Ruth Kravetz: The State’s Houston ISD Takeover is Unfair, Racist, and Wasteful
Writing for the Texas Observer, the co-founder of Community Voices for Public Education, argues that the proposed Texas takeover of Houston schools is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Contrary to what you may hear from some Republican leaders, Houston Independent School District (HISD) is not a failing district. HISD received a B grade in the most recent state school ratings and is AAA bond-rated.
Unfortunately, the state takeover of Houston ISD has nothing to do with student needs. It is about power, profits, and a willful disregard for children living in poverty.
As I ponder the district’s future, I am reminded of a student I once taught. When I went to his house to help him think about college, he had no electricity and the only furniture in the house was a bed, an engine block, and a chair. He did his homework by a street lamp outside. The last thing he needed was more pressure to meet arbitrary standardized testing goals or for the state to punish his school for serving low-income students like himself.
From Beaumont to New Orleans to Detroit, takeovers—which disproportionately target districts with high Black and Brown political participation—do not improve student achievement and experiences.