A STATEMENT FROM GOOD REASON HOUSTON
Good Reason Houston is excited to welcome Millard House, II to Houston. He has an impressive and diverse record of education leadership, and we believe the more than 200,000 children and families served by the Houston Independent School District will benefit from his fresh perspective and vision.
The Board of Trustees struck a balance with their selection. Mr. House has led in big systems – from Tulsa, OK, to Charlotte-Mecklenburg, NC, and in his most recent role leading Montgomery County, TN – and it’s clear he has taken on big jobs in diverse districts. But alongside his broad traditional district experience, he also has experience as an innovator and a creator. His experiences with New Leaders and the Fischer Fellowship have exposed him to bold solutions and new opportunities for students and educators. We believe Millard House, II can be both an experienced and steady hand and a visionary leader for Houston’s public schools.
As Mr. House begins to shape his priorities for HISD, there are critical challenges he must address in this diverse and growing district, struggling to emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Tens of thousands of HISD children fell through the cracks during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands more lost valuable learning time, and we are certain that outcomes for many students will decline. The district needs a plan to address and remedy that loss starting on day one of the 2021-2022 academic year.
2. Even before the pandemic, more than 50 schools in HISD have received at least one F rating. Tens of thousands of predominantly students of color struggle to learn in these schools every day. The district needs a proven school turnaround strategy now – not in just one school or even five schools – but, for all D and F rated schools.
3. HISD must get more students enrolled in pre-K classrooms as soon as possible. Early childhood education is one of the key levers to stemming the adverse impacts of this education crisis created by the pandemic and improving student outcomes in the long run. A community-wide coalition is ready to support this work.
4. This is a diverse and rapidly growing district. We cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that he listen and learn from all the voices in HISD. HISD families need to understand that no matter what language they speak, where they live in the district, or where they come from, they will be well-served by our schools. He needs to build trust and connection directly with families and communities.
Good Reason Houston exists to support bold leaders as they tackle big challenges to ensure every child has access to an excellent education. We believe Millard House, II can be a transformational leader for HISD, and we are ready and able to support him in any way we can.