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Houston ISD Principals Face Evaluation Scrutiny Amid Mid-Year Proficiency Screenings

Houston Independent School District (HISD) principals found themselves on edge Thursday evening as nearly half received notifications regarding their “mid-year proficiency screenings,” which indicated a need for further evaluation and improvement to retain their positions, according to a report by Sam Gonzalez Kelly of the Houston Chronicle.

The timing of the notifications, issued just before the start of spring break, potentially disrupts holiday plans for affected principals.

Superintendent Mike Miles personally addressed the matter with 117 principals representing a diverse range of schools, from the lowest to the highest performing. These administrators were informed of the necessity for further assessments to enhance their instructional leadership capabilities.

In documents obtained by the Houston Chronicle, Miles emphasized the importance of continual progress towards proficiency, stating, “Your results demonstrate that you are working to be a proficient instructional leader and need to continue making progress towards that goal.”

The mid-year evaluations relied on insights gathered by an independent district team through classroom observations of core subject teachers in February, alongside analysis of mid-year interim STAAR results.

Despite the challenging news, HISD expressed optimism, noting that 125 principals exhibited the requisite quality of instructional leadership to retain their roles for the upcoming academic year. The district assured that those who did not achieve a rating of “Proficient 1” or higher would have the opportunity to meet performance expectations through a subsequent screening process scheduled for April.

Among the affected schools are Westside High School, Lovett Elementary School, Tanglewood Middle School, DeBakey High School, Meyerland Middle School, Kolter Elementary School, and HSPVA.

The district’s proactive approach underscores its commitment to fostering excellence in educational leadership, ensuring that principals meet the standards necessary for student success.