Tag Archives: Mike Morath

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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Fifth Circuit upholds injunction in book rating lawsuit

Good news. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday blocked a new Texas law that requires bookstores to rate books for sexual content and prohibits any deemed “sexually explicit” from the state’s public schools. A panel of three judges … Continue reading

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Whitmire’s approach to HISD

It’s on brand, I’ll say that. Mayor John Whitmire met Monday with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath to reaffirm his support for Houston ISD’s appointed leadership, signaling a new approach from City Hall toward the state’s stewardship of the district … Continue reading

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Fifth Circuit has its book rating lawsuit hearing

It looks like it might have…gone well? I am cautiously hopeful. Federal appellate judges Wednesday questioned a new Texas law requiring book sellers to rate the explicitness and relevance of sexual references in materials they sell to schools, though it … Continue reading

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Whitmire and SJL on the HISD mess

As we know, the Mayor has basically no direct influence on HISD, but it’s an issue people care about and the Mayor can certainly make it a point of focus. So what do our two Mayoral runoff candidates have to … Continue reading

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Two more HISD stories

Houston ISD’s elected board currently has no power. People ran for the trustee posts anyway. Two incumbents, Dani Hernandez and Patricia Allen, maintained their seats Tuesday, both winning reelection easily against a sole challenger. Meanwhile, two incoming trustees, Savant Moore … Continue reading

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Do unto public schools as you would not do to charter schools

Infuriating, but hardly surprising. In June, Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath embarked on the largest school takeover in recent history, firing the governing board and the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District after one of its more than … Continue reading

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Another federal complaint filed against HISD

Two and counting. The Greater Houston Coalition of Justice has filed a complaint to the federal government alleging that Texas education authorities created a hostile workplace in Houston ISD by installing Mike Miles as superintendent and replacing the district’s elected … Continue reading

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HISD releases its special education plan

We’ll see. Houston ISD’s administration rolled out a long-anticipated list of fixes to its special education programs Thursday, unveiling plans aimed at rectifying the district’s persistent problems with serving students with disabilities. In a presentation to HISD’s state-appointed school board, … Continue reading

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Two book ban updates

Bad news. A state law banning “sexually explicit” books from Texas schools will now go into effect, after an appeals court temporarily blocked a lower court ruling. The three-judge panel did not offer any reasoning. Their decision is temporary until … Continue reading

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Book ban lawsuit opinion released

It’s a strong one, not that that will mean anything to the troglodyte nihilists at the Fifth Circuit. In temporarily blocking enforcement of a new Texas law that limits books with sexual content in school libraries, a federal judge called … Continue reading

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Book rating law blocked

Good. A federal judge said Thursday he will stop a new Texas law aimed at keeping sexually explicit materials off of school library shelves on the eve of the law going into effect, according to state attorneys and lawyers for … Continue reading

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HISD temporarily blocked from using new teacher evaluation system

This all came up this week. Houston ISD will not be allowed to implement its new teacher evaluation system until mid-September at the earliest after a judge temporarily blocked the policy Thursday morning. A Harris County judge issued a temporary … Continue reading

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A couple of thoughts as the HISD school year starts

The Chron editorial board has them, and so do I. So, in the spirit of the first day, we are setting out three of our own classroom expectations and concerns. We’ll skip the niceties too. Miles needs to control the … Continue reading

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So what exactly is the role of the Board of Managers?

It’s getting hard to tell. Two months into the job, HISD’s new state-appointed school board has largely avoided the limelight since replacing the district’s elected trustees, making few extended comments in public and betraying no animosity within the group. The … Continue reading

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Special ed is part of the HISD takeover, too

Just a reminder that fixing special education was also part of the TEA takeover mandate for HISD. How’s that going so far? Well, the parents of the special ed kids say they’re not seeing much of anything as yet. For … Continue reading

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The bookstores’ view of the book rating lawsuit

Some useful context from one of the plaintiffs in that lawsuit challenging a new “book rating” law. When Valerie Koehler bought Blue Willow Bookshop, she wanted to offer an expansive selection of children’s books. “We made it our mission to … Continue reading

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More criticism of HISD’s library policies

This isn’t going away. Prominent Houston political and faith leaders on Monday denounced Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles’ plan to convert some libraries into discipline centers, adding to the growing chorus of critics opposing the change. Members of Congress, Houston … Continue reading

