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Latest Principal Shifts In HISD Bring Grumbling

There's been a sudden round of mid-year principal shifts in the Houston school district, and it hasn't brought smiles.

Energetic and popular Lee High School principal Steve Amstutz is moving on after failing to raise the troubled school's "unacceptable" Texas Education Agency status. His attempt to do so by bringing in the Yes Charter School was dashed when the state decided against letting charters like YES -- which can pick and choose its students -- share test scores with the schools with which they shared a campus.

We've asked HISD spokesman Norm Uhl if Amstutz is staying with HISD; we'll update when we hear from him. (Update: Uhl says "Steve Amstutz is staying with HISD. Don't know what  
his new job will be yet.")

Replacing Amstutz is Westside principal Paul Castro. He told parents in a letter this week  of the move. Westside has become something of a success story for HISD, and Castro had been there in one form or another for a long time, so parents aren't happy out west either.

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Nor are they in the Bellaire/Meyerland neighborhood.

That's because Castro will be replaced by Michael McDonaugh, the popular principal of Pin Oak Middle School.

"Terrible news," one teacher tells Hair Balls. "Once again, YES gets to skate and we pay the price by losing our beloved Pin Oak principal mid-year."

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