In his recent State of the State speech, Texas Governor Greg Abbott singled out Grand Prairie TX ISD:
For example, Grand Prairie ISD is an open enrollment school district that allows parents to choose the school that’s best for their children, and the results show substantial improvement in student achievement. Grand Prairie ISD’s graduation rates improved dramatically over seven years with 20 percent point gains among Hispanic, African-American and economically disadvantaged students.
The superintendent for Grand Prairie ISD is New Boston native Susan Simpson Hull, daughter of former NBISD superintendent Hubert Simpson. Readers will remember that Dr. Hull was appointed to the State Board for Educator Certification by former Texas governor Rick Perry last summer .
I asked her for more information about Grand Prairie’s school choice program:
Basically, School Choice for parents and students is powerful. School choice can be accomplished — and is being accomplished — without either a big tax bill or great personal sacrifice.
Choice in GPISD public schools includes:
- Elementary and secondary fine arts academies
- Leadership academies
- Single gender schools with a STEM [science, technology, engineering and math]/Leadership focus
- Dual and tri-language schools
- Career Tech, where every student graduates both college ready and career certified or licensed.
- STEM elementary schools
- One of 4 Charter schools:
- School for the Highly Gifted (elem)
- Collegiate Charter (6-12)
- World Language
- Uplift Lee Charter, a Compact Partnership with Uplift Education
- Early College High School
- Law and Public Safety, including Fire academy
- Veterinary Technology
- K-12 with an environmental science strand.
Of course, high performing traditional neighborhood schools are the choice for many.
Simpson concluded, “The point is, one size does not fit all, and the opportunity to have choice is increasing parent involvement, attendance, and student achievement. As I learned from Mrs. Mary Lee Braswell — the possibilities are endless.”