Houstonians are unified in our support for strong public schools for all children including students with disabilities, emerging bilingual students and children in less affluent communities.
Together we can stop Mike Miles and the Texas Education Agency from the harm they are causing our children and our communities.
Will you join parents and teachers to tell the media, the unelected board and Miles that enough is enough? Sign up to speak by noon tomorrow, find out other ways you can join the fight, join the Cage/Chrysalis parent protest at 4 pm on Wed and other events at houstoncvpe.org/events.
In the news this week (nothing behind a paywall)
- Houston Public Media confirmed that multiple Houston ISD campuses are not providing speech therapy, just over a month after the district slashed 21 special ed contractors.
- Teachers and parents across 15 non-NES Houston ISD schools described changes creeping into their curriculum, instruction and classroom management this year.
- Miles is gutting dual language programs in schools in under-resources areas while leaving some programs alone.
- Mike Miles needs to focus on the meat and potatoes of schooling-helping children learn and ensuring their safety and well-being- instead of his obsession with PR propaganda pageantry. “A 6-year-old first grader, with Special needs, ended up in the wrong line after school at Lantrip ES and was found walking on the I-45 feeder road near Cullen.
Your voice matters. Speak at the board meeting on Thursday at 5 pm. This is a “work session” that includes Special Education, NES and the principal evaluation system. The voting meeting is next Thursday. Use agenda item called “approval of minutes from previous meetings” as a catch-all if you are not sure what to sign up for.
You must sign up by noon Wed to speak at the meeting in person or via zoom. If this is your first time signing up, join a how to sign up short zoom call tonight from 8-8:30 pm or click here for step by step instructions.
The principal evaluation system (p 8-41 of the agenda packet) is like a badly designed Rube Goldberg machine. It is both unnecessarily complicated and does not even work as intended. The scoring criteria are ambiguous and ill-defined. In fact, this principal evaluation system may not even pass the “arbitrary and capricious test.”
Miles is consumed with score inflation and does not trust teachers. His system specifically “compares a student’s MOY result with their previous EOY results to prevent “sandbagging” at the beginning of the year” by teachers.
“To prevent score inflation,” Miles states that “an Executive Director may only award 40% of the schools a good rating.” This forced curve model makes school leadership become a competition among schools at the expense of children and learning.
“The Executive Director will assess the degree of accomplishment of the six most important “indicators of success” for the school’s Action Plan and will also apply a “degree of difficulty coefficient” to the Action Plan.” Translation: The executive director determines if your goals are rigorous or wimpy. If wimpy, you get dinged with a 0.8 multiplier. If the executive director supports your “degree of difficulty,” you get a 1.2 multiplier. Once again, only 40% of the schools can receive good scores in this section.
Miles states that “the method of linking cut- points to a “target distribution” is an elegant solution to this problem of ensuring equal rigor across the system.” Miles’ targeted distribution limits the number of principals who can be rated highly.
Extreme competition is neither elegant nor ethical especially when it is our students who will suffer. Inexplicably, every assistant principal will receive the score that their principal gets.
Under Miles at NES and many non NES schools, teachers have no autonomy. They are given the curriculum, pacing, pedagogy, and methodologies and are graded on the poorly constructed curriculum handed to them. To hold teachers accountable for things about which they have no control is fundamentally unfair.
To speak at the Thursday meeting, you must sign up by noon Wed to speak at the meeting in person or via zoom. If this is your first time signing up, join a how to sign up short zoom call tonight from 8-8:30 pm or click here for step by step instructions.
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