Use comment tag below to express your opinion. houstonisdwatch wants
to hear from you, especially from HISD insiders.
Magnet Schools of America: Remove Elrod's magnet designation. Does not meet magnet
From Magnet Oversight:
Elrod had an audit by Magnet Schools of America. The auditors specifically said-magnet money does not
go for salaries. Well the Elrod Admin uses the magnet money to pay the greedy coaches that does nothing
at the school. I would say that the total time they work is about a half hour per day. Well the magnet budget
has about 275,000 to 300,000 dollars used for salary and not the magnet program. Also, please send someone
to observe this nonexistent magnet program. Well the coaches fixed up this operating room at one point to
fool the auditors. We also put up a sign on the doors to further fool the auditors. They also set some broken
up skeletons to display in the classrooms. Never once has a medical doctor stepped on campus. No curriculum
to push magnet.
by Magnet Oversight (Jun 30, 2012)
Law Clerk's advice on Elrod: Dire times call for dire solutions
Hi I took a look at the case of Elrod. Every employee has a right to a bully free environment. There have
been cases in which teachers have won settlements due to principal bullying. See case titled Northcutt.
Teacher was awarded over 200,000 dollars. Save everything and record every meeting that you have had.
Work together to seek an attorney. There is power in numbers. Establish a pattern. Keep your cool. Do not
become unprofessional. When you have an emotional breakdown do it in the presence of others. Do not hide
your anguish. Ensure that you go to the school nurse and have her write something for you. Go to a psychiatrist
and tell them everything. Tears at this point will not hurt. Possibly can get medical and dental benefits also
paid too. There are already precedent cases. The courts have seen this before. Document everything and
Now on to advocacy 1. Contact your local,state, and national lawmakers 2. Contact local media 3. Contact
faithbased organizations 4. Send out flyers 5. Contact organizations that promote civil rights 6. Always keep a
recorder or camera 7. When a co-worker is being bullied take out your camera
by Advice from Law Clerk (Jun 30, 2012)
With regards to lawsuits, name everyone from the principal and admin team on up. Ensure that you sue
them. Hit them where it hurts-their pockets. Start with a large amount and work up. Most likely choose an
amount that will possibly force them to sell their homes to cover a lawsuit. Prepare to be blackballed for
a while. I read some comments about Linda Bellard. It seems she is notorious for this. Changing jobs will
only help your situation-you left because you were in agony. When you apply for a job ask for feedback in
the form of email. If the employer response that your reference was bad save that email. Do your leg work.
Contact former employees of Bellard-like the nurse that spoke out at Blackshear. Record every conversation.
by Advice from law clerk (Jun 30, 2012)
And from Marc:
Great advice from Law Clerk and attorney.....are you teachers in HISD listening???? STOP hiding and start
fighting!!!! You have got to take care of yourself and do not count on outlasting these evil people because
HISD will just continue to move them around and you will be moved out the door! Again, work together
because when everyone keeps saying and writing the same things about a bullying principal then there
must be some truth behind it! Contact the media and file a lawsuit and get everyone to sign on because
the ones who don't will be the next targets when they have to leave you alone! All in will help you win!!!
Remember, HISD and Grier hate bad press and paying out money for lawsuits!
by Marc (Jun 30, 2012)
Sounds like the Principal at Jones. She is a bully too. Yelling at students, parents, and staff. Almost
half of the teachers left this year. Grier should have left the previous principal there. She may have
been inexperienced but she was better than this one. When things go wrong, she blames the previous
principal. When things go well, she takes the credit. @Girl Gone Wild, you are right these principals
make a bad name for women.
by Interesting (Jun 29, 2012)
(Editor: Are there any male bully principals in HISD?
WHERE DOES SAM SARABIA STAND ON THE ELROD SITUATION?
HAS THE PARENT ORGANIZATION HEARD DIRECTLY FROM HIM?
