houstonisdwatch.com wants to hear from you, especially from HISD insiders. Use comment tag at bottom of page to share your views.

Links to previous pages:   7/7/2011 includes Grier's contract part 1
          TNTP ass.
          Lusterless career of Terry Grier 6/10/2011

Lesson to HISD Trustees: Some school boards actually monitor their superintendents: DeSoto puts brand new super on paid leave as Atlanta cheating scandal has far-sprung roots: www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20110711-desoto-school-board-places-superintendent-on-paid-leave.ece

Teach for America Teachers Exit HISD faster than counterparts and get very mixed results in classroom; Hard to see why trustees like Harvin Moore think they are so great for the district 
Texas Watchdog's Lynn Walsh obtains exclusive district report comparing TFA to others
HISD's TFA Report: www.scribd.com/doc/59551952/HISD-Teach-for-America-Report-March-2011
 
While TFA teachers make up twice the share of HISD’s new teachers than they did a few years ago -- nearly 1 in 3 new HISD teachers was a TFA’er in 2009-10, the study says -- the TFA teachers are also leaving at faster rates than their counterparts, the internal study found.
“Forty-four percent of the 2005−2006 non-TFA new hires returned to HISD in 2010−2011 for their sixth year of service in HISD, while only 9 percent of the 2005−2006 TFA new hires returned to the district in October 2010,” the report says.
Read rest of article: www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/07/houston-isd-teach-for-america-teachers-stronger-in-some-hisd-test-results/1310405158.column

Will the worsening conditions in HISD for kids, teachers, and on campus administrators finally wake-up HISD parents? Many parents have been sitting on the sidelines for way too long

How bad does it have to get before HISD parents rise up and demand that disengaged trustees take charge of HISD and fulfill their commitment to taxpayers? How many hours a day do the children of HISD parents have to sit in quiet classrooms taking moronic multiple-choice tests before parents demand that teachers finally be allowed to teach? How many random fights have to break out on HISD campuses this coming school year before trustees finally read the TNTP assessment plan they passed, forcing administrators to spend the majority of their time working with teachers at the expense of everyone else? How many times will Terry Grier be allowed to stand before his bosses on the HISD board and the parents of this community and tell bold-faced lies before vigilante groups march on West 18th prepared to remove Grier themselves? While Grier pays lavish salaries to his central office cronies and before he expands his propaganda department beyond 120 employees and $10 million dollars to keep it up, will the growing number of unemployed Houstonians, including furloughed teachers, finally have the time to take a hands-on approach to the deterioration of a once classy school district that valued all of its stakeholders? Grier and his HISD trustee supporters are on a collision course with history. Unemployment is moving upward, the economy will sink even further now that unemployment benefits are running out across the country www.nytimes.com/2011/07/11/business/economy/as-government-aid-fades-so-may-the-recovery.html and the evidence is piling up that Grier's reforms are not improving standardized test scores in any meaningful way and are killing AP test scores across the district while wasting millions of dollars on federal programs and a bloated central office bureaucracy never seen before in HISD. Parents: You need to take charge not just of your kids but of HISD which is descending into the abyss under the failed leadership of Terry Grier.
  houstonisdwatch.com 

Comments from houstonisdwatch.com readers
A superintendent sets the tone for a district, and Dr. Grier does not set the right tone. With teachers, parents and students knowing of this person's involvement in scandals, how can anyone involved with Grier's school reform have any confidence in or respect for him professionally? What education really comes down to is what children are taught at home. We know today that many parents have abdicated their reponsibilities as parents to the schools, making it critical that they get better guidance at school than what will eventually filter down to the principals and teachers from this superintendent if he is allowed to continue in this job the students will fall further behind.
by TIRED (Jul 9, 2011)

HISD is no different from Dallas, only worse. As Education grrrl indicated, there are 45 days of testing scheduled for high school. TAKs for 10-11th and those that have not passed it yet, EOCs, Stanford- it is still happening, SAT, PSAT, mid-year practice for EOC's, 6 week exam for progress measurements, and then this does not count the period of AP exams and subject final exams. Basically, most high school teachers have to finish teaching their courses by the middle of March due to the testing and disruption schedule. Exam scores have already gone down. NEWS FLASH!! lower test scores are not caused by teachers when they have had higher scores in the past! Lower test scores are caused by missed classroom teaching days! Disruptions in the whole school day to test portions of the student body! Multiple HISD depts deciding to implement tests on students when they are not needed!! Here is the fun part: EOC exams are intended to be completed on computers. Who is buying all of those computers and network connections for those very large high schools of 3,000+ students? Oh! and they only have 1 day allotted to take Algebra 1 for example with 600+ students on that day? Anyone volunteering to arrange, set up, and pay for this logistical mess? Those big fat HISD admin salaries would be an excellent source!!
by Life is Education! (Jul 10, 2011)

