How Houston Students Scored On the Nation's Report Card

Today the Nation’s Report Card released results for some of the largest school districts around the country. The results for the Houston Independent School District are mixed — stronger in math than reading.

Over the last decade, students in Houston have improved in math. What’s more, they’ve posted better improvement than the national average.

But reading is another story.

“We have areas of deep concern particularly in literacy.”

That’s Dan Gohl. He’s the new chief academic officer at HISD.

“But we continue to have high levels of achievement for many of our student groups.”

For example, Hispanic students here in Houston are outperforming their peers around the country in math.

But in reading, scores for fourth graders in Houston have dropped.

Less than 20 percent of fourth graders here are considered “proficient” in reading. That’s behind students in other large cities, the rest of Texas and the nation.

Reading scores for eighth graders are flat and also below other large cities.

Gohl says the district is taking action to improve that.

He says different schools use a wide range of literacy programs and that might be causing a problem.

He says there should be a common standard just like other industries.

“Our cell phones, our roads, our railroads, all operate off a set of standards that regardless of the vendor — whether it’s the Nokia phone, or an ATT phone, or a Verizon phone — all have to operate on the same set of standards. We need that approach for literacy.”

Gohl plans to ask the school board in January to update the district’s literacy plan so that there’s a common standard for all schools. 

 
Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...