Education News

HISD Trustees Hear Angry Public Comments Over School Partnership Idea

Parents and activists say they don’t want non-educators taking over struggling schools.

Angry parents and activists turn their backs to HISD Trustees during discussion of a school partnership proposal.

The HISD board voted Thursday night on whether to issue a request for proposals from nonprofit groups interested in operating four struggling schools. The measure failed 5-4.

Under a new Texas law, control of some underperforming schools could be turned over to a nonprofit partner as a way to avoid a possible state takeover, but critics claim it’s an effort to privatize schools.

Kandace Webber was one of those who spoke out against the move.

“Why would we ask people who are not educators to save a child’s education,” said Webber. “They don’t know what they need. They don’t know what they want.”

Karla Brown also spoke at the meeting and said the board first needs to deal with the underlying issues behind poor school performance.

“I don’t care who runs the school, that is what you will end up with,” said Brown. “You will deal with the same results until you deal with the real issue and that’s those families and what those families need.”

A nonprofit formed by Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office has recently expressed interest in taking over some schools. The mayor added they’re merely making an offer and they’re not trying to force HISD to turn over control.

In other action from Thursday’s meeting, trustees decided to hold a closed search for a new superintendent, which means the names of candidates will be made public. The search will be conducted by the firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.

EDITORS NOTE: The original version of the story reported that the HISD board had approved an open search, based on a news release from the district.  This story has been updated to reflect HISD will conduct a closed search.

 

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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