HISD Administrative Vacancies as of July 10, 2011

Principal, Longfellow Elementary, $68,000 - $90, 500      
Principal, Bell Elementary, $68,000 - $90, 500
Principal, Milby High School,  $79,000 - $90,500
Principal, Austin High School, $86,000 - $108,500
Principal, DeBakey HSHP, $86,000 - $108,500
Principal, Worthing High School, $86,000 - $108,500
Principal, Scarborough High School, $86,000 - $108,500
Principal, McReynolds Middle School, $73,000 - $95,500
Principal, $Holland Middle School, 73,000 - $95,500
School Improvement Officer, Academic Services, $122,500 - $122,500

Need evidence you been lied to about central office cuts? While schools practice austerity, Grier's HR department advertises over 75 central office position openings & vast majority of them have nothing to do with kids, teachers, parents, or instruction    Upcoming elections for Harris & Rodriguez
prodnet.houstonisd.org/jobs/hisdjobs/Jobs/JobList.aspx
Senior Business Systems  Analyst 5 positions advertised
Senior Database Administrator 2 positions
Senior Information Security Engingeer 2 positions advertised
Senior Manager, Information Technology
System Platform Systems Administrator 2 positions advertised
Senior Technology Project Manager 3 positions advertised
Specialist Applications Develope 2 positions advertised
Senior Information Modeler
Specialist Information Security Engineer
Applications Developer 4 positions advertised
Assistant Superntendent Information, Assessment, and Analytics
Business Systems Analyst 2 positions advertised
Director Information Technology Business Solutions
Information Security Analyst
Information Security Officer
Intermediate IT Customer Service Representative 3 positions advertised
Network Systems Administrator
Platform Systems Developer
Senior Applications Developer 3 positions advertised
Senior Business Systems Analyst 2 positions advertised
Manager, Leadership Development
Manager, Onboarding
Manager, Routing Technicians
Manager, Strategic Projects (Talent Management)
Manager, Training & Safety
Manager, UIL
On-line training specialist 4 positions
Onboarding Program Specilist  3 positions
Professional Development Business Manager
Professional Development Design Specialist 3 positions
Research Specialist
Senior Compliance Analyst for internal canddiates only
Senior Information Technology Auditor
Senior Manager - Elemntary/Secondary Teacher Development
Senior Manager, Human Resources Business Partners
Senior Manager, Parent Engagement
Senior Network Systems Engineer (HISD TV)
Senior Payroll Analyst (Time & Labor GL)
Student Information Representative
Transportation Mechanic Team Leader
Applications Developer
Academic Program Manager - 6 positions
Accoutant
Accoutant - Contract Compliance
Accounting/Budgeting Clerk III - 2 positions
Analyst - Performance Management
Assistant Superintendent - Talent Management
Associate Accountant Enterprise Funds
Associate IT Customer Service Representative - 3 positions advertised
Business Analyst
Compliance Representative
Human Resources Business Partners - 11 positions
Imagin Quality Assurance Technician
Manager, Accounting
Manager, Advanced Academics

  Texas SBOE Presdent Barbara Cargill wants to be sure "both sides" of evolution are presented
Another Radical from the Woodlands: Joining Texas-teacher contract bashing Bob Eissler is new SBOE President Barbara Cargill
Barbara says she wants Texas teachers to "present both sides of evolution" but her work indicates quite the opposite:
Article link from The Texas Freedom Network:   http://tfninsider.org/2011/07/08/barbara-cargill-some-things-never-change/

Cargill's websites dissected:  Fighting-Creationist-Initiatives-Towards-Public-Policy.flv

     
With retesting days, standardized testing to meet TEA guidelines increases 80% from TAKS to STAAR but don't expect help from Grier 
from DallasNews.com:
  
