Our Blog

How are the Children?

A common refrain in many education circles is the traditional Masai greeting, “And how are the children?” The purpose of repeating this question is to remind teachers, parents, leaders, decision-makers – all adults – that the work of schools should always be in service to the children. If nothing else, the last year has shown […]

Facebook Q&A: HISD v. TEA Litigation

On October 29, 2020, Houston GPS hosted a Facebook Live Q&A session about the ongoing litigation between Houston ISD and the Texas Education Agency (TEA). Currently, decisions for the case are pending in both the Supreme Court of Texas and the 3rd Court of Appeals, which could potentially strike down the injunction preventing the TEA […]

We Need to Talk About Policing in Schools Too

For many, the horrific murder of George Floyd brought to light the issues of police brutality and systemic racism that this country continues to face. The problem is not new, but we find ourselves at a moment when millions of Americans are finally willing to address it. While some have taken to the streets to […]

Building a Better Foundation: Part II

Now that we are adjusting to the concepts of remote learning and virtual gathering spaces, many school and district leaders are looking to the future. What will the learning environment look, sound, and feel like if/when we return in the fall? This is the type of question that we must address now in order to […]

Building a Better Foundation

The purpose of public education is to ensure a common foundation of knowledge and skills for all Americans, regardless of their background, neighborhood, or socio-economic status. While we, as a society, have fallen short of this ideal for a very long time – many would argue that we have never actually realized it – few […]

Ready for Change

One of the big questions that looms over the potential state intervention in the governance structure of Houston ISD is, “What will change under a Board of Managers?” While this is a question that none of us – not even the TEA Commissioner – can answer with complete certainty, it is still worth considering. Now, […]

HISD Runoff Elections on December 14, 2019

Houston ISD Board of Education seats for Districts II and IV are in runoff elections on December 14, 2019. Tomorrow, December 10, 2019 is the last day to early vote. You can see if you live in one of the districts up for election here. Your voice matters, so don’t miss the opportunity to cast your ballot. […]

At What Cost?

As the Houston ISD school board moves forward with its lawsuit against the TEA, it continues to spend money that could be supporting students. From April through August, the district has spent $147,409.12* on attorney fees. This is almost the equivalent of two 20-year teacher salaries in HISD. In August alone, it spent over $80,000. […]

HISD Elections on November 5, 2019

Houston ISD Board of Education seats for Districts II, III, IV, and VIII are up for election on November 5, 2019. Today is the last day to register to vote for these elections. To learn how you can register, visit the Harris County Clerk’s website. You can see if you live in one of the districts up […]

Fighting… But for Whom?

On Thursday, September 5, the Houston ISD school board directed the Superintendent to appeal the rating given to Phyllis Wheatley High School by the Texas Education Agency. Given the fact that trustees have not historically imposed such directives on a Superintendent and that HISD administrators were adamant that there is no current basis for an […]

What SHOULD be Happening

The 2019-2020 school year begins in just a matter of days, and the Houston ISD School Board will hold their first official business meeting of the year on August 8, 2019. Given the continuous turmoil at the board table and the difficultly the board seems to have with focusing their public conversations on student outcome […]

Politics Over Kids

The Houston ISD school board recently passed a measure to spend more meeting time discussing student outcomes. This policy measure – which has taken months to pass – is an obvious step in the right direction, but the fact that three trustees opposed it reveals how far our district still has to go. It is […]

The Time is NOW

If you’re reading this, you are probably more active in the politics of education than most Houstonians. You probably already know that this is a school board election year, and you may have plans to participate in some way, even if only as a voter. Sadly, most members of our community do not have similar […]

Every Voice Counts

At Houston GPS, we continually advocate for better school board governance and for sound, transparent policies that will lead to student success. We take our role as advocates very seriously, and we continually strive to engage as much of the broader Houston community in the process as possible. The sad reality is that most citizens […]

A Look Back at Fall 2018

The HISD Board of Education spent 15% of their time discussing student outcomes in the fall of 2018. Assigning individual accountability grades to Houston ISD school board trustees for the fall of 2018 was difficult. As board meetings became more divisive and less productive, it was hard to distinguish trustee actions from the overall performance […]

Moving forward, despite setbacks

December 10, 2018 The Houston GPS team remains focused on educating the public about what school boards do and holding school board members accountable for upholding the principles of good governance and ultimately, improving student outcomes. We realize that since our work began in 2017, we have made some steps forward in our mission but […]

Instead of a blog post this month, we encourage you to read this op-ed by Matt Barnes concerning the governance of HISD’s Board of Education. The following article is from the Houston Chronicle, available on its website. Houston ISD’s misdiagnosis and the cure [Opinion] By Matt Barnes There is nothing worse than misdiagnosing a disease. […]

Don’t Forget to Vote!

October 8, 2018 While our focus at Houston GPS continues to be local school board issues, we cannot forget that so many of the policies enacted at the state and national level impact our schools and our kids. Tuesday, October 9, is the last day to register to vote in the 2018 elections. The November […]

Lessons in Leadership From Our Friends to the North

September 10, 2018 This post is particularly difficult to write because it requires acknowledging the hard work and innovation that has spurred significant school system improvement in… Dallas. The second largest school district in Texas, Dallas ISD, has just reported that current student enrollment has passed projections for the year – marking a reversal in […]

Budget Priorities

August 6, 2018 It is true that we have a money problem, but adding more money to a budget with no vision-aligned priorities or clear understanding of whether or not programs are working will put us in the same position year after year. We have a vision problem. As we begin a new school year, it’s […]

Student Success

June 11, 2018 At Houston GPS, we take student success very seriously. We believe that it must be the ultimate goal and driving force of any functional school board. And while this is a hard point to disagree with, many well-intentioned folks may disagree on exactly what student success looks like.  Most of us agree […]

Focus on Kids

May 7, 2018 At a time when Houston, one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, should be exploring the best way to provide a world class education to all kids, most elected officials and community leaders insist on engaging in political grandstanding and ideological battles. With state-imposed sanctions looming at the end of […]

Three Weeks Until Election Day

October 16, 2017 The 2017 Houston ISD School Board election is now only 3 weeks away. We have exactly 21 days to ensure that our board is made up of collaborative, focused adults who will manage the district’s resources prudently while still ensuring that students are set up for success. Given our current budget deficit […]

Every Election is Important

September 9, 2017 Every election is important, but when it comes to this year’s election, your voice and vote will be more important than ever. In addition to caring about our children’s education and how our tax dollars are being spent in the largest school district in Texas, this year, we should also be concerned […]

Houstonians for Great Public Schools Needs You

August 8, 2017 Do you believe in quality education for your child? For all children? Do you think school boards play a major role in providing opportunities for student success? Do you want a voice in helping to elect quality leaders who can work to ensure school districts focus on student achievement? If you answered […]