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The Houston Annenberg Challenge Annual Report

MISSION STATEMENT Established in 1997 with funding from the Annenberg Foundation and local matching contributions, The Houston Annenberg Challenge is an independent, public-private partnership that develops and funds urban public school programs, professional development and leadership institutes to promote higher academic achievement by all students.

Houston Annenberg work serves as powerful engine for local school reform. With this 2002 annual report, we recount and draw to a close the first phase of The Houston Annenberg Challenge as part of the national Annenberg Challenge. Evaluators found that our work has served as a powerful engine for school reform in the Houston area and that we accomplished our goal of building a long-term infrastructure to promote school redesign. The final year of the Challenge started with an emphasis on education with the enactment of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Momentum for the future of our children accelerated over the year with multiple local efforts, including continued work in the areas of high school redesign and the restructuring of teacher preparation programs, as well as the expansion of initiatives such as Critical Friends Group, New Visions in Leadership Academy and the K-5 Mathematics Initiative. During the year, the groundwork for future efforts was laid with the formation of a fine arts initiative for local elementary schools and the announcement of new major funding from the Annenberg Foundation, the Brown Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We completed the final year of direct grants to local schools, and we listened when our network of schools asked us to stay involved with them by providing ongoing professional development opportunities. During the fall, The Houston Annenberg Challenge led a team of local educators in designing education activities for the World Space Congress, which included Space Night at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. During the evening, the almost 1,000 guests experienced many of the most exciting innovations in space science education from fulldome digital planetarium theaters and the space station IMAX film to the latest Mission to Mars in the world’s first Challenger Center. As the year drew to a close, we conducted focus groups with our stakeholders to assess whether to continue our work as a successor organization. Educators, university deans, teachers and school district leaders all asked us to stay. So we began preparations to enter a new phase of work with a brand new name, The Houston A+ Challenge. And we bid farewell to our current board of directors as we extended a hearty welcome to our new team members. You will find details on our new work throughout these pages. And while the year brought many exciting changes, it also afforded the opportunity to celebrate the life of Ambassador Walter Annenberg, a true American hero and great humanitarian who passed away in October 2002 at his home in Pennsylvania. His gift has enabled us to achieve so much on behalf of current students. His vision will inspire us to achieve even more on behalf of generations yet to come. We are grateful to Ambassador Annenberg and to all those who have answered the challenge with enthusiasm. We look forward to the exciting days ahead of us. Sincerely,

Linda Clarke Executive Director

Jonathan Day Chairman of the Board


EVALUATION Students at Annenberg-funded schools in the greater Houston area continued to make great strides in student achievement during the 2001-2002 school year, according to the last of three evaluation reports by an independent research team. “The Houston Annenberg Challenge has served as a powerful engine for school reform in the Houston area,” said Dr. Pedro Reyes, The University of Texas at Austin researcher who served as director and principal investigator of the evaluation. “The Houston Annenberg Challenge has accomplished its goal to build long-term infrastructure to promote school reform across the Houston area and has served as a conduit for bringing new ideas, resources and powerful mechanisms to schools to accomplish such reform.” Highlights of the team’s report, which was comprised of researchers from University of Texas, University of Houston and Rice University, include:

The achievement gap is closing. Houston Annenberg Beacon schools have almost completely closed the learning gap between white students and their non-white peers. These schools also have made significant gains in closing the learning gap for students considered economically disadvantaged as measured by results on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills. Funded schools outperform non-funded counterparts. A comparison of 2002 Stanford 9 test scores, which many educators believe to be a more accurate barometer of student achievement than TAAS, showed that funded schools outperformed non-funded schools in Houston ISD. These scores also showed that Annenberg-funded schools are performing near or above the national test average. Improved student achievement linked to improved professional development for teachers. According to the report, these results may be attributed to a number of Houston Annenberg initiatives aimed at improving teacher development, personalizing the learning environment and reducing isolation. Among these efforts have been ongoing teacher development programs such as Critical Friends Group, as well as a distinguished speaker series and the New Visions in Leadership Academy. These efforts combined have cultivated teachers’ knowledge and skills by deepening their understanding of subject content and have provided strategies for working with students with diverse learning styles. The researchers also believe that this investment in teacher development has played a key role in increasing teacher retention rates at Annenberg schools. Work of The Houston Annenberg Challenge lays groundwork for future success of students and teachers. Significant work also has been done in personalizing the learning environment by reducing class size and providing a variety of choices for students. And, perhaps one of the most important steps to the lasting success of the reforms, The Houston Annenberg Challenge and its school district partners have developed a strategic alliance between community leaders, school officials, parents, students and local universities.