TAKS — 13 days (25 with retesting)
Ninth grade — reading and math (2 days)
Ninth grade — reading field test (1 day)
10th grade — English, math, science, social studies (4 days)
10th grade — English field test (1 day)
11th grade (exit level) — English, math, science, social studies (4 days)
Exit level — English field test (1 day)

STAAR — 15 days (45 with retesting)
English I — 2 days
English II — 2 days
English III — 2 days
Algebra I — 1 day
Geometry — 1 day
Algebra II — 1 day
World history — 1 day
World geography — 1 day
U.S. history — 1 day
Biology — 1 day
Chemistry — 1 day
Physics — 1 day

Two additional testing opportunities per year

SOURCE: Texas Education Agenc
Read rest of article: www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20110704-school-administrators-concerned-about-new-staar-testing.ece

HISD has cut the majority of its counselors preferring "Dean" concepts where one administrator serves both roles; Marginally effective in middle school, the deans will struggle to adhere to frenetic 2011-12 standardized testing schedule and complete TNTP assessments
Texas Tribune explores concerns as 2011-12 is starting to look the year from purgatory in Texas schools; 2012-13 will be the year from hell
from TexasTribune.org:  

by Morgan Smith:

In the fall, the anticipated consequences of a $4 billion reduction in state financing to school districts will begin to become apparent to Texas students and their parents: fewer teachers, bigger classes and sparse extracurricular programs.
For some, though, the most drastic change will come in the spring, when the state’s approximately 350,000 new ninth graders will be the first to take the end-of-course exams that are part of the new standardized testing system known as Staar, the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readines...
Read rest of article:  www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/us/10tteducation.html

comments from houstonisdwatch.com readers: Grier's salary & perks not playing well among us common folk
Isn't that just wonderful that King Grier gets so much time off and then can be paid double for what he doesn't take?! REALLY??? Unlike the royal king, teachers can not miss more then the 10 days they are graciously allotted or they are penalized and more then a days rate of pay and removed from any possibility of receiving incentive pay for student performance. I am extremely confident that the King will still get his bonus even if he were to miss his allotted days. Two months off? really???? I have over 180 days that I can miss. Why? because I am seldom absent as that would be selfish toward my students. I need to work on that ideology apparently. When I leave/retire/get fired I won't get paid for any of those days I elected to NOT take! Why? because HISD screwed up on attendance procedures for years and forced us to take our state allotted days that it now turns out we can get paid for! But the 180 days I have accrued over the years are not going to be considered. Enjoy that double bonus! King Grier!!
by Life is Education! (Jul 9, 2011)

Fire Greer and his Educrats Remove Harris and Rodriguez from the board Decentralize by restoring campus autonomy Reduce by half the HMW employees Make sure teachers have a voice Stop the crazy amount of testing done Here are some school reforms for Team HISD
by West Side Attorney And Parent (Jul 9, 2011)

What can we do to encourage SOME GREAT candidates to step forward against Harris & Rodriguez this fall?
And I think this should be the campaign slogan:
45 days of testing in HISD high schools next year=disrupted schedules and lesson plans
45 days=9 weeks of school9 weeks x 4 years=ONE WHOLE YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL WASTED because Harris & Rodriguez can't stop signing on with big testing companies!!!If our students are going for jobs bubbling in scantrons, then we're set---they'll be the best bubblers around!
Ditto for our students' writing samples being read/scored by minimum wage temp workers---most bosses AREN'T minimum wage temp workers!
Can we stop this insanity??? NOW!!!

by Education Grrrrl (Jul 9, 2011)

Your comments about the HR Department and Ann Best are right on target! I think someone should check in to Ann Best's credentials and experience and see what her qualifications are for her six-figure job. It is clear that they are hiring high-paid individuals into HR because she lacks the knowledge and doesn't have a clue about HR, leadership and professional development. Now at her Chief level, she does not have to do any of the daily work in any area.
by outtahere (Jul 9, 2011)

