Schoolhouse Beat

Texas official recommends shutting down struggling district in Houston area (w/ video)

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams is recommending that the North Forest Independent School District be shut down and annexed into the Houston Independent School District on July 1. Williams based his decision on the district’s continued poor academic performance over the past year. “The decision to close a school district is a tough decision for all involved but we can no longer be tolerant of chronic underperformance,” Williams says in a news release. “My recommendation is based on the district’s poor performance over the past year, which is reflective of a familiar pattern of failing to meet student needs over decades.” Last year, North Forest appealed a decision to revoke the district’s accreditation, and closure and annexation was deferred for one year to give the district a chance to show improvement. The district was required to achieve a 75 percent completion rate for the 2011-2012 school year. The completion rate for the class of 2011 was 66.4 percent.

North Forest officials say they are disappointed with Williams' decision and "will pursue appropriate appeals."

MORE...Video from KTRK-TV: Parents and community leaders say they will fight to keep the North Forest district open.

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