Education News

Houston Board Approves High-Stakes Turnaround Plans

These turnaround plans are meant to prevent a state takeover and are required by Texas law

Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza meets with staff and families on the first stop of his Listen & Learn Tour of the district at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, September 14, 2016.
Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza meets with staff and families on the first stop of his Listen & Learn Tour of the district at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center, September 14, 2016. The school has missed state standards for the last two years, one of 27 HISD schools considered “improvement required” by the state.

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The Houston ISD school board approved new plans to turn around several chronically failing schools. The district's future rides on the success of those plans, but what's exactly in them wasn't made public.

As the board approved the strategies on how it will improve these failing schools, it didn't post any of the official plans to the public agenda. That is typical for HISD board business.

If the Houston school district doesn't improve these schools, the entire school board could be replaced with a state board of managers. Or the schools could be shut down.

These turnaround plans are meant to prevent that and are required by state law. Trustee Jolanda Jones raised concerns about the lack of transparency.

“So let me be clear, I am incredibly frustrated as a board trustee who was elected, that people don’t want for us to be secretive and not share with the community, what’s going on, what our options are,” she said.

Jones said she voted against all of them because she believes the Texas Education Agency is coming down hard on struggling schools that are historically black and under-served.

Superintendent Richard Carranza said in a statement that these schools have already started to improve and will improve even more with the right people and resources.

The HISD board approved a new policy to provide more social supports for students outside the classroom, to address wide-ranging needs, such as food insecurity, violence at home and mental health.

The new policy for a community-minded approach was endorsed by the Houston Federation of Teachers and other education groups.

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