Just as students complete projects and exams to determine their mastery of subject matter, The Houston Annenberg Challenge regularly engages in multiple processes to determine the success of its efforts. Among these are: State and National Accountability Standards. In addition to identifying progress toward mastery of material tested by the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS), The Houston Annenberg Challenge measures success by other standards such as the Stanford 9 achievement test. The work of The Houston Annenberg Challenge also supports the objectives of the historic No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into federal law in 2002. Peer Review Process. While achievement test scores can provide a glimpse of a school’s performance, they do not capture the entire picture. To accomplish this, The Houston Annenberg Challenge created a Peer Review Process. Each year, a team of Peer Reviewers visits each school or community of schools to assess their progress. New to the Peer Review Process in 2002 was the reflective portrait, in which Beacon and Lamplighter schools provided a summary of their work and its outcomes. This included the production of a manual and video documenting the reform process at these schools. A complete Review of Progress manual will be published in 2003. Outside Evaluators. For the third consecutive year, Dr. Pedro Reyes of the University of Texas at Austin has led an independent team of researchers to evaluate all aspects of The Houston Annenberg Challenge. Highlights from the third and final report can be found on the facing page of this report.




1997 to 2001 HISTORY The Houston Annenberg Challenge was founded in 1997 when Ambassador Walter Annenberg awarded a team of local educators and business leaders $20 million for urban public school reform with the requirement they match his funds on a two-to-one basis. Shortly thereafter, the Brown Foundation and Houston Endowment Incorporated each pledged $10 million, and over the course of five years, numerous other partners including foundations, corporations and individuals provided the remainder of the original $60 million partnership. The Houston Annenberg Challenge established three major priorities for its initial phase of work: to improve student achievement through improved teacher professional development, to improve student achievement by reducing isolation and to improve student achievement by creating a personalized learning environment. During the initial phase of their work, 88 schools in The Houston Annenberg Challenge network, which included the Aldine, Alief, Houston, Humble, North Forest and Spring Branch school districts, received direct grants to fund programs aimed at meeting these three primary objectives. Over the five-year period, Annenberg provided more than $19 million in direct grants to these schools. The rest of the funding was used to provide indirect support through professional development activities.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS In addition to direct school funding, The Houston Annenberg Challenge also began work on a significant number of initiatives, including: Partnership for Quality Education. A team composed of five institutions of higher learning, six school districts and The Houston Annenberg Challenge begins work on revamping teacher preparation programs at the collegiate level. High School Reform. Backed by funding from the Carnegie Corporation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Houston Annenberg Challenge accelerates its pilot high school reform program at Houston ISD’s Reagan High School and partners with Houston ISD to expand it to the district’s 24 comprehensive high schools. Leadership Opportunities. The Houston Annenberg Challenge establishes its New Visions in Leadership Academy to train school leaders for the 21st century school. The Challenge also embarks on efforts to implement Critical Friends Group training and programming for area educators. Fondren Reforming Schools Summer Institute. The Houston Annenberg Challenge creates an intensive summer institute for district leaders and teachers aimed at providing them with the latest proven teaching techniques and tools.




Houston Annenberg Challenge founded with $20 million matching grant from Ambassador Walter Annenberg as part of national Annenberg Challenge initiative

November First direct grants totaling $1.67 million awarded to Beacon schools and Lamplighter communities