If nothing is done to remedy Elord’s harassing and bullying administration, we (parents) are going to the
media, LULAC, NAACP, EEO office to file harassment and bullying charges against Bellard and her administration
team. Being threaten to call INS and CPS on us when all we want to come into the school to talk to our children’s
teacher is uncalled for. If need be, we will continue to organize as parents and sue Bellard, her administration
who have made the INS threats, and the district for letting this go on for far too long. Why is it that other schools
invite and welcome parents into their schools, become volunteers, and Elrod does not? What are Bellard and her
administration hiding that she does not want us to find out? Teachers are cautious to talk with parents after
school during dismissal because they fear someone is watching them. Teachers should not feel that they will
lose their jobs because parents talk to them. I’ve witnessed a teacher being yelled at on the front gates by
Bellard about talking to parents without her being notified. When the teacher was trying to leave in order to
not create a scene, Bellard grabbed her arm and told her, “You do not walk away from your principal. This is
grounds for me to write you up for disobeying your principal and walking away when she is talking to you and
giving you directives.” Teacher just stood there while Bellard continued yelling at her. Enough is enough.
by Member of Elrod Parent Organization for Students (Jun 29, 2012)
(Editor: The Open Records Request made by houstonisdwatch asks for any grievances and formal
written complains about Bellard. Do you have copies of your complaints? I'm curious to see if HISD
will release those as part of the request.)
Elrod is notorious for using magnet funds for salaries of people who are not even in the classroom.
300,000 dollars wasted on salaries. Check the scores to see if they are worth this money. The answer
is no. They are constantly lying about teacher performance to ensure their job stability. We need to be
here so the teacher will perform. They have a reading interventionist whose only job is to go from teacher
to teacher gossiping-and always saying you didn't hear this from me. Then you have the newly appointed
magnet coordinator that tries to bully people and cannot pronounce words to save her life. Please stop
allowing this woman to make announcements over the PA system. It sounds like dialogue from an illiterate
drug dealer. The kids are even laughing. The math coach will refer Einstein to special education if that means
she would possibly have to teach someone. 300,000 dollars for this. Clean house immediately. This woman
did not even put the school on the list for bond money. Water up to knees of the adults when it floods kids
getting bit by roaches and ants. Injured cats in the ceilings. Musty smell everywhere. Dogs running through
the school as if they are late for class.
by Magnet Oversight (Jun 28, 2012)
How different is Elrod from many HISD campuses in the Grier era?
Everything the parents are saying is true. The intimidation is there. If teachers do not go along with these
scare tactics toward parents you are labeled not a team player. Really sick environment. I hope they are
not teaching principal to be this way. Very unethical. Teacher that really did wonderful job with kids are
parents was harassed unmercifully. I saw it for myself. Any time teachers wanted to do stuff for the school
outside of their duties they would criticize it to the point where the teacher was like never mind. So self
defeating. The lowest thing this woman did was send a mass email to the entire staff asking a teacher if
she had found another position on another campus. Basically this teacher had the highest scores and was
intelligent-bully Bellard could not handle that. She would make little nasty remarks about the teachers
unconventional teaching style-saying she does not do it HISD way. Teachers were like who cares kids are
scoring two grades above. We were all thinking what a fool. She won't last as a principal. We were all
proven wrong. She is still there and according to her revered around the district and hand picked by Dr.Grier.
We found this a little hard to believe after kid jumped off second story of campus due to bullying. But since
she hasn't changed her behavior I think it is acceptable to bully and allow bullying.
by Elrod Insider (Jun 29, 2012)
Bullying and disrespecting teachers is widespread.
Why does Grier want to move LECJ to the Ryan campus?
While Paula Harris has challenged HISD Board President Mike Lunceford to find additional
money for Ryan, she is also working to move Ryan students to other campuses. She believes
she will convince Grier's yes team - Marshall, Moore, Meyers, Rodriguez - to support
rezoning to move the Heights campus to the facility currenting housing Ryan.
The proposal to rename LECJ to the HIgh School for Law and Justice was pulled from
the agenda for the June 14, 2012, board meeting. That action does not mean the
renaming issue is dead. It probably means it will be nestled into the proposal
to make a dramatic change - a change of location - for the iconic heights
Julie Stipeche, we hope you're reading.
