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Houston Endowment Letter Re: Apollo

Houston Endowment Letter Re: Apollo

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Published by enm077486
Letter from Houston Endowment President Ann Stern to HISD Superintendent Terry Grier and school board president Anna Eastman, dated July 22, 2013
Letter from Houston Endowment President Ann Stern to HISD Superintendent Terry Grier and school board president Anna Eastman, dated July 22, 2013

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Published by: enm077486 on Jul 31, 2013
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08/01/2013

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HOUSTON
ENDOWMENT
INC.
A
PHILANTHROPY ENDOWED
BY
JESSE
H.
AND
MARy
GIBBS JONES
ANN
B.
STERN
President
July
22,2013
Dr. Terry GrierSuperintendent
of
SchoolsHouston Independent School District4400 West
18
th
StreetHouston,
TX
77092-8501Ms. Anna EastmanPresident,HISD Board
of
Educationc/o HISD Board Services4400 West
18
th
StreetHouston,
TX
77092-8501Dear Dr. Grier and Ms. Eastman:In May 2011, the Board
of
Directors
of
Houston Endowment Inc. ("HEI") authorized a grant inthe amount
of$6
million to the Houston lndependent School District Foundation towardimplementation
of
the Apollo 20 program. HEI subsequently made two annual paymentstotaling
$3
million toward this obligation. HEI's grant contract contemplates a final payment inthe amount
of$3
million on or before July 31, 2013.The grant contract requires that the HISD Foundation submit
an
annual progress report to HEIone month prior to the scheduled payment date.Further,the contract provides that HEI can either withhold or cancel its grant
if
any
of
the following conditions occur:
a.
The Apollo 20 program is not being executed in a manner as described in the HISDFoundation's proposal dated April 4, 2011.
b.
There have been material modifications to the Apollo 20 program that have not beenaccepted in writing by HE!.
c.
The Apollo 20 schools do not demonstrate year over year progress based on standardizedtest scores.While the HISD Foundation submitted an annual progress report to HEI earlier this month,thereport does not provide us with sufficient information to determine whether any
of
thestatedconditions have been met. Most significantly, the report lacks meaningful data with respect toacademic performance results and there is no evidence
of
any external validation. As a result
of
the report's deficiencies,HEI has elected to put a hold
on
the remaining
$3
million payment.In light
of
the seriousness
ofHEI's
concerns,
we
would like to meet with you and
if
possible,Dr.Fryer,as soon as practicable. To ensure the best use
of
everyone's time,prior to that meeting
we
will provide a more specific description
of
the information that HEr would need to see before
600 TRAVIS. SUITE 6400
HOUSTON
,TEXAS 77002
·3
000 (713) 238
·8
100
FAX
(713)
238·
8101

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