Houston ISD parents, teachers speak out against possible takeover

Data pix.

Texas Education Agency ratings were announced last week. Houston ISD was given a "B" overall, but even though the district has reportedly improved since last school year, there has still been some discussion of a state takeover.

The Houston Federation of Teachers is one group speaking out against that potential change. They see a TEA takeover as stripping democracy from the district. They also feel it is unfair that scores from one school could be the basis of a takeover of any district.

Union members, as well as elected officials and parents, were among those that gathered outside of the HISD administration building Wednesday to voice their concerns. They are demanding the TEA commissioner change the "forced failure" of Wheatley High School, a campus that has received failing marks for the past several years.

“HISD has improved it’s state grade from an 84 to an 88. How can you then decide to take over a district that’s making progress? Makes no sense. So a TEA takeover puts all those progressive gains at risk,” Executive Director Hany Khalil of the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation said. He is also former HISD teacher.

They also argued the rating system is rigged to discriminate against communities that struggle with poverty and say test scores shouldn’t be the basis for big changes that would impact students and teachers.

“We must continue to work together to improve the education system in Houston and across the state, ensuring that every child and every student in every school can succeed and that does not include and should not include a state takeover of this school district,” U.S Rep. Sylvia Garcia said.

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