Gov. Abbott Taking Over Houston Independent School District ‘After Years of Academic Failure’
HISD has been a mess for as long as I can remember.
I didn’t go to school in the Houston Independent School District (HISD), but I remember always being thankful I didn’t, which was in the 1990s!
It hasn’t gotten better.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s administration snatched HISD “after years of academic failures,” according to the letter given to the Daily Caller:
In June, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be put in control of Houston Independent School District (HISD), made up of 76 schools and nearly 200,000 students, replacing the school’s “board of managers” and superintendent, according to a TEA letter obtained by the DCNF. The takeover comes after the school district has repeatedly failed to meet the state’s academic standards, according to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath. (RELATED: Texas Lawmaker Introduces Bill That Allows Teachers To Reject CDC Trans Activism)
“I think it’s actually important for families to know that this decision is not a reflection of the incredible students in Houston ISD, nor is it a reflection of the hard working teachers and staff of Houston ISD,” Morath, who was appointed by Abbott in 2015, told Houston Public Media. “There are many students in Houston that are truly flourishing, but there are also a large number of students in Houston who have not been given the supports necessary to succeed.”
Abbott spoke about the takeover in Dallas, lamenting about how HISD has consistently failed its students:
“But know this, when I talk about what we’re gonna do going forward, some have suggested this will be used for parental empowerment and things like that,” Abbott said. “All of that is completely separate from what’s happening with HISD.”
Democrats complained about the takeover, but Democrat State Rep. Harold Dutton from Houston wrote in an op-ed that the TEA has the legal ability to take over HISD because the district has not done enough to improve the education in all the schools.
But the Houston Democrats and NAACP vow to fight.
How about you fight for the kids and provide them with better education?
Or better yet…unless things have changed since I was there, how about we stop emphasizing standardized tests and passing kids who don’t deserve to pass? When I taught in Texas, the priority was on standardized tests and passing kids to get funding. The district forced us to treat kids like numbers and not humans.
It’s why I stopped teaching. I refused to play the game or politics. I refused to treat my students like robots.
It’s gross. Private school and homeschooling are the best ways to educate your kids.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
I am curious about which schools are flourishing and which schools are not in so large a district.
Also, I want to second how horrible standardized testing is.
What is the alternative to standardized testing? It shouldn’t be the “end all” solution , but there is no alternative. Perhaps you are like the progs who think standardized LSATs are racist and should be discarded. I mean, who needs SATs and ACTs when we can simply judge on immutable characteristics?
The alternative to standardized testing is to be very selective about who is elected to a school board. If we assume there isn’t massive fraud in the school board elections, then people get the districts they deserve because the people in charge of the district are elected.
A school board should set goals as needed by the community and hire a superintendent (or even be involved in the hiring of other administration) to make and the policies for the best serve the needs of the community. Those administrators should then hire competent teachers to meet the standards/policies set (or adhered to) by the superintendent/board. It is the administrators that should judge whether a teacher is performing their job satisfactorily to meet the educational needs of the community.
The draw of standardized testing is that it gives an easy number to judge by. We think that is needed because school boards/administrators/teachers have often been allowed to be derelict in their duties. But, that is an issue that is supposed to be fixed by elections. Decades of electing corrupt/inept school boards have created a massive gulf between what communities want and what is happening in a lot of schools.
I also would have less of a problem with standardized testing if the tests were good tests. There is a whole web of insanity that goes into test prep and scores and reporting of scores. Ultimately, I want education to be local and community driven and, honestly, less expensive. An absolutely tremendous amount of money is involved in standardized testing.
Apologies for the lengthy reply.
“be very selective about who is elected to a school board.”
You start out with an oxymoron . . .
Decades of electing corrupt/inept school boards have created a massive gulf between what communities want and what is happening in a lot of schools.
which you then concede hasn’t, and is not now working, and is never likely to work . . .
I want education to be local and community driven and, honestly, less expensive.
and conclude with, yes – we should all have unicorns and rainbows.
Reality: public education is a miserable failure – I don’t know how much data is required to convince so called conservatives.
I would also posit that the biggest reason we are currently infectec with this DEI mess, is that progressived lead this massive failure. They tried to falsley blame the failre on funding, but the numbers proved they were liars. Now they have moved on to “unimpeachable” accusations of racism, bias, diversity etc.
