13 Investigates: HISD 'off track' for some of state's goals for district

Sarah Rafique Image
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
HISD 'off track' for some state goals for district
Before the announcement that the TEA would take over HISD, a state-appointed conservator has been working with the districts on improvements.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Even before the state announced its decision Wednesday to take over the Houston Independent School District, a state-appointed conservator has been working with the district on improvements.

The latest monthly report submitted by the conservator last month shows HISD is on track to improve overall scores for state standardized math and reading scores this school year. However, when it comes to those scores, "curriculum implementation lacked consistency across areas within specific schools," according to the report obtained by 13 Investigates.

Doris Delaney, a graduate of HISD's Kashmere High, was appointed by the state in 2016 to oversee the high school after the campus experienced seven years of "unacceptable academic performance."

The TEA expanded Delaney's oversight districtwide in 2019, which was the same year the TEA pushed for a replacement of HISD's board of trustees after an investigative report found allegations of misconduct.

In 2019, there were also 21 HISD campuses that received an "F" rating in the state's accountability system.

SEE ALSO: 21 HISD schools receive "F" in annual Texas Education Agency report

Despite ongoing lawsuits fighting an overall state takeover of the district, Delaney kept working with HISD in an effort to improve student scores and ensure there were no issues with the board.

13 Investigates obtained a copy of the conservator's latest monthly report for January, which outlines several goals for the district, including increasing the number of schools achieving an A through C rating on the state's accountability system and improving the school board's overall governance.

The report found the district is headed in the right direction when it comes to the percentage of juniors deemed career and college ready.

But, the district is behind on ensuring every campus will submit "targeted improvement plans" that "clearly outline their path to improved student outcomes during the 2022-23 school year."

The conservator's January report also showed the district is not 100% on track regarding the "synergy and teamwork" of the superintendent and board. However, it says the board is working to operate in a "way that allows the superintendent to accomplish the vision."

13 Investigates reached out to HISD for a comment on the report.

SEE ALSO: 'Ultimately, this intervention is necessary': State announces official TEA takeover of Houston ISD

On Wednesday, Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath announced the state's plans to take over the district and appoint a nine-member board of managers by June 1.

Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II will also be replaced.

In a statement, House said, "(Wednesday's) announcement does not discount the gains we have made district-wide. I am confident our educators and staff will continue to do the necessary work to ensure positive student outcomes at every level. For our students and families, it is education as usual, and the school year continues as normal. As we wrap up this school year, my focus will be on working with our Board of Trustees and the TEA to ensure a smooth transition without disruption to our core mission of providing an exceptional educational experience for all students."

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