Ratings for the Meeting on November 8th

Last Thursday, the Houston ISD Board of Education convened for its November public meeting. Although the meeting opened with a presentation about long-term student outcomes, the agenda items that consumed much of the board’s discussion time either worked directly against or had very little to do with improving student learning goals.

The 2019 HISD state legislative agenda (Item B-2) contains several strong recommendations for the district to make to the Texas Legislature, but it also seeks to lower the accountability standard that the district needs to meet to avoid the sanctions outlined in H.B. 1842. In a meeting that opened with a report detailing that only about 1 in 4 HISD students complete a post-secondary credential of any kind by age 25, seven of our nine trustees want to lobby the state to lower standards for the district. This is unacceptable.

For the second month in a row, several trustees decided to carry out personal and political agendas by battling over the three nominations that the HISD board gets to make to the city’s Land Bank Board. In the past, these appointments have been a very minor part of what the board does, and the ability to nominate has rotated among the various trustees. Unfortunately, the nomination process was stalled at the October meeting and ultimately resolved after much discussion this month. These types of appointments come up occasionally throughout the year, so we truly hope the board can collaborate with each other on a quick and equitable nominating process in order to maximize the time and attention they spend on student outcomes.

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