Emerging Models. Grants provided to schools in the Annenberg network enabled the creation of nearly a dozen models that other schools and school districts can use in their own school reform efforts. SCHOOL NETWORK The 2001-2002 school year was the final year of The Houston Annenberg Challenge’s work funded by the generous grants from Ambassador Annenberg and the community. During that time, The Houston Annenberg Challenge awarded $4.4 million to Beacon, Lamplighter and Floodlight schools in its six partner school districts. More than 90 percent of this money has been used to ensure teachers get the latest research on effective teaching tools and methods aimed at improving and measuring student learning. As planned, this was the final year of funding for schools, which will now develop their own funding sources for these programs and initiatives. Although direct grants to schools have ceased, teachers and administrators in the Annenberg network requested that the network be kept intact to support continued school improvement efforts. These will include ongoing teacher professional development opportunities, continued work on the high school reform project and the new fine arts initiative being introduced in 2003. Schools in the network include: BEACON SCHOOLS are shining examples of principals, teachers, parents and students who have embraced and implemented the Annenberg philosophy of whole school change with great success. Grants provided by The Houston Annenberg Challenge have funded professional development activities at these schools, transforming them from one-shot workshops to daily learning embedded in the fabric of the school. The Beacon schools participate in a network of ongoing meetings, exchanges and visits and also share their learning experiences with the education community at large as both hosts and presenters at conferences and workshops.

Beacon Schools

Bethune Academy Browning Elementary School Drew Academy Eisenhower High School Helms Community Learning Center Kennedy Elementary School Lanier Middle School Poe Elementary School Quest High School Scott Elementary School Spring Shadows Elementary School



Brown Foundation and Houston Endowment Incorporated commit $10 million each to Houston Annenberg

$3.88 million in direct grants awarded to Beacon schools and Lamplighter communities

1998 August First Reforming Schools Summer Institute


K-5 Mathematics Initiative. Through a partnership with the ExxonMobil Foundation and Houston ISD, The Houston Annenberg Challenge helped identify, develop and place mathematics specialists in K-5 classrooms in 13 schools.


LAMPLIGHTER SCHOOLS are on the move toward Whole School Reform. They are working together to build professional learning communities with a common focus on academics.

Lamplighter Schools

Albright Middle School Anderson Academy Anderson Elementary School Best Elementary School Briscoe Elementary School Cage Elementary School Carver High School Clifton Middle School Clinton Park Elementary School Condit Elementary School DeBakey High School DeZavala Elementary School Edison Middle School Elmore Middle School Fleming Middle School Furr High School Gallegos Elementary School Grantham Middle School Gregory-Lincoln Education Center Hamilton Middle School R.P. Harris Elementary School Hartman Middle School Hilliard Elementary School Hoffman Middle School

Hogg Middle School Holland Middle School Johnston Middle School J. Will Jones Elementary School KIPP Academy Lamar High School Lanier Middle School MacGregor Elementary School McReynolds Middle School Neff Elementary School Oates Elementary School Olle Middle School Pershing Middle School Pine Shadows Elementary School Pleasantville Elementary School Poe Elementary School Port Houston Elementary School Project Chrysalis Raymond Elementary School Reagan High School Reece Academy Reed Intermediate Rees Elementary School Revere Middle School

River Oaks Elementary School Roberts Elementary School Will Rogers Elementary School Scroggins Elementary School Sharpstown High School Sharpstown Middle School Spring Branch Elementary School Stovall Academy Thompson Elementary School Mark Twain Elementary School West University Elementary School Westbury High School Wharton Elementary School Whidby Elementary School Ed White Elementary School Whittier Elementary School Wilson Elementary School YES College Preparatory School



Second round of $4.64 million in grants to Beacon, Lamplighter and Floodlight schools



First Critical Freinds group training

Houston Annenberg begins Distinguished Speaker Series

Floodlight Schools

Atherton Elementary School Bruce Elementary School Concord Elementary School Crawford Elementary School Dogan Elementary School Eliot Elementary School Fleming Middle School N.Q. Henderson Elementary School Isaacs Elementary School Anson Jones Elementary School Martinez Elementary School McReynolds Middle School Pugh Elementary School Scott Elementary School Scroggins Elementary School E.O. Smith Elementary School E.O. Smith Middle School Wheatley High School



Quest High School named National Service Learning Leader School Reagan High School redesign pilot program approved by board

September Partnership for Quality Education team formed $4.75 million in direct grants awarded to Beacon, Lamplighterand Floodlight schools



K-5 Mathematics Initiative launched

Annenberg creates Passport to Success after-school model


FLOODLIGHT SCHOOLS are the result of The Houston Annenberg Challenge’s partnership with Houston ISD. In 1999, Houston Annenberg created a partnership with Project GRAD (Graduation Really Achieves Dreams) to enter four Houston ISD K-12 school groups, called feeder patterns, beginning with Wheatley High School. The Houston Annenberg Challenge funded ongoing professional development in these schools.


