISD replaced the Harrisburg School District.

The number of students in public schools in Houston increased from 5,500 in 1888 to over 8,850 in 1927.

Houston ISD absorbed portions of the White Oak Independent School District in 1937 and portions of the Addicks Independent School District after its dissolution.

Houston ISD integrated races in a peaceful manner. Its school board, consisting of conservative White American
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

s, instituted a phase-in with each subsequent grade being integrated. Local African-American leaders believed the pace was too slow, and William Lawson, a youth minister, asked Wheatley High School
Wheatley High School (Houston)
Phillis Wheatley High School is a secondary school located at 4801 Providence Street in Houston, Texas, United States with a ZIP code of 77020....

 students to boycott school. Five days afterwards 10% of Wheatley students attended classes. In 1970 a federal judge asked the district to speed the integration process. Some Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

s felt they were being discriminated against when they were being put with only African Americans as part of the desegregation plan, so many took their children out of the schools and put them in "huelgas," or protest schools, until a ruling in 1973 satisfied their demands. At first the district used forced busing, but later switched to a voluntary magnet school
Magnet school
In education in the United States, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. "Magnet" refers to how the schools draw students from across the normal boundaries defined by authorities as school zones that feed into certain schools.There are magnet schools at the...

 program.

In 1987 Olivia Munoz, the district's foreign language director, said that an increase in interest in foreign languages prompted the district to add foreign language languages to four high schools.

In 1994, after superintendent Frank Petruzielo left the district, the school district voted 6-1 to make Yvonne Gonzalez the interim superintendent; the school district board members described this as a "symbolic" motion as Gonzalez was the first Hispanic interim superintendent. Gonzalez served until Rod Paige
Rod Paige
Roderick Raynor "Rod" Paige served as the 7th United States Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. Paige, who grew up in Mississippi, built a career on a belief that education equalizes opportunity, moving from classroom teacher to college dean and school superintendent to be the first African...

 became the superintendent.

In the 1990s, after voters rejected a $390 million bond package, Paige contracted with The Varnett School, River Oaks Academy
River Oaks Academy
River Oaks Academy is a private school at 10600 Richmond Avenue in the Westchase district of Houston, Texas, United States. The school covers grades Kindergarten through 12.-History:The school opened in 1988....

, and Wonderland School to house 250 students who could not be placed in HISD schools. The schools were paid $3,565 per student. This was 10% lower than the district's own per pupil cost.

In 2011 the Texas Education Agency
Texas Education Agency
The Texas Education Agency is a branch of the state government of Texas in the United States responsible for public education. The agency is headquartered in the William B...

 ordered the North Forest Independent School District
North Forest Independent School District
North Forest Independent School District is a school district based in northeast Houston, Texas.In 2009, the school district was rated "academically unacceptable" by the Texas Education Agency....

 (NFISD) to close, pending approval from the U.S. Justice Department. NFISD would be merged into HISD.

Secession movements

In 1977, group of citizens in western Houston tried to form Westheimer Independent School District out of a portion of Houston ISD. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:* Eastern District of Louisiana* Middle District of Louisiana...

 rejected the appeals after formation of the district was denied.

HISD once served the Harris County portion of Stafford
Stafford, Texas
Stafford is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. The city is mostly in Fort Bend County with a small portion in Harris County. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, Stafford's population was 15,681....

, until the Stafford Municipal School District
Stafford Municipal School District
Stafford Municipal School District is a school district based in Stafford, Texas, United States. The district covers all of the city of Stafford and is controlled by the city, the only school district in Texas that is not an independent school district operated by an independent school board.There...

 was established in 1982 to serve the entire city of Stafford. Most of Stafford was in Fort Bend ISD, with a small amount in Houston ISD.

Reporting of school violence

A 2003 The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

report which asserted that HISD did not report school violence to the police created controversy in the community as teachers, students, and parents expressed concern about the district's downplaying of campus violence. HISD officials held a news conference after the publication of the story. During the conference, HISD asserted that The New York Times published the story in an attempt to discredit the Bush administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

's new accountability standards for school districts nationwide, which were partly modeled after HISD's system.

