In the ongoing challenges Project Grad is trying to overcome, more news:
Project GRAD facing more challenges
Students tout group that made college a reality, but district wants better scores
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
Project GRAD Houston battled back from near extinction this year after HISD leaders questioned the program’s effectiveness and slashed its funding. Parts of the program, which now serves more than 130,000 children in a dozen cities nationally, aren’t making the grade, HISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra said.
An October 2004 report — the only analysis HISD has made public on Project GRAD — showed that students at five comparable non-Project GRAD high schools had higher passing rates on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge Skills, despite getting less money.
Saavedra concedes that Project GRAD schools do a better job of getting low-income students to graduate high school and enroll in college — the program’s cornerstone mission. And after months of tense negotiation, the two sides hammered out a deal that focuses Project GRAD’s scaled-back resources on high schools. While the parental involvement and college scholarship components will be salvaged, the elementary reading and math programs will be drastically reduced.
The deal won’t be final, however, until the school board agrees this summer to give Project GRAD the $1.5 million that Saavedra has recommended, down from nearly $5 million two years ago.