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The next HISD board meeting is during Teacher Appreciation Week. If recent behavior is any indication, the superintendent will double down and terminate even more teachers that week out of spite.

At the board meeting on May 9th, can you speak about a teacher who is doing great work despite the toxic working and learning conditions stemming from F. Mike Miles' takeover? Come to the May 4th CVPE meeting or to one of several "how to register to speak trainings" to find out how. 

Since spring break, teachers all over HISD have been receiving byzantine teacher screener emails letting them know that it is likely they will not be invited back next year. Superintendent Mike Miles is using the teacher screener, the forced curve "target distribution", and literally any excuse to offload certified teachers with more than 5 years of experience from NES schools. 

But in the last couple of weeks, it has gotten much worse. Teachers of the year, veteran band directors with years spent building successful music programs, and other inspiring teachers are being told they are no longer qualified to teach in an NES or NES-A school.

Teachers said they had proficient or better scores after the first screener in March. Yet, after spring break, they received an email stating that their score was being adjusted downward to fit a target distribution or forced curve.

Since then, teacher spot observations scores have plummeted. Teachers who previously had spot observations of 11-15 now are getting 3’s and are being told not to return.

In the past week, teachers who previously were told that they met the qualifications to transfer from one NES school to another are now having their transfers rescinded.

Yesterday, one teacher was told that if they do not resign or transfer to a non-NES school by Friday – the last day of the open transfer period – they will be terminated.

In another case, an NES teacher was offered a job at a different NES school, met all the requirements, was labeled proficient or higher on the teacher screener, and was well-regarded on her campus. Earlier this week, she was told that she will be terminated due to one bad SPOT observation score.

Another teacher was told that she will not be able to teach at her NES school next year because of a low spot observation conducted when students were taking a unit exam. 

The teacher was given a low spot observation score because she did not ask the students to “turn and talk” or use another MRS strategy every four minutes throughout the exam. She was also told she should have given an end-of-class ten minute demonstration of learning quiz (DOL) even though the students were already taking a unit test.  

A twenty-seven year veteran music teacher on a continuing contract with great rapport with students in a thriving program was told on Monday that he will be terminated for one bad spot observation. 

“Houston ISD stopped offering the (continuing) contracts in the late 1990s, said David Thompson, an education law attorney who serve(d) as the district’s legislative counsel.” A principal who spoke anonymously stated that they have been instructed to give low evaluations to teachers on continuing contracts in HISD. 

Given the teacher shortage, most superintendents are wooing experienced teachers to their school districts. Superintendent F Mike Miles is doing the opposite. He is discarding teachers faster than a racing cheetah and views teachers and other staff as easily replaceable widgets. 

Since the NES schools are primarily in communities of color, Miles' evaluation system perpetuates de facto discrimination, exacerbating socio-economic disparities. As a result, fewer experienced educators will be teaching students in under-resourced communities than ever before. 

F Mike Miles has created a “fakakta” and discriminatory evaluation system. Houston teachers and schoolchildren deserve better. 

Email your state representative, state senator, the governor, and the TEA commissioner Mike Morath to stand up for Houston schoolchildren. The hostile takeover is harming our city and our schoolchildren.

RSVP for upcoming events here
Ruth Kravetz


teacher, parent, progressive, committed to public education equity and adequacy