Several Houston Independent School District board members took the oath of office today, including one new member. The board has several major issues facing them this year, including dropouts and teacher pay.
The nine-member board of trustees has one new official and four members starting new terms. Natasha Kamrani is the newly elected trustee. She says one of her goals is to address the district’s dropout problems.
Kamrani says many of the efforts already underway in the high schools could be implemented in middle schools. Things like smaller learning communities, remediation and acceleration programs could be replicated at the junior high level. Re-elected Board President Diane Johnson says the board is aware of the reforms needed to address the problems and she thinks the addition of Kamrani to the board could facilitate some of those changes.
One of the first business items for the new term will be teacher performance pay. The district has been working on an incentive pay plan since last June and the board will vote on the final details of that next week.
Of course the board must also deal with problems arising from the influx of students from Louisiana schools, including crowded classrooms, money issues and gang violence.