Re Grier's contract, how does it compare to Saavedra's and previous superintendents'? Did they get tons of paid vacation/sick days, bodyguards, double dipping etc., too?
by The Owl (Jul 9, 2011)

i AM REALLY UPSET GRIER HAS DONE IT AGAIN I WAS DUE TO GET A STEP ON THE SALARY CHART AND THE RECONFIGURED IT. I WILL BE AT THE SAME SALARY FOR 4 YEARS........ FOUR YEARS NO RAISE BUT HE GIVES TDS BIG RAISES I AM A HIGHLY QUALIFIED TEACHER WHO APPLIED FOR SEVERAL POSITIONS BUT THEY OVER LOOK ME BECAUSE I HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AND HIRE SOMEONE WHO HAS TWO YEARS OR LESS THEY HAVENT EVEN PROVEN THEM SELVES YET. I WAS ALWAYS TOLD DO YOUR JOB AND DO IT WELL AND YOU WILL BE REWARDED.... MOVING UP BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN H.I.S.D!!!!! HOW CAN SOMEONE WHO HAS NOT TAUGHT BUT TWO YEARS OR LESS(TFA'ers)TELL ANYONE HOW TO DO THEIR JOB BETTER WHEN TEACHERS WITH EXPERENCE HELP THEM WITH CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT (STUDENT BEHAVIOR) THIS IS A JOKE............ SORRY I AM UPSET..........
by TIRED (Jul 9, 2

DeSoto ISD's new superintendent could be out the door for alleged involvement in Atlanta's test cheating scandal
Hire & fire: Evidence points to fact Kathy Augustine lied to get her job:
www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/desoto-lancaster/headlines/20110708-desoto-trustees-may-consider-firing-new-superintendent.ece
Investigation finds new DeSoto Superintendent involved in cheating scandal: www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/desoto-lancaster/headlines/20110706-investigation-finds-new-desoto-isd-superintendent-played-role-in-atlanta-school-cheating-scandal.ece

SOMETHING STINKS IN HISD        GRIER'S CONTRACT PART 2 
Grier's contract gives failed superintendent sweet double-dipping option on sick time
  Grier fired from Sacramento, Amarillo, run out of Guilford County & San Diego, given a contract fit for a king
  Orchestrates contract for Grier that robs taxpayers Attorney Jones, Harris' BFF,  happy to write that contract & get himself more district business in the process
Why did Paula Harris actively pursue Terry Grier to be the successor to Abe Saavedra when Grier's track record made him damaged goods? Why did Paula Harris' friend Frankie Jones give Grier the kind of contract perks only an unqualified success could possibly have? Knowing that Grier was planning to leave San Diego and the school board there would no longer give him carte blanche to run his mayham to eventually destroy San Diego United School District, Grier was the antithesis of a "hot item." Grier was desperate to find a new job. houstonisdwatch.com contends the deal Harris and Jones engineered for Grier was much more about protecting and enhancing their self-interests and the interests of Grier than those of HISD's children. houstonisdwatch.com is not accussing Ms. Harris or Mr. Jones of breaking any laws at this time. A cloud of suspicion hangs over them, tainting the reputation of the entire district.

In the lingo of the street, Ms. Harris can best be described as "having her finger up her butt" when the children of District IV are involved. She has done a horrible job protecting the interests of Yates students and the powerful Yates alumni. She has unduly influenced principal choices in her district. She routinely gets Grier's silence on contracts she pumps through HISD's legal department with Ms. Hutchins-Taylor acting as the engineer.  Ms. Harris, Mr. Jones, and Ms. Taylor are certainly not acting to conserve district resources for the education of Houston's children. Wasteful expenditures like the following from Grier's contract appear to be their modis operandi:

3.10 Personal and Sick Leave. The Superintendent will have 5 personal leave days and 30 sick days. The Superintendent may accumulate personal and sick leave days without limit. Upon termination of employment or at the conclusion of any contract year, at Superintendent's discretion, all unused sick days accumulated by the Superintendent during his employment by the District will be paid in a lump sum to the Superintendent or his survivors at the Superintendent's then current daily rate of base pay based on a 254 day work year

Anticipating the civic unrest that might erupt from hiring totalitarian Grier, Jones and Harris volunteered your tax dollars to pay for Grier's protection:

3.14 Personal Protection. The District shall, at its expense, provide to the Superintendent such personal protection as the Board may deem necessary. In the event the life or safety of the Superintendent or the Superintendent's spouse is threatened or otherwise appears in danger due to the performance of the Superintendent's professional duties, the District shall pay the reasonable and necessary cost incident for the protection of the Superintendent and the Superintendent's spouse; provided, however, that such protection shall initially be sought from the police department or other appropriate governmental authority having jurisdiction in the District.

How in the hell could the life of the superintendent be threatened by the performance of his duties? What did Jones and Harris expect Grier to do?

