The Houston Independent School District (HISD) proposes to advance significantly the educational system in mathematics science and technology for all its students through the Houston Urban Learning Initiatives in a Networked Community (HU-LINC). HU-LINC will accomplish this task through a challenging curriculum based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) required by state law. The TEKS curriculum carefully develops concepts and skills across grade levels and focuses on constructing knowledge using hands-on inquiry and concrete models culminating in relevant applications of the knowledge and skills. To ensure that the District's instructional workforce, support staff, and the community at large understand every objective of TEKS, HISD has begun the development of Project CLEAR (Clarifying Learning to Enhance Achievement Results). The need to develop Project CLEAR was based on a key finding that multiple interpretations exist among administrators, teachers and parents regarding what should be taught through the state-mandated curriculum. District administrators and teachers are developing the document in conjunction with consultants from institutions of higher education and the statewide systemic initiative (SSI). Project CLEAR will assist all K-12 teachers of mathematics and science in determining the knowledge, skills, content, assessment, and equipment and materials necessary to implement a standards-based mathematics and science program for all students.
HU-LINC intends to provide professional development and other support activities to administrators, counselors, teachers, students, and parents to ensure that Project CLEAR occasion full implementation of the goals and objectives of TEKS. To ensure full implementation of TEKS, HISD has adopted district-wide policies that effect school and district accountability, resource allocations, and increased graduation requirements relative to the teaching, learning, and achievement of mathematics and science. Special efforts have also been undertaken to garner and maintain support from the community to promote educational reforA and help sustain support and enrichment for all students.
To accomplish the goals of the new strategic plan, HU-LINC established three goals to meet the challenges facing the District. The goals are to: (1) significantly improve teaching and learning that leads to high achievement in challenging science and mathematics by all students, enabling significantly more students to pursue careers in science, mathematics and technology; (2) establish and expand a unified system of coalitions that link students, teachers, families, and community members in Houston's educational institutions with the city's vast and diverse resources in meaningful ways; and (3) establish an infrastructure that aligns the district's policies, procedures, organizational structures, curricula, professional development and evaluation systems, and resources in order to sustain the highest quality of student learning of rigorous science, mathematics, and technology.