The mission of Project GRAD Houston is to support a quality public education for all children in economically disadvantaged communities so that high school and college graduation rates increase.
Project GRAD Houston
3000 Richmond, Suite 400
Houston, Texas 77098
Ann B. Stiles, Ed. D.
GRAD believes that all students in high-need, low-income schools can graduate from high school and pursue a college degree if they receive adequate support and access to quality teaching. GRAD represents a school reform system that is comprehensive along several dimensions that differ from other school reform efforts by:
Project GRAD serves as a steward of the reform, ensuring both continuity and accountability. Directed by civic, business, and education leaders as well as parents, GRAD has become the basis of a lasting constituency for a quality public education and college access. The community-based GRAD organization is critical for maintaining accountability and is responsible for program implementation and identification of local funding, both private and state public resources, to provide a unique localized center for the reform effort.
GRAD works with feeder systems consisting of a high school and all the middle and elementary schools that â€śfeedâ€ť students to it and, thus, focuses on changing the academic expectations of whole communities. As originally conceived, GRAD was designed to build a firm academic foundation for students as they move through the educational pipeline.
GRADâ€™s core instructional model focuses on ensuring implementation of five interdependent and mutually reinforcing components including:
This model was based on the assumption that by the time students reach secondary schools, they would be academically prepared to succeed in a rigorous high school curriculum and reform efforts could shift primarily to college access and social supports. In fact, GRAD has learned that feeder patterns are often â€śleaky;â€ť for example, many students in GRAD high schools do not attend GRAD elementary and middle schools. As a result, deliberate efforts to ensure academic rigor, including classroom and curricularinterventions, must persist through the 12th grade.