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Three Greater Houston districts named Holdsworth Center finalists

December 4, 2018

Three school districts in the Greater Houston area — Aldine, Brazosport and Spring ISDs — have been chosen as finalists to participate in the second round of training with The Holdsworth Center, a Texas educational leadership nonprofit bankrolled by a $100 million donation from H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt.

The three local districts will compete with 11 other districts from across Texas for six available spots with The Holdsworth Center. The nonprofit, founded in January 2017, works with districts over a five-year period to train administrative leaders in each district, while also establishing systems for identifying and selecting future high-level district staffers. The Houston Chronicle highlighted the center’s work in an article last week.

The Holdsworth Center has surveyed the districts to determine their “willingness and ability to change, as well as their level of commitment to the process.” Center staff will visit each district ahead of a April 2019 decision date on the six chosen districts.

“We look forward to visiting each finalist district to learn more about how they are serving the students of Texas through a focus on great leadership,” The Holdsworth Center’s president, Kate Rogers, said in a statement.

The Holdsworth Center is in its second year working with seven Texas school districts that piloted the initiative, including Klein ISD and Lamar CISD in its second year.

Aldine ISD would be among the largest Holdsworth Center participants if selected, with a student enrollment last year of about 67,300 that ranked ninth in the state. Brazosport ISD, which covers much of the Lake Jackson and Freeport areas near the Gulf Coast, is smaller than all six current Holdsworth Center districts at about 12,350 students.

Aldine, Brazosport and Spring ISDs all scored a “C”-level rating this year under the state’s new academic accountability system, which assigns a letter grade to each district. All three districts officially were labeled “not rated” due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey.

The center dedicates about $4 million in services and benefits to each district, including on-the-ground staff members, training from management experts and airfare and accommodations for visits to organizations renowned for leadership practices.

jacob.carpenter@chron.com

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