California lawmakers thwart bill to expedite teacher firings (from LATimes.com)
PARENTS COMPLAIN: KIDS NOT FIRST AT ELROD
From Elrod Parent Organization for Students:
We submitted documentation to the board members. We were not allowed to address the board because
we did not sign up. We want to thank the other parents at the meeting that helped us understand the proper
procedures in addressing the board. The board did receive our documents. We will wait for a response. We
will continue to have our voices heard. We will not back down. Threats that INS will investigate the school if we
complain will not stop us. We will not be bullied. People are standing together to get this admin gone. The board
has not acted yet. They have not responded. We pay taxes too. Probably more than most since we are poor. It is
time for a change. Bellard and her team must go. They have managed to run off some good teachers that cared
for our kids because these teachers point blank told them that what they are doing is wrong for kids. They had
courage. Courage and doing the right thing should never be punished. These teachers even motivated parents
giving us info about colleges This principal has said only negative things to me. She talks about her staff to parents
saying that they are all incompetent. Well if they are so incompetent why other schools picked them up. One parent
said that the admin team threatened INS.
by Elrod Parent Organization For Students (Jun 29, 2012)
Presitigious Principal award?
Apparently this award is like my son's T ball team. Everyone gets an award and you get to swing at the
ball a zillion times until you hit it. Sort of like terrible principals getting a zillion chances to run schools-
as if the results will change.
by Shame on Prestigious Principal Award (Jun 27, 2012)
Ok someone really dropped the ball when they appointed bully Bellard as principal. There are way more then
9 vacancies. No one wants to work for her. Do the right thing. Elrod deserves better. Please continue investigating
and speaking out. She is ruining an entire system and ruining teachers. So not right. I am disgusted that in the US
schools are like this. Elrod is an example of poor leadership. So principals come out to see what not to do. We
have a person that can show you. Not one, two, maybe three it just depends on how many schools given to her. I
had respect for school leaders but after this there is nothing to being a principal-you just have to show up and
harass a few people read some emails keep up hell threaten job security terminate two people per year go to
prinipals meeting appoint dummies to positions that they are not qualified for. Do not provide teachers with
anything. Install a fence skin and grin in the SIO face-there your a principal. Awesome.
by Bamboozled (Jun 27, 2012)
Bellard is covered
Someone made a good point. After all this crap that has been done to and at Elrod and Blackshear, you
would think that there would be some consequences. Bellard is covered. She has a connection on that
board and therefore untouchable. She is too confident with her job security or she might just have a heavy
dose of insanity. At this point parents and teachers, you might as well give up. She has board protection.
She is related to someone. Get to another school. HISD is notorious for nepotism.
by Atrocious (Jun 28, 2012)
Only 45% of construction projects from 2007 bond are complete
HISD still hasn't produced two documents related to Null-Lairson procurement audit
(Mike Cronin from Texas Watchdog reports)
Paul Bettencourt: "Titanic bond" and you hope it doesn't hit an iceberg"
Failure to meet expectations, debasement of teachers and staff, yes men in positions
of power, dismal test results, fire-first-ask-questions-later-mentality, and regularly
putting kids last - isn't it time to Grier-end the worst administration in HISD history?
If there are members of the HISD community who do not work directly under Grier who
still believe this man is taking HISD on the road to improvement, we would all like
to hear from them today.
Those who trust Grier and his team of yes'sirs to concoct a fair bond proposal free
of the pernicious effects of most everything HISD's failed leader does, please
justify your support.
How will Grier's team meets its Apollo fundraising goals for 2012?
Test scores mixed at HISD high schools from Ericka Mellon's report.
HISD Stanford scores
Grier wants to award multi year contracts to principals but not teachers:
Multi year contracts for principals and assistants........... WOW........The rubber meets the road
with the teacher, we are given one year term contracts and brow beat to perform like show animals
while the admin does nothing but talk down to the teachers and staff really. When was the last time
anyone saw a model lesson from a principal or the assistants? Didn't Grier just fire teacher who
were on contracts like that. How can he justify this when he says no one has job security but him.
Grier is a double talker who is only out for his best intrest. This is why he has a record of failure
in every district he has been in and his laundry list of fallen hinchmen keep jumping ship because
they see the iceberg comming and don't want to go down with the ship. The principals,assistans
and deans are mostly new young TFAer's who were if at best in a class for a year or two that does
not make you a leader nor a master teacher.
by Tired????? (Jun 27, 2012)
(Editor: According to the Board Agenda this item was withdrawn)
Will Sarabia listen to Elrod parents does Bellard have a trustee
on her side (or in her family??)
Will Elementary Schools Chief Sam Sarabia listen to the parents at Elrod?
We have sent a document to the board, superintendent, and SIO documenting our concerns.
