HOUSTON – The number of Houston Independent School District schools on the state’s improvement watchlist dropped from 38 to 27 during the last school year, officials announced Tuesday.
The list by the Texas Education Agency contains the state’s accountability ratings for districts, charters and campuses. Schools listed as “improvement required” are given time to increase their ratings. If they fail, the state can order the facility closed and a state board of managers can be appointed for the district.
Last week, HISD leaders said they had 13 schools on the previous state list that were in danger of state sanctions. They vowed improvements to avoid closures or takeovers.
Superintendent Richard Carranza said Tuesday that the number of schools on the verge of closure decreased to 10. The schools are:
- Henry Middle School
- Mading Elementary School
- Wesley Elementary School
- Dogan Elementary School
- Highland Heights Elementary School
- Woodson K-8
- Blackshear Elementary School
- Wheatley High School
- Worthing High School
- Kashmere High School
Carranza said 90 percent of the schools in the district met state standards, and the district overall was given a “met standard” rating.
Michelle Williams went to Blackshear Elementary. So did her three children and now her two grandchildren.
“I like it. The staff is good there,” Williams said. "To hear that it’s one of 10 HISD schools on the verge of being closed because of low performance is beyond disheartening. “It's kind of disappointing. That’s the only school in the neighborhood. If they close this school down, where are the kids going to go?”
Carranza said there is no such thing as a bad school. He believes what the TEA’s ratings show is a lack of district support in addressing the challenges these schools face.
“This administration is laser focused on providing the support, resources, the capacity building to ensure that those 10 campuses will not have to face sanctions," Carranza said.
Williams believes the district’s pledged support will make all the difference in the world toward boosting students overall performance.
“They need the staff to work more with the kids to bring their grades up. Work with them, after school programs, do one on one's with them to bring their grades up so they don't close it down,” Williams said.