Well never let it be said that Houston ISD and its administrators can't read the tea leaves.
An HISD press release has just announced that HISD trustees will not be voting on any partnership for its ten troubled campuses. As we reported this morning, residents lined up Tuesday night to tell school board members that the proposal to have STEM Academy take over running the ten schools in question was a really bad idea.
The meeting atmosphere grew so raucous that people were ushered out, some protesters dragged down the hallway by HISD officers and two people were arrests (with their charges dropped earlier today). The vote was never taken.
In their latest release it says that HISD will never vote on the partnerships, just forget the whole thing thank you very much. Instead, the release said:
HISD will continue to operate and manage the 10 campuses that have been in Improvement Required (IR) status with the state for four years or more. Those campuses are: Blackshear, Dogan, Highland Heights, Mading, and Wesley elementary schools, Henry Middle School, Woodson PK-8, and Kashmere, Wheatley, and Worthing high schools. The district’s goal is to help these 10 schools exit IR and continue to meet yearly standards.
“We are not bringing another partnership proposal to the Board, nor will there be another meeting to consider partnerships for the 10 schools,” said Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “Instead, we will continue to reinforce our commitment to helping students, staff, and families of our Achieve 180 schools continue the hard work they’ve done this year to transform their campuses and increase student achievement.”
HISD will make the necessary changes to the Achieve 180 framework to ensure the district provides them with the additional resources and supports they need to be successful. District administration will be holding meetings with staff and parents at these 10 schools to discuss Achieve 180 plans for their campuses in the 2018-2019 school year. Staff will remain in place at these 10 campuses unless a position is closed as part of the reduction in force HISD is experiencing across the district due to the $115 million budget shortfall.
And as John Oliver would say: "And now, this:"
Update 6 p.m: One final word. A press release from Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones came out at 5:26 p.m. today:
I fully support the right to protest by anyone. Yesterday, the Board had to deliberate the educational trajectory of 6,000 students and the fate of 10 schools - one of the most important decisions in HISD history. This requires and deserves to be done in an environment where everyone can be heard and respected.
We ask that a few simple rules be followed to allow us to focus on making these decisions. After repeated outbursts, interruptions and refusals to leave the podium, I asked our officers to clear the room for a recess. I hoped we could calm the tension and return for an orderly meeting. Unfortunately, the situation escalated and subsequently caused many unintended consequences.
I'm saddened at this outcome as it was not at all what I wanted. I take responsibility for calling this recess and am regretful it only created more discord. The one positive result from the chaos is that we did postpone a hasty decision, gained some additional perspective and broadened our considerations. I thank the people who have called me on the carpet and am humble enough to accept their criticism as well as thank those who have called and texted their support and understanding. I appreciate both. In addition, I have confirmed the charges against the 2 ladies taken into custody have been retracted and they are being released.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.