Neff Elementary Joining New Education System alongside Sharpstown High

Neff Elementary Joining New Education System alongside Sharpstown High
Neff Elementary in Sharpstown

On February 9, HISD Superintendent Mike Miles announced that Sharpstown's Neff Elementary and 18 other high-D-rated schools have voluntarily opted to join his New Education System (NES) for the 2024-25 school year.

These—and all other NES schools—will follow a unique model for using classroom instruction time. They will also undergo "proficiency screening," meaning that all teachers will be evaluated based on their performance in "spot observations," achievement data, teamwork, and the like. The lowest-performing teachers will not be allowed to continue teaching in the NES.

Originally, Miles planned to accept 14 of the district's 24 high-D campuses, which received scores of 65-69 on the accountability ratings that HISD calculated in-house based on the TEA's raw data and methodology. But Miles said that when 19 principals asked to join, he asked HISD's CFO, Jim Terry, if the district could afford the extra $6 million it would cost to let five more schools in.

Miles and Terry decided the answer was yes (and Miles still promises to keep $850 million in HISD's fund balance, money kept in reserve for a rainy day).

These 19 schools will join 26 F-and-low-D schools that are already required to join the NES for the upcoming school year.

That makes a total of 45 new NES schools, plus the 28 original NES campuses and the 57 schools that opted to become "NES-aligned" for the current school year. That will bring the grand total of NES schools in 2024-25 to 130, nearly half of the district. (Schools that are currently "NES-aligned" will become full-fledged NES schools.)

HISD instructed principals to seek feedback from staff, families, and Shared Decision-Making Committees (SDMCs) before deciding whether to join the NES. Emerson Elementary and Braeburn Elementary, both on the edges of Sharpstown, opted out.

But with Neff Elementary and Sharpstown High joining, six schools in Sharpstown will be part of the NES in 2024-25. The others are Bonham Elementary, Long Academy, Las Americas, and Sugar Grove Academy.

The majority of students at most Sharpstown public schools are Emergent Bilinguals, immigrants and refugees who are still learning to speak and understand English.

Miles said, "There are variations [to the NES] depending on dual-language, Emergent Bilingual, accelerated kids... We can modify the program to make sure that we are taking care of the needs of our Emergent Bilingual kids."

Why did Neff Elementary and Sharpstown High make Miles's list, and what are some factors that may contribute to their low accountability scores? Read more below.

Sharpstown High Will Join the New Education System. Neff Elementary Could Too
HISD announced Tuesday that 26 schools, including Sharpstown High, will be joining Superintendent Mike Miles’ New Education System (NES) this fall. Another 24 schools, including Sharpstown’s Neff Elementary, “have the option to be considered for the NES.” NES schools follow a radically different model of classroom instruction, using daily