School performance

HISD's performance in the late 1990s and 2000s was dubbed the "Houston Miracle" by the media. A 2003 state audit of HISD's performance caused more controversy. One of the district's most publicized accomplishments during the Paige era was a dramatic reduction in dropout rates. When 16 secondary schools, including Sharpstown High School
Sharpstown High School
Sharpstown High School is a secondary school located at 7504 Bissonnet Street in Greater Sharpstown, Houston, Texas, United States with a zip code of 77074. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is a part of the Houston Independent School District...

, were audited, it was found that most of the students who left school from those schools in 2000-2001 should have been counted as dropouts, but were not. It was found that the administrators at Sharpstown deliberately changed the dropout rate at the school. The Sharpstown controversy resulted in a recommendation to label the entire HISD as "unacceptable." Former Sharpstown Assistant Principal Robert Kimball, asserts that HISD coerced administrators at many schools to lie on dropout rates. HISD asserts that the fraud is only contained to Sharpstown, and that the false statistics at other schools were caused by confusion related to the state's system of tracking students who leave school. An article in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

disputed the accuracy and usage of survey figures from Yates High School
Yates High School
Jack Yates Senior High School is a secondary school located at 3703 Sampson in the Third Ward in Houston, Texas with a zip code of 77004. Yates High School handles grades nine through twelve and is part of the Houston Independent School District ....

 and Sharpstown High School
Sharpstown High School
Sharpstown High School is a secondary school located at 7504 Bissonnet Street in Greater Sharpstown, Houston, Texas, United States with a zip code of 77074. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is a part of the Houston Independent School District...

 indicating that close to 100% of the students intended to attend universities.

For the past two years, HISD has failed to meet standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act
No Child Left Behind Act
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is a United States Act of Congress concerning the education of children in public schools.NCLB was originally proposed by the administration of George W. Bush immediately after he took office...

. In response, HISD is working on a reform of its magnet program, forcing each program to justify its existence, with the intent to eliminate unneeded/unworkable programs.

Hurricane Katrina

In 2005, HISD enrolled refugees from the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

 who were residing in Houston. The Houston Astrodome, the shelter used for hurricane refugees, is located within the HISD boundaries.

Many Katrina refugees stayed for the long term within the Houston ISD boundaries. Walnut Bend Elementary School
Walnut Bend Elementary School
Walnut Bend Elementary School is a primary school located in Houston, Texas. As a result of a bond proposal passed in 2002, it has been completely rebuilt over the old school; it was the first LEED "Green School" in the Houston Independent School District....

's enrollment increased from around 600 to around 800 with the addition of 184 refugees; Walnut Bend, out of all of the Houston-area elementary schools, took the most Katrina victims. Nearby Paul Revere Middle School, located in the Westchase
Westchase, Houston, Texas
Westchase is a business management district, with some residential and retail elements, located in western Houston, Texas, United States. The district is bounded roughly by Westheimer Road on the north, Gessner Road on the east, Wilcrest Drive on the west, and the Westpark Tollway on the south...

 district, gained 137 Katrina victims. Revere, out of all of the Houston-area middle schools, has taken in the most Katrina victims.

Houston ISD's "West Region," which includes Walnut Bend and Revere, had about one-fifth of Houston ISD's schools but contained more than half of the 5,500 Katrina refugees in Houston schools.

At the start of the 2006-2007 school year, around 2,900 Hurricane Katrina refugees were still enrolled in Houston ISD schools. Around 700 of them were held back due to poor academic performance. 41% of refugee 10th graders and 52% of refugee juniors were held back.

According to the October 2006 "For Your Information" newsletter, the eleven HISD schools which took the largest number of Katrina refugees were:
  • Elementary schools: Bonham, Foerster, McNamara, Walnut Bend
    Walnut Bend Elementary School
    Walnut Bend Elementary School is a primary school located in Houston, Texas. As a result of a bond proposal passed in 2002, it has been completely rebuilt over the old school; it was the first LEED "Green School" in the Houston Independent School District....

