September 26, 2023

The New HISD

I first want to start off this piece by saying that I have a lot of respect for former HISD Superintendent Millard House II and the amazing HISD staff and faculty for all the great work they have done. Superintendent House accepted his role with a great challenge before him, and what he did in the short time he was superintendent was nothing short of phenomenal work.

I understand why takeovers must happen, but I was not a fan of this one. HISD was making good progress and started turning many schools around. If HISD was given more time, I believe they would have continued to turn more of their schools around. Greatness takes time, and I wish we could have seen what all could have happened under the leadership of House.

I had the opportunity to interview House a couple of months ago, and I am honored to have gotten the chance to speak with him. He is very humbled, passionate, a hard worker, and truly cares about the students he serves. It is hard to come across good leadership that is genuine. In some case, you have leaders who are all about themselves and have personal agendas that may not fit the needs of the individuals they serve.

It will be interesting to see how HISD performs in the next couple of years under the leadership of the new Superintendent Mike Miles, who was the former superintendent of Dallas. It has been stated that he plans to focus the first year on the 30 schools that need the most attention and will bring a new “staffing model” that will increase teachers’ salaries to $85,000. It also was stated that roles like librarians will be cut. If this is true, I find it incredibly sad to cut librarians as they are vital to schools when it comes to literacy, research, exposing kids to different books and just knowledge in general. How can you take that away?

It was also noted that school closures are likely to happen later, and that his “vision” would take five to six years. Imagine if House had that kind of time to execute his vision and the plans he and his team were working on. The new superintendent and board of managers will be walking on the shoulders of House and the great work he and his team have done. It will be interesting to see what will happen with HISD under new management. Only time will tell.

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