• Report

Houston A+ Challenge: An Organizational Review


Farr, B., & Medrich, E. (2008). Houston A+ Challenge: An Organizational Review. Berkeley, CA: MPR Associates, Inc.


The purpose of this organizational review, undertaken by MPR Associates, Inc. at the request of Houston A+ Challenge (HA+C), is to enable the organization to take stock of its contribution to school reform in the Houston area after a decade of work and to examine its weaknesses and strengths as it makes plans for the future. To do this, MPR staff visited Houston A+ sites, examined relevant documents, and interviewed staff, Board members, and clients. We found that HA+C:

- Has had a recognized and highly positive effect in the Houston-area education community.

- Is known for being responsive, disseminating research, facilitating networks, and providing learning opportunities for students, teachers and administrators otherwise unavailable to them.

- Operates according to a current mission and imperatives that are overly broad and not aligned.

- Allows its mission to be defined by its activities rather than vice versa.

- Has acquired a large, diverse portfolio of programs and initiatives that can be difficult to sustain.

- Does not have a strong accountability system.

- Does not communicate its purposes or activities well, both internally and externally.