  • Middle schools: Fondren, Revere, Sharpstown Middle
    Sharpstown Middle School
    Sharpstown Middle SchoolPrincipal AdministratorJeff AmersonGrade levels6 - 12Founded1967School typePublic school Religious affiliationLocationHouston, Texas, United StatesEnrollment1,264 students...

  • High schools: Lee
    Lee High School (Houston)
    Lee High School, formerly Robert E. Lee High School, is a publicly funded secondary school located in Southwest Houston, Texas, United States 77057. The Houston Independent School District, the 7th largest school district in the United States, operates Lee, a public admission school that enrolls...

    , Sharpstown High
    Sharpstown High School
    Sharpstown High School is a secondary school located at 7504 Bissonnet Street in Greater Sharpstown, Houston, Texas, United States with a zip code of 77074. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is a part of the Houston Independent School District...

    , Westbury
    Westbury High School (Houston)
    Westbury High School is a secondary school located in Brays Oaks, of Southwest Houston, Texas, near the Westbury neighborhood. It has grades 9 through 12, and is part of the Houston Independent School District. As of 2010 the principal is Andrew Wainwright...

    , Westside
    Westside High School (Houston)
    Westside High School is a secondary school in Houston, Texas, United States. It serves grades 9 through 12 and is part of the Houston Independent School District.The school is located at 14201 Briar Forest in Houston, Texas, in the 77077 zip code...



A University of Houston
University of Houston
The University of Houston is a state research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas's third-largest university with nearly 40,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of...

 study concluded that the presence of Katrina refugees did not impact the test score grades of native Houstonian students.

District organization

On December 1, 1994, HISD board members voted to divide HISD into 12 numbered geographic districts; of eleven districts, each district had one to three high schools. The 12th district was an alternative district.

Prior to Summer 2005, HISD had 13 administrative districts. Originally, the number of districts were to be cut to three, but HISD decided on cutting the number to five in fall 2005.

Declining enrollment figures in the 2000s

The preliminary fall enrollment for the 2006-2007 school year (203,163) had 7,000 fewer students than the 2005-2006 student enrollment (210,202), resulting in a more than 3% loss; the 2006-2007 enrollment was a 2.5% decrease from the fall 2004-2005 enrollment (208,454). From the preliminary 2006-2007 student count, the West and Central regions lost the most students, with a combined 4,400 student loss. The enrollment reported for the year in February 2007 was 202,936.

Micro Systems Enterprises

In 2007 the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

, the Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency of the United States government, created, Congressional statute , and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the...

, and the United States Department of Justice
United States Department of Justice
The United States Department of Justice , is the United States federal executive department responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries.The Department is led by the Attorney General, who is nominated...

 began an investigation probing business relationships between Micro Systems Enterprises, a vendor, and HISD. Frankie Wong, former president of Micro Systems, and two Dallas Independent School District
Dallas Independent School District
The Dallas Independent School District is a school district based in Dallas, Texas . Dallas ISD, which operates schools in much of Dallas County, is the second largest school district in Texas and the twelfth largest in the United States.In 2009, the school district was rated "academically...

 administrators received criminal charges.

Free breakfast programs

In the 2000s HISD established "Breakfast in the Classroom." The program was replaced with a free breakfast program based in cafeterias. The Houston Press
Houston Press
The Houston Press is an alternative weekly newspaper published in Houston, Texas, United States. It is headquartered in Downtown Houston....

published a story about accounting irregularities regarding a program; the State of Texas announced it would investigate the program. On February 4, 2005, Abelardo Saavedra
Abelardo Saavedra
Dr. Abelardo "Abe" Saavedra is a school district superintendent. He is the former superintendent of the Houston Independent School District headquartered in Houston, Texas, United States.-Education:...

 announced that the program was suspended. By 2006 HISD resumed its free breakfast programs.

In January 2006, HISD started the implementation of the Primero
Cybersoft
Cybersoft Technologies, Inc. is a software company that makes software for School Nutrition or Food Service departments in K-12 school districts in the United States. The company has its headquarters along Farm to Market Road 1960 in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, near Houston...

