The Rewards of Perseverance tells the story of a district with a clear vision, stable leadership, and deliberate evolution in response to change. Located just north of Houston, AISD has faced daunting challenges since the 1990s—including a significant increase in high-need students, and more rigorous state tests. At the same time, the district has achieved impressive student outcomes, narrowed achievement gaps, and maintained a high graduation rate.
Rather than address challenges one school at a time, AISD took a long-term, "whole-system" approach to reform focused on creating the conditions for great teachers and school leaders to succeed.
This case study is the second in a series where we track the transformation journeys of leading districts in the context of School System 20/20. After a decade of partnering with urban school districts nationwide, ERS has seen an array of challenges but also beacons of hope. Drawing from this experience, we created School System 20/20, a vision for school system success and a series of asssments that allow districts to measure and monitor how well they use their resources—people, time, and money—to support excellent instruction.
Our first case study, Back from the Brink, examined the rapid, encouraging progress of Lawrence Public Schools, located in the Boston area.
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