When parents consider moving to a new home, one of the most important considerations is the educational opportunities that will be available to their children. The quality of education in the Clear Lake area is the result of careful planning, commitment and high goals–quality is never an accident.
Parents and students in the Clear Lake area can choose from a wealth of specialized programs that help them to develop solid skills and cultivate their individual interests. Education is an important issue with Clear Lake Area residents – especially the STEM curriculum.
Proximity to NASA has fostered this outlook on education and residents take great pride in their schools. Classes across all grade levels are designed to stimulate talents in the arts and sciences. These include multilingual programs, vocational education, special education, enrichment programs and dual credit courses.
From pre-school to graduate school, educators are “hands-on” in the quality curriculum they provide students throughout the bay area. Innovative teaching techniques developed in Clear Lake Area schools have been heralded by educational leaders across the U.S. A national comparison of urban schools showed area students score higher on tests, drop out less and are more likely to attend college.
The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) measures a child’s performance, as well as academic growth, college and career readiness. Results from STAAR calculate annual school and district performance ratings.
All students in grades 3-8 are tested in reading and math, with students in specific grades tested in science, social studies and writing. Grades 3-8 STAAR tests in reading and mathematics, by law, must be linked from grade to grade and to performance expectations for the English III end-ofcourse assessments.
At the high school level, the three graduation programs are the Minimum High School Program (MHSP), the Recommended High School Program (RHSP), and the Distinguished Achievement Program (DAP). End-of-course (EOC) assessments are mandated. High school students take EOC exams as they complete each subject, with the tests counting as 15 percent of the final grade in the courses.
Texas charter schools operate under and receive academic accountability ratings from the Texas Education Agency and adhere to the same STAAR test requirements as public school districts. Open-enrollment charter schools have the flexibility to adapt to the educational needs of individual students for a personalized learning environment where students can achieve more. Select charter schools even provide curriculum that specializes in a certain field such as the arts, mathematics or science. Some charter schools offer students in grades 9-12 the opportunity to take both high school and college courses at no cost.
STEM, (an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math education) is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning. Advocates of integrated approaches to stem education believe teaching stem in a more connected manner, especially in the context of real-world issues, can make stem subjects more relevant to students and teachers. The goal being to increase the number of students who consider a career in a STEM-related field and to improve college readiness.
Educators want to include art in STEM making STEAM. Proponents of STEAM see art as a way of offering more diverse learning opportunities, and better access to STEM programs for all types of learners. Engaging students’ strengths using art activities increases motivation and the probability of stem success.
According to a recent poll of U.S. CEOs, employers will need 1.6 million new STEM employees by 2019. In 2013, the average stem occupation paid about $80,000 annually; roughly 1.7 times the average yearly U.S. wage.
There are several STEM initiatives in Texas to inspire existing and new programs. The Texas science, technology, engineering and mathematics (T-STEM) initiative provides a foundational approach to empower teachers, inspire students and advance the stem education. The public-private initiative of academies, professional development centers and networks is designed to improve instruction and academic performance in science and mathematics-related subjects at secondary schools.