 Child Nutrition software system from Cybersoft
Cybersoft
Cybersoft Technologies, Inc. is a software company that makes software for School Nutrition or Food Service departments in K-12 school districts in the United States. The company has its headquarters along Farm to Market Road 1960 in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, near Houston...

 and successfully completed that implementation in the projected timeframe and well under budget. The software helped run the district's Food Service department with high accountability, lower costs and increased the revenues.

Bilingual education and magnet and Vanguard schools

HISD focuses on bilingual education
Bilingual education
Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model.-Bilingual education program models:...

 of its predominantly Hispanic
Hispanic
Hispanic is a term that originally denoted a relationship to Hispania, which is to say the Iberian Peninsula: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal and Spain. During the Modern Era, Hispanic sometimes takes on a more limited meaning, particularly in the United States, where the term means a person of ...

 student body, including recruiting about 330 teachers from Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

, Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 from 1998 to 2007.

Houston ISD offers three specialized programs, magnet programs, vanguard programs, and neighborhood vanguard programs. Each magnet program has a special focus and draws students throughout HISD. Each vanguard program is a gifted and talented program for students throughout HISD. A neighborhood vanguard program is a program designed for gifted and talented children zoned to a particular school. As of 2011, its 113 programs served almost 20% of the HISD student population.

Magnet schools began in the 1970s as a way to voluntarily racially integrate schools. By the mid-1990s many magnet schools no longer held this goal and instead focused on improving educational quality of schools. As of 2011 magnet schools continued to be popular among HISD constituents.

HISD's magnet (Performing Arts, Science, Health Professions, Law Enforcement, etc.) high schools are considered a model for other urban school districts as a way to provide a high quality education and keep top performing students in the inner city from fleeing to private school
Private school
Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

s or exurban school districts. Magnet schools are popular with parents and students that wish to escape low-performing schools and school violence. The members of the administration of schools losing students to higher-performing campuses, such as Bill Miller of Yates High School
Yates High School
Jack Yates Senior High School is a secondary school located at 3703 Sampson in the Third Ward in Houston, Texas with a zip code of 77004. Yates High School handles grades nine through twelve and is part of the Houston Independent School District ....

, complained about the effects.

There are 55 elementary magnet schools, 30 magnet middle schools, and 27 magnet high schools. Some magnet schools are mixed comprehensive and magnet programs, while others are solidly magnet and do not admit any "neighborhood" students.

Student body

For the 2009-2010 school year the district reported a total enrollment of 202,773
  • 125,097 (61.7%) were Hispanic American
  • 53,680 (26.5%) were African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

  • 15,889 (7.8%) were White American
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

  • 5,962 (2.9%) were Asian American
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

  • 1,241 (0.6%) were Multiracial
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

  • 531 (0.3%) were American Indian
    Indigenous peoples of the Americas
    The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

     or Alaska Native
  • 373 (0.2%) were Native Hawaiian/Other Islander


Between the 1970-1971 and the 1971-1972 school years, during a period of white flight
White flight
White flight has been a term that originated in the United States, starting in the mid-20th century, and applied to the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions. It was first seen as...

 from major urban school districts across the United States, enrollment at HISD decreased by 16,000. Of that number, 700 were African Americans. By the 1990s HISD's student body was increasingly made up of racial and ethnic minority groups.

Of the 9th graders that were in the graduating classes of 2004-2005 in the district, 15% successfully obtained bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees. The U.S. average was 23%. In the District of Columbia Public Schools
District of Columbia Public Schools
District of Columbia Public Schools is the traditional public school system of Washington, D.C. in the United States.- Composition and enrollment :...

, 9% of its equivalent 9th grade class received a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science and/or higher.

As of 2007, of the more than 29 HISD HISD high schools, five had White students as the largest group of students; one of them, High School for Performing and Visual Arts, was the district's only White majority high school.