2002 and BEYOND PARTNERSHIP FOR QUALITY EDUCATION The Houston Annenberg Challenge Partnership for Quality Education was formed during the 2000-2001 school year. Composed of representatives from the Houston Community College System, Texas Southern University, University of Houston, University of Houston-Downtown and University of St. Thomas, as well as schools in Aldine, Alief, Houston, Humble, North Forest and Spring Branch ISDs, the design teams were charged with rewriting and piloting courses in the teacher preparation programs at the local institutions. The first redesigned courses were piloted during the 2001-2002 school year in entry-level English composition and literature at all five higher education partner institutions. Each was rewritten with the goal of enriching content, modeling effective teaching techniques and using technology as a teaching tool. As these first courses were piloted, design teams began work on revamping mathematics courses. The first courses, one a required basic mathematics course and the other a mathematics theory course, were piloted during the 2002-2003 school year at the University of Houston-Downtown, Texas Southern University and in the Houston Community College system. As with the English courses piloted during the previous year, many of these classes were linked via the use of similar texts, student projects and the Internet. Also during 2002, the Partnership for Quality Education expanded the collaboration to launch a unique Summer Science Internship Program in partnership with the Baylor College of Medicine. Co-developed by Baylor and Houston Annenberg, the program aims to improve the quality of science education among today’s youth by exposing them to a side of science they have never experienced before. Four student-teacher teams from Wheatley and Reagan high schools worked for six weeks hand-in-hand with genetic scientists. During 2003, the program will expand to include all three comprehensive high schools in Houston ISD’s Northwest District. In addition, during 2003 the Partnership for Quality Education is working to select and rewrite courses in history. The design teams will continue the process to systematically rewrite, pilot, evaluate and revise courses in one discipline at a time until each school within the colleges of Education and Arts & Sciences has been revamped. The design teams also are examining the entire teacher preparation program to embed technology and introduce Critical Friends Group protocol to future teachers. The five-year project is being funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and matching contributions from the partners. It is one of the most creative collaborations between higher education institutions and school districts in the country.

Date Teachers present portfolio work at Harvard University conference


June Jenard M. Gross Elementary School announced

June First class of John P. McGovern, M.D. Fellows graduates from New Visions in Leadership Academy

In 2000, Houston ISD and The Houston Annenberg Challenge began to transform Houston’s comprehensive high schools into 21st century learning centers. Called Houston Schools for a New Society, the partnership grew out of Annenberg’s pilot project at Reagan High School and now includes all 24 of the district’s large high schools thanks to a $12 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The local partnership was one of only seven groups nationwide to receive the prestigious grant. The project is restructuring these schools into smaller learning communities with the ideal size being no more than 300 students apiece where each student has an advisor who knows him or her well and follows that student through all four years of schooling. These reorganized learning communities will focus on literacy and will require students to take a rigorous core academic curriculum. Research nationwide has shown that smaller learning communities significantly impact student achievement and dropout rates. Initial feedback from the schools participating in the project indicates that student achievement is climbing while student dropout rates are dropping. Community involvement in the effort is growing. The Greater Houston Partnership has formed a 15-member oversight committee representing business and the community to oversee the five-year project. Chaired by John Cater, retired chairman of Compass Bank, and George Martinez, chairman of Sterling Bancshares, the committee will advise, recommend, advocate and suggest strategies for implementation. And, schools involved in the project also hosted several community engagement events throughout the year with several more planned during 2003. These events are designed to keep the community around each school aware of and involved in the transformation of area high schools. Part of this collaboration resulted in an innovative new pilot called Web Enabled Student Transcripts, or WEST, which is expected to be up and running in Houston ISD in 2003. The project, which is the result of an ongoing relationship between The Houston Annenberg Challenge, Houston Schools for a New Society and the Greater Houston Partnership in collaboration with the Region IV Education Service Center, is designed to help districts speed up the transfer of student records. Currently the records are mailed to the new school or district, which can result in delays in placing students in the courses they need to graduate. Electronic transfer eliminates lost or delayed financial aid, helps guidance counselors, administrators and teachers immediately place students in the correct courses and ensures special needs students get the appropriate resources. WEST also automates tracking of departed students. Planners hope to have the system up across the region during the 2003-2004 school year. The number of schools involved in high school redesign continues to grow—Houston Annenberg will expand the work regionally during the 2003-2004 school year. Included will be The Challenge Early College High School, a small school with a five-year program. Students will graduate with a high school diploma and a full first year of college credit. L August


