5.27.2013

Waging War With TEA! Northeast Houston Community Fighting to Halt North Forest ISD Closure

Save North Forest Rally on May 4,2013 (All photos by Jesse Muhammad)
I am a product of North Forest ISD in Houston. I am a 1997 graduate of the then-Forest Brook Senior High School. Fast forward to the 2013 and the district is in a wall-to-wall bout with the Texas Education Agency. TEA has decided to annex NFISD with Houston ISD in July, but many in the community, clergymen, activists and political leaders are not going quietly into the night. Rather, they have decided to fight back. There is no perfect district in America's educational system including HISD. Below is a letter being released by the residents seeking to save NFISD.

Dear North Forest Family, For more than 40 years the North Forest Independent School District has been a key part of the culture of Northeast Houston. There have been thousands of children who graced the halls of the schools of this district. And many of this country’s most successful people as well as leaders in every field have graduated from high schools in this very district. Great things come from North Forest and we are doing everything we can to make sure this merger does not happen. 

If the order from TEA is enforced and North Forest ISD is merged with the Houston Independent School District it would mean the loss of 900+ jobs. Teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, office personnel, and many others would lose their livelihood. These individuals served our children and community for several years and many of them live in the North Forest Community. This is our community. 

HISD has not proven to be better equipped to educate or children. Many of the challenges are the same for our neighboring HISD schools that share the same demographic as North Forest. We have the ability to educate our children in our community and in our neighborhood schools. 

We are so proud of the progress we have made. Our test score have risen consistently and for the 2012-2013 school year 80% of the tenth graders at North Forest High School and 100% of the tenth graders at Yes Prep North Forest passed the reading portion of the STAAR test. The graduation rate has also made significant improvements. This year North Forest High School will graduate over 220 seniors. Many of them plan to go on to college, and they are prepared because of the education they received from the North Forest Independent School District. Yes Prep will have its first graduating class next year. And the North Forest High School Bulldogs were district champs. This has been an exciting year. Our goal is for there to be many more to come. 

We need your support moving forward. This district is a vital part of this community. We must remain committed to preserving our school district for our kids. WE CAN DO THIS. For more information on the effort to save North Forest ISD please visit: www.SAVENFISD.org 

Sincerely, 
Friends of North Forest