In 2010 Peter Messiah, the head of HISD's Homeless Education Office, said that HISD classified around 3,000 students as homeless. Margaret Downing of the Houston Press
Houston Press
The Houston Press is an alternative weekly newspaper published in Houston, Texas, United States. It is headquartered in Downtown Houston....

said that Messiah predicted "with confidence" that the actual number of homeless is higher because some families are too embarrassed to self-identify as homeless. Messiah also said that in the years leading to 2010, the number of students classified as homeless increased because the school district became better able to identify homeless students and because the Late-2000s recession continued to have an effect on their families.

As of 2011, between 50% and 66% of White students within the HISD boundaries enroll in private schools.

Governance

As of September 2009, the superintendent of Houston ISD is Terry Grier.

As of 2010 the members of the HISD Board of Education are:
  • President: Greg Meyers
  • First Vice President: Paula M. Harris
  • Second Vice President: Diana Dávila
  • Secretary: Carol Mims Galloway
  • Assistant Secretary:

Other members include: Michael L. Lunceford, Lawrence Marshall, Harvin C. Moore, and Manuel Rodríguez Jr.

Superintendents

Former HISD superintendent Rod Paige
Rod Paige
Roderick Raynor "Rod" Paige served as the 7th United States Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. Paige, who grew up in Mississippi, built a career on a belief that education equalizes opportunity, moving from classroom teacher to college dean and school superintendent to be the first African...

 used the PEER Program. Improving scores from its schools have caused a lot of praise from others nationwide. Kaye Stripling took over when Rod Paige headed to Washington, DC as part of United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's administration
George W. Bush administration
The presidency of George W. Bush began on January 20, 2001, when he was inaugurated as the 43rd President of the United States of America. The oldest son of former president George H. W. Bush, George W...

 cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

. After Stripling stepped down as the interim Superintendent, Abelardo Saavedra
Abelardo Saavedra
Dr. Abelardo "Abe" Saavedra is a school district superintendent. He is the former superintendent of the Houston Independent School District headquartered in Houston, Texas, United States.-Education:...

 became the superintendent of the district on December 9, 2004.

Political divisions

As of 2010 HISD schools are organized by elementary school, middle school, and high school offices.

Previously schools in Houston ISD were organized into "Regional Districts". Each district had its own Regional Superintendent.

There were five regional districts in Houston ISD:
  • Central Regional District
  • East Regional District
  • North Regional District
  • South Regional District
  • West Regional District


Prior to its 2005 reorganization, HISD had the following districts:
Geographic districts:
  • Central District
  • East District
  • North District
  • North Central District
  • Northeast District
  • Northwest District
  • South District
  • South Central District
  • Southeast District
  • Southwest District
  • West District

Other districts:
  • Alternative District
  • Acres Homes Coalition Schools


An additional district, the West Central District, was later established before the reorganization.

Taxation

As of 2010, of the school districts in Harris County, Houston ISD has the lowest taxation rate.

Houston ISD television channel

Houses in the Houston ISD area get the Houston ISD channel on cable.
  • Channel 18 of Comcast
    Comcast
    Comcast Corporation is the largest cable operator, home Internet service provider, and fourth largest home telephone service provider in the United States, providing cable television, broadband Internet, and telephone service to both residential and commercial customers in 39 states and the...

  • Channel 76 of Phonoscope Communications
    Phonoscope Communications
    Phonoscope Communications is a broadband and cable television provider with corporate headquarters in Houston, Texas.Lee Cook, Founder and CEO -...

  • Channel 96 of TV Max
  • Channel 18 of Cebridge

HISD coverage area

The district
School district
School districts are a form of special-purpose district which serves to operate the local public primary and secondary schools.-United States:...

 covers much of the greater-Houston area, including all of the cities of Bellaire
Bellaire, Texas
Bellaire is a city in southwest Harris County, Texas, United States, within the metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 15,642 and is completely surrounded by the cities of Houston and West University Place....

, West University Place
West University Place, Texas
West University Place, often called West University or West U for short, is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within the metropolitan area and southwestern Harris County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,211...

