Campus Variation in Grade Retention and Course Failure Rates After Attending Summer School in Houston ISD

Students raising their hands in a classroom

This brief examines the summer school program in Houston ISD and identifies schools and/or students that may need additional resources during summer school.

The Houston Independent School District conducts a summer education program that provides students at risk of grade retention the opportunity to repeat the required grade and be promoted to the next one. The program also gives students who have failed a course they need for graduation the opportunity to retake the course. This brief examines summer school retention and course failure rates at schools throughout the district to determine which schools have higher rates relative to others. It also assesses what characteristics are associated with a student being retained after summer school and failing a course in summer school.

Key findings

  • Elementary schools have the highest retention rates after summer school, but there is considerable variability in retention rates and course failure rates across campuses in the district.
  • Course failure is relatively low in summer school for high school students, but there is considerable variability across campuses. 
  • Various course-level, student-level, and school-level characteristics are associated with retention after summer school for elementary and middle school students and course failure for high school students.
  • Chronic summer school retention is uncommon.
student learning
The Effects of HISD Summer School
Aug. 16, 2019

This study provides an assessment of the effectiveness of Houston ISD 2016 summer school, which the district offered both to retained students (which was required and needed for promotion) as well as promoted students (which was not required but available for summer enrichment).

The Equity Project

This comprehensive study of educational equity throughout Houston ISD focuses on understanding whether historically marginalized student populations in the district have the resources they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.

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