HISD Faces Challenges In New School Year

HISD's superintendent is reporting few problms as thousands of Houston students head back to school. He's feeling positive about the new academic year despite the fact many teachers are having to do more with less.

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Carson is one of the kids starting third grade at Lovett Elementary School in Meyerland.  She's excited about it. She says her teacher is great and she's up to the challenge of harder subjects. 

"My favorite subject is math, so I'm looking forward to studying math.  I think I'll be looking forward to studying everything, because I really want to learn more and be able to get my college degrees."

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier says more Houston students are taking that educational track, with graduation rates up and the dropout rate down.  But teachers this year will have challenges because of state budget cuts. That means more students in some classes, along with reductions in staff and fewer activities. Grier says from what he's seen, principals are keeping their schools on target.

"First day of school, you would have thought that we had been in school for six weeks: teacher lesson plans finished on target, kids behaving themselves, paying attention."

Grier says another challenge this year is the new STAAR exam.  It's a tough new exam that will eventually replace the TAKS test.  He says the district is committed to giving teachers the support they need to help students pass it. 

Bio photo of Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

Gail Delaughter joined KUHF in October 2008 as Saturday morning news anchor and host. A native of New Orleans and a graduate of Southeastern Louisiana University, Gail has extensive experience in Texas and Louisiana as a radio news reporter and morning show anchor and co-host...