Better late than never and all that, but sheesh.
AP Physics students at the DeBakey High School for Health Professions had a new teacher Wednesday after Houston ISD lifted a hiring freeze that had kept the position vacant since the start of the school year, forcing students to teach themselves college-level science.
The new teacher was hired on Friday, a day after Superintendent Mike Miles said the district was nearly finished with a staffing audit that led them to ask schools to limit hiring, according to an HISD spokesman. Students said they learned about the appointment Wednesday morning and had their first class with the teacher that same day.
“She seems super nice and (like) a very good teacher,” said senior Zain Kundi, who led a student petition to fill the vacancy, via text message. “She was able to teach us more in 40 minutes than the last eight weeks of us (teaching ourselves).”
An HISD spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the district has completed its staffing audit at 85 schools in or “aligned” with Miles’ New Education System, where enrollment was lower than projected to start the school year. The district had asked the rest of its schools to limit hiring while it conducted the audit, to give teachers whose positions were eliminated the first chance to apply for open positions.
The district did not reveal Wednesday exactly how many teachers were placed in its “excess pool” following the audit. Miles said that those teachers will carry out their contracts and may be asked to fill vacancies throughout the year, but a new measure passed by the district’s appointed Board of Managers last month will allow HISD to terminate contracts for teachers in the excess pool at the end of the year.
See here for the background. I get that the audit was important, and I’m sure Mike Miles would say it was key to his process and we all just don’t understand and blah blah blah. What I’m saying is that the situation at DeBakey was a complete fiasco and an unforced error. The purpose of a school district is to provide teachers for the classes, and HISD utterly failed in this instance. How could they not make this a priority? Any kid who later fails to get a sufficient score on their AP test to get college credit for the class has every right to blame HISD and Mike Miles for this. What a mess.