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Mayor Turner criticizes HISD’s library removals

Of interest. Mayor Sylvester Turner on Wednesday blasted Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles’ plan to close dozens of school libraries and turn them into discipline rooms, alleging it was targeted at “selected communities.” In an impassioned speech at City Council, … Continue reading

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Booksellers sue over new book rating law

These lawsuits, they are starting to pile up. A coalition of Texas bookstores and national bookseller associations filed suit on Tuesday over House Bill 900, which aims to ban sexually explicit material from school libraries. HB 900 passed in the … Continue reading

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What does Mike Miles have against libraries?

I do not care for this. Superintendent Mike Miles, appointed in June by the Texas Education Agency to lead Houston ISD, will eliminate librarians and media specialists from the 28 campuses under his New Education System and an additional 57 aligned schools that opted … Continue reading

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This is what I mean by building trust

Not great, HISD. Some Houston ISD teachers at schools in Superintendent Mike Miles’ New Education System were upset Monday morning to wake up to contract offers with lower salaries than what they expected and, in some cases, lower than what they earned before. … Continue reading

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An HISD threefer

How much is discretion worth to a school principal? To Jessica Campos, Pugh Elementary School used to feel like a family. The 350-student school that her 10-year-old daughter attends had a tight-knit community with near-constant communication between staff and families, … Continue reading

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Here are your volunteer “NES-aligned” schools

See if yours is on the list. Fifty-seven Houston ISD schools will voluntarily take part in Superintendent Mike Miles’ vision for reshaping campuses ahead of schedule, district officials announced Tuesday. The 57 campuses will comprise what Miles has coined the … Continue reading

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You sure you wanna join the NES now?

Consider your answer carefully. Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles met with dozens of school principals Thursday to walk them through his plans for “wholesale systemic reforms” and offered those who signed up for his New Education System one last chance … Continue reading

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Some schools want in on the Miles Plan

Not too surprising, all things considered. Over 50 Houston ISD schools voluntarily signed up for Superintendent Mike Miles’ sweeping New Education System, joining the 28 campuses required to be part of the reform program Miles launched his first day in … Continue reading

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The politics of the Board of Managers

Presenting this mostly without comment. A Houston Landing review of the newly appointed board’s political contributions, public statements and work history suggests the nine members likely will govern from the political center, avoiding education culture wars galvanizing the right and … Continue reading

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The Chron asks the “will what Mike Miles is doing actually work” question

Join the club. Superintendent Mike Miles has swept into Houston in recent weeks with confident claims that his strategies to overhaul the largest school system in Texas can quickly spur positive results at long-struggling schools. That’s mostly because his agenda … Continue reading

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I still don’t get how Mike Miles is going to do what he says

Let’s start with the big plans that appointed HISD Superintendent Mike Miles is touting. Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles unveiled a dramatically expanded plan for the district at a Thursday board meeting, announcing 150 schools will see “wholesale systemic reform” … Continue reading

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I got those “violated the spirit of the Open Meetings Act” blues

I’m sorry, I know this makes me a terrible person, but I laughed at this headline. The majority of the parents, teachers and community members who showed up for the Houston ISD board meeting on Thursday night were banned from entering … Continue reading

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An HISD roundup

So much news, sometimes all you can do is link ’em up… The HISD Board of Managers had its second meeting on Thursday. It was mostly calm and quiet in the auditorium as new Houston ISD board members listened to a presentation about … Continue reading

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The first Board of Managers meeting

It was raucous, and that won’t be the last time. New Superintendent Mike Miles’ interim contract was approved Thursday in a lively inaugural meeting of HISD’s new Board of Managers, over the objections of at least 150 students, parents, teachers and civil rights groups … Continue reading

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We’re starting to hear from the Managers of the Board

Bits and piece, dribbles and drabs. New Houston ISD board of managers members are pledging to earn families’ trust amid outcry from segments of the community who view board members as little more than rubber stamps for state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles. The public will get … Continue reading

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Miles picks a team

He keeps moving, I’m trying to keep up. Newly appointed Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles‘ first cabinet selections include a mix of HISD staff members, former employees of his charter school network, administrators from across Texas and educational analysts. Miles’ … Continue reading

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