A Blueprint for Change
Houstonians are coming together to demand an exceptional education for every child, in every neighborhood.
We are speaking up.
Houston is home to more than 500,000 public school students and more families from all over the country and around the world are moving to Houston each day. As the most diverse city in the nation, Houston is uniquely positioned to prove what is possible when an entire community comes together to demand an exceptional public education for every one of its children. Every Houston child deserves to attend a great public school that prepares them to live, work, and thrive in the Houston of tomorrow. And, every neighborhood in Houston will be stronger if high quality public schools create a foundation for strong healthy communities.
Good Reason Houston, in partnership with hundreds of local parents, community leaders, and educators, is championing The Every Child, Every Neighborhood Blueprint for Change. This plan outlines the steps we believe every Independent School District and Charter District must take to create school environments that put students first, develop and support exceptional educators, and create quality school options that will allow children to attend the school that’s right for them – right in their own backyard. The Houston of tomorrow depends on our ability to create a world-class public education system today.
We demand strong leadership.
Every school district needs a bold, courageous Superintendent who is unapologetically committed to improving student outcomes, eradicating inequity in their districts, putting all options on the table to solve tough problems. They will build leadership teams and develop principals that will not accept failure as an option. Principals and their teams will never settle – continuous improvement on behalf of students must be the norm.
We demand a place at the table.
School leaders will build multiple avenues for parent input in all levels of decision making, and any programmatic changes or partnerships at the school level will be previewed with parents and include opportunities for parents to offer feedback and direction on their preferences for school redesign, improvement, and/or creation.
We demand better school choices.
School districts must seize opportunities to create the kinds of school options parents want, whether that means big changes to improve existing schools or working with successful or unique partners to create new schools. This starts by replication or expanding exceptional public schools already serving Houston students, but then we can look to the rest of the state and the nation for unique models that will increase choice and opportunity for Houston families.
We demand equity for all kids.
Our students will be more successful if they have access to high-quality Pre-Kindergarten education options that focus on early literacy. Every Houston student must be kindergarten ready from day one, and we need more exceptional early education educators to help us accomplish this goal.
We demand the best teachers.
We need systems that identify teachers who know how to reach kids. We need to reward and elevate those teachers, and we need to give them incentives to teach in struggling schools in some of our most underserved neighborhoods. Districts must fully implement all state resources that allow them to invest in quality teaching. The pipeline must get bigger and stronger at every step of the way. We 3 must partner with the premier teacher preparation programs to get their graduates to Houston, and we must create unique pathways to teacher training that prepare teachers for the challenges and opportunities of Houston classrooms. Exceptional teachers must have the opportunity to grow professionally, and to lead effectively.
We demand the tools for success.
All schools must adopt and implement best in class curriculum that is proven effective in helping students master fundamental academic skills. Teachers will be given the time, resources, and coaching to develop and deliver lessons that ensure students are not just receiving content but mastering it on grade level. Finally, individualized instruction has to be the norm for all students so that children who fall behind can catch up, and children ready to move ahead have consistent opportunities to do so.
We demand safe spaces.
Schools will have the necessary staff, financial, and programmatic resources, including adequate mental health supports, mentoring and counseling services, and the integration of trauma-informed instructional skills. Professional development and planning time will allow teachers to collaborate and work together to build healthy cultures for students and staff.
We demand respect for our diversity.
Schools will prioritize the supports and resources to meet each child where they are. Our schools must not only recognize, but elevate the diverse cultures, languages, and identities of the students they serve. Practices that support student growth and cultivate their identity and interests must be the norm.
Voices for Change
Here are some resources for you to use to help us grow our coalition:
Post a graphic to your social channels and let your friends know about the blueprint campaign.
Email and Letter Templates
Use these templates to reach your friends and colleagues and ask them to join the movement.
Parent Leader Tools
Download a presentation to share the Blueprint with your parent groups.
Join the growing list of organizations that are committed to championing the Blueprint for Change in Houston:
If you belong to an organization and would like to learn more about joining our coalition, submit the information below.