The Challenge is Real
A students' level of academic achievement by 8th grade is a better predictor of college matriculation than anything that happens in high school.
Middle school students who merely pass state tests in 8th grade may have as low as a 15 percent chance of being on track for college & career - while those who achieve a higher level are up to FIVE TIMES more likely to graduate high school ready for postsecondary success.
The effectiveness of a student's teacher has a greater impact on lifelong achievement than any other factor, including socioeconomic background.
Principals have little time to be instructional leaders who help their teachers improve their skills. Infrequent walk-through's just aren't cutting it.
Supporting middle school teachers to improve their teaching and achieve authentic learning in classrooms is perhaps the best way we can ensure Houston-area public school students are prepared for lifelong success.
Strong Teaching & Leadership - Real Learning
The Challenge Network builds the capacity of Houston-area schools - particularly middle schools - to ensure that students are ready for success in high school, college and careers.
We believe that authentic teaching & learning - reading real books, solving real problems, and engaging in meaningful dialogue with peers and teachers - is the key to every kind of school success (including - but not limited to - test scores).
We partner with schools to develop that authentic teaching & learning through a variety of strategies aligned to their own school and district goals. In-class coaching, curriculum planning, parent engagement work, networking and professional development for school leaders, technology initiatives and more - no matter the strategy, we help schools keep teaching & learning at the center of their work.
Read details of our work on campuses in Initiative Overview, or learn about our leadership development in Middle School Leadership Academy.
2013-14: School Partnerships in the Challenge Network
To help prepare more students for post-secondary success, 18 middle school campuses from across the region have partnered with A+ for deep, on-campus work in the Challenge Network this school year (2013-14).
A+ Coaches for leadership, literacy and mathematics work with teachers and school leaders at each Challenge Network school, to strengthen leadership and teaching, increase student achievement, and improve the college-going culture on campus.
See a list of our partner schools in Challenge Network Profiles.
2014-15: More Options for More Schools
Houston A+ Challenge is gearing up to offer even more capacity-building options for teachers & school leaders starting in 2014-15. Details will be posted soon.