[en español abajo] 

The sooner Miles leaves Houston the better.

Miles is not creating a high performance culture in HISD as he discussed on Wednesday.

In his almost daily HISD Source propaganda video, an entire class is “zooming in” as a teacher in another room puts on a show for Miles and his entourage. His “one classroom-two locations” model is now being used in classrooms throughout Houston. If COVID taught us anything, it is that the hybrid model is not good for kids. This is not high performance culture.

Forcing teachers to do required check-ins every 4 minutes and to read off a typo-ridden, thrown- together curriculum is not high performance culture either. Miles responded to complaints about his lockstep curriculum on Wednesday, stating "That's part of the learned helplessness I was talking about, right? You're going to complain about some attribution on some slide? Fix it."

Miles often refers to his plans as a hospital model program. In what hospital does a doctor get handed a dirty scalpel that he has to clean and the wrong patient chart.

Parents are concerned that the curriculum for emerging bilingual and dual-language students is not translated into Spanish. In addition, the lockstep pacing does not comply with the federally required individual educational plans (IEP) for students with disabilities.

Since F Mike Miles has arrived, HISD has become a low-quality, oppressive expectations culture.

Here is what you can do to fight back.

  • Blockwalk with us on Saturday to spread the word about this harmful takeover. Meet us at 9 am at Class Bookstore, 3803 Sampson St. RSVPhoustoncvpe.org/events
  • Confidentially tell your story here about the takeover. Just add first name and last initial. File a complaint: NAACP form here
  • Opt out of MAP testing. Find a sample letter below. 

The state is using standardized testing data against teachers, students, parents, and schools.  You can fight the takeover and the over-reliance on high stakes testing by withholding your child's data. Below is a letter you can send to your school's principal to opt out of the MAP assessments.

These assessments include the beginning of the year (BOY), middle of the year (MOY), and the end of the year (EOY) assessments as well as the STAAR assessment. The beginning of the year (BOY) assessments are this week.

You can also opt out of the "required" accelerated instruction tutorials and summer school and are legally allowed to do so. Read more at https://www.txedrights.net/tag/opt-out/ 

If you opted your child out of the STAAR last year, the assessment was scored with a zero score. As such, you have a score and your child is not required to take the BOY in order to be legally allowed to decline the endless accelerated instruction tutorials this year. Here is a link to TEA’s FAQ on HB 1416.

While parents are not allowed to exempt their child from a test, they can opt out of an assessment. The legislature created specific but different, provisions relating to the rights of parental access to tests and to assessment instruments. Compare Tex. Educ. Code §26.006 (access to tests) with Tex. Educ. Code §26.005 (access to assessment instruments). If an assessment instrument was the same thing as a test, there would be no need for § 26.005 to even exist as parental access is already guaranteed by §26.006. The STAAR instruments are not referred to in the Education Code as tests.  Rather, they are consistently referred to as “assessment instruments.”  See, e.g., Tex. Educ. Code ch. 39. 

In layman's terms, the reason STAAR is not a test is because the legislature says it is not. That is what Tex. Educ. Code 26.005 and 26.006 delineate. MAP clearly is not a test by that definition either.

This distinction applies to the STAAR and to the MAP (BOY, MOY and EOY) assessments as well. If you are in Houston ISD and need assistance, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will connect you with a parent. You should send this letter to the teacher and the principal. You can use it for the BOY, the MOY and the EOY. We will post the STAAR opt out letter later!

Sample letter below

Re: [Student Name]
Opt-Out Notice for MAP BOY, MOY, and EOY assessments

Dear [Administrator]:
Dear _____________,

I am emailing this morning to inform you that I have decided to remove _____________  from participation in the NWEA MAP Assessments BOY, MOY, and EOY in all subject areas (math, reading, science and any others) because his/her participation in the NWEA MAP Assessments conflicts with my moral beliefs. And while I am under no obligation to define the nature of my moral beliefs, a couple of my moral objections are as follows:

It has come to my attention that the results of NWEA MAP will be used to evaluate principal and teacher effectiveness. Results found to be inadequate could result in negative teacher and principal evaluations and adverse employment actions. I refuse to allow my child to participate in an assessment that could potentially punish teachers based on how well a child as young as kindergarten does on an assessment.

An obscene amount of valuable educational time in our schools is wasted administering assessments. Texas Public Schools will spend one of every five days or nearly 20% of the school year conducting tests. According to the Texas Education Agency, Texas public schools will spend 34 out of the 185-day-long year conducting tests mandated by the state government. This does not include the regular testing in schools such as six-week tests, quizzes, and final exams. 

These reasons, among others, have led me to the conclusion not to permit my child to participate in the NWEA MAP assessment. I have provided my reasoning for our non-participation above so that it is documented in the event district administrators attempt to give school staff a hard time. The district should know that as a parent I have the right to opt out because I get to decide what is appropriate for my child and what is not. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. I am available via email or phone.


[parent name and signature]

Email address or phone



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