Both serve the same community: recent immigrants, low income, largely Spanish-speaking residents.
But Kaleidoscope has something its larger host school does not: Exemplary Status from the Texas Education Agency.
“Out of all the schools that are currently Exemplary, why would you shut one down?” asked community organizer Fidencio Leija Chavez, Jr. “Instead of embracing it — keeping it intact — they’re wanting to take it apart and dismantle it.”
“H-I-S-D administrators have proposed merging Kaleidoscope Middle School into Long 6-12 Middle School, which is adding grades 9-12 for the new pharmaceutical technology academy, in an effort to increase academic rigor and options for students,” read the HISD statement.
HISD wants to “increase the options for students” by shutting down the one successful option, Kaleidoscope? That is clearly a lie. There are two real reasons for the closure. The first is to get rid of a successful school that is putting their traditional public school to shame. The second is to yield to pressure from the teachers union, who want to get rid of teachers that don’t operate under the union contract.
Education reformers in Houston need to shine some light on this HISD travesty and pressure the board to “retain the options for students” who attend Kaleidoscope.