If the Grier should somehow become disabled, HISD taypayers will have to pay up thanks to Jones & Harris
5.4 Disability. In the event the Superintendent shall become physically or mentally unable to perform the essential functions of his job as Superintendent, the Board, at its option, may terminate this Contract and the employment of the Superintendent after the Superintendent's exhaustion of his personal and sick leave days and vacation days provided pursuant to Sections 3.9 and 3.10 herein. Verification of the illness or disability of the Superintendent shall be required whenever a majority of the Board requests it. Verification shall be by a physician designated by the Board and Superintendent; however, should the Board and Superintendent be unable to agree, the physician shall be the physician chosen under Section
3.11. Should the Superintendent be terminated due to such physical or mental disability, the Superintendent shall be entitled to one (1) year of his annual base salary set out in Section 3.1 and a continuation of the District's payment for the health, major medical and hospitalization insurance for the Superintendent, set out in Section 3.6, for a period of one (1) year from the date of termination. Except for the payments set out in this Section, plus the amounts for vacation leave under Section 3.8, the District shall have no further liability to the Superintendent for any other compensation or benefits


Take a look at Grier's vacation time then add up how much time his sweet contract allows him to miss and still earn huge salary
3.9 Vacation and Holidays. The Superintendent may take, at the Superintendent's choice and subject to the Board's prior approval, 30 days of vacation per year of this Contract, which may be accumulated without limit. Upon termination of employment or at the conclusion of any contract year, at Superintendent's discretion, all unused vacation days accumulated by the Superintendent during his employment by the District will be paid in a lump sum to the Superintendent or his survivors at the Superintendent's then current daily rate of base pay based on a 254 day work year. The vacation days taken by the Superintendent will be taken at such time or times as will least interfere with the performance of the Superintendent's duties as set forth in this Contract, with prior notice to the, Board President prior to taking such leave. The Superintendent shall have the same duty days and shall observe the same legal holidays as those observed by administrative employees on 12-month contracts

Have you been counting? Grier is allowed 65 days OFF every school year with no problem. Each of those 65 days he chooses to work, he will be paid TWICE for a day's work.  Are houstonisdwatch.com readers angry yet?

Comments from houstonisdwatch.com readers: 
"He made life 'a living hell' for Ms. Eastman reported one of Love's parents."
---and Ms. Eastman stood by as Travis Elementary School PTA president as the principal made life a "living hell" for the teachers who left in droves and caused that school to fall from exemplary status.
What goes around comes around.
Except that Ms. Eastman could lose her job and still live like a queen, while the teachers are busy scrambling, trying to save their careers--while she still signs on to Education Reform and the KIPP party line.
Frankly, I'm not going to lose sleep over her "living hell".

by Nofwfs (Jul 8, 2011)
(Editor's note: It appears Ms. Eastman has much work to do to repair relations with many staff members in the Travis community. Thank you for reading & commenting)

I support your work in ensuring pressure on our Board of Trustees. I did want to make a brief comment about Teacher Development Specialists. There's much to be concerned about re: the new TDS role and the appraisal/development system. You've already done a great job in highlighting ambiguous, problematic language in the evaluation criteria. However, I can assure you that not all TDS positions are $70,000+. I barely make over what I would make as a classroom teacher--just over $50,000. I just wanted to clear that up, though I still encourage you to keep up the great work!

by TDS TDS TDS (Jul 8, 2011)
(Editor's note: This is a group effort and comments from readers like you are invaluable. Your salary correction is noted. Keep reading and commenting! Thank you for your vote of confidence)

By any chance, was the "living hell" according to Anna? She's kind of a drama queen.
In fact, the entire time she was Travis elementary parent president, she told people over and over again how hard she worked. Over and over. I think she hypnotized them, because all the vanguard/Heights wealthier parents seemed to believe it.
It was sort of insulting to hear her claims of working so hard, because all the teachers worked much harder, especially the neighborhood teachers and yet somehow, she even worked harder than they did. That's my two cents.

by Knows Anna (Jul 8, 201

TRUSTEES CONTINUE THEIR FAILURE TO MONITOR GRIER'S PROFLIGATE BUDGET EXPENDITURES AS HE ADDS CENTRAL OFFICE STAFF
Grier lies How Grier views his trustees

