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 asked to resign.

“Everything going on in the district right now is absolutely ridiculous,” said Karina Gates, a Meyerland alum. “I don’t even understand. How do you fire the Principal of the Year from last year? I don’t get it. It’s just politics. And they’re screwing with our kids and their futures, and no, no that’s not going to happen.”


Protesters outside the school held signs blasting state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles and calling for the protection of principals and teachers. The district has not disclosed how many principals have been targeted for alleged low performance.

The district also hasn’t disclosed the breakdown of employees being let go as part of a $450 million funding gap.

The district’s Board of Managers unanimously approved measures Thursday to allow the district to cut dozens of staff and teaching positions, including librarians; counselors; principals; and reading, math and science teachers. Miles said earlier that day teachers and principals received notices based on performance metrics, including instruction and achievement data, but that those cuts were unrelated to the “reduction in force.”

HISD said in a Monday statement that its decisions regarding principals do not relate to its budget.

“All contract non-renewals for principals are unrelated to HISD’s overall budget challenges,” spokesperson Jose A. Irizarry wrote. “Instead, these contract decisions are being made – again – with the goal of ensuring every student receives high-quality instruction, every day. In some cases, we hope principals who do not retain their current position for next school year will apply for assistant principal or other roles within HISD that will help the educator grow their instructional leadership.”

Parent and protest co-organizer Rochelle Cabe noted Sarabia, as well as Neff Elementary School Principal Amanda Wingard who confirmed on Facebook the district asked her to resign, were Principals of the Year in 2023.

“I guess the district believes that in just the period of one year, these people who had years upon years of stellar performance within their careers, have gone from being the best in their organization to fireable,” Cabe said. “And I can’t believe that’s the case. That’s insane.”

Parents at Browning Elementary School and Crockett Elementary School also protested Monday after the district announced Friday their principals will not return next school year.

Crockett Elementary School, Browning Elementary School and Mickey Leland College Preparatory Academy for Young Men received written notices announcing principal departures.

The principal of Frank Black Middle School also announced leaving relatively recently in an April 25 letter, parent Heather Winter said. The Houston Chronicle is still seeking to confirm principal departures, as several principals appear to have resigned prior to this round of terminations.

See here and here for the background. The Press had more from before the events.

To be fair, any time a new superintendent tries to introduce change in a district, particularly if he or she targets long standing curriculum and personnel decisions, they are in for a bumpy ride. Employment decisions are the trickiest since by law, someone’s personnel file cannot be opened up for public consumption. At the same time, it’s this very lack of transparency that makes school communities less than trusting about the actions an administration has taken.

In the case of HISD, the criticisms are mounting on any number of fronts.

“Parental frustration over broken promises made by Superintendent Miles about his plans for HISD following the TEA takeover has been brewing the last few months. Each month hundreds of parents and students have signed up to speak at board meetings about how his non-proven NES policies are destroying what is working within the district and demoralizing our educators,” said 2022-23 Meyerland PTO president Amanda Sorena in a press release.


In Sarabia’s case, Sorena said three data points that went into his termination:

“1. STAAR score decline (they declined for all schools)

“2. MOY MAP data (Miles said this would not be a matrix held against principals AND MPVA was without heat in several classrooms on testing day)

“3. Spot Check Dashboard and not hitting “Campus Goals.” (This one is even more perplexing. The dashboard is not transparent. When it rolled out in the Fall, four MPVA admin were tasked with doing their six Spot Checks a week. Three weeks into the school year, one of those administrators was moved by HISD to another campus. The dashboard was not updated.”

Sorena wrote that another administrator was not assigned to pick up the work from the one moved to another school. All of the assigned spot checks which she was no longer making were scored as zeroes. Sarabia reported this to the people in charge of this but nothing was ever done to correct it, according to his supporters.

It’s the lack of transparency, the frequent dishonesty, the general treating of us all like idiots, and most of all the lack of accountability and oversight. The main reason there’s so much anger being directed at Mike Miles is because there’s no one else to direct it at. In normal circumstances, people would vent their frustrations at the Board of Trustees, but they have no power and the appointed Board of Managers has been nothing more than a rubber stamp. People have very good reasons to be angry about this. And very little reason to think any of the anger they display will be heard or considered. The one thing that we all can do is vote out Greg Abbott in 2026. Stay mad until then, y’all. The Press has more.

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3 Responses to Multiple schools protest Mike Miles

  1. Ross says:

    Kuff, check out the comments from Abbott in various places about how much more money schools would have if only the Lege would give him the vouchers he wants. He is holding public schools hostage for his ideology. Sadly, I think we are stuck with that way of thinking for the next 30 years or more. Texas will not vote Democrat in our lifetimes. I have no great love for the Dems, but these days they suck far less than the GOP.

  2. Meme says:

    Ten years, maybe, those old folks, including me, are a dying generation.

    One more round of something like COVID and the idiots continue with the no vaccine, no masks, and the herd will be trimmed sufficiently.

  3. Pingback: City Council versus HISD | Off the Kuff

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