Everyone Says They Want the Best for North Forest Students, As Long As They Stand to Benefit.

HISD didn't just absorb North Forest out of the goodness of its heart. There's some real benefits in the acquisition to the mega district and its superintendent. Hopefully for the kids as well.

Thirteen-year-old Damond Wiggins and his brothers had warned their sister Jasmine, 12, about the fights at Forest Brook, about how quickly things could get violent at the school.

When the pair arrived for the first day of school, the incoming seventh grader could only repeat their mantra: to keep her head down and pay attention in class.

She'd be in an even rougher environment once she got to North Forest High School, her brothers said, so she'd better get focused and learn how to stay out of trouble now. "You can get an education, or you can get in a fight. You've got to choose," Damond said.

Parents Robert and Trisha Cardenas say their daughters, Ceanna, seven, and Bianca, ten, are thrilled to be attending Thurgood Marshall Elementary, a campus nothing like Fonwood Elementary, the school they attended last year.
Parents Robert and Trisha Cardenas say their daughters, Ceanna, seven, and Bianca, ten, are thrilled to be attending Thurgood Marshall Elementary, a campus nothing like Fonwood Elementary, the school they attended last year.
More than 700 students arrived for the first day of school at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, a repurposed, renovated campus with a principal and teachers hired for the job in less than two months.
More than 700 students arrived for the first day of school at Thurgood Marshall Elementary, a repurposed, renovated campus with a principal and teachers hired for the job in less than two months.

It won't be immediately clear if the merger is what everyone, on both sides of the line, has said they want — a better education for North Forest students. The students seemed excited about the spruced-up campuses, but the real proof — test scores, campus safety and graduation rates — will take longer to surface. Now we'll have to wait and see if bigger really is better.

dianna.wray@houstonpress.com

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3 comments
RinHiroishi
RinHiroishi

Also Hispanic students and parents in the NFISD boundaries may have access to more bilingual and Spanish-speaking services within HISD.

RinHiroishi
RinHiroishi

Remember the state also closed Mirando City, and that was majority Hispanic and rural. NFISD and WHISD were in urban areas so annexation is fairly easy and did not have to put hardship (when WHISD was first annexed, though, DISD sent its students to faraway DISD campuses due to the poor state of WHISD campuses. Now DISD built new schools in the WHISD area).

The "performance drop when schools close" made more sense with WHISD than with this one because all but one of the NFISD schools did stay open (WE Rogers closed) BUT the teachers were almost completely replaced.

With Kendleton it is more similar to a "hardship" case since it is still in a rural area. I'm hoping Lamar Consolidated re-opens the school someday.

Also since NFISD's population was spiraling down, it was bound to "collapse" someday anyway.

RinHiroishi
RinHiroishi

There are other arguments: By having NFISD merged they can attend other HISD schools. Even if NFISD performances tank later, the more motivated students can travel to other HISD schools. Property values can rise: After WHISD merged, property values in that district increased. There can be an argument that the voting base in NFISD was too apathetic or unable to save their own district from decay, so why should they still have exclusive political power over their own schools that other neighborhoods in Houston don't have.

 
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