Here is a critical piece by investigative journalist, Josephine Lee, that I encourage you to read. It's rather bizarre to see Mike Miles, the Houston Independent School District (HISD) superintendent himself as one of the actors in the play described below, especially when the students that agreed to do this play weren't aware that he’s their superintendent. As one HISD teacher said, “It reeks of propaganda.”
Read this in combination with Lee's July 14, 2023 piece titled, “Teachers strong-armed to get on board with Houston schools takeover.” The district is now part of Miles' New Education System as follows:
"In recent weeks, criticisms of Miles’ sweeping reforms—particularly removing school librarians and using libraries as student disciplinary centers—have become national news. Miles has said that the 85 schools taking part in his New Education System program, which he transplanted from his Third Futures charter school network, will expand to 150 schools by 2025."
It's all so suspect and not the way to be working in good faith with teachers, parents, community, and students. It's experienced as objectifying, getting treated like an object. And this objectification dishonors the teachers and unmasks this raw and shameful taking of power.
Where is the community in this story? The community is positioned in the background in this account.
I hope that the press is alive and well everywhere so that the people can get the information they need directly from the community. This could be in the hands of local bloggers, those with Instagram accounts, or on listservs or Facebook groups of people in the cultural arts. I'm confident that Lee will also continue producing credible accounts, too.
Thanks to journalist Alfredo Santos, he was been my consistent, local news source from his newspaper, La Voz de Austin. This, alongside a truly excellent source for local news on education, The Austin Chronicle.
Tony Diaz and Liana Lopez with Nuestra Palabra have been my go-to people on anything involving community and education in Houston. There are, to be sure, broad overlapping communities with a shared interest in the preservation of our democracy that are coming together—even as others are still needing to join on in defense of all public education—or "P-20 education," as we say in higher education, meaning Pre-K through 20 pointing to how learning is lifelong.
Do read the article below. Folks at the capitol are noticing that Harris County has been on fire with lots of young, progressive, highly diverse, and politically aware students, activists, and most importantly, voters!
Without a doubt, this harshness of policy animus against HISD is everything about pushing back on the democratic party and the county's otherwise progressive or liberal base.
Still, all of this sounds like such a hard time right now in HISD. May our teachers and everyone involved find ways to be whole so that all of our children's classrooms become the sanctuaries that they can optimally be.
I'm not amused either. I'm in prayer and meditation. My life is a constant prayer and meditation. 🙏 🙏 🙏
Sí se puede! Yes we can!