Houston schools taken over by Texas state agency, but Anchorage’s superintendent got out just in time

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It appears Anchorage Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt left Houston just in time. Texas last week announced a state takeover of the Houston public school district, which is the state’s largest school district and the nation’s eighth largest.

Anchorage hired Bryantt in the summer of 2022. Bryantt served as the Houston Independent School District’s executive officer of talent. If he had waited much longer to leave, the unraveling of the school district might have left a big question mark on his resume. After all, Bryantt was in charge of recruiting and hiring.

The Office of Talent’s web page states “We are committed to getting outstanding results for our students. Human Resources impacts student achievement by:

  • Recruiting, selecting, retaining, and developing exceptional people.
  • Providing employees excellent support and development.
  • Maintaining high expectations.
  • Delivering high-quality customer service.

But last week the Texas Education Agency essentially declared the school district a failure after the performance of some schools is so bad that the agency believes the district is a candidate for House Bill 1842, passed in 2015, which mandates an intervention and sanction of a public school that has received an unsuccessful performance rating for two or more consecutive years.

 TEA is appointing a new Board of Managers for the school district because of academic failures, especially at Wheatley High School, where students are failing. U.S. News ranks it between 13,383-17,843 of all high schools in its National Rankings, and the school, which is one of 50 high schools in Houston, ranks between 1,213-1,481 in state rankings. Ninety-nine percent of the students are “economically disadvantaged” and only 4% pass advanced placement tests. Reading proficiency is 15%.

“What that law requires is if that threshold is ever met, that the commissioner of education is required, it’s not discretionary, is required to either order a closure of that school or order a board of managers for the whole district,” Morath told KTRK. “It’s not in the best interest of kids at Wheatley to close Wheatley, so that leaves us with the board of managers,” he said.

At the time of Bryantt’s hiring by the Anchorage School Board, Board President Margo Bellamy said that Bryantt was chosen because of “He articulates specific and innovative plans to improve proficiency in reading and math. He is laser focused on students and their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs along with a sincere desire to ensure adequate resources are directed to the classroom to support educators and support staff.”

In his statement to the community upon his hiring, Bryantt said “Serving the Anchorage community as superintendent would be the privilege and honor of a lifetime; I want to put down roots here, and unite our complex, multicultural community around our schools. I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and partner with the community to create a shared vision of educational excellence. I have a track record of leading academic gains and attracting top talent into one of America’s largest and most diverse school districts; I am prepared to lead the Anchorage School District into a bright, exciting new chapter.”

The first part of Bryantt’s exciting new chapter will occur at Monday night’s board meeting, when Bryantt will recommend the closure of one of the top-performing schools in Anchorage — Family Partnership Charter School. See story by David Boyle, Must Read Alaska education writer, below.

31 COMMENTS

  1. Well gosh. And this is the guy Anchorage wanted so badly.

    Get your kids out of AK public school yesterday.

  2. Since I’m a Juneauite I only semi follow the processes of the ASD.

    Didnt they pull strings or violate existing rules to hire this guy?

  3. Alaska needs to do the same exact thing. Purge the immoral from our public school system!!

  4. If I recall correctly Bryantt was only favored by a select few on the school board and not favored by the general citizenry of Anchorage.

  5. Reminder: “We” did a worldwide search for the superintendent-in-training who has only taught two years. ‘We’ was Leadership Anchorage headed by George Martinez and a subsidiary of Alaska Humanities Forum, headed by Kameron Perez Verdia, who are hosting the latest presentation on why our students need more exposure to Drag Queen Story hours.
    We passed over qualified Alaskan candidates.

  6. Reminder: “We” did a worldwide search for the superintendent-in-training who has only taught two years. ‘We’ was Leadership Anchorage headed by George Martinez and a subsidiary of Alaska Humanities Forum, headed by Kameron Perez Verdia, who are hosting the latest presentation on why our students need more exposure to Drag Queen Story hours.
    We passed over qualified Alaskan candidates.

    • You are 100% right Sami. I know this district well. Good old school board passed over Frank Hauser who was principal of Service High here and Superintendent of Sitka Schools and was the 2019 Alaska Principal l of the Year. Instead Margo Belamy hired outside, but it’s ok because she is beaming as she got the best candidate for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I say parents push Governor Dunleavy into giving the money to you and you will find the best place to educate your children It certainly is not ASD. This district has ceased to educate children, but they know well how to indoctrinate with Drag Queens.

  7. The David Boyle article referenced reported the ASD issues with the Family Partnership Charter School has been on-going for a number of years, the Superintendant Bryantt began at ASD in the Summer of 2002, it appears to me Mr. Bryantt is doing his job.

  8. Wasn’t Jharrett Bryantt ineligible to be Anchorage’s School Superintendent?

    Oh, that’s right, he’s a far leftist, liberal, woke, democrat.

    Question answered….

    • One more year of “training” by the former superintendent (who is also getting paid well to “mentor” the Texan) before he actually becomes eligible to be “qualified” under the original job description that was ignored becausse of blatant woke favoritism.

  9. Let’s face it, school districts are overburdened with too much administration leaving few resources for the task at hand: educating students. Too many chefs telling the bottle washer so many different ways to do their job leaves a confused worker. Alaska has the same problem: way too many administrative units leeching from the bloodless budget.
    When are we going to wake up and realize that education comes first? If we want to be the great nation we once were instead of the minimum wage robots that corporations desire, then we must wake up and pump new blood into our school system and cut the excess of administration that burdens us all in every facet of our lives.

      • You need to understand one side does not play by the rules. So why shouldn’t the other side play the same way? Rules and laws don’t matter anymore it is a two tiered system so alls fair now.

    • We are not even allowed to know the number of employees (not teachers or staff) employed by the administration. What we do know is that they seem to be immune from layoffs from over personing.

      • Trig I believe that the administration is top-heavy because they have hidden bad employees or ones that have committed crimes. They have created positions to hide and keep these people on the payroll. Just my opinion.

  10. This guy only applied for the job after losing an election for the independent school board seat. Probably just a whoa me moment when he applied. Somehow coming from a disastrous system was good choice for Anchorage? Sounds like they didn’t do any research for this hire.

  11. Sooo He came to pound the last nail into . ASD’s coffin? Finish it off, well he got that going for him-he’s a finisher even it going splat.

  12. Anyone submitting their children to public school in Anchorage needs to have their head examined. Uncle Pervy would be a better choice. At least it would be in the family.

  13. Got out just in time for what? Not to be caught up in the mess he helped create in Houston? Anchorage should be so luck to have a guy like this!

  14. The easy solution is to privatize some schools and hand parents vouchers…and let nature take its course. How many parents do you think would stick with the unions? It would be like choosing the USSR grocery store over Fred Meyer.

    Attack the money source. This exposes the obvious liberal hypocrisy that cares nothing for children but everything about control. Like the old USSR, you can’t let people be free and leave.

  15. What they need to do at the meeting is fire Jharrett Bryantt! He was never qualified to be hired in the first place. He obviously falsified his resume and now the devastation he caused in Houston is playing out.
    The results being obtained by the Family Partnership Charter School are SO FAR above ASD results that their methods should be emulated NOT eliminated!

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