19 HISD campuses opt into New Education System, expanding the designation to half the district

ByLileana Pearson and Matt Guillermo KTRK logo
Monday, February 12, 2024
Half of HISD to become NES campuses with 45 new schools in 2024-25
Superintendent Mike Miles revealed on Friday a list of 19 campuses that voluntarily adopted the controversial New Education System designation, expanding NES within the district even further.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Independent School District is inching closer to Superintendent Mike Miles' goal of designating 150 campuses as New Education System schools by 2026-2027.

On Friday, Miles revealed that 19 campuses opted into the NES model after the district identified them and five others as those that could benefit from NES but weren't yet mandated to join.

Based on a school rating system currently held up by state courts, HISD chose to use that method to determine failing and passing schools. Twenty-six schools must go to NES next school year, and 24 were given the choice.

"We put the data together. I'm very confident in that data, and that's why we're using that data, and that's why we're using it for the schools," Miles said.

The 19 campuses were as follows:

  • Austin High School
  • Bell Elementary School
  • Deady Middle School
  • Foerster Elementary School
  • Frost Elementary School
  • Gross Elementary School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
  • Ketelsen Elementary School
  • Marshall Middle School
  • Montgomery Elementary School
  • Navarro Middle School
  • Neff Elementary School
  • Petersen Elementary School
  • Reynolds Elementary School
  • Ross Elementary School
  • Sanchez Elementary School
  • Southmayd Elementary School
  • Tinsley Elementary School
  • Valley West Elementary School

These remaining five campuses declined NES designation:

  • Rayburn Elementary School
  • Emerson Elementary School
  • Hines Caldwell Elementary School
  • Love Elementary School
  • Shern Elementary School

The schools will begin the 2024-2025 school year under the controversial designation brought together by the state-appointed superintendent.

The 19 campuses join 26 that were announced last month to be added to NES.

A full list can be found here.

Love Elementary School was an A-grade school, but with the new rating system, it dropped to a D-grade school. Love chose not to join NES.

"These last few weeks have been absolutely exhausting," Love Elementary parent Pablo Lambea said.

Love Elementary's principal made his decision based on parent and teacher input. Lambea said the main reasons they didn't go to NES were to ensure they could keep their librarian, that their language program stayed the same, and that their extracurriculars don't change.

"At the end of the day, there is no real accountability. HISD, Miles - they've been placed here by the state. They don't answer to the community. They don't answer to the voters in Houston, so it's extremely frustrating," Lambea said. "And at the end of the day, us parents know what's best for our kids."

Lambea was happy to know his school wasn't changing, but he worried what repercussions the principal would face.

"Our fear, our impression with other schools in HISD is that when the principals don't follow what HISD Central would like them to do, they are swiftly replaced," Lambea said.

ABC13 Live Stream coverage of HISD's announcement

Superintendent Mike Miles announced a new slate of New Education System campuses, including 19 that voluntarily opted-in.

However, Miles insisted no consequences were coming for those declining.

"There is no repercussion for opting in or opting out of NES. As I said, we weren't anticipating all of them anyways," Miles said.

Taking into account the 85 existing NES schools, HISD said 130 schools will be under the system to start the next school year, which is half of the district. Despite Love declining, it doesn't guarantee it won't ever be.

"We'll look at our data over the course of this year and next year's mid-year data. So, we'll have more data at that time, and we'll make a decision on how many schools need to be NES or not," Miles said.

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