Over 100 HISD principals at risk of losing jobs if they don't improve school performance scores

Rosie Nguyen Image
Tuesday, March 12, 2024
Superintendent Mike Miles put over 100 HISD principals on notice to lose their jobs if school performance scores don't improve
Superintendent Mike Miles sent a notice to over 100 principals in HISD, saying that they would be let go if their school's scores don't improve.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's spring break for Houston ISD, but some principals may be worrying about whether they'll have a job come next school year.

The Houston Chronicle reported that Superintendent Mike Miles notified nearly half of the district's principals on Thursday, informing them that they would be let go if they don't improve their school's performance scores.

According to documents obtained by the Chronicle, Miles made this correspondence after receiving the results of their midyear proficiency screenings, which focuses on two things. "Quality of instruction" was determined by an independent review team that conducted classroom observations. "Student achievement" was based on mid-year Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and interim State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR) results.

RELATED: Principal firings and reassignments grow under HISD superintendent: 'The district is in upheaval'

ABC13's content partner, the Chronicle, reported that Miles informed these principals that they must undergo a second assessment this spring and achieve a higher level to maintain their position in HISD for the upcoming school year. The lowest-scoring 10% of principals will automatically be removed from their position.

This comes after dozens of principals have already left the district since the state takeover of HISD due to resignation or termination. Ruth Kravetz, who leads Community Voices for Public Education, worries how the district will fill those vacancies if more principals leave.

"When you replace principals over and over again, what you do is you reduce student graduation rates, you reduce student learning, you reduce student well-being, you reduce a child's belief that they can be successful in college career and life," Kravetz, who is a former HISD parent, teacher, and administrator said. "Principals are now afraid. Teachers are afraid. This is not the kind of environment that we want for our children."

The principals who received the message included both longtime veterans and those who were newly appointed by Miles' administration during the last year. Kravetz questions whether some of these principals may be facing retaliation for opting out of joining the district's new school reform program, New Education System (NES).

"Principals who are known by communities as extraordinary school leaders are being rated low for reasons that nobody understands," Kravetz said. "I think what Mike Miles is peddling is junk science. He's created a perverse principal evaluation system that nobody understands."

READ MORE: Teacher's union leader and vocal critic of HISD faces possible termination

In a statement to the Houston Chronicle, HISD wrote in part, "120 principals learned that they are making good progress and that if they continue to work hard, focus on strong instructional leadership, and demonstrate their ability to support student success, they will achieve the level of proficiency necessary to return in the next school year. We are confident most of our instructional leaders will meet our performance expectations and return to HISD in the 2024-2025 school year."

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