Texas School District Lives On, But So Do Its Struggles

Monday, April 9, 2012

In the eight years that Vivek Agarwal has taught science at North Forest Independent School District’s lone high school, he has watched six principals and four superintendents come and go.

“By the time they learn the system, they are gone,” he said. “There are too many changes.”

The turbulence is familiar to the northeast Houston district, which for almost three decades has wrestled with poor academic performance and financial mismanagement. Between 2008 and 2010, the Texas Education Agency took over the struggling district in an attempt to turn it around. In 2010, only 48 percent of the students at North Forest graduated within four years and just 27 percent of ninth-graders passed state math exams. Then in July, the district was told it would be closed by the state and annexed into the neighboring Houston Independent School District.

North Forest ISD has now gotten what amounts to a stay of execution.

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