Category Archives: School days

Board of Managers passes Mike Miles’ budget

It was a close vote, but as we kids used to say, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. In their most divided vote taken to date, members of Houston ISD’s state-appointed school board on Thursday narrowly approved a … Continue reading

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On the bonds and closing or not closing schools

This is a very complicated issue. Two decades ago, children crowded the halls of Houston ISD’s Attucks and Cullen middle schools, historic campuses located two miles apart on the city’s south side. Since then, hundreds of families have fled the … Continue reading

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Miles to decimate wraparound services

This is a bad idea. State-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said social work services for students will be provided by a trimmer team of wraparound specialists who will each serve multiple campuses and refer students to off-campus support centers. Houston ISD … Continue reading

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A closer look at the HISD bond proposal

From the Houston Landing, which put together five highlights from the proposal. 1. Elementary and middle schools to see the biggest upgrades All schools will see some level of investment under the bond plan, but elementary and middle schools will … Continue reading

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HISD reports improvements on high school end of course exams

Good. More Houston ISD students met or exceeded grade level on the English I, English II, Algebra I and biology end-of-course exams that are required for high school graduation, according to figures released by the district. HISD saw a 3 … Continue reading

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One year of the HISD takeover

It’s been a year since HISD was officially taken over. Where do we stand on the things that matter, the schools’ and students’ performances? Early data is mostly positive, with a lot of caveats. According to early data, HISD appears … Continue reading

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HISD asks for $4.4 billion in bonds

That sure is a lot. Houston ISD unveiled a $4.4 billion bond proposal, the largest in HISD history and likely the largest package any Texas school district has taken to voters. Much of the bond, $2.05 billion, would go to … Continue reading

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A holiday weekend HISD roundup

This will be a basic linkdump. I’ll start here. The Houston ISD Board of Managers appears to have moved forward late Thursday with the termination of Herod Elementary School Principal Jessica Berry, who declined to resign in the district’s recent … Continue reading

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Is anyone still defending Mike Miles?

Anna Eastman is out. As a former Houston ISD parent and school board member, I initially encouraged Houstonians to be open to the state takeover and its potential benefits for our kids. I know firsthand that many things in HISD … Continue reading

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City Council versus HISD

I doubt they can do anything, but I’m happy to watch them try. One year after the state takeover of Houston Independent School District, some City Council members are urging Mayor John Whitmire to take a more proactive approach in … Continue reading

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First look at the HISD budget

We’re up to $500 million in cuts. But we still don’t have any details. The multibillion-dollar question of how Houston ISD intends to balance its budget went largely unanswered Thursday night, with district administrators revealing few specifics about job or … Continue reading

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HISD school outage report

Your school may or may not be open on Monday. Check for updates before you head out. Houston ISD reported that nearly half of its campuses are without power as of Friday and dozens have sustained wind and tree damage … Continue reading

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More on the improper use of funds allegations against Mike Miles

Other outlets are on this now. A state lawmaker and Houston teachers are calling for Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles to be investigated after a Spectrum News report revealed that millions in Texas public school tax dollars may … Continue reading

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A “WTF, HISD?” roundup

Expect more protests later this week. Houston ISD families plan to protest Saturday morning near City Hall as word of forced principal and teacher departures rip through campuses as the end of the first year since state takeover approaches. Community … Continue reading

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Multiple schools protest Mike Miles

The people are angry. Roughly 200 parents and students started their day protesting in front of Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School, one of many Houston ISD campuses sent into turmoil last week with news that their principal was … Continue reading

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Lawsuit filed over Humble ISD’s lack of single member districts

Add another to the pile. A former Humble ISD Spanish teacher sued the district Thursday, alleging trustees and administrators violated the Voting Rights Act by holding all at-large elections for the school board. The lawsuit, filed by Brewer Storefront, the … Continue reading

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More on the coming HISD cuts

I repeat, this is going to suck. An undisclosed number of Houston ISD teachers and principals received notices this week that they will be out of a job, state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said Thursday. Miles said principals have begun making … Continue reading

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Feds investigating Katy ISD

Good. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights opened an investigation Monday into Katy Independent School District to determine if its controversial gender identity policy discriminates against students, according to records obtained by the Houston Landing. The investigation … Continue reading

