TEA Commissioner Mike Morath assures parents that meetings will provide information on HISD takeover

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, March 30, 2023
Why TEA commissioner has not attended HISD meetings
Parents still have questions about the HISD takeover, but here's why Commissioner Mike Morath says he has not been present.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Education Agency has confirmed that Commissioner Mike Morath was not attending Wednesday's community meeting on the Houston Independent School District takeover.

The meeting was expected to be crowded to the point that it was moved to Delmar Fieldhouse, and multiple groups called for HPD officers to provide security.

Previous meetings have been contentious, with the last one being taken over by protestors with a bullhorn.

On Saturday, Morath told our media partners at the Houston Chronicle that he's been sick recently. However, he still hopes these meetings can provide information without him, and assure parents that all schools will be held to equal standards.

"I mean, this is the grand question: How does a school system, and certainly one as large as Houston ISD, organize itself as a system of 250-plus campuses so that the way that the district works does not allow an individual campus to lack the structures of supports for you know, a decade or more?" he said in an interview on Saturday.

Will any HISD schools close during this process?

Morath says he doesn't know yet, but there are specific schools that need more intervention than others.

"So at Wheatley and Kashmere and some other schools where you see students that have like multiple years of proficiency problems, you've got to have a very intentional approach to instructional design," he told the Houston Chronicle. "You have to rethink the master schedule. You have to do the recruiting effort to find the teachers that are necessary. To do the recruiting effort to find the supplemental tutoring resources that are necessary and you have to concentrate all those resources at those campuses."

Will any HISD schools be converted to charter schools or nonprofits?

"It's not something that we're actively contemplating in any way. It's not how we're recruiting board managers," he said. "There are existing campuses in Houston ISD that I think function in this fashion, and we don't anticipate that changing. We don't anticipate seeing new conversions. It's not part of the strategy that we would think would make sense."

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