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Adult Education is urgently needed to meet the needs of
expanding job opportunites.
October 30, 2014
Amid Houston's good economic fortune, there is a constant and
fast-growing concern: While we have little trouble attracting
highly skilled workers, we have a dismal lack of Houston workers in
the skills to adequately fill mid-and lower-level
So we salute Houston Center for Literacy, which with the support
of the Houston Endowment, recently conducted a valuable, thought
sobering, fact finding mission- a statewide, 12-city tour examining
the state's adult education system and involving several hundred
educators, employers, student, religious leaders and others.
Purser, Wolff: Adult education resources not adequate to meet
By Ray Purser and Ed Wolff
October 25, 2014
Texas is booming, and Houston in particular is reaping the
benefits of this economic expansion. The Houston business community
works hard to convince corporations that we offer a positive
business climate with a high quality of life for employees. Even
with all our advantages, the education level of the local workforce
is a consistent topic of conversation.
Modern corporations pay whatever it takes to move their most
highly skilled employees from one location to another. However,
corporations are increasingly concerned about filling mid and lower
level jobs. Texas is falling behind in creating a skilled workforce
ready to fill these jobs, many of which pay a wage sufficient to
support a family.
KIPP expands its reach-- past kids to whole families
By Jennifer Radcliffe
July 13, 2014
The KIPP charter
school empire is expanding once again.
Its new southwest Houston campus will introduce a radically
different model for the charter school chain: a model that not only
provides education to low-income kids, but a host of social
services to their families.
KIPP is partnering with several other non-profits, including
neighboring St. Luke's United Methodist Church Gethsemane, the
YMCA, Legacy Health and the Houston Center for Literacy, aiming to
break the cycle of generational poverty in Gulfton by providing the
neighborhood everything from high-quality to schools to health care
and ultimately mixed-income housing.
Foundation, HISD tackling 'literacy crisis' in Houston
By Ericka Mellon
April 23, 2014
In Houston, a city known for its brilliant doctors and energy
executives, adults are waiting in line for classes that teach basic
literacy skills - reading, writing and speaking clearly. They can't
land jobs or promotions, can't help their kids with homework.
At the same time, tens of thousands of students in local public
school districts are failing to meet the state's minimum academic
standards, fighting to comprehend texts and straining to write
Houston, educators and civic leaders say, has far too many
citizens who can't read well, the subject of a report scheduled for
release Thursday by the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation,
"Houston's Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action."
Senior tax break among new city spending
By Mike Morris
June 20, 2013
Houston City Council voted to provide property tax relief to
seniors Wednesday, one of many votes at a marathon meeting at which
council unanimously approved a $4.5 billion budget for the fiscal
year that starts July 1.
The city's exemption for homeowners 65 and older will rise from
$70,862 to $80,000 thanks to the 14-2 vote, a move that should be
codified with a second approval next week, City Attorney David
The roller-coaster 10-hour meeting - all but 45 minutes of which
focused on Mayor Annise Parker's budget and council members' 60
proposed amendments to it - will require Parker to shuffle about
$3.9 million in the $2.2 billion general fund budget. The rest of
the city's spending occurs in enterprise funds fed by fees and not
By Tiffany Williams
May 16, 2013
Readers might not think twice about opening a book or browsing
the Internet. But for those battling illiteracy, understanding
words on a page or computer screen is a challenge.
Houston's adult illiteracy problem is a troubling reality that
can have substantial implications on the city's workforce, crime
rate and poverty levels, as well as on the lives of families.
"When people think about literacy in Houston, they think about
kids," said Sheri Suarez Foreman, president and CEO of Houston
Center for Literacy (HCL). "Yes, they are the future of this city,
but we forget about the parents. They're the No. 1 teachers in a
Houston Business Journal
Opinion: Letter to the Editor
Sunset Review key part of education reform
Sheri Suarez Foreman, President and CEO, Houston Center for
Week of February 15-21, 2013
I recently read James Jeffery's January 25th article "Will
education reform provide skilled workers Houston needs?" and was
surprised that an article focused on education reform for a skilled
workforce would exclude one of the most relevant pieces of
legislative reform on the topic: the Texas Education Agency's (TEA)
This bi-partisan, bicameral commission found that adult education
is not only misplaced at TEA, but it also lacks leadership and
direction on adult education, therefore threatening the state's
ability to meet future workforce demands.
Austin American Statesman
Foreman: Educate the adult work force
Sheri Suarez Foreman, Houston Center for Literacy
September 24, 2012
Texas' low rank in providing a skilled workforce is not
surprising ("Experts: Texas creating jobs, but faces challenges,"
Sept. 5). Not only was Texas' education ranked 30th in CNBC's
report "America's Top States for Business 2010," but in a ranking
of "America's Most Literate Cities 2010," no Texas city reached the
top 10 list. In fact, of the 75 largest cities in America, five out
of nine Texas cities were ranked in the bottom 50 (Austin was the
highest ranking Texas city at No. 21, followed by Dallas at No.
In order to remain competitive in national and global markets,
Texas must adopt an education system that takes into account the
current and future workforce. So often we read articles
underscoring the importance of educating the next generation, but
what about this generation of Texas workers? There is no doubt that
the state of Texas is changing. A recent study out of Rice
University showed Houston is the most diverse city in the nation,
surpassing New York and Los Angeles. Austin is attracting more
people, too, becoming the 13th largest city in America after the
2010 Census. These are good things. Texas has fought long and hard
to attract more business to our great state, and with great
success, but bragging rights bring responsibility.
We must invest in pre-K
Houston Chronicle Editorial
September 4, 2012
Public education might well be Houston's greatest challenge in
coming decades. Much of our highly touted growth comes from
immigrants who were poorly educated in their home countries.
Educating their children, and giving them the tools to become
productive members of society, may be the only way Houston can
avoid the blight of a permanent underclass.
Want proof? Sheri Foreman, president and CEO of the Houston
Center for Literacy, writes that "nearly a quarter of Texas
children live in homes where the head of the household is not a
high school graduate," and "one in five Houston residents lacks
basic literacy skills" ("Success in school depends to a large
degree on parents," Page B7, Aug. 30). Foreman recommends that
schools implement adult literacy programs so that parents can
become better partners in their children's education.
Parents are key to a student's success in school
By Sheri Foreman
August 29, 2012
Recently, the federal No Child Left Behind program released its
annual progress report. It is not surprising that more Texas
schools failed to pass than ever before, and nearly all of
Houston's schools earned failing grades. Fingers are already
pointing in every direction. Some people believe the standards are
too high; others think schools are not doing an adequate job. But
one important topic is missing from the conversation: parental
Does a child's success in school depend solely on his or her
teachers' ability to present material in a relatable way? Or does
the education level of the child's parent matter just as much?
Purser, Wolff: Adult education resources not adequate to meet