North Forest ISD Faces State Shut-Down For Second Time

Last year, the Texas Education Commissioner ordered the North Forest Independent School District shut down. But the district fought the order and won a reprieve. Now the same battle is shaping up again in North Forest.

For the last year and half, North Forest Independent School District has been on a do-or-die mission. It had to meet certain academic goals set by the state — or get shut down.

Now the Texas Education Agency says North Forest failed that mission and should become part of the Houston school district.

DeEtta Culbertson is with the state agency:

“The students of North Forest can no longer afford to wait for the strong education that they need and deserve.”

Only two-thirds of North Forest students completed high school in 2011. That’s behind the state’s benchmark of 75 percent.

Some community members say North Forest has questions and deserves answers.

“My first question is what’s the rush? Why they’re trying to do it at such a quick pace?”

That’s Jerry Davis. He’s a Houston city council member and represents the North Forest area. He attended the district himself.

Davis says moving students to HISD won’t necessarily solve the problem.

“Surrounding schools are not, I repeat are not, excelling in the manner which would warrant these kids to be moved in such a fast pace.”

There’s a town hall set for North Forest tomorrow morning in North East Houston.

The district is expected to appeal the state’s decision.

From the KUHF Education Desk, I’m Laura Isensee.

 

North Forest ISD released this statement on Thursday:

The Board of Trustees and the Superintendent of the North Forest Independent School District are disappointed in the Commissioner’s decision not to consider alternative options to his closure recommendation. We were very excited about the prospect of a partnership with Texas A&M University.

The state’s decision in no way negates the good work that has been done in NFISD for the past 18 months. As this year progresses, our staff and students will continue to demonstrate confidence in their abilities.

The district will pursue appropriate appeals.

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...