HOUSTON – Houston Independent School District’s new superintendent Mike Miles has been on the job for a little over a month, and he’s making attention grabbing changes inside the state’s largest school district.
Miles intended to implement his New Education System or NES at 28 Houston schools, but Thursday, HISD held a special meeting for more principals to learn about the model. Miles told reporters he was surprised that additional administrators are interested in aligning with NES, and he wants them to make informed decisions.
“This was not anticipated,” said Miles.
Dozens of principals gathered with the 28 NES principals inside the HISD Board Auditorium to hear the presentation.
“I think there is a sense from the principals that there is a need, and they have identified that the NES is more about support than anything else. It’s about a proven way to change, but in a way that’s supportive of teachers, supportive of principals, and supportive of kids.”
Currently, the model focuses on HISD’s three historically underperforming high schools and the middle and elementary schools that feed into them. Among the many changes, NES teachers will get aides and apprentices who will take care of tasks like grading papers, making copies, and discipline, and teachers will get standardized lesson plans. Miles says this will allow educators to focus solely on teaching in the classroom.
“They are going to get a PowerPoint, they are going to get the demonstrational learning, they are going to get the lesson objective, they are going to get the answer keys and differentiate assignments,” said Miles.
Schools that signup for the New Education System voluntarily will be called NES Aligned schools. The 28 NES schools will be reconstituted, and teachers must reapply for their jobs. Those hired will receive significant pay raises. Teachers at NES Aligned schools will keep their current salaries and will not have to reapply for their jobs.
“But everything else is the same,” said Miles.
So far, Miles said 60 schools have expressed interest in aligning with NES models, but that number could go up or down by the first day of school.
“The timeline is short—one of the reasons we are moving fast is because it’s not fair to change things or change even the staffing model in August,” said Miles.