 
Look Harvin Moore: Before you run your mouth to blame the state for HISD's budget mess, ask your boy Grier why HISD is ADDING central office staff some of whom will make six figure salaries at the expense of the students and teachers in HISD?
Assistant Superintendent, Talent Management

· Senior Manager, Business Partners

· Business Partners

· Manager, Onboarding

· Onboarding Specialist

· Recruitment Associate (Why in the hell does HISD need a recruitment specialist when they are laying off staff? Thinking bullshit? 'cause I am)

Grier's central office team defies notion of site based management with centralized control only the Politburo could be proud of

For principals and 12 month employees the summer has always been a hectic time in the schools. Working with local committees of teachers to finalize new programs, finishing the master schedule, hiring staff and adapting scheduling needs to new teacher strengths have been regular activities for many years. In addition, HISD's transfer department is busy moving students around to reflect updated addresses. Of course, every principal is charged with keeping up with notification of summer withdrawals to aid the fall's dropout search.  The summer has always been a short window of time especially at high schools.

Grier's central office is busy issuing principals orders down to the minutia of reminding them to " Call the new teachers that you have hired on your campus to welcome them," before you go on a "much-needed" vacation. The need for vacation is not so much to get away from students, parents, and teachers as it is to escape the central office programmers who want to treat principal as widgits that need to be turned up and over.

Does Ann Best always insult the intelligence of principals or its it symptomatic of the fact she is in way over her head?
Apparently it's quite possible a teacher Riffed at a particular school could be vying to return to the campus and the principal
might not know it until the teacher initiates contact. It's also possible a teacher who has been relieved of duties and filed a grievance could be returned to their original campus after a successful grievance. The principal could be left in the dark as the status of the grievance is being decided. Ms. Best is leaving it up to principals to sort out these messes even though they were caused by demands of the central office and human resources, a department she is paid a six figure salary to represent.

Grier flat out lied to the trustees and the HISD community when he discussed central office cuts.
HISD's central office staff isn't shrinking. It's growing with more "specialists" ready to spy on the schools. Sorry for the language but the list of new central office positions I will list below is a big "fuck you" from Grier to all the people who have lost their jobs or are going through HISD's rat cage of a reapplication and reappointment process. houstonisdwatch.com firmly believes Grier has little use for HISD students and teachers. He is only interested in his own power and doing whatever it takes - whatever - to maintain it.

In addition to the highly paid "teacher destroyers" from The New Teacher Project working in schools this summer to train teachers in the new evaluation process, there are now open teacher development specialists positions. Like many of the new positions Grier is creating to consolidate his iron-fisted hold over HISD, these positions do not required certified educators. Another six digit salary wasted on someone who will not even be responsible for students.

Here are excerpts from Ann Best's memo to principals:
Dear Principals,
We appreciate all of your hard work over the past several months. Before you take some well-deserved time off, we wanted to highlight some key information for you before August. In this edition of the Human Resources update, you will find information on focus groups, training, opportunities at central office, and staffing.
Specifically, this week’s memo contains information on the following topics:

· School Leader Focus Groups
· Feedback on High Need Areas for Teacher PD (Remember Grier has kept HISD's Professional Development Office in constant turmoil)
· New Leaders’ Camp
· Upcoming Events
· Filling Teacher Vacancies
· Open Positions at Central Office (WTF? Central office is supposed to be losing positions)
Tips for the Summer
Feedback on High Need Areas of Support for Teachers on Instructional Practice Criteria WTF - Best is asking for this information now???
Our Professional Support and Development team is investigating the highest need areas for support among HISD teachers and would greatly appreciate your perspective. Your feedback will inform the specific instructional practice criteria for which we design tools, training, and exemplars to support teachers in their development in the coming year. Please take 5 minutes to complete this brief survey by Thursday, July 7
 
Rigmarole in Riffing, Unriffing, and Placing Staff
Filling Teacher Vacancies: Special Considerations
· You may be contacted by a recruiter with recommendations of displaced employees who could fill a vacancy on your campus. We ask that you please interview those recommended candidates and maintain documentation of your consideration of the candidates.
· If a vacancy arises on your campus this summer in the same employment area for which a teacher was RIFed, the RIFed teacher should be reinstated.
· If a teacher has been let go on your campus for performance and he/she files a grievance which has not been resolved, you may hire a new teacher to fill that vacancy after the Budget Team has approved and confirmed that you can afford to both: a) hire a new teacher AND b) reinstate the RIFed employee, if the employee is successful in their grievance.
    houstonisdwatch.com