I find it remarkable that any conservative would send their child to a public school. One might as well hire Jeff Dahmer as a babysitter.
Elections have consequences.
According to my cousin, who was a vice principal in HISD, the school was full of thugs. These kids were thugs because there was nobody to love and raise them properly.
That’s what I am curious about. If the schools that aren’t full of gang members are doing well, then it probably isn’t too bad.
Take the SanFran approach and just give ‘em $5mil dollars. That will automatically instill a preference for education and personal responsibility. Nothing breeds self reliance like free money.
No fathers or fathers who are gang members instilling the gang cultural norm within their offspring.
Twenty or so years ago a major newspaper outlet defied the elite-class tyrants and did an in-depth report about Hispanic gangs in the Los Angeles basic barrios. The reporters fanned out and using their personal Hispanic heritage and fluency in street-level Spanish (Spanglish in the USA; an admixture of English and Spanish) and interviewed a bevy of ‘bangers. Multi-generational gang membership was common. Older gangsters tended to relax but offered ample back-up by being a ready source of lies to give police and the legal system when the active ‘banger was accused of a crime. The reports also showed the grooming of children, from toddler up, to be gang loyal.
Gangs did attract new members by grooming youth lacking decent parentage within their home life. And there is always the
bad seed” syndrome where even youth with quality parents follow the criminal path.
I have sought out articles from the past that supported my viewpoints and causes but despite arduous efforts they are impossible to find. What is easily found are articles, reports, etc. that favor the New World Order and that labeled Woke and items that discredit the pro-USA pro-Western civilization pro-old-fashioned conservative USA values that existed before the gruesome contagions of today erupted upon the scene.
Alas. Thus we have what happens when the quality of USA citizenry declines. And assuredly the quality will continuously decline until the New World Order (NWO) takes total control and can then install the elite-class-led fascism where a hereditary minority controls governance and all aspects of USA society. When that occurs the iron-fist will descend and those gang bangers and others who are no longer needed to assist the ascension of the NWO will meet their fate and it will not be pretty. Fascism and elite-class control will have public hangings for all to see and the trials and fate can occur the same day. A new era and the peace desired by the anti-gun mob will arrive but it will be a peace accompanied by a New Dark Age for the masses of commoners who WILL obey the overlords OR ELSE!!!!
Darn!!!!! Los Angeles BASIN not basic!!!!
I do it all the time. I sure hope people don’t judge my message by some goofy typo or edit fragment.
They should probably raise taxes and increase their per pupil spending. I’ve heard that’s the key to improving public education.
Gotta get that spending up to $35k per kid. Only way. More money into the pockets of people politically connected is the only possible thing to try.
IMO it is the opposite. Newark, NJ schools have dreadful performance and tons of extra state money for schools. The answer IMO is less money and sending all the kids to less costly charter or private schools. The money follows the kids.
The people who run Newark are soooooo smart that they can completely disregard geography. Recently its city council made a sister-city alliance with a country that doesn’t even exist.
Lefties/ Democrats are so smart,
Apparently both the internet and map references don’t exist in Newark.
It was sarcasm
Take the SanFran approach and just give ‘em $5mil dollars. That will automatically instill a preference for education and personal responsibility. Nothing breeds self reliance like free money.
Hey, is your name Thad? That is my name and I rarely come across another. I wish my name was Thaddeus, but alas, it is not. It’s just Thad. I hated the name until my freshman year in high school. I was the object of hazing trying to find a nickname for me. It was in good fun and the winner was “Thadpole”. I carried the nick with pride.
“I think it’s actually important for families to know that this decision is not a reflection of the incredible students in Houston ISD, nor is it a reflection of the hard working teachers and staff of Houston ISD,” Morath, who was appointed by Abbott in 2015, told Houston Public Media. “
Speaking of BS, Trump is filing a complaint against DeSantis for not running for President. What a wuss.
Because he is running around the Country campaigning and collecting money to campaign and if you don’t declare there are tons to f $$$$ incentives
DeSantis is afraid to go Mano to Mano
Sure his operatives believe they finally got Trump now, this is the one, stormy daniels
What a wussdesantis
Apparently the schools you attended did not emphasize reading skills. There is nothing wrong with this statement.
“When I taught in Texas, the priority was on standardized tests and passing kids to get funding.”
My daughter was a special Ed teacher in FL and the school did the same thing. She went back to school and is now a certified hand therapist.
