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The HISD District 4 overview

Here’s the Chron overview of the District 4 HISD Trustee race. Since I’ve complained about how dull some of these other stories have been, let me say that this one was nicely done, focusing on the contrasts between the two candidates.

The two women competing to represent south central Houston on the school board don’t agree on much, but they do agree on how they differ.

“It’s a clear-cut distinction,” Davetta Mills Daniels said of her opponent, Paula Harris. “She’s a business person and I’m a career educator.”

The question for voters in District 4 is which type they prefer to replace Arthur Gaines Jr., who is stepping down after holding the seat for 16 years.


Harris and Daniels said they want to improve the academic and vocational offerings in District 4, which has no open-enrollment schools with the state’s highest “exemplary” rating.

But they differ on some major issues. Harris supports HISD’s $805 million bond proposal; Daniels opposes it. Harris supports performance pay for teachers. Daniels does not.

Harris said she agrees that Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra and the board didn’t seek enough community input about the bond proposal and haven’t marketed it well.

But, she said, “As a parent, the millions they’re going to spend on security is very, very important to me.”

Daniels said HISD officials have lost the community’s trust and she’s unsure the district is spending taxpayer money well. The former educator called the performance pay plan divisive and said all teachers should be paid more — and equally.

“We should hire well, and if they don’t perform, we should terminate,” she said.

Harris countered: ”I really feel as though there should be no job or career where the worst and the best get paid the same.”

Now there’s a subject that deserves some exploration. I’ll see what I can do about that.

It probably helped in the writing of this story that the two candidates differed rather starkly on some key points – it can’t be very exciting when you have to start by saying that all of the candidates mostly agreed on most of the issues. But still, well done is well done, so kudos to Ericka Mellon for an article worth reading.

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