  Iconic Yates High School in Houston's historic Third Ward
More revelations of Grier throwing SIO jobs at administrators fleeing HISD
When Samuel Coleman, HISD superintendent Terry Greir and high schools officer Aaron Spence's  hand-picked choice to succeed Ronald  Mumphery as principal at Yates, told Grier he was exiting Yates and HISD, Grier tried to convince Mr. Coleman to stay.  Grier offered him an SIO position on the spot. Did Grier have firsthand knowledge of Coleman's leadership of Yates? Apparently not.
Retired Yates Principal Ronald Mumphery
It had not been a good year for the shining starof the third ward.  First the messy exit of Mr. Mumphery amid accusations of inapproprite behavior. Then the search for "the best guy HISD could find"  resulted in Samuel Coleman who was named principal amid fanfare created by HISD's well-staffed P.R. department.

For Mr. Coleman, reality bit hard. Students wandered the halls, parenta complainted, and test scores showed under-achievement.  By any measure, Mr. Coleman's short and expensive tenure at Yates High School was not a success.
  Samuel Coleman Yates Principal from January 2011 -  May 2011
John Allen. School Improvement Officer at the time,  knew Yates and Coleman were in trouble. Mr. Allen suggested Coleman consider being reassigned to a middle or elementary school. Mr. Coleman declined. Then Aaron Spence finally made the scene. He, too, suggested Yates and Coleman were not a good match.

Reassignment was in the works for Coleman when he approached Grier. The superindendent, apparently only concered about his reputation and standing with the trustees, was ready to move Coleman up on the spot, offering him an SIO position.  His deputies Spence and Allen were ready to demote him. Coleman made the smartest move of all by leaving HISD. Mr. Coleman was smart enough to see the administrative dysfunction around him.

Now one of the few people in HISD with firsthand knowledge of Yates, John Allen, has moved on to KIPP. HISD appointed a new principal at Yates, Marla McNeil Shepperd. The rigmarole starts all over again at Yates.
  New Yates Principal Maria McNeal Sheppard
If I were one of the newly named School Improvement officers, like Richard Barajas, Justin Fuentes, or Brian McDonald, I wouldn't get too puffed up right now. No doubt you worked hard for your new position and you are well qualified. Just remember Terry Grier is offering the position you just obtained - SIO - to almost any administrator leaving HISD, even the ones who insult him in the process. It's difficult for Grier and his team to convince people they are only looking for the best and the brightest when what they are really doing is trying to save face.
    houstonisdwatch.com

Harvin Moore
: You exacerbate budget problems in HISD by enabling Terry Grier to waste money
HISD trustee Harvin Moore loves to blame the Texas state legislature for HISD's budget woes. Yes, the state has played a big role. Moore, however, needs to start questioning his superintendent about unfunded mandates thrown at the schools. Perhaps Harvin Moore is beginning to realize he can put his bullshit in a pretty box and tie a bow around it but the box still smells.
  Mr. Moore - Are you the most unprepared member of the HISD board at meetings or do we have the wrong impression of you?
Mr. Moore: Why did you allow Terry Grier to inflict a cost of $30 per SAT test prep booklet on every high school in HISD and give the book to every junior? Why did juniors have to accept these books even when they already had purchased one? Can you please explain that to houstonisdwatch.com readers?

What you approved, Mr. Moore, is called an unfunded mandate.  Mr. Moore: you have a law degree. Certainly you know what the term means.

And why, Mr. Moore, after you approve wasting money on test prep books for every junior, you turn around to sanction wasting money again to pay for these juniors to test? Many of  these juniors tested in October and don't want to test again just yet.  As a school board member you show a shocking lack of knowledge about SAT. Maybe you've been too busy approving the cutting of counselors at Lamar High School to notice. Most juniors take the SAT in the fall.  You and Grier forced schools to buy these expensive SAT test books, superfluous in many cases, in the spring. You also approved the wasting of an entire instructional day to administer the test - a test students should be taking on a weekend day.
 
Furthermore, Mr. Moore, who is paying for the Teacher Development Specialists Terry Grier is requiring every campus to have? Do you support, Mr. Moore, inflicting another unfunded mandate on the schools' already strapped budget?

