North Forest ISD will Get Chance To Prove Itself to TEA
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and leaders at and supporters of the North Forest Independent School District received good news today: the reported closing of the district is premature.
In a teleconference with Robert Scott, Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency, the commissioner said that no final order of closure has been issued for the district. Congresswoman Jackson Lee said this statement gives a new lease on life to NFISD.
“We all know we have work to do in North Forest,” said the Congresswoman. “We now can show what the children in North Forest can do and can showcase their talents and their abilities.”
NFISD Acting Superintendent Edna Forte said the statement from Commissioner Scott lends itself to real hope. During the year, she and the administration will be providing the TEA with information on the measured growth of the district. Forte has already cut the district’s budget and hired a new principal at North Forest High School.
That new principal, James Troutman, is encouraged that NFISD has the opportunity to make its case and show what its children can accomplish.
Congresswoman Jackson, of the 18th Congressional District, said she was pleased to convene the meeting today with NFISD administrators, board members and local ministers who all have the same goal: to prove the value of the district to its children. She said everyone in the meeting expressed their commitment to the children of North Forest and they emphasized that to Scott.
“I hope this statement from Commissioner Scott clarifies North Forest’s situation to the public,” said the Congresswoman. “We do not have a decision to close this district.”
Both Board Chair Albert Coleman and Secretary Lois Edwards thanked Commissioner Scott for his statement today.
“This is a real opportunity to show what we can do to improve,” said Coleman.
“The Board has worked with the administration to educate our children,” explained Edwards. “A united Board makes all the difference.”
Pastor Theophilus Berry of Greater True Life Church said it was refreshing to hear that no final order of closure has been issued for NFISD. Pastor Willie Jones of New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church was also glad to hear the Commissioner’s statement since many people in North Forest believe the district is being closed.
The North Forest Independent School District is a majority minority district in northeast Houston. Before any final action is taken on the issue of closure, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice will have to review the issue to determine if the community is being adversely affected.
Dr. Pedro Noguera, a professor at New York University and an expert in school improvement who is in Houston for meetings with North Forest educators, attended the meeting and the teleconference. He called the news encouraging and said NFISD should take it as a challenge to move its schools in the right direction.