We are concerned that the leadership will not successfully reach our kids. The leadership at
Elrod has allowed talented teachers to slip away to other schools. Also the climate is a climate
of bullying and intimidation for parents, teachers, and students. There was no one pushing for
our kids to get bond money. Classes had subs and aides teaching rather than regular certified
teachers. Have witnessed teachers being talked to wrongly. Have not been included in the decisions.
Parents are kept to a distance.The school is not a magnet just a regular school no technology or
medical. Too many people outside classroom. Teachers begging for supplies. Teachers spending
their own money all the time. No clubs after school. No music Good teachers being broken down
like mules. Teachers never smile anymore just want to go home. Kids hitting at teachers and cursing
them. Kids using bad language. No one helps. Pick up is terrible. Kids everywhere. We have sent our
petition. Will wait for action
by Concerned Parents For Elrod Students (Jun 26, 2012)
All the posts about Elrod seem almost identical to the ones about the Golfcrest principal and
her issues. It is sad so many schools have such bad leaders ruining the communities.
by They're all the same! (Jun 26, 2012)
There is somewhat of a haves and have not issue. We were done wrong because they moved
a struggling principal to a school that had it's issues. They might say that Elrod just wants a
Hispanic principal-that is not the case. We just want a good principal no matter what race or
ethnicity-White, Black, Hispanic, male or female. If he or she can educate my children it really
does not matter. We are heart broken with decisions from HISD. Our kids are good kids too. They
deserve the very best too. I do not know much but I do know unequal. I want my child to be able
to get a good job. I am sick of being told wait. Everyone knows this admin is not effective.
by Concerned Parents For Elrod (Jun 26, 2012)
Bellaire High parking garage will never happen; Lamar mildew-infested
"What the Bellaire community has wanted for many years is a multilevel parking garage."
Flashback to the summer of -2005? 06?- when Saavedra & Salem allegedly drove "all over"
SW Houston vetting potential sites to relocate BHS. The point was to get out of the City of Bellaire,
which had repeatedly made itself VERY clear on the subject of a parking garage: "NO. NEVER."
Somehow I doubt the City of Bellaire is ever going to change its stance on that parking garage.
I do wonder what portion of their annual revenues those parking tickets represent? [And kickbacks
from the tow drivers, me wonders?] For that matter, I wonder what prolongation of the construction
timeline the City of Bellaire managed to inflict on BHS, what with permits and such.
Lamar, now, it does need serious work to undo the botches from the last renovation - it flatly needs to
be tented for a biohazard treatment against the perpetual mildew.
by Anagke (Jun 26, 2012)
Where are the Apollo 20 test scores? From Jesse Alred's blog:
Not long ago, I supported the HISD Board majority extending Terry Grier's contact and
received some surprised and negative reactions from friends.
My concern was the liklihood of his replacement being another politician Superintendent
nested in the womb of one ethnic group.
That would probably mean the end of discussions about grade inflation, the failure of so many
kids to learn English and the need to improve magnet programs where masses of kids are failing
their AP exams. Under the previous three superintendents, these issues were off the table.
But I also wrote last year in my report on Apollo 20 of the danger to HISD if Grier was not serious
about improving student scores.
It's the end of June and Grier has not released the Apollo 20 test scores, or else his allies on the
editorial board of the Houston Chronicle have not reported them.
HISD under Grier has become more of a data-hiding school district than a data driven one.
Continue reading Alred's blog.
The culture and climate in HISD have got to change:
I hope for the very best in this district. I Really do but somethings have to change starting with the adults. Coming
from another state I am sincerely blown away. Lack of trust, lack of motivation. You have to fight so many different
entities just to teach children. The left hand is killing the right hand. We are all to blame seriously. Communication
is null and void. I have never been in an environment where teachers are using profanity in the presence of children,
administrators looking for anything to write you up, and parents basically nonexistent. I think a lot of people are in
positions that they do not deserve at all. People have a I will get you before you get me mentality. No one listens.
by Sadden (Jun 25, 2012)
to Sadden...welcome to the NEW HISD! You can thank Dr. Grier and the "old" fools on the Board that brought him here
in the first place! HISD has never been great but I have been here in the district for over 20+ years and NEVER witnessed
the destruction brought by and allowed to happen by Grier and the unqualified "YES" people he has either brought with
him or promoted to positiion they have NO business being in! Starting with many at HMW with Ann Best who is in over
her head, to the down right idiots she and Grier have brought in to the so-called leadership postions from his many SIOs,
CIOs, TFAers, Principals, and others who have NOT lived up to what Grier promised! As they say..."you're only as good as
your leaders" and there lies the biggest problem within HISD! As you stated, NO one knows who to turn to, who to trust
because of this "dog-eat-dog" atmosphere Greir has allowed to consume this district! AND ..YES it is HIS fault because
HE is the so-called leader who has allowed it! Sure everyone needs to take a small part of the blame for letting it happen!
