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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Center for Houston’s Future
News Release
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

If We Can Measure It, We Can Improve It:
Greater Houston’s Education to Workforce Pipeline 

 

HOUSTON, TX – The report card on greater Houston’s education to workforce pipeline is public.  Although we get gold stars on job creation, and made incremental strides in middle and elementary school achievement, there is serious work to be done to make the region locally sustainable and globally competitive. 

 

Center for Houston’s Future – The Region’s Think Tank - released its latest data and yearlong peer reviewed study on key sustainability and competitiveness indicators for the greater Houston region to an audience of nearly 350 attendees at the 2012 Indicators Symposium on Friday, February 10, 2012 at the George R. Brown Convention Center.  

 

This year the focus is on Human Capital Development and Education – Childhood, K-12, and Workforce Preparedness. “The reason for gathering all these statistics about our community is simple: if you can measure it, you can improve it,” said Center President and CEO, Catherine Mosbacher.  

 

The Symposium chaired by Welcome Wilson, Sr.  and sponsored by KBR, featured panel discussions with special guests Ramon Gonzalez (Founding Principal of The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology, a Brooklyn middle school success story); Bryan Hancock, (McKinsey and Company), an expert on the economic impact of the achievement gap in America’s schools, and luncheon keynote address by Patricia Sullivan, (Education Solutions Executive, IBM) exploring the use of technology for improved learning in the classroom. 

 

Other national experts and local big-picture thinkers discussed the results of the study, the real-world challenges and practical solutions to improve education in the eight-county region. The Community Indicators Report, along with the Symposium, offers new ways to understand the greater Houston area in a regional, national and global context and measure our progress towards sustainability and competitiveness.  (Complete Symposium agenda with additional speakers attached – their power point presentations can be found on www.centerforhoustonsfuture.org.)

 

Center President and CEO, Catherine Mosbacher explains, “By conducting these annual studies on sustainability and competitiveness since 2007, the Center for Houston’s Future broadens access to information, encourages public debate and dialogue, builds consensus, and helps to develop shared solutions. The unvarnished facts about how the region stacks up – from our talent gap in the workforce to successes and shortcomings in our schools - is key to making the successful transition from a manufacturing-based economy to a high-tech knowledge-based world today.”.  

 

Key findings from the report:

 

Needs Improvement

 

    * Estimates project that there will be as many as 62,000 new jobs in education, nursing and STEM careers in the next four years. However, the region’s higher education institutions are not producing enough qualified graduates to meet this demand. ¹

    * Almost half of entering college freshmen require developmental courses to catch up with peers, and of those freshmen who are college ready, only 60% graduate or persist in college after 3 years. ²

    * Students lagging at critical benchmarks along the education continuum, e.g. third grade reading, coupled with the region’s 71% high school graduation rate, means that fewer students are in the pipeline to succeed in college and career. ³

    * Only 53% of greater Houston ninth graders are passing Algebra I, a ‘gateway’ course that is a strong indicator of their ability to succeed in more advanced math and science coursework.

    * In 2010, only 48% of third grade students in the greater Houston region were reading at the commended Level, with an even lower percentage for economically disadvantaged children.

    * 40% of children ages 0-5 served by the Early Education System in greater Houston are in child care programs or homes that are less rigorously regulated and whose teacher education credentials are considered minimal.

 

Making Progress

 

Disparities still persist along the education pipeline, based on economic disadvantage.  In the past 10 years, gradual improvements have been made in key areas:

 

    * 53% of ninth graders successfully completed Algebra I in 2010, up from 34% in 2000

    * 48% of third graders are reading at commended level, up from 25% in 2003.

 

Center for Houston’s Future, The Region’s Think Tank, is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization that plans strategically for the region, strengthens the base of diverse business and civic leadership, and informs people about – while engaging them in  the necessary groundwork for the region’s global future. To learn more, visit www.futurehouston.org.