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HISD budget cuts coming

This is going to get ugly. Houston ISD’s state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said Friday afternoon that the school district is facing an estimated $450 million gap in funding that will largely be made up by staff reductions as federal pandemic … Continue reading

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HFT leaders vote “no confidence” on Mike Miles

Hardly a shock. The leaders of Houston’s largest teachers union approved a resolution of no confidence in Houston ISD’s Superintendent Mike Miles on Tuesday, in a strong but ultimately symbolic rebuke of the state-appointed superintendent’s leadership. The union’s resolution calls … Continue reading

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Dispatches from Dallas: Special school edition for April 21

This is a special edition of the weekly feature produced by my friend Ginger, focused on school districts and the May election. Let us know what you think. Welcome to a special schools edition of Dispatches from Dallas. A number … Continue reading

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So what is HISD going to do with this bond proposal?

I have no idea. I’m not sure they have any idea, either. Houston ISD officials are considering asking taxpayers to approve a multibillion-dollar bond in November, but Superintendent Mike Miles’ administration has yet to go through a widely used process … Continue reading

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The STAAR test will be graded by AI this year

Surely something like this was inevitable. Students sitting for their STAAR exams this week will be part of a new method of evaluating Texas schools: Their written answers on the state’s standardized tests will be graded automatically by computers. The … Continue reading

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Several Dem legislators want to investigate HISD

We’ll see if this goes anywhere. Several Houston-area Democratic legislators are calling for a formal hearing to address “potential violations of state law” in Houston ISD in the aftermath of the Texas Education Agency stripping elected leaders from the school … Continue reading

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HISD discouraging STAAR test prep

Why must Mike Miles fold, spindle, and mutilate my brain like this? As Houston ISD students prepare to take the STAAR in less than two weeks, appointed Superintendent Mike Miles is instructing schools to avoid direct test preparation, instead telling … Continue reading

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HISD’s current goals

They have ’em. Some I totally agree with. Others, well, we’ll see. Houston ISD is expected to expand several of its controversial reforms during the 2024-25 school year, according to a preliminary version of the district’s plans shared earlier this … Continue reading

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The continuing problems of At Large-only school boards

Houston Landing take a look at the big picture. In Katy and several Houston-area districts, school boards have employed an election system — known as “at-large districts” — that has contributed to most trustees living in wealthier neighborhoods, a Houston … Continue reading

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Miles backtracks on firing principals

Good. In a major reversal, Houston ISD’s state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said early Friday that the district’s principal proficiency screener ratings will not be used “in any adverse employment decisions” for campus administrators for the current academic year. As part … Continue reading

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More on Miles and the principals

I never know what to make of what this guy says. Houston ISD’s appointed Superintendent Mike Miles defended the results of his controversial principal screenings on Monday after nearly half of the district’s principals were notified that they had not … Continue reading

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Texas colleges and AI

Interesting story. When Taylor Eighmy talks to people about the growth of artificial intelligence in society, he doesn’t just see an opportunity — he feels a jolt of responsibility. The president of The University of Texas at San Antonio said … Continue reading

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More on HISD’s enrollment decline

Still worrisome. HISD reported an enrollment of about 183,900 in late October, a drop of more than 6,000 students since the 2022-23 school year and more than 30,000 students since the 2016-17 school year, when the district hit a 10-year … Continue reading

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Mike Miles versus the principals

I don’t even know, man. Houston ISD’s appointed Superintendent Mike Miles put about half of the district’s principals on notice Thursday evening after receiving results of their midyear proficiency screenings, informing them that they must undergo a second assessment this … Continue reading

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HISD kids still not getting the Internet access they lost

Just another thing by the wayside. Houston ISD has not provided at-home internet service to the vast majority of students who relied on a free Verizon program that the district canceled three months ago, leaving some of Houston’s most vulnerable … Continue reading

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The Mike Miles “efficiency report”

I’m going to reserve judgment on this for now, but it is fair to say that I start out with a nontrivial amount of skepticism. Nearly a year into the state takeover, appointed Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles says he … Continue reading

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