Research shows achievement gap closing for Annenberg schools

Grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation expand high school reform efforts

September Revised English courses launched at five higher education institutions $4.4 million in grants awarded to Beacon, Lamplighter and Floodlight schools




LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES During 2002, The Houston Annenberg Challenge accomplished significant work under the umbrella of leadership opportunities. Included in this work were continued efforts to develop school leaders through the Challenge’s New Visions in Leadership Academy, the expansion of the Challenge’s Critical Friends Group training and the selection of two Annenberg representatives to attend the prestigious Change Leadership Institute at Harvard University. New Visions in Leadership Academy. In June 2002, the second class of fellows completed their first year of studies in The Houston Annenberg Challenge New Visions in Leadership Academy. Modeled after the Harvard Graduate School of Education Principals’ Center, the academy aims to help school leaders develop the skills to be effective leaders in the 21st century school. During the first year of their work, fellows participate in monthly meetings, attend special seminars by national education experts, develop a personal professional development plan and work with consultants from Accenture and the Harvard Business Alumni Club. During their second year, fellows continue to share with their peers on an informal basis and deepen their leadership skills to begin to coach the new fellows. Almost 50 local educators have participated in the program since its inception, and a new class of fellows will begin their work in June 2003. Many graduates of the academy have been promoted to larger schools or to administrative positions. Critical Friends Group. The Houston Annenberg Challenge continues to be the only center of activity on the Gulf Coast recognized by the National School Reform Faculty. Since instituting the Critical Friends Group seminar, Annenberg has trained almost 400 coaches to work with hundreds of additional teachers and administrators across the greater Houston area. In 2002, the Challenge’s training expanded to include a special training for more than 40 Teach For America Corps members. Funded by a grant from Ocean Energy, the five-day training included participants from across the state. Also in 2002, the Critical Friends Group protocol was introduced into higher education through the Challenge’s Partnership for Quality Education. The program was so well received by local universities that one group, led by Dr. Claudette Ligons of Texas Southern University, used the CFG protocol for her work with her own students and with Eastern Cape Technikon, a university in East London, South Africa. Change Leadership Institute. Houston ISD Assistant Superintendent Armando Alaniz and Houston Annenberg Challenge Associate Director Michele Pola were accepted into the Change Leadership Group at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. This two-year program targets school district leaders and gives them the knowledge and skills to lead systemic change. Mr. Alaniz and Ms. Pola will use their knowledge in their roles as co-directors of Houston Schools for a New Society, the three-year, district-wide initiative to transform all 24 of Houston ISD’s comprehensive high schools into small, theme-based academies with a rigorous curriculum. District Leaders Retreats. Assistant and deputy level superintendents from five of the six Houston Annenberg partner school districts began meeting in 2000 to work on common issues around improving student achievement and redesigning schools into learning communities. In 2002, the district leaders focused on transforming culture at the school, community and district level. October Critical Friends Group work expands to South Africa

