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HISD families are opposed to the state takeover and the harmful impact on students and their learning. Yet, in February, the state-appointed superintendent Miles announced that 19 more Houston ISD schools “chose to opt into” the New Education System (NES) for the 2024-25 school year. 

Miles is purposefully deceiving the public; these schools were coerced to “opt-in.” Principals are acutely aware that choosing to opt out of Miles’ NES plans could signal the end of their HISD careers. Of the five principals who “opted out,” one principal has already resigned and the others will either resign before the end of the year or be removed. 

Miles is using our children as pawns in his propaganda machine. Even the release of his invalid A-F ratings was a ploy to deceive people into losing faith in public education, backed fully by Governor Abbott. The new state accountability ratings remain blocked in court. The lawsuit was filed by over 100 school districts and stated that the new accountability system is not an accurate measure of student learning. Yet, Miles charges forward, staking invalid claims.

It is certainly ironic that Miles is quick to release data that plays into his narrative but he conceals the parent survey data because it tells a story he does not want to be made public. 

A public information request for parent surveys (data and summary here) from each of these 19 campuses shows that decisions to “opt in” went against the wishes of families and staff.  Miles claimed that after “gathering feedback from staff, families, and members of their schools’ Shared Decision-Making Committees” through a ‘24-’25 Opt-in NES Survey, these 19 schools want to be NES. 

Of the families who took the survey and responded to the statement, “If my school joins the NES model, the quality of education my child receives will improve, "74%, somewhat or strongly disagreed. In response to the statement, "I will continue sending my child to my school if it joins the NES model," 70% somewhat or strongly disagreed.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of affected families went unheard in the survey. Across the 24 schools, fewer than 600 families provided a response, and 11 campuses—nearly half of those surveyed—had ten or fewer responses at all.

Even at campuses that had at least 30 responses, opposition to NES was clear. Out of 74 respondents at Austin High School, 76% did not think NES would improve the quality of their children’s education, and 69% were unlikely to continue sending their children if their school were to become NES. At Bell Elementary, opposition was 76% and 78%, and at Ketelsen Elementary, it was 72% and 63%. Love Elementary had the strongest opposition, at 93% and 85%, but their school ended up not going NES.

Bulldozing ahead with significant decisions that disregard the desires of teachers, families, and communities is nothing new for MilesThe takeover of the district was undemocratic from the start, and these suppressed survey results show that the HISD community opposes the reforms being forced on the district.

Governor Abbott wants to dismantle public education in Texas and turn Texas into a voucher state. Miles is his puppet. It is time for the puppet and the puppetmaster to go. 

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