Presented by HOUSTONPBS and CHILDREN AT RISK
On the eve of FRONTLINE’S Dropout Nation, focusing on Sharpstown High School, HOUSTONPBS and CHILDREN AT RISK hosted an online discussion about the current dropout problem in Houston and across the country.
Terry Grier, Ed.D., Superintendent of Houston ISD
Rob Gasparello, Principal of Sharpstown High School
Robert Sanborn, Ed.D., President and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK
Ruth López Turley, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Sociology, Director, Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), Rice University
Rob Gasparello, M.Ed.
Principal of Sharpstown High School
Rob Gasparello has been an advocate for kids at the elementary, middle school, and high school level as a teacher, coach and principal. His work as an instructional leader at both the elementary and high school level has earned him local, state and national recognition. His ability to make connections to students is at the heart of several turnaround school initiatives where cultures have been transformed through a Together We Can….Whatever It Takes….No Excuses missionary approach. He is currently the principal of Sharpstown High, the school featured in our discussion this evening.
Terry B. Grier, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Terry B. Grier, Ed.D., became the Houston Independent School District’s superintendent of schools in September 2009. Before coming to Houston, Dr. Grier served as the superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District for eighteen months and superintendent of the Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina for almost eight years.
While in San Diego, Dr. Grier led a school system that saw student test scores improve dramatically in a year when the district budget was cut by $200 million, opened Southern California's first virtual online high school, increased the number of Advanced Placement exams taken by minority high-school students by 12.5 percent, passed a $2.1-billion school construction/renovation bond package with 69 percent voter approval, and improved student performance on the California Standards Tests to an all-time district high, with scores rising more in one year than in the three previous years combined.
Dr. Bob Sanborn, Ed. D.
President/CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK
Dr. Bob Sanborn is a noted leader, advocate, & activist for education and children and the President/CEO of Children at Risk in Houston, Texas, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to innovative change for children through research, education, and public policy. Dr. Sanborn leads Children at Risk with a dedication to innovative ideas, collaborations with like-minded groups, resource developing partnerships, and a belief that all children deserve extraordinary opportunities to succeed.
Dr. Sanborn has worked and served as a senior leader with many organizations, always bringing with him a focus on innovation and education. He has served on the staff and/or faculties of Rice University, Hampshire College, Columbia University, the University of Tulsa, Emory University and the University of Massachusetts. He was previously the CEO of the Education Foundation of Harris County where his accomplishments included a significant rise in resources, partnerships and visibility for innovative urban public education. Dr. Sanborn earned his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and his doctorate at Columbia University in New York City. He has also served as an advisor and board member to numerous non-profit organizations.
Dr. Sanborn is the Co-Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for CHILDREN AT RISK, an editor of the Growing Up in Houston book and has authored 12 books and over forty articles on education, career development and related education topics. He has hosted his own radio and television programs, and has spoken to numerous conferences, civic, business, education, and student groups on a variety of topics. He has lived and worked around the world and has called home to places in Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
Ruth López Turley, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of Sociology, Director, Houston Education Research Consortium, Rice University
Dr. Ruth N. López Turley is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Rice University and is the Director of the Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC), which is a partnership between Rice University and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) that aims to produce rigorous research for the purpose of closing the socioeconomic gaps in achievement and attainment in Houston. Dr. Turley completed her undergraduate work at Stanford University, received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, and was a National Academy of Education Postdoctoral Fellow. She currently serves on the National Research Council's Committee on the Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education.