I think the Governor should read the “Bell Curve” by Charles Murray before he goes into a tear on getting performance out of these city thugs. There are always a few who will make it but most won’t and they will ruin it for the others before they drop out. Good teachers are no longer willing to teach in these kinds of schools and the ones that will are not the ones you need. I know it sounds harsh but it really cries out for a military academy-type environment to succeed. Without harsh and sustained discipline, there will be no learning.
But, that book is totally racist because it notices things!
We are just housing the thugs for a few hours of respite
When they show up
While Abbott is at it, he should take over Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, El Paso and probably Lubbock School Districts. Dallas, Fort Worth and especially San Antonio’s school districts are a complete mess. El Paso can’t stop trying to think it’s Juarez, and Lubbock just needs reorganization.
For Austin’s school district, Abbott needs to throw all of the bums out and simply replace the schools with a voucher system and privately run schools. The Marxist Moscow on the Colorado Commissars of Indoctrination are beyond any help.
(anon): “… it really cries out for a military academy-type environment to succeed …”
Beware prescribing for other people’s children.
Failing large school districts cry out for subsidized escape options: tuition vouchers, charter schools, education savings accounts, subsidized homeschooling, Parent Performance Contracting. etc.
Texas is behind the curve on school choice.
Mandate that districts must subsidize escape options and districts will improve. School district bureaucrats may be stupid greedy socialist ideologues but they aren’t suicidal.
I’ve seen this play out in other inner city school districts. In Detroit, the state took over the abysmal public school system. A few years later they handed it back to a local board. It’s still abysmal. In New Orleans, charter schools have supplanted the traditional public schools. They still suck.
Back in the day, schools were mostly funded by local taxes, leaving schools underfunded in impoverished inner city neighborhoods. Everyone pointed to that as the obvious reason for their underperformance. It certainly seemed plausible at the time. Then GW Bush more or less fixed that with improved federal funding for those schools, but their performance barely budged.
It’s been pointed out that children in such areas are more likely to suffer from malnutrition or “food insecurity” and come to school hungry. That seemed like a plausible culprit, so we instituted reduced-price or free school lunches. Then we expanded that to breakfast as well. That was at least successful at feeding hungry kids, but it still didn’t deliver the dividends we were promised in educational performance.
I’m sure we’ve been through a dozen trends and fads in pedagogical theory since this all began. We need not worry that students have no teachers who “look like them”, and the same is true of principals, superintendents, or mayors.
How exactly do we know the problem is “not a reflection of the incredible students in Houston ISD”? Our list of alternative hypotheses is growing short.
Family and culture matter when it comes to motivating kids to make something of themselves, something other than a thug.
You used the word “Family” which doesn’t apply to most of the kids in inner-city schools. For many of them, their gang is their family. Many of the others have only a mom and their siblings all have different fathers who are never around to help raise them. I am an old guy who has been around a long time and I don’t see a solution to this multi-layered problem. LBJ started it and every Democrat pol has added to it and it is now so interwoven between city, state, and federal governments that I don’t think it is solvable. The only thing that could stop it would be national bankruptcy which is closer than we think. If just one state would declare no more programs to help unwed mothers or support for anything like that, there would be an exodus from that state to the more liberal ones. In time, more states could do the same and it could start a change for the better and remove the incentives for out-of-wedlock children. Harsh I know but it might work.
Cultural problems show up in schools and schools cannot fix them. If we want to improve academic performance in districts where students are not getting an education, then we first need to fix the cultural issues causing it.
That isn’t to say some districts are populated by horrible teachers/administrators or that some of those aren’t abusing their position to poison the minds of students. But, even if you remove those people and replace them with competent people, then you still will not get good academic achievement out of the historically failing school districts.
Maybe schools can’t fix them, but they can certainly stop inducing and supporting those cultural problems.
Stop the teaching/endorsement of dependency, sloth, disrespect, tribal culture, lack of responsibility, etc.
Start endorsing the morals and principles that made Western Civilization – and particularly America – possible.
Since the government schools are “The One Best System” there is nowhere for a disruptive thug to go if he/she is expelled, and the school would lose income. So he/she is not expelled, and Very Bad Things Happen. Classrooms are disrupted. Children are bullied. Teachers are assaulted. Occasionally, there are mass murders.