,. Southside Place
Southside Place, Texas
Southside Place is a city in west central Harris County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,546 at the 2000 census.As of 2000, Southside Place is the 13th wealthiest location in Texas by per capita income....

, and most of the area within the Houston city limits. HISD also takes students from the Harris County
Harris County, Texas
As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 4,092,459, White Americans made up 56.6% of Harris County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 33.0% of the population. Black Americans made up 18.9% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.7% of Harris County's population...

 portion of Missouri City
Missouri City, Texas
Missouri City is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within the metropolitan area. The city is mostly in Fort Bend County with a small portion within Harris County. As of the 2000 U.S...

, a portion of Jacinto City
Jacinto City, Texas
Jacinto City is a city in Harris County, Texas, United States, east of the intersection of Interstate 10 and the East Loop of Interstate 610. Jacinto City is part of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area and is bordered by the cities of Houston and Galena Park...

, a small portion of Hunters Creek Village
Hunters Creek Village, Texas
Hunters Creek Village is a city in Harris County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,374 at the 2000 census.The United States Postal Service uses "Houston" for all Hunters Creek Village addresses; "Hunters Creek Village" is not an acceptable city designation for mail addressed to places in...

, a small portion of Piney Point Village
Piney Point Village, Texas
Piney Point Village is a city in Harris County, Texas. The population was 3,380 at the 2000 census. Piney Point Village is also considered one of the wealthiest communities in the Greater Houston area.-History:...

, and a small portion of Pearland
Pearland, Texas
Pearland , is a city located along the Gulf Coast region in the US state of Texas within the metropolitan area and is in the counties of Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Harris. As of the census of 2000, the city's population was 37,640. As of 2008, Pearland is estimated to have a population of 90,700...

. HISD also takes students from unincorporated areas of Harris County
Harris County, Texas
As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 4,092,459, White Americans made up 56.6% of Harris County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 33.0% of the population. Black Americans made up 18.9% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.7% of Harris County's population...

. The district covers 300.2 square miles (777.5 km²) of land.

All of the HISD area lies within the taxation area for the Houston Community College System
Houston Community College System
Houston Community College System is a community college system that operates community colleges in Houston, Missouri City, and Stafford in Texas....

.

Cities

Houston ISD covers all of the following municipalities:
  • Bellaire
    Bellaire, Texas
    Bellaire is a city in southwest Harris County, Texas, United States, within the metropolitan area. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the city population was 15,642 and is completely surrounded by the cities of Houston and West University Place....

  • Southside Place
    Southside Place, Texas
    Southside Place is a city in west central Harris County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,546 at the 2000 census.As of 2000, Southside Place is the 13th wealthiest location in Texas by per capita income....

  • West University Place
    West University Place, Texas
    West University Place, often called West University or West U for short, is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within the metropolitan area and southwestern Harris County, Texas, United States. As of the 2000 U.S. Census, the population of the city was 14,211...



Houston ISD covers portions of the following municipalities:
  • Houston
    Houston, Texas
    Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

     (the majority of Houston, including much of the inside Loop area falls under HISD)
  • Hunters Creek Village
    Hunters Creek Village, Texas
    Hunters Creek Village is a city in Harris County, Texas, United States. The population was 4,374 at the 2000 census.The United States Postal Service uses "Houston" for all Hunters Creek Village addresses; "Hunters Creek Village" is not an acceptable city designation for mail addressed to places in...

     (areas south of Buffalo Bayou are HISD)
  • Jacinto City
    Jacinto City, Texas
    Jacinto City is a city in Harris County, Texas, United States, east of the intersection of Interstate 10 and the East Loop of Interstate 610. Jacinto City is part of the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area and is bordered by the cities of Houston and Galena Park...

     (areas north of Market street are in Houston ISD)
  • Missouri City
    Missouri City, Texas
    Missouri City is a city located in the U.S. state of Texas within the metropolitan area. The city is mostly in Fort Bend County with a small portion within Harris County. As of the 2000 U.S...