So in closing, UNTIL HISD either gets NEW leadership or the current one set a course for a new way of thinking, HISD will
NEVER be a school of choice for teachers, parents or students!!!!!
by Marc (Jun 25, 2012)
HISD teacher vacancy count: 752 as of June 25, 2012
Elrod Elementary : 9 vacancies
Lee High: 4 vacancies
Kashmere High: 7 vacancies
Jones High: 8 vacancies
Sam Houston High: 10 vacancies
Sharpstown High: 7 vacancies
HISD June 21, 2012 budget agenda
HISD board meeting to announce bond part 1
HISD bond unveiled part 2
HISD bond part 3
(video from houstonisd.org)
Vocal parents want Linda Bellard removed now
Elrod parent express dissatisfaction with Principal Linda Bellard:
For some reason we tend to get the side show acts at Elrod. Bellard was a reject too. At this point I think
we have hit rock bottom. There is no way to go but up with any replacement. A crazy outhouse rat would
get the school to exemplary before she would.
by Elrod Parent ORGANIZATION for students (Jun 26, 2012)
From Concerned Parents for Elrod Students:
We have sent a document to the board, superintendent, and SIO documenting our concerns. We are concerned
that the leadership will not successfully reach our kids. The leadership at Elrod has allowed talented teachers to
slip away to other schools. Also the climate is a climate of bullying and intimidation for parents, teachers, and
students. There was no one pushing for our kids to get bond money. Classes had subs and aides teaching rather
than regular certified teachers. Have witnessed teachers being talked to wrongly. Have not been included in the
decisions. Parents are kept to a distance.The school is not a magnet just a regular school no technology or medical.
Too many people outside classroom. Teachers begging for supplies. Teachers spending their own money all the
time. No clubs after school. No music Good teachers being broken down like mules. Teachers never smile anymore
just want to go home. Kids hitting at teachers and cursing them. Kids using bad language. No one helps. Pick up
is terrible. Kids everywhere. We have sent our petition. Will wait for action
by Concerned Parents For Elrod Students (Jun 26, 2012)
houstonisdwatch blogger Jessie wants the bond to pass:
To answer those questions at the beginning of the blog, I will say this. Our kids need this bond to pass.
Why? Because they deserve clean, modernized facilities, not schools with foul bathrooms, sinking
foundations, dark halls, outdated technology---I could go on, and so could you. Voting against the bond
as a means of seeking revenge against Terry Grier is an injustice to our students. Let's not hurt the
kids because we are blinded by anger against the present administration.
by Jessie (Jun 27, 2012)
Taxpayer responds to Jessie:
Jessie this isn't as much about hating Grier as it's more about wasting so darn much of the money we already
give these clowns and YOU want us to happily hand over more to waste????? You've got to be kidding! Grier
holds teachers accountable so why can't we hold him accountable for wasting millions on Apollo, testing, and
other projects that haven't lived up to their costs!!! So from me, until shown otherwise, MY vote remains.....
NO to the bond and more wasteful spending!!!
by Taxpayer (Jun 27, 2012)
From ABC News: How much to illegal immigrants cost the U.S. economy?
From chron.com: Texas officials calculate cost of illegal immigrants
From chron.com: Cost of educating children of illegal immigrants
From Lonestar report: Cost of illegal immigrants to Texas
Response to Puhlease from specialed:
To Puhlease, you might have money, but you have no class.