Not every child is able to thrive in the German model used by the government schools. Let’s replace them with private and home schooling.
I’m not implying public schools are the best idea. Particularly when the school is run at a higher level than “small community”.
But all of those things you mention are the problem: essentially endorsement of immorality and Progressive doctrine. Even a private school will fail to produce good citizens if they do that.
(And I am a huge homeschooling proponent. Do it if you can, and more can than think so.)
It is practically impossible to expel students who have been “problem students” from an early age. You can expel them, but a judge will put them right back.
I 100% agree with that. If I even use the phrase “tribal culture” the school will probably get sued.
“But the Houston Democrats and NAACP vow to fight.”
I’m sure ,for Democrats these schools are a success story and a source of money. They want more.
“…is not a reflection of the incredible students in Houston ISD, nor is it a reflection of the hard working teachers and staff of Houston ISD,…”
Golly. Of course not. It has to be the eebil spell of moonbeams & unicorn farts cast by the mysterious green spaghetti monster out beyond the Oort cloud.
This level of dumb has crashed into the stupid ditch. smh
HISD demographics: 90% minority enrollment.
59.4% are economically disadvantaged.
HISD consistently underperforms
Democrats, the party of the working class, and the NACCP, a group dedicated to the advancement of people of color, are not happy that the district is in receivership.
Indeed, the world has turned upside down.
A little more than a 1/3 of them are enrolled in some program to help learn English.
Of course, they report an average ACT score of 23.6, which is a dang good average. So, that makes me think they are pretty selective about who takes it.
“Private school and homeschooling are the best ways to educate your kids.”
Thank you for pointing this out. Many “conservative” writers still bitterly cling to the idea of “taking back” the government schools.
Even with private and home schooling, taking back the public schools is vital.
The government schools are, and always have been, America’s best example of totalitarian socialism. Indoctrination by whomever is in control at the time (currently the leftist socialists) using the taxpayer’s money.
How is it not immoral to want to “take back” such a system? It should be replaced.
Waiting with bated breath to see what the teachers’ unions have to say about this.
Terrible situation. Thanks for the info.
One comment . . . . I do not understand your objection to “standarized tests.”
“Public Schools in Houston Independent School District have an average math proficiency score of 27% (versus the Texas public school average of 37%), and reading proficiency score of 35% (versus the 42% statewide average).”
These comparisons can be made because different schools used the same tests . . . you know, “standard.”
Imagine different students in different schools over different years taking different tests. Now look at the different results. Are any schools doing better over time? You have no idea! Are the kids in these schools doing better that the kids in those schools? Again, you have no idea!
Think about it . . . . On what basis did the TEA conclude that the Board of Managers and Superintendent were performing so badly that they needed to be replaced? And a few years from now, on what basis will the citizens be able to assess the impact of this move? Answer: standardized tests.
My objection is that they are almost the only consideration in all subjections by any administrator or state official. Develop problem solving skills? Not on the test. Learn grammar rules? Not on the test. Learn proper spelling? Not on the test. Actually learn how to think mathematically instead of memorizing little algorithms? Not on the test. Learn practical applications of knowledge relevant to life in your community? Not on the test. More funding for laboratory materials to prepare students for college? There isn’t even a test for that!
There is a huge push to create student who cannot think, but who have learned how to take a specific test. Literal months of school are devoted, not to learning material or life skills, but on how to do well on a specific test. That isn’t even considering the two weeks or so schools lose to actually give their tests. This year I devoted about 20 hours of class time per class to “here’s the tips and tricks for this test” and it worked. I got great biology scores. But, that was 20 hours I could have spent teaching some content. I lost about 8 hours of class time giving the tests. That’s a lot of time I could have spent teaching kids something practical or preparing the kids who want to go to college with some more concepts or lab practice.
Subjections? What a horrible way to write subjects. Apologies.
I hate to bring this up again but if you read Charles Murray’s book, he explains that there is one deviation in intelligence between the average white and the average black person using the bell curve. This means that there needs to be a different method of teaching these black kids than the one used in white-dominated schools. It isn’t meant to be racist but simply practical. Of course, that book and study were done years ago when there were few inner-city thugs like today. I am not sure that there is a remedy for what big cities are experiencing today. Cultural, genetic, political, NEA, nutritional, and criminal acts, all have to be corrected or there will be no improvement. Is this really possible?
Leave a Comment