     (Harris County portion only)
  • Pearland
    Pearland, Texas
    Pearland , is a city located along the Gulf Coast region in the US state of Texas within the metropolitan area and is in the counties of Brazoria, Fort Bend, and Harris. As of the census of 2000, the city's population was 37,640. As of 2008, Pearland is estimated to have a population of 90,700...

     (A section of the Harris County portion)
  • Piney Point Village
    Piney Point Village, Texas
    Piney Point Village is a city in Harris County, Texas. The population was 3,380 at the 2000 census. Piney Point Village is also considered one of the wealthiest communities in the Greater Houston area.-History:...

     (areas south of Buffalo Bayou are in HISD)


HISD also covers unincorporated sections of Harris County
Harris County, Texas
As of the 2010 Census, the population of the county was 4,092,459, White Americans made up 56.6% of Harris County's population; non-Hispanic whites represented 33.0% of the population. Black Americans made up 18.9% of the population. Native Americans made up 0.7% of Harris County's population...

, including portions of the Airline Improvement District
Airline, Texas
The Airline Improvement District is a management district in unincorporated Harris County, Texas.During the 79th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature, Texas House of Representatives member Kevin Bailey authored Bill #1458, which authorized the creation of the Airline Improvement District. The...

.

Transportation

Houston ISD grants school bus
School bus
A school bus is a type of bus designed and manufactured for student transport: carrying children and teenagers to and from school and school events...

 transportation to any Houston ISD resident attending his or her zoned school or attending a magnet program who lives 2 mi (3.2 km) or more away from the campus (as measured by the nearest public roads) or must cross treacherous obstacles in order to reach the campus. Certain special education students are also permitted to use school bus transportation.
HISD does not provide transportation for pre-kindergarten students.

List of schools


In HISD grades kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 through 5 are considered to be elementary school, grades 6 through 8 are considered to be middle school, and grades 9 through 12 are considered to be high school. Some elementary schools go up to the sixth grade.

Every house in HISD is assigned to an elementary school, a middle school, and a high school. HISD has many alternative programs and transfer options available to students who want a specialized education and/or dislike their home schools.

Dress codes

As of 2007, over twenty high schools require their students to wear school uniform
School uniform
A school uniform is an outfit—a set of standardized clothes—worn primarily for an educational institution. They are common in primary and secondary schools in various countries . When used, they form the basis of a school's dress code.Traditionally school uniforms have been largely subdued and...

s or "standardized dress." Of them, one Lamar High School
Lamar High School (Houston)
Mirabeau B. Lamar Senior High School is a secondary school located at 3325 Westheimer Road in Houston, Texas, United States, with a zip code of 77098...

, had a White
White American
White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

 plurality. Nine Houston ISD high schools did not require students to wear uniforms or standardized dress. Four of them had White students as the largest group of students.

Around the early 1990s the district began a trend of more localized management, so local schools set their own dress code policies. At the start of the 1994-1995 school year 37 HISD elementary and middle schools had uniforms or standardized dress; this was a large increase from the previous school year.

Administration building

The current administration building, the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, is located in northwest Houston. The administration moved into the offices in spring 2006. It is named after Hattie Mae White, the first African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 HISD board member and the first African-American public official in the State of Texas elected since the Reconstruction.

The current Sam Houston High School
Sam Houston High School (Houston)
Sam Houston Center for Math, Technology, and SciencePrincipal AdministratorJane Crump , Rolando Treviño Grade levels9 - 12Founded1878School typePublic school Religious affiliationLocation Houston, TexasEnrollment...

 building in the Northside
Northside, Houston
The Northside is a district of Houston, Texas, United States. It is within the Greater Northside Management District.-History:House Bill 3634, authored by state representative Jessica Farrar and sponsored in the Texas Senate by Mario Gallegos, created the management district...

 opened in 1955. The previous Sam Houston High School building in Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston
Downtown Houston is the largest business district of Houston, Texas, United States. Downtown Houston, the city's central business district, contains the headquarters of many prominent companies. There is an extensive network of pedestrian tunnels and skywalks connecting the buildings of the district...

 became the administrative headquarters of HISD. By the early 1970s HISD moved its headquarters out of the building, which was demolished. As of 2011 an HISD-owned parking lot occupies the former school lot; a state historical marker is located at the lot. In meetings it had been proposed as a new location for the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a secondary school located at 4001 Stanford Street in the Montrose district of Houston, Texas. The school is a part of the Houston Independent School District....

