HOUSTON (KIAH) It was only his second day on the job, but on Friday, new Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles laid out his plans to improve HISD.
In his first year in charge of Texas’s largest school district, the state-appointed Miles says he will focus on 28 schools in particular that he says are struggling.
They include Wheatley High School, which was at the center of the Texas Education Agency’s takeover of HISD for its failing performances in the past.
Miles will employ what he calls his new education system, or NES, at the 28 campuses in hopes of turning them around.
“We’re going to do training,” Miles said. “We’re going to do professional development. We’re going to do all of that over the course of the year. We’re going to monitor and coach and evaluate, but we can’t put in those systems effectively across the district at one time.”
Most employees at the NES schools — including teachers, librarians, and counselors will have to reapply for their jobs.
Those that the district doesn’t rehire will get jobs at other campuses as long as they’re still under contract for next year.
Miles plans to reward teachers at NES schools with what he calls a hospital model workflow and higher salaries.
Teacher apprentices and learning coaches will prepare lesson plans and other materials, clearing the way for teachers to simply teach.
Their salaries would also average $85,000 with a stipend of up to $10,000.
While those changes will likely be met with positive reviews, there’s still anxiety among teachers and parents who wonder what it will all mean for their children.
Miles addressed those concerns and cast an optimistic outlook.
“The absence of information and just change breeds anxiety,” he said. “What we have to do is provide a level of support so that that anxiety turns to hope.”