Superintendent Millard House II said it’s business as usual in the state’s largest school system until the Texas Education Agency pulls the trigger on its rumored takeover plan.
He used the start of a school board meeting to address the rumors regarding a potential intervention by the Texas Education Agency.
“As of today, the district has not received any official notice from the TEA,” House said Thursday. “I remain laser-focused on fulfilling my duties as Superintendent alongside our Board of Trustees to provide the best possible educational outcomes for all HISD students. My team and I will continue to implement our community informed strategic plan, which is delivering results for HISD students and families.”
He vowed to keep students, families and community updated.
The mayor publicly announced on Wednesday that he is hearing rumors regarding an imminent takeover, calling on the Texas Education Agency to clarify its plans. The Supreme Court also issued a mandate on Wednesday — the final legal step necessary — to allow the state takeover, if the commissioner believes it to be appropriate.
“He’s in a very uncomfortable position,” Turner said of the superintendent. “His future, like the district, is in the hands of the TEA, and it’s unclear. If you didn’t know you were going to hold on to your job, and the power was not in your hands to decide, I think you would be reluctant to say anything publicly.”
Turner reiterated that the TEA should make a statement publicly, due to the uncertainty around the situation.
“This is what I would say to the state: if there is no intention of (taking over) state your position clearly,” Turner said. “If you intend to do it there should be a certain amount of community engagement and transparency and not hiding behind office walls.”
See here for the background, and here for coverage of a protest about the takeover. In a different story, Superintendent House says he doesn’t know what the future will bring, which is not a great place for any of us to be.
The TEA is gonna do what they’re gonna do, and it looks like we’ll first hear about it from them when they do it. This sucks and is very likely to be harmful, but we have no control over the situation. All we can do is say it loudly. So let me be as clear as I can: There’s no good reason for the TEA to step in at this point. Nearly all of the HISD Board is different than it was when the issues that led to the takeover conditions occurred. The schools whose performance triggered the takeover conditions are now meeting the needed academic standards. HISD overall got a B grade from the TEA in the last accountability ratings. There’s nothing for the TEA to fix. But there’s plenty for them to break. The TEA won the legal battle to say that they could take over HISD. Please take that victory and be satisfied with it. The Press, the Trib, and Campos have more.