 

¹ FSG Social Impact Consultants, 2011

 

² Texas Education Agency; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

 

³ Texas Education Agency

 

Texas Education Agency, Children at Risk Analysis

 

Texas Education Agency, Children at Risk Analysis

 

2009, US Dept. of Health and Human Services; 2009, Collaborative for Children Qualified Early Childhood Database

 

Community Indicators Report 2012 Program

 

8:00am   Registration & Breakfast 

 

8:30am   Welcome  

 

            James Calaway, Chair, Center for Houston’s Future                 

 

            Welcome Wilson, Sr., Honorary Chair of 2012 Community Indicator Symposium

 

                  Former Chair, University of Houston Board of Regents

 

            Charles Lyons, Vice President, Quality, Health Safety & Environment, KBR 

 

8:45am    Breakfast Panel:  Education & Global Competition

 

            Moderator:  Brian Hancock, Principal, McKinsey and Company

 

             Panelists:

 

            Ramon Gonzalez, Founding Principal, The Laboratory School of Finance and Technology,

 

            South Bronx, NY

 

            Dr. Renu Khator, Chancellor, UH System and President, University of Houston

 

            Scott McClelland, President, HEB Houston

 

            Dr. Steve Murdock, Professor of Sociology, Rice University

 

9:50am     Break 

 

10:00am   First Morning Panel Session: morning panel repeated   

 

 

           Middle School: Challenges Abound

 

            Moderator: Alice Aanstoos, Regional Vice President, AT&T

 

            2012 Indicator Report:  Dr. Scott Van Beck, President, A+ Challenge

 

            Panelists:

 

            Ramon Gonzalez, Founding Principal, The Laboratory School for Finance & Technology,

 

            South Bronx, NY

 

            Henry Booth, Former Principal, Natalia ISD, San Antonio, TX

 

 High School: Partnerships Matter

 

            Moderator: Dr. James A. Johnson, Director, Transport Market, Infrastructure &

 

            Minerals, KBR

 

            2012 Indicator Report: Dr. Robert Sanborn, President & CEO, Children at Risk

 

            Panelists:

 

            LaShonda Bilbo-Ervin, Principal, Booker T. Washington High School for

 

            Engineering Professions

 

   Jorge Arredondo, Principal, Stephen F. Austin High School

 

      Workforce Preparedness:  Creative Ideas for Education-Business Partnerships

 

            Moderator: Dan Duncan, Vice President & General Manager, Oil and Gas Division, Siemens

 

            2012 Indicator Report: Dr. Catherine Horn, Associate Professor, University of Houston College of Education

 

            Panelists:

 

            Rod Herrick, Vice President & Site Manager, Industrial Park, Bayer Material Science LLC

 

            Trisha Wooten, Senior Workforce Development Consultant, UTMB

 

            12:30pm    Luncheon and Keynote Address

 

            Catherine C. Mosbacher, President & CEO, Center for Houston’s Future

 

              Patricia Sullivan, Education Solutions Executive, IBM 

 

            Technology in the Changing Classroom                                                               

 

            1:45pm     Afternoon Panel

 

             Early Childhood Development:  Getting it Right from the Beginning

 

            Moderator: Dr. Frazier Wilson, VP, Shell Oil Company Foundation

 

            2012 Indicator Report: Carol Shattuck, President & CEO, Collaborative

 

            for Children

 

                    Panelists:

 

            Lynn D. Barnes, Founding School Leader, KIPP Coastal Village

 

            Katherine von Haefen, Senior Program Manager, United Way of Greater Houston 

 

      K-5: Early Learning & Loving It

 

            Moderator: Misty White, Executive Director, Reliant Energy Foundation

 

            2012 Indicator Report: Dr. Keith Haffey, Executive Director, Accountability & Research, Spring Branch ISD

 

            Panelists:

 

            Ida Ford, Principal, Burton Elementary School, Fort Bend ISD

 

            Dr. Susan Landry, Director and Founder, The Children’s Learning Institute

 

          Talent Dividend Panel:  Increasing College Graduation Rates by 1%

 

            Moderator: Alan Thomson, Senior Partner & Managing Director - Houston, Boston

 

            Consulting Group

 

            Panelists:

 

            Eyra Perez, Executive Director, San Antonio Education Partnership

 

            Dr. Lee Holcombe, Director, Higher Education Policy Institute, Texas Higher

 

            Education Coordinating Board

 

            Dr. Cathy Brigham, Director of Curriculum, Dean of Faculty, Council for Adult &

 

            Experiential Learning

 

            3:00pm    Conference adjourned

 

Power Point presentations can be found at www.centerforhoustonsfuture.org.






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