Texas Education Commissioner, Mike Morath has issued a statement in response to this week's decision by the Houston ISD trustees to drop their lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency.
"The decision made by the Houston ISD Board of Trustees helps put the focus back on what matters: the students, staff, and families of HISD. TEA remains committed to ensuring students in Houston receive a high-quality education that prepares them for success and will pursue a path forward that accomplishes that objective. Until the Agency makes any formal decision, I’m confident Superintendent House and the Board will continue their work to help the students of Houston."The TEA suit had been an attempt to stop the TEA from taking over the district, something that Mayor Sylvester Turner last week said his sources in the Legislature said was imminent.
To make a very long story short, Morath and the TEA believe they have been given the right by the Texas Legislature to intercede in what they consider a district still failing to meet academic standards in certain cases. TEA justifies a takeover, pointing to schools with failing grades for several years as well as the shenanigans and possible/probable violations of the Open Meetings Law as well as the state's bidding laws from previous boards.
HISD has countered that that particular chapter is behind them. That schools are doing better and the board members who indulged in questionable actions are gone (but not entirely).
A big part of this is the past, present and future of the low-performing Wheatley High School whose supporters do not want to see it done away with.
Morath also can decide to replace the entire board and superintendent. Or to appoint another conservator over the whole district.