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HISD Working to Help Strong Teachers Advance Careers Without Leaving Classrooms

Board will also discuss new magnet program policy

November 10, 2011 – HISD is poised to begin working with teachers to create new career options designed for great educators who want to grow professionally and increase their impact on students without pursuing traditional administrative jobs that take them out of classrooms.On Thursday, November 10, 2011, the Board of Education is expected to decide whether to approve partnering with the Parthenon Group to design financially rewarding career pathways for HISD’s most effective teachers.

Parthenon would be tasked with analyzing data on the current pay system for teachers and incorporating the best practices from across K-12 education and other industries. Parthenon would also help HISD gather input from a broad array of stakeholder groups, including teachers and parents. The $1.7 million contract with Parthenon would be funded entirely by a 5-year, $31.5 million competitive federal grant that HISD won in 2010.

“For years, teachers in classrooms throughout America have been told they must enter the administrative ranks if they hope to further their careers,” said HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “In HISD, we recognize that the management track is not the preferred path for every great teacher. HISD is committed to recognizing and properly compensating those with a strong desire to continue working with children in the classroom and a demonstrated track record of excellence.

”Developing a new career pathways and differentiated compensation model for teachers is just one of four strategies of HISD’s Effective Teachers Initiative that aims to ensure that every student in the district is taught by an effective teacher. Working with The New Teacher Project, HISD engaged thousands of teachers and community members to create a new teacher appraisal and development system that the Board of Education adopted in the spring. The new system provides teachers more regular feedback and will include student performance data as part of teachers’ evaluations.

In addition to the federal competitive grant, the Effective Teacher Initiative is being funded through a $6 million grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Board to Consider New Magnet Program Policy The Board of Education will also consider adopting a new policy governing HISD’s popular magnet schools, which are designed to offer a high level of academic rigor and specialized themes that attract students from across the city.

The proposed policy would help simplify the magnet school application process by calling for the creation of a standard application form allowing for multiple school choices by the student.

Each middle school and high school magnet program would have its own admissions criteria as identified by magnet theme and subject to auditions for fine arts programs. Elementary magnet programs, except for Vanguard magnets that are designed for gifted students, would not have admissions criteria.The proposed policy would also create processes for the creation of new magnet programs and set standards for magnet schools to meet if they are to continue operating as magnets.

In addition, the proposed policy calls for the creation of program funding formulas, which take into account program costs, unique themes and innovation.The Board is also scheduled to vote on creating new magnet programs, including a Vanguard magnet program at Black Middle School. The Board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 10, in the Board auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 West 18th St., 77092).

The Board is scheduled to receive status updates on a number of projects and vote on several programs, contracts, and grants. For a full copy of the Board meeting agenda, click here. The Board meeting will be carried live on HISD’s website and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or AT&T Channel 99.

The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 281 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 27,000 employees.

For more information, visit the HISD website at www.houstonisd.org.

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