Thursday, December 4, 2014

Superintendent Attends White House Event with Charter Leaders

Spring Branch ISD Superintendent of Schools Duncan F. Klussmann, Ed.D., and several area public charter program leaders will join college presidents and other higher education leaders today in a special Washington, D.C., event, the White House College Opportunity Day of Action.

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are expected to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college at this event.

Dr. Klussmann joins several other Houston-area public charter school leaders at the White House. They include Sehba Ali, Superintendent of KIPP Houston Public Schools; Mark Dibella, YES Prep Superintendent in Houston;  and Jason Bernal, YES Prep Public Schools President.

SBISD, KIPP Houston and YES Prep formed an alliance known as the SKY Partnership several years ago. The two public charter school systems opened programs inside two SBISD middle schools. The SKY Partnership has spurred SBISD to help more students achieve college and career-focused goals and be college ready.

Related actions and programs include the addition of new academic advisor positions in all district high schools, development of innovative senior year courses in partnership with Houston Community College and Alief ISD to assure college readiness in math and language arts, and an ongoing program known as Collegiate Challenge that pairs adult mentors with juniors and seniors, many of whom are the first in their families to attend college or university.

In addition, SBISD’s Board of Trustees and leadership have approved and recently re-affirmed the district’s commitment to a single-focused goal, Spring Branch T-2-4, that aims to double the number of graduates completing some form of higher education as defined as a technical certificate, military training or two- or four-year college degree.

The White House College Opportunity Day of Action supports President Obama’s commitment to partner with colleges and universities, business leaders and nonprofits to support students across the country to help meet a national goal of leading the world in college attainment.

President Obama is expected to announce new administration steps at the White House event to meet goals in four areas: promoting college completion; creating partnerships focused on college readiness; investing in high school counseling; and increasing college graduates in STEM fields, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 


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