by specialed (Jun 26, 2012)
And Shame on you:
To Puhlease! Your comments about our immigrant students and their parents are dessssssspicable,
and as Apolo no More says, we teachers are doing and will keep doing everything possible to help them
succeed, because despite of their personal situation, we care (a word that might not exist in your vocabulary,
by Shame on you (Jun 26, 2012)
And from Apollo No More:
Dear Puhlease, I have taught for several years in inner-city schools...by choice. I am still paying on a student loan
because I was a single mother for many years. I have seen the entire myriad of students over the few years I have
been teaching. I am continually, continually amazed at how awesome most of HISD teachers really are. I mean
unbelievable, fabulous, out of this world amazing. Just today it came out in Money Matters that teaching is one
of the 5 most despised jobs in America. What do you think? Should we all just quit and leave these inner-city
students to themselves? I always tell my students that when they turn 18 they will no longer be "At Risk" for
speaking two languages, they will be "At an Advantage" over other 18 year olds that only speak one...for the
rest of their lives. I cannot address the HUGE immigration issue we have right now. I don't have the answer. But
I have had many, many students who speak of the "horrors" from their war torn countries. Imagine how I felt when
helping a student write about the death of her father in one war, and the fleeing the country only to have their tents
put on fire and having to flee to another. You see, HISD is made of of hundreds of nationalities. Many tell me they
would go home and cry at night because it was difficult to try to catch up and also learn the English language. I
have no anwers for our political strewn education system. I can only tell you from the heart that I will teach every
student that comes in to my classroom the best I am capable of teaching. I sometimes laugh when I come home
and say "I taught my guts out today. Because you see, most teachers in HISD DO teach their guts out every day. They
sacrifice their time, money, health, and families. I teach an honors program half a day. One student told me there were
no clean clothes and his mother was bringing home two gallons of water after work every day. One student lived in a
car this year and one, as far as I know is still without electricity. They are in HONOR classes in an innercity school.
HISD has hired really, really good teachers. The world is in our schools and I am a VERY proud teacher that will teach
that world of students as long as HISD lets me.
by Apollo No More (Jun 26, 2012)
On the other hand from 2nd thought:
there was something in pleeze tirade that rings true. GT is appears to be nothing more than a PR program at
most HISD schools. Go to any school w/ a GT program, and you will see who goes to the PTA meetings or emails
teachers with questions. Its parents worried all about the same thing like Is my kid learning what they need to
succeed and function in the future. People mock some parents for being overly involved with their kid and the
school, and then there are parents who can't be bothered with reading a 20 page book to their kid now and then.
HISD got some parents up in a lather with all the testing at PreK and has them thinking their child is on path for
being the next Einstein because of they did well on a pre-k tests. But from what we saw in Vanguard, there was
nothing exciting or advanced being taught. then it became test practice in cramped class rooms, missed
rececess to practice tests. Nothing exciting.
by 2nd thought (Jun 26, 2012)
Misplaced budget priorities: HISD should spend money to hire the best staff, put more
money into immigrant education, both students & parents. From Puhlease
Yeah yeah ... new schools will help the poor poor kids at HISD!! HA HA! You want results, take the money
and hire the BEST teachers money can buy. Use that money to educate the parents of the illiterate immigrants
that we feed and educate for free. Teach them to stop propagating and read to their kids.
Anyone with common sense and a few extra bucks has moved their kids to private schools. The white
population of HISD is 8.2% and dropping. The age of the building doesn't matter -- it's the quality of the
teachers and the quality of the curriculum. The educated, affluent population of the city is voting with
their feet ... they moved their kids to private schools. I'm pissed off because I am white, pay a but load
in taxes, have a crappy school building that my kid attends and will have to go private because all the
money I pay in friggin taxes goes to educating illegal immigrant children. We have 40% minority attendance
but no extra resources to help with their deficiencies.
We, the successful educated parents that still have our children in HISD, are in denial. We go along
with the bazaar bond issues hoping we can get a better school building. We soothe ourselves about the
declining academics by touting the fact that our children are in the GT program (Gifted and Talented). What
that actually means is that we have managed to segregate our children in the schools by getting them in GT
programs. If your kid doesn't get in the GT program then if you can afford it, off you go. Unfortunately for those
starry eyed parents of GT children it doesn't mean anything except your kid is getting a normal curriculum. That's
why they get A's. There is nothing exceptional about your kid. If your kid was truly exceptional, trust me, he
wouldn't be in a HISD school.
Wake up HISD. Skip the building and construction issues, hire the best teachers. If you have better teachers.
You will have more affluent/influential children and higher parental participation. Those parents will have the
know how and the means to drive your academics to a new level. There will be pride in attending a HISD school.
You won't have to beg for money, it will flow to you. As it is now .... you are mediocre at best. One only needs to
look at the national rankings to see that TEXAS rankS dead last!
