Bellaire - Meyerland - West University | November 2023



HISD OKs principal evaluations with more emphasis on special education

A closer look

Principals will be classified into one of three categories based on the overall evaluations, with 32% of principals ultimately falling into the “pro- gressing” category, 60% as “proficient” and 8% as “exemplary.” According to HISD documents, the district will use the following criteria to assess student achievement, which will make up 35% of principal evaluations in the 2024-25 school year: • Middle-of-year and end-of-year student assessments • The campus’ overall TEA accountability rating • The campus’ “closing the gap” score included in the accountability ratings Quality of instruction will be assessed primarily based on the results of four unannounced visits at each campus that will include a minimum of 10 spot observations per visit, district documents show. Officials said school action plans, which are created by each campus’ principal at the beginning of the school year, will be measured based on the achievement of goals outlined in the plan.

Houston ISD board managers unanimously approved a new evaluation system for the district’s principals during an Oct. 12 meeting that will be used to determine principals’ salaries for the 2024-25 school year. While HISD Superintendent Mike Miles has previously stressed the importance of improving the district’s special education department, officials said the special education metrics included in 2024-25 evaluation system will not be given the same weight in future assessments. During the board’s Oct. 5 workshop, Miles presented an overview of the district’s plan to improve its special education program following a 2020 report from the Texas Education Agency that found “significant, systemic and widespread” shortcomings in its handling of special education. Investigators found a 10-year pattern of HISD officials failing to properly identify students for special education services and failing to provide specialized services for those with disabilities. In March, TEA officials listed their concerns on the district’s special education department as a factor in the state’s eventual takeover of the district, which included the appointment of Miles and the board of managers. Several public commenters during the Oct. 12 meeting spoke out against the new principal metrics, which they said were put in place without input from campus committees and relied too much on standardized test results.

New Houston ISD principal evaluations:

35% for student achievement

30% for quality of instruction

20% for special education compliance and achievement 15% for compliance of a campus’ action plan

The special education portion of the evaluations will be split into two components:

50% end-of- year academic assessments of the school’s special education students

In the 2024-25 school year, an HISD principal’s base salary will vary depending on their assessments. Principal pay

50% school’s ability to identify students for special education services within the district’s timeline, the quality of education plans, and quarterly progress monitoring

Elementary school


Middle school


High school




What they're saying

A look back

“Not one page of this publication cites a single empirical study substantiating this monstrosity. Not one of the school action plans that factor into the system were ratified by campus ... decision-making committees.” DANIEL SANTOS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE HOUSTON FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, AT AN OCT. 12 MEETING OF THE HISD BOARD OF MANAGERS

of how they performed. Miles’ plan drew a lawsuit from the Houston Federation of Teachers and was blocked by a Harris County judge because HISD officials allegedly did not ask for teachers’ and other staff members’ opinions as they developed the plan. The HFT lawsuit was dropped after HISD adopted the T-TESS system, which bases pay on planning, instruction, learning environment and professional practice.

The adoption of the principal evaluation system came one month after HISD adopted a state-approved T-TESS evaluation system—or Texas Teacher Evaluation and Support System— for the district’s teachers. Miles initially pushed for a plan that generated controversy for its use of a “target distribution” method for designating pay levels, meaning a certain percentage of teachers would be placed into lowest pay designation regardless



Powered by