Saturday, November 9, 2019

Houston ISD stays quiet after Texas announces state takeover of district | The Texas Tribune

Houston ISD stays quiet after Texas announces state takeover of district | The Texas Tribune

After state takeover news, Houston ISD clams up, leaving parents and teachers scrambling for insight

The state's announcement that it will seize control of its largest school system has been met with notable silence from Houston ISD administrators and local elected officials.

Two days after Texas education officials announced plans to seize control of the state’s largest public school system, the Houston Independent School District finds itself enveloped in a fog of muted uncertainty.
Officially, the district has issued nothing beyond a terse, two-sentence statement acknowledging the news. The district’s interim superintendent isn’t commenting publicly. The nine members of its elected school board — whose combative, dysfunctional behavior helped prompt the state takeover — have largely fallen silent. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has commented only in passing on the unprecedented decision.
That has left community leaders, parents and teachers to scour social media and news reports, searching for clues about what the future holds for the more than 200,000 students who attend more than 270 Houston ISD schools.
“I don’t know whether we’re worse off here or worse off in the unknown,” said Sineria Ordóñez, whose son is a kindergartener in Poe Elementary’s bilingual program.
In a strongly worded letter, Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath announced Wednesday that he will oust the district's elected school board and replace it with a state-appointed board of managers. The elected board’s repeated violations of state law, and the longstanding academic failure of one high school, compelled drastic state action, Morath wrote. The state will also appoint a superintendent.
Rocketing forward with what is expected to be a lengthy, complex process, the education agency immediately began accepting applications from community members to sit on the appointed board, and it scheduled a slate of community meetings at local schools. A lawsuit filed by Houston ISD seeking to stave off a state takeover that was filed before Morath's decision will also continue in federal court, CONTINUE READING: Houston ISD stays quiet after Texas announces state takeover of district | The Texas Tribune

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