From Puhlease (Jun 26, 2012)
Where does Trustee Stipeche stand on bond issue?
General Meeting July 12, 2012:
Please join us as welcome HISD Board Member
Juliet K. Stipeche, District VII
Topic: Proposed HISD Bond, FACTS vs. FICTION
When: July 12, 2012
at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Harris County Democratic Party HQs
1445 North Loop West (near 6-10 and Ella Blvd.)
Houston, TX 77008
More bond nightmares (from NYTimes.com)
Charter schools claim they're underfunded by state, sue (from chron.com)
To those only thinking of the poor children who have to go to school everyday in
out-of-date, uncomfortable facilities, please answer these questions:
1) Do you trust Terry Grier to put together a sound, comprehensive, fiscally responsible
2) Do you believe Terry Grier is suddenly putting children first when his entire tenure at
HISD has been all about dislocating students, shattering bonds students had with
teachers, and turning daily instruction into a Pearson test prep mini-camp?
3) Do you have evidence Terry Grier thoroughly vetted the schools included in his
proposal when even Parsons admitted they relied on principal comments and
computer sketches without actually visiting HISD campuses?
4) Why should taxpayers support building a new Lamar when Lamar's overcrowding
issues could be solved by sending students zoned to Yates back to Yates? And
if Yates-zoned students at Lamar should stay at Lamar, why shouldn't Lamar be
expanded and updated and Yates be removed from the list for rebuild? Rebuilding
both is just excessive.
5) Wouldn't you like to see testing scores for the 2011-12 school year? Don't you
believe Grier and his cronies are hiding something by NOT releasing at least
TAKS scores -- which are available?
Adding Bellaire was crass politics and won't help Grier
pass his wasteful, excessive bond proposal
Bellaire High School, still under construction from 2007 bond-related pressure,
on the list to be rebuilt? Is this Grier's ploy to win over very skeptical Southwest
Bellaire High School will soon open its new science wing, a result of political
pressure applied to the Saavedra administration during the 2007 bond disputes,
and it was constructed not from bond funds, but from discretionary accounts
allotted to school board members.
What the Bellaire community has wanted for many years is a multilevel parking
The Bellaire Police Department, like HPD on steriods, aren't shy about towing cars
near the high school that are parked in the many no parking zones around the
houstonisdwatch has not seen Grier's proposal for Bellaire, but it is unlikely to
include a parking garage. What has residents riled up around the school is the
possibility on constant, years-long construction.
Grier added Bellaire to the bond list around May 31, 2012. Previously, bond
money was to be poured into Paula Harris' district, thus the Stand for
Children volunteers knocking on doors in Sunnyside.
Please note to those readers who work for Grier's P.R. department: Including
Bellaire may not have been a smart move, it's not going to help Grier win votes,
and adding Bellaire at the last minute is just crass, transparent politics, certainly
beneath the level of stealth Grier usually operates with.
Will Terry Grier and his board enablers leave HISD saddled with long term debt as a result
of the ludicrous $1.9 billion bond propsal?
Surprised local taxpayers from Stockton, Calif., to Scranton, Pa., are finding themselves obligated
for parking garages, hockey arenas and other enterprises that can no longer pay their debts.
Officials have signed them up unknowingly to backstop the bonds of independent authorities, the
special bodies of government that run projects like toll roads and power plants.
The practice, meant to save governments money, has been gaining popularity without attracting
much notice, and is creating problems for a small but growing number of cities.
Read NYTimes.com report.
Grier claims big vision on career & technology education with Houston Innovation Zone
initiative but misses the big picture on the local campus level
*Beginning with Abe Saavedra, HISD has cut CAT support staff and supervisors
*Certified career & tech counselors no longer wanted by HISD
*Recruitment of career & tech teachers suffers (noted by the number of openings
posed by HISD and the length of time these openings remain unfilled) since TFA
staffers took over Human Resources. What does Ann Best know about voc. ed??
I hope when they came around Milby they noticed our antiquated auditorium. Facilities at all the high
schools need help. Also, why don't more high schools offer vocational classes? Milby is actually
reducing the amount of vocational programs.
by milbified (Jun 24, 2012)
From Flew the Coop:
Milbified, vocational programs are no longer in vogue since everyone is going to college. Reformers
threw the baby out with the bath water, along with good sense. What a shame!
by