.

Houston ISD's administration building from July 1970 to March 2006 was the 201150 square feet (18,687.4 m²) Hattie Mae White Administration Building, located at 3830 Richmond Avenue. The facility was labeled the "Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

" due to the counter-clockwise circular layout and the split-level floor pattern. The design made it difficult for wheelchair-bound individuals to navigate the building. The complex cost six million United States dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

s. The building had tropical indoor atrium
Atrium (architecture)
In modern architecture, an atrium is a large open space, often several stories high and having a glazed roof and/or large windows, often situated within a larger multistory building and often located immediately beyond the main entrance doors...

s, causing critics to criticize the spending priorities of the district. When the district considered cutting a popular kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

 program for financial reasons, taxpayers voted many board members out of office. The district sold the former complex for $38 million to a company which demolished the site and developed a mixed-use commercial property; demolition began on September 14, 2006. Demolition crews destroyed the Will Rogers Elementary School, an adjacent elementary school located at 3101 Weslayan that closed in spring 2006. The former HISD administration building appears in the film The Thief Who Came to Dinner
The Thief Who Came to Dinner
The Thief Who Came to Dinner is a 1973 comedy film directed by Bud Yorkin and based on the novel by Terrence Lore Smith. The film stars Ryan O'Neal and Jacqueline Bisset, with Charles Cioffi, Warren Oates, and in an early appearance, Jill Clayburgh....

.

The land of the former administration building now includes a Costco
Costco
Costco Wholesale Corporation is the largest membership warehouse club chain in the United States. it is the third largest retailer in the United States, where it originated, and the ninth largest in the world...

 among other businesses.

Notable employees and teachers

  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon B. Johnson
    Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

    , a teacher who became the 36th President of the United States
  • Laura Bush
    Laura Bush
    Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

    , a teacher at Kennedy Elementary School who later became the First Lady of the United States
    First Lady of the United States
    First Lady of the United States is the title of the hostess of the White House. Because this position is traditionally filled by the wife of the president of the United States, the title is most often applied to the wife of a sitting president. The current first lady is Michelle Obama.-Current:The...

  • Alberto Gonzales
    Alberto Gonzales
    Alberto R. Gonzales was the 80th Attorney General of the United States. Gonzales was appointed to the post in February 2005 by President George W. Bush. Gonzales was the first Hispanic Attorney General in U.S. history and the highest-ranking Hispanic government official ever...

    , chair of the Commission for District Decentralization, later became United States Attorney General
    United States Attorney General
    The United States Attorney General is the head of the United States Department of Justice concerned with legal affairs and is the chief law enforcement officer of the United States government. The attorney general is considered to be the chief lawyer of the U.S. government...

  • Edison E. Oberholtzer
    Edison E. Oberholtzer
    Edison Ellsworth Oberholtzer was the founder and first president of the University of Houston. Oberholtzer obtained his undergraduate education at Westfield College in Westfield, Illinois and Indiana State Normal School . In 1915, he received his Master of Arts degree from the University of...

    , former superintendent, founder and first president of the University of Houston
    University of Houston
    The University of Houston is a state research university, and is the flagship institution of the University of Houston System. Founded in 1927, it is Texas's third-largest university with nearly 40,000 students. Its campus spans 667 acres in southeast Houston, and was known as University of...

  • Rod Paige
    Rod Paige
    Roderick Raynor "Rod" Paige served as the 7th United States Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. Paige, who grew up in Mississippi, built a career on a belief that education equalizes opportunity, moving from classroom teacher to college dean and school superintendent to be the first African...

    , former superintendent, became the United States Secretary of Education
    United States Secretary of Education
    The United States Secretary of Education is the head of the Department of Education. The Secretary is a member of the President's Cabinet, and 16th in line of United States presidential line of succession...


See also



External links

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