Ultimately, the move to charter these four schools represents the district abandoning its commitment to children. It is an admission by district leaders that they cannot teach the Black and Brown children in these high-poverty schools.
We should reject that idea. The voters of Houston ISD are capable of electing our own leaders who are able to govern our schools.
Democracy matters. Our voices at local school board meetings matter. The policy work we have done as a community over decades matters. Students of color and students living in extreme concentrations of poverty shouldn’t have to give up democracy in order for their schools to be receive adequate funding.
Don’t be fooled. No true change in schools comes without community engagement, and sustainable, true change comes when people affected by the change lead the way. It doesn’t come from the top down, from a mandate by state government or the mayor’s political backroom.
It comes from the bottom up. It comes from students, parents and the community.
Will you approve plans that focus poor kids on tests and punishes the teachers that spend their days educating them while the HISD PR machine highlights the amazing things happening in a just a fraction of the district's “good” schools?
And when the TEA pushes you to do things you know aren’t right for kids — things you know furthers inequity in this district, will you fight? Will you put your the weight of your positions and some of the millions this board spends on lawyers each year into this battle?
I’ve read all 34 of the elementary school improvement plans. In 23,066 words, the word data is used 349 times. The word art is used just twice. The word music, not once.
The school chiefs know every principal and teacher that didn’t hit their goal on the last snapshot but can’t tell you if they’re complying with this district’s new mandate on physical education. These improvement plans and the measures of success you give these administrators matter.
Two questions: What are your values? And will you fight?Read More
If trustees accept this money, the district establishes two new precedents in our district…
1) That Houston ISD is willing to trade the name of our schools for money, and 2) that Houston ISD will accept an increase in disparity among our students as long as that disparity is paid for privately.
What do these things say about us? What do they teach our students?Read More