Mr. Moore - before you shoot off your mouth to blame the Texas legislature, start questioning your superintendent as the Texas Association of School Board ethics requires you to do. And finally, Mr. Moore, start coming to school board meetings prepared  (TASB also requires this). You will find studying more will encourage you to talk less. Right now you look like the befuddled prince of unfunded mandates
   houstonisdwatch.com

Grier uses fear, intimidation, and revenge to keep HISD trustees in line
Terry Grier may be a pleasant, even charming, man when giving a presentation to a large audience. I'm told even the devil appears that way to strangers in a first-time meeting.  He can be a friendly conversationalist when he has no stakes in the game. When he is challenged by word and especially by a school board vote, he is alleged to morph into a monster, a punishing micro-manager who has no qualms about putting the childre of HISD at risk. If you haven't picked up on Grier's alleged dislike of middle class kids from his shewed Apollo agenda, there are numerous conversations between Grier and parents coming out in the open - conversations where Grier appears to dislike kids who come from families who value education at home. 
Do you remember the discussion about Love Elementary School's closure? Love Elementary is in Anna Eastman's District 1
Love was one of 66 schools subject to review for closure based low enrollment. Love's enrollment rose by 150 students between 2003-2004 and the percentage of
Love Elementary School enrollment data
black and white students was edging updward.  TAKS scores were also improving. Grier, however, knowing full well Love Elementary had a strong base of parent advocates, decided to close it.

Grier's decision followed a critical vote on Feb. 10, 2011, to expand the Apollo Program to include 11 elementary schools. As KTRK local explained, " The proposal passed on a 5-4 vote, with trustees Paula Harris, Greg Meyers, Manuel Rodriguez Jr., Harvin Moore and Larry Marshall in favor. Trustees Michael Lunceford, Carol Mims Galloway, Juliet Stipeche and Anna Eastman voted against the measure. "(abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story
 
  Grier targetted Love Elementary to punish Anna Eastman for her vote against expanding Apollo to elementary schools Love parents contend
So Grier decided to punish Eastman by putting Love dead center in the list of schools to be closed. He knew Love's parents would take action but he didn't care. He knew Love's students would be tearful. He didn't give a damn. He knew Love teachers would experience anxiety, uncertain about the future of their continuing employment. All Grier was concerned about was inflictng pain on Eastman, raising her blood pressure, taking up major chunks of her time to make the point that he is the absolute despot in HISD; he rules with unlimited, unchecked authority.   Parents organized to keep love open (www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/04/hisd-parents-want-answers-as-houston-isd-weighs-closing-four-schools/1301954852.story). Finally, on May 11 HISD trustees voted to close four elementary schools. Love was removed from the list.

Add this incident to the long list of indiscretions by Grier in the short time he has served as HISD superintendent.  Power-mongering at the expense of students, teachers, and parents is his modis operandi.  He made life "a living hell" for Ms. Eastman reported one of Love's parents. 

Using children for politcal gain sould be immediate grounds for termination. We the taxpayers in HISD need to terminate Paula Harris and Manuel Rodriguez in the upcoming elections and throw Grier's pompous butt over-board at the same time.
   houstonisdwatch.com


Texas Watchdog provides nuts & bolts advice on how to investigate school districts: Learn-to-use-open-government-laws-to-probe-school-systems-Featured-video-Texas-Watchdog.flv

Brian McDonald, former principal of Holland Middle School, named new SIO, joins Justin Fuentes & Richard Barajas
  houstonisdwatch.com does not know where Mr. McDonald will be assigned.

HISD employee uses chron.com blog to harrangue about harassment in Procurement Department
Well it is about time.... I work in procurement and it hostile to say the least. Very sad to read Ms. Garrett's response that his behavior was not harassment. We are harassed by this man, and his 3 doors down clown, daily. Wanna talk about waste, "being a good steward of taxpayers dollars" and HARASSMENT...where did the money come from for VIDEO CAMERAS that were just installed above our cubicles? And why???? What about the money for his office move complete with brand new furniture and a FLAT screen television. Can we watch TV at work? Well I guess if Pottinger has time to shop for mail-order brides, he certainly has time for TV.
Vandenw chron.com blog   www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7643851.html




















 Links to previous pages: 7/7/2011 includes Grier's contract part 1
TNTP ass.
Lusterless career of Terry Grier 6/10/2011
 



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