HISD mom says son on honor roll is among 42% of failing students

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Friday, December 4, 2020
HISD mom says son is among 42% failing: 'He's being cheated'
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She said he spent the first six weeks simply trying to upload assignments to the HUB, a system many parents have been having issues with.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston mother said her honor roll student is part of the 42% of HISD students who failed at least one class, which was administered online only, during the first grading period this year.

"I'm extremely disappointed," said Alva Mixon. "I feel my son is being cheated because he's a smart kid."

HISD began this semester virtually using the HUB, the district's online learning platform. Eyewitness News has documented the long list of ongoing complaints regarding the platform.

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"I don't like it. I tell the teachers, 'Look, here's their work, if you want to submit it and put a grade, fine, but we're not using the HUB,'" said Rita Martinez, another HISD mother.

Mixon's son, Kaiden, is a 4th grade honor roll student at The Rice School in southwest Houston.

He is back to in-person instruction now, but his mom said he spent the first six weeks of virtual learning trying to submit assignments through the HUB. He was met with technical issues which led to missing work.

"Probably a total of six or seven. Enough to bring his grade down to an 'F,'" said Mixon.

She said his teacher has since received all the missing work, but can't make the grade adjustment.

"[The teacher] told me that corporate HISD had closed the system and did not allow them to put the grades in," Mixon told Eyewitness News.

Eyewitness News asked HISD if grades from the first six weeks of virtual classes will reflect the technical issues with the online learning platform and if they take responsibility for the alarming failure rate.

The district responded with the following statement:

"Multiple options for submitting assignments are available to students and parents. Per HISD's Instructional Continuity Plan, when students are unable to submit assignments online via the HUB, they may submit assignments via emails, photos, phone conferences or provide other forms of documentation. Additionally, The Rice School accepts assignments using screen shots, text messages, and Class Dojo or Remind class communications channels. Parents and students experiencing any kind of academic difficulty have the opportunity to meet with their teachers individually during office hours. The HISD@H.O.M.E. hotline has also been available to provide assistance to students and parents since last April. The number is 713-556-INFO (4636) from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m., Monday - Friday.

HISD policy states teachers are allowed to give students a reasonable opportunity to make up or redo a class assignment or exam for which the student received a failing grade. A grade issued by a teacher is final and may not be changed unless the grade is arbitrary, erroneous or not consistent with the district's grading policy.

Presently there are no plans to alter the first grading period. The district continues to monitor student outcomes and virtual instruction during the first semester. Any adjustments in the second semester would be decided by HISD's Instructional Continuity Plan committee."

Mixon is a mother of two and is working as a full-time pediatric nurse. As an essential employee, she said she was never able to stay home with her son and guide him through classes. Now she feels like he is being punished for technical issues out of their control.

"It's just a simple fix: allow the teachers to put the grades in. He's done his work, let him get credit for it," said Mixon.

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