October Middle school teachers receive Champions of Active Learning grants


April K-5 Mathematics Initiative expands to Fort Bend ISD

The 2001-2002 school year marked the halfway point for a $1.3 million partnership between The Houston Annenberg Challenge, Houston ISD and the ExxonMobil Foundation. The initiative aims to identify, develop and place mathematics specialists in K-5 classrooms throughout the district and is part of a national network supported by the ExxonMobil Foundation. The project’s second year included Houston ISD’s Anderson, Argyle, Benavidez, Elrod, Foerster, Fondren, Halpin, Milne, Red, Rodriguez, Shearn, Sutton and Tinsley elementary schools. During 2002, a $25,000 grant from the George Foundation enabled the program to expand the network of professional development for mathematics specialists and teachers in Fort Bend ISD. These Fort Bend specialists are working across district lines with specialists in both Houston and Aldine ISDs. The goal of the program is to improve students’ ability to understand and apply math concepts in a variety of situations. The math specialists involved in the program are former classroom teachers selected for the specialist role because of their comfort level with mathematics and their interest in working with students and teachers. In the program, each math specialist works with teachers and administrators at participating schools to provide leadership and expertise in mathematics based on nationally recognized, research-based professional development. Specialists also play a role in the development of family programs such as Family Math Nights, which are designed to enhance parents’ own math skills, to teach them the process their children undertake when learning mathematics and to share with them specific lessons their children are learning. These math specialists also have played a key role in a growing partnership between The Houston Annenberg Challenge and two local museums, The Children’s Museum of Houston and The Museum of Fine Arts-Houston. This collaboration allows math specialists to share their expertise to give mathematics a more visible role in exhibits and tours. At the same time, the museums are sharing their expertise to make math more relevant for teachers, students and parents. The work done in the partnership is receiving national attention with those involved in the project scheduled to share their experience at the 2003 National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national meeting in San Antonio.

July More than 300 attend Fondren Reforming Schools Summer Institute

June Four student-teacher teams intern at Baylor College of Medicine




FINE ARTS INITIATIVE As part of its new phase of work, Houston Annenberg Challenge laid the groundwork for a new fine arts initiative in local elementary schools. The Challenge’s fine arts focus group is composed of representatives from the Aldine, Alief, Houston, Humble, North Forest and Spring Branch school districts, as well as Dr. Andy Achenbaum, Professor of Social Work and History at the University of Houston. During 2002, the group conducted site visits to several local elementary schools and museums, the Center for the Arts in New York City and the Minneapolis Annenberg Arts project. The information gained during these visits and other research was used to formulate a formal model to integrate arts through the curriculum of a school. Included in the plan are a course of action for developing partnerships with local arts organizations, designing an advocacy campaign, identifying fund-raising opportunities and planning for ongoing professional development. Research, both locally and nationwide, has shown that an arts-infused curriculum can have a profound positive effect on learning across subjects including reading, mathematics and science. This research has shown that fine arts can be an invaluable tool in closing the learning gap for economically disadvantaged and ethnic students. The College Board also has reported that SAT scores are considerably higher for students involved in the fine arts, and that fine arts are key to student success in college. Beginning in 2003, The Houston Annenberg Challenge will issue a request for proposal to schools in the network to apply for fine arts initiative grants. FONDREN REFORMING SCHOOLS SUMMER INSTITUTE For the sixth consecutive year, more than 300 teachers, administrators, parents and students participated in the Fondren Reforming Schools Summer Institute. The annual three-day conference was held at the University of Houston and featured a keynote address from the university’s Dr. Andrea Foster, as well as a panel discussion with local educators entitled “Journey of Reform.” In addition to the group sessions, conference-goers were able to select from a variety of breakout sessions in literacy, mathematics, reform, high school and fine arts. They also participated in home-base groups, a unique feature of the institute in which participants gather with a facilitator in groups of 20 or so each day to discuss what they have learned and apply it to their schools. Each school attending the institute also received $100 in credits at the bookstore to purchase titles to upgrade its library of school reform literature. The 2003 Fondren Reforming Schools Summer Institute will focus on high schools and current reform efforts in the Houston Schools for New Society initiative.

