[en español clic aquí]

On Thursday, “the acting school board rejected a progress report from HISD where the district stated it had not made any 'significant changes to programming or school options without conducting and communicating a research-based analysis of the effectiveness and impact on the achievement of board adopted student outcome goals.” 

Apparently, Miles does not consider actions such as closing half of the district’s libraries, replacing more than half of the principals and teachers, and gutting wraparound services and college access to be significant changes.

Miles (later chided the board) and said “that unlike programming changes, the policy does not require the district to justify “operational” changes at schools to the board, and it would be “ineffective” for him to do so.”

Translation: Superintendent Miles wants to do what he wants, whenever he wants. Without an elected board for taxpayers to hold accountable at the ballot box, Miles will remain largely unchecked.

This issue is exacerbated by Lone Star Governance, a controversial framework adopted by the Texas Education Agency in 2016 and aggressively promoted by AJ Crabill. You can read Crabill's strange and unsettling story here. Lone Star Governance significantly shifts authority away from the board to the administration and is required for Texas school districts under takeover or conservatorship.

Under Lone Star Governance (LSG), school trustees are forced to fixate on one narrow goal: student outcomes, measured solely by STAAR test scores. LSG dangerously confuses this metric with the true objective for our children: genuine literacy and preparedness for active participation in our democracy. 

LSG is designed to strip the board of nearly all policy and decision-making authority, handing it over to the superintendent and his administration. Lone Star Governance undermines the board's role in setting strategy and policy and encourages it to abandon its fiduciary duty to ensure taxpayer money benefits Texas public schoolchildren.

It bears noting that the superintendent is the school board's (or board of managers') only employee. Lone Star Governance flips this power dynamic, making Miles the de facto boss of the board. LSG's radical overhaul of existing policy turns its training sessions into something more akin to a weekend at a cult indoctrination camp run by AJ Crabil than a genuine policy workshop.

Here's a prime example of LSG's flawed approach. LSG defers all principal hiring decisions to the administration, stripping the board of its rightful policy influence. In a well-functioning system, the board sets the mission, values, and vision of the district and establishes policies that guide the hiring of principals and teachers. LSG falsely labels this as merely "operational" and out of bounds for board members. While the board shouldn't handle hiring directly, its crucial duty is to create policies that ensure the recruitment of strong teachers and principals to benefit Texas public schoolchildren.

Help get our democracy back. No Trust. No Bond. 

RSVP for July 13th Summer Forum

Saturday, July 13th. CVPE Summer Conference: Uncloaking Inequity. 8:30-3:00 pm. Tickets are $20 and $5 for students and those who might benefit from a sliding scale. A delicious breakfast and lunch are provided. Our keynote speaker is Civil Rights and public education scholar Julian Vasquez Heilig

There are many sessions to choose from including several on the takeover, Texas School Finance with Chandra Villanueva, Organizing 101, restorative justice practices, how to artifact the takeover, what’s the big deal about the bond, and more. Buy your ticket at houstoncvpe.org/forum2024

Build community. Hope you can come!



Working Together to Strengthen Houston's Public School System