Does HISD have the “Secret Sauce” to Improve Education?

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America’s biggest education experiment is happening in Houston. Could it change U.S. schools?

The changes in HISD rival some of the most significant shakeups to a public school system ever.

Todo cambió. Everything changed.

That’s how Arturo Monsiváis described life this year for his fifth-grade son, who attends Houston ISD’s Raul Martinez Elementary School. Teachers raced through rapid-fire lessons. Students plugged away at daily quizzes. Administrators banned children from chatting in the hallways.

Sitting in the parent pickup line on the last day of school, Monsiváis said his son often complained that the new assignments were too difficult. But Monsiváis, a construction worker, wouldn’t accept any excuses: Study hard, he advised.

​​“I tell my son, ‘Look, do you want to be working out here in the sun like me, or do you want to be in an office one day? Think about it,’” Monsiváis said.

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