chapter  8
34 Pages

Strategies for Reforming Houston Schools

As the largest district in Texas and sixth largest in the nation, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) confronts many of the same challenges as other urban school systems. Covering 312 square miles with a population of more than 210,000 students in 280 schools, HISD includes students from 90 countries, of which 52% are Hispanic American, 35% African American, 11% White, and 2% Asian American. In 1996-1997, HISD identified 57,076 limited English proficient students and approximately 73 home languages. As reflected by free-and reducedlunch statistics, the number of economically disadvantaged students, currently at 73%, increases annually. The district mobility rate is 38.2%. HISD is fiscally independent of municipal or county government, with state-level oversight and governance provided by the Texas Education Agency.