September 25, 2023

The Takeover

According to Houston’s Mayor, Sylvester Turner, a possible takeover of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will happen very soon. The takeover is due to several unacceptable academic ratings at some of HISD’s schools. According to Kathy Blueford-Daniels, “As of the school year ending in 2022, 40 of 54 failing campuses have shown passing grades of C and an overall grade of B for the District as a whole.” For example, Wheatley High School went from an unacceptable rating to a C. This shows that improvements have been made, and that progress takes time. I commend the work that Superintendent House and HISD has done to turn their district around for the better.

Why are some of our schools not performing well? And what needs to happen to address this ongoing problem? For me, I think it starts at home. It is important that parents are involved in their child’s education and provide them with the support that is needed so they can be successful. I know this may be easier said than done, but I have personally witnessed what happens when a child has support at home. A child needs to feel cared for, loved, and supported.

Other things that parents can do is to make sure their child is reading something every day. Whatever piques their interest, put it in front of them and let them read. It does not have to be for a long period of time, but they need to engage with some form of literature daily. Through reading, they can build their vocabulary, identify different sentence structures, and so much more.

It is also important that children are eating a balanced meal and getting a good night’s rest so they can focus while at school. And if possible, they should be a part of some sort of extracurricular activity or even play sports. Whatever it is, keep them active. More importantly, learn about how your child learns best so that you can continue their education after they leave school and come home. Learning how they learn can help them in the long run.

In addition, it is imperative that we take care of our teachers. This includes providing teachers with relevant and meaningful training, equipping them with the resources they need to better serve the needs of our students. We also need to provide teachers with incentives outside of salary increases that will keep them motivated and wanting to come back to teach the next school year.

If the takeover happens, the Superintendent and the Board of Trustees could be replaced. The good work that Superintendent House has started will come to an abrupt halt. Only time will tell how this all will play out.

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