September 27, 2023

The Houston Independent School District

America’s constitutional founders knew that educational spiritual enlightenment is the life blood of social democracy. The Founders wanted everyone to be able to read the Bible, because the Bible declares, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Revelation 1: 3).

Reading is spiritually developmental. Thus, the Founders created a mass-universal free public education system to have a stable functioning democracy. Therefore, the educational system must be universalized, and at the same time, particularized because one size does not fit all. The North Forest ISD found out this truism. Now, HISD has found out the hard way, and is facing state-controlled receivership. Incompetence is a deadly enemy of effective educational development, even though, HISD is not totally responsible for its receivership predicament.

Dysfunctional educational development begins in the home with parents who do not set standards of moral conduct and educational developmental expectations. The home (family) is the first school and the first church for any child. Unfortunately, twenty-first century parenting is off-the-chain, and sometimes it is difficult to determine who is in charge, parents are children. Too many parents place all the responsibility for educating children on schools, and at the same time, they have done an inadequate job of disciplining, and providing a spiritual developmental foundation for their children: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will no depart from it” (Proverbs 22: 6). Christian churches must be the foundation for the spiritual educational development of children, and too many churches are failing the families in the local communities they serve. There is a church on every corner, and dysfunction is running wild throughout the community.

This information may shock some, but children spend more quality time in school environments than they do in family environments. Unfortunately, too much politics, and the wrong kind of politics has influenced educational development in most ISDs, especially North Forest ISD and Houston ISD. The entire community must have creative input into how HISD educates our children: community educational development.

Therefore, it is morally imperative that the educational culture concerning how best to educate must change. Natural disasters such as COVID-19-Pandemic kept most our children out of in-class instruction for almost two years this, in and of itself, produced a serious educational handicap. To make matters worse too many families did not have access to WI-FI Internet Connectivity: what an ungodly shame!  Fortunately, there are governmental and private sector initiatives on the horizon to correct this situation. For example, the Houston Library System in collaboration with Bridging the Digital Divide (BDD) acquired a federal grant to distribute Hot Spots and WI-FI ready Chrome Books. Compounding the educational and emotional problem of educating urban children is the issue of school violence, and the threat of mass-school-shootings, as well as the related emotional issues associated with school attendance and academic performance. Without a doubt, we must make our school environments the safest and most secure places in American society. Students cannot learn amidst chaos.

HISD has become a default professional career option for too many teachers. Teaching was not their initial (first) career option. It’s about a paycheck system. Raising teacher pay to attract teachers who love children and have a Godly desire to educate is paramount. American society must establish teaching our children as priority number-one, because our children are gifts from God: “Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward” (Psalm 127:3). Never forget “a mind is a terrible thing to waste”. Additionally, our Grandparents knew the spiritual importance of Godly discipline; “spare the rod, and you spoil the child”, but nevertheless all THINGS must be done decently and in order.

If the state of Texas (TEA) is threatening to place HISD in receivership something is apparently monumentally wrong with educational processes in HISD. Consequently, getting all bent-out-of-shape is not going to resolve the educational dysfunctional issues in HISD. Community-based educators at TSU should craft a corrective action plan designed to improve educational quality in HISD, because one size does not fit all. Houston, this is only a positive suggestion, no more or less. The Afro-American News is wholeheartedly committed to co-hosting in conjunction with TSU’s College of Education a community forum on improving educational quality in HISD. Selah!

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