September K-5 Mathematics Initiative expands to 13 schools



Revamped higher education mathematics courses offered at partner institutions

Brown Foundation and Annenberg Foundation commit additional $30 million

A number of partners and donors, including the Annenberg Foundation, the Brown Foundation and Houston Endowment Incorporated have been involved with The Houston Annenberg Challenge since its inception in 1997. During 2002, The Houston Annenberg Challenge added a number of new partners to its ever-growing list of donors, including JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Public Education Network, Fund for Teachers and the Houston Astros major league baseball team. Champions of Active Learning. The Champions of Active Learning program is sponsored by JP Morgan Chase Foundation and is administered through a partnership between the Public Education Network and The Houston Annenberg Challenge. During the 2001-2002 school year, four teachers from two Houston Annenberg schools received $5,000 per project for their efforts in developing innovative instructional programs that result in improved learning for middle school students. These included a math-based exploration of building design and construction at Johnston Middle School, a study of pollution problems and solutions at Pershing Middle School, a school-yard wildlife habitat project at Johnston Middle School and the creation of a colonial village at Pershing Middle School. The partnership will continue with grants awarded during the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 school years. Fund for Teachers. Apache Corporation Chairman Raymond Plank started Fund for Teachers in 1997 to award grants of up to $5,000 for educators in seven cities to study, explore, learn and embark on “voyages of discovery” during the summer months to enliven their classrooms and improve their teaching skills. Through an administrative partnership with The Houston Annenberg Challenge, Fund for Teachers awarded grants to almost 50 local teachers during summer 2002. Several of the grant recipients participated in international studies such as the Smithsonian Tour of the Impressionists in Paris and Normandy and the Summer Institute on Spanish Language and Culture in Span. Other studies included digital photography, a tour of American historical sites and a trip to NASA’s Space Camp. Grants also will be awarded for summer 2003 work. Houston Astros. Houston’s major league baseball team stepped up to the plate with a cash donation and the opportunity to highlight the work of The Houston Annenberg Challenge at special pre-game ceremonies honoring the school reform group. The Houston Astros hosted Houston Annenberg Challenge night at Minute Maid Park in September 2002 and presented a $2,500 donation that was raised through ticket sales. Hall of Fame Sportscaster Milo Hamilton highlighted the Challenge during a live interview on KTRH-AM radio, and fans—who included more than 200 Houston Annenberg Challenge supporters— picked up information on Houston Annenberg in the lobby on the way to their seats.



Ambassador Walter Annenberg passes away at Pennsylvania home

Board approves successor organization to Houston Annenberg name to be Houston A+ Challenge THE HOUSTON

October Annenberg honors Fund for Teachers grant recipients


formerly The Houston Annenberg Challenge



DONORS $40 Million The Annenberg Foundation $20 Million Brown Foundation $12 Million Carnegie Corporation of New York/ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation $10 Million Houston Endowment Incorporated $500,000 to $1,000,000 Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation ExxonMobil Foundation The Fondren Foundation M. D. Anderson Foundation $250,000 to $499,999 Carnegie Corporation Cullen Foundation The Powell Foundation $100,000 to $249,999 The Chase Texas Foundation John P. McGovern M.D. Foundation Marion & Speros Martel Foundation The Rockwell Foundation U.S. Department of Education United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast *Vinson & Elkins, LLP

$50,000 to $99,999 *Accenture Joe B. Foster Foundation

Jenard and Gail Gross George & Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation *Houston Chronicle Maconda Brown O’Connor Ocean Energy Shell Oil Company Foundation $25,000 to $49,999 Clayton Fund Marvy Finger Family Foundation The George Foundation Public Education Network/JP Morgan Chase *WEDGE Group Inc. $10,000 to $24,999 Greater Houston Community Foundation Ray C. Fish Foundation Jack H. and William M. Light Charitable Trust Mr. Harry M. Reasoner Mr. J. Victor Samuels W. A. and Madeline Smith Charitable Trust $500 to $9,999 *Continental Airlines Mr. Jonathan Day Ms. Janice Dupuy Education Commission of the States Employment & Training Centers, Inc. Ky & Almuth Ewing Fiesta Mart, Inc. Friedman Foundation J. Kent and Ann L. Friedman Hackett Family Foundation *Harris County Department of Education Heimbinder Family Foundation Hobby Foundation

David A. Johnson Kennedy/Wilson Properties Robert W. & Pearl Wallis Knox Foundation KPRC/Channel 2 *The Kroger Co. *Mama Ninfa’s Catering Alice Kleberg Reynolds Meyer Foundation *Region IV Education Service Center Roundtable Nellie Thorogood, Ph.D. Mr. & Mrs. Robert Tudor Ms. Andrea White Samuels Foundation Sheinfeld O'Malley ?????) Strake Foundation Veritas Modular Furniture $499 and under Mr. & Mrs. James Buescher Ms. Billye Callier/Sterling Academic Assessment Leonel Castillo Ms. Barbara Christopher Mr. Bruce A. & Dr. Cheryl J. Craig Ms. Honora Diaz Ms. Lynne Marion Doolittle Mr. John & Ms. Jana Fedorko Mr. H.D. Graham, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. C.W. Hudspeth *Intekrity Ms. Burdine Johnson Ms. Susan Jhin Helen J. Juksar Michaelann Kelley Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund Mr. William Gentry Lee

