HISD partners with Rice University to conduct educational equity study

The Houston Independent School District (HISD) has partnered with Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), a program of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research and School of Social Sciences, to conduct a comprehensive study on educational equity across the district.

Recognizing its responsibility to continually improve academic achievement for all students, HISD and HERC will examine equitable access to educational programming, resources, supports, facilities and opportunities for students by race/ethnicity, economic status, English-learner status and other factors.

“Conducting a districtwide study on educational equity — at this scale — is remarkable, and truly unprecedented in many ways,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We know that for some of our students, simply having equal access to opportunities and resources may not be enough of the support they need to achieve their greatest academic potential. This study will inform critical decision-making relating to equity and closing achievement gaps across the city.”

The purpose of the study, known as The Equity Project, is to identify the mechanisms HISD can use to improve equity and ultimately eliminate gaps in educational achievement and attainment.

The Equity Project will consist of a series of studies across the following topics:

  • Academic and extracurricular programming
  • COVID-19 resources
  • Facilities
  • Financial resources
  • Human capital
  • Student supports
  • Technology

“At HERC, our mission is to ensure that our research plays a role in helping districts close gaps for students,” said Ruth López Turley, director of HERC, associate director of the Kinder Institute and a professor of sociology at Rice. “When HISD asked whether we would partner on this project, we embraced the opportunity to help them identify where the greatest student needs exist and develop a plan for how to address those needs.”

The Equity Project is scheduled to be completed by late summer 2021. Learn more online at www.houstonisd.org/equityproject.

To learn more about HERC, visit https://kinder.rice.edu/herc.