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Houston ISD

The longstanding academic failure of Wheatley High School was cited as one reason for the district takeover.
Pu Ying Huang / The Texas Tribune

A state judge Wednesday evening immediately blocked Texas from taking over the Houston Independent School District until she issues a final ruling on the case, complicating the state's plan to oust the district's school board by March.

Carolinda Acevedo, 13, says she feels calmer and more supported at her new online school than at her public school, where she was denied special ed services.
Chris Paul / Houston Public Media

Last year, as a seventh-grader at Lake Jackson Intermediate, Carolinda Acevedo struggled in class — even though she loves learning. She'd stay up late to finish her homework, but then did poorly on state exams. 

TEA Commissioner Mike Morath
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / For The Texas Tribune

In a move that is unprecedented in scope, Texas state officials announced Wednesday they plan on taking over the state’s largest school district, yanking power from Houston Independent School District’s elected school board members to “prevent imminent and substantial harm to the welfare of the district’s students.”

From Texas Standard:

On Sept. 15, 1959, an ex-convict new to Houston attempted to enroll his 7-year-old son at Poe Elementary, near Rice University. School officials denied his enrollment, saying he lacked the proper paperwork. The man later returned to the schoolyard with a briefcase and some obscure messages. He then exploded the briefcase, killing himself, his son, the school's custodian, a teacher and two young students.

Pu Ying Huang

Many Texas educators and advocates are frustrated in the week after the state released letter grades rating their school districts and campuses, as they work to decipher the potential impacts for their schools.

Laura Skelding / The Texas Tribune

Three Texas school districts — including the state's largest — will likely be forced to shut down their chronically underperforming schools or submit to state takeover, based on annual state ratings released Thursday morning.