Ralph M. & Clara P. Lewis James W. II Lomax MD and Nancy R. Lomax Audrey T. MaClean Ms. Elizabeth MacIntyre Ms. Marion McCollam Mr. & Mrs. William James Miller Ms. Karol Musher, M.A., CCC-SLP Ms. Joann Navratil Mr. & Mrs. Risher Randall The Gary & Lee Rosenthal Foundation *Sam’s Club The Selman/Rodd Charitable Fund Ms. Carey C. Shuart Super Summers, Inc. Ms. Nancy Thompson Dr. & Mrs. Peter K. Thompson, M.D. Mr. H. Michael Tyson Ms. Angela Valenzuela Ms. Isabel Brown Wilson Ms. Rosie Zamora


The following information was extracted from financial statements that were audited by an independent accounting firm. A complete set of audited financial statements is available upon request. Houston Annenberg Challenge is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. STATEMENT OF ACTIVITY FISCAL YEARS ENDED JUNE 30, 2002 AND 2001 JUNE 30, 2002

JUNE 30, 2001

The Annenberg Foundation Grants and Contributions Donated Use of Facilities Investments Training Fees

$22,537,384 4,495,085 43,301 164,158 200,730

$4,889,940 1,598,983 43,940 375,436 237,164

Total Revenue



Program Services Administration Fund-Raising

6,637,918 181,892 60,704

6,877,557 209,975 62,436

Total Expenses




Fund-Raising 1%

Administration 3%


Changes in Net Assets



Program Services 96%

STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITIONS FISCAL YEARS ENDED JUNE 30, 2002 AND 2001 JUNE 30, 2002 Cash & Cash Equivalents Grants Receivable Property

$9,331,247 19,526,482 10,719

JUNE 30, 2001 $6,300,452 3,886,437



Grants Payable Other Payables

$1,792,649 266,224

$3,790,277 147,181

Total Liabilities Net Assets

2,058,873 26,809,575

3,937,458 6,249,431



Total Assets

Total Liabilities and Net Assets


The HOUSTON ANNENBERG CHALLENGE Board of Trustees Jonathan Day, Chairman Managing Partner Andrews & Kurth, Mayor, Day, Caldwell & Keeton, LLP Andrea White, President Civic Volunteer Janice Dupuy, Secretary Consultant, NUCO Board Members Leonel Castillo Education Liaison, Mayor’s Office Joe B. Foster Chairman, President & CEO Newfield Exploration Company Ann Friedman, Ph.D. Adjunct Professor, The University of Houston H. Devon Graham, Jr. R.E. Smith Interests Jenard Gross President, Gross Investments Karol Musher, M.A., CCC-SLP Speech, Language and Learning Disorders Texas Children’s Hospital Maconda Brown O’Connor, Ph.D. Chairman, Brown Foundation Harry Reasoner Vinson & Elkins, LLP J. Victor Samuels Chairman, Victory Packaging Nellie Carr Thorogood, Ph.D. Vice-Chancellor for Organizational Development & Institutional Renewal, Retired, North Harris Montgomery Community College District H. Michael Tyson Vice Chairman, Retired, Chase Bank Texas Rosie Zamora President, Telesurveys Research Associates

HOUSTON ANNENBERG CHALLENGE Executive Director: Linda Clarke

Credits: Designer New Pencil Design/Henry Hunt Writer Mary Kay Yu


00 1415 Louisiana, Box 9 Houston, Tx 77002 713.658.1881 / 713.739.0166 (fax) www.houstonaplus.org

Profile for Houston A+ Challenge

2002 Annual Report  

Houston A+ Challenge's 2002 Annual Report

2002 Annual Report  

Houston A+ Challenge's 2002 Annual Report