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Teachers received a teacher screener email right before spring break. Brad Wray, an HISD teacher, summarized the various versions-

  • Version 1: You are good enough to stay at NES but don’t rest on your laurels or you’ll be out.
  • Version 2: We have incomplete data on you and can’t make a determination. Keep working and we’ll let you know if you still have a job in May.
  • Version 3: You aren’t that great, but you are good enough so we'll let your principal decide your fate. 
  • Version 4: You’re on notice, shape up or ship out. We’ll let you know if you still have a job in May."

This is no way to run the largest school district in the state. Was Miles brought to Houston to dismantle our public school system?

F Mike Miles and Governor Abbott  deserve an “F” rating. 

Houston Public Media in a story last week showed details of the exchanges between the district and the Texas Education Agency. Education consultant and former Houston ISD principal Steve Amstutz reviewed the messages. 

Here is an excerpt from the follow up March 29th article, Behind the scenes of Houston ISD teacher evaluation rollout: TEA called classroom observation approach ‘odd

"I was pleasantly surprised by how responsive TEA was and how hard they seem to be working to compensate for the district’s ineptitude," Amstutz said.

Matt Holzgrafe is the Director of District Talent Systems for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In a list of "some of the things on my radar," he pointed to the scoring system the district uses for classroom observations. "Summative points from walkthroughs — this part is just odd to me."

The new systems for evaluating educators and campus leaders carry massive ramifications. For teachers in the New Education System reform program, their results determine whether or not they can return to their campuses. The same is true for all Houston ISD campus leaders, inside and outside the New Education System, and all principal salaries will be based on their performance results starting next school year.”

"Last school year, we did a lot of work calibrating as a district," one of the principal interviewed said. "This year, that was almost non-existent. Like, we did not calibrate as a district."

The widespread confusion and lack of clarity among Houston ISD teachers and principals echo the TEA's warning to provide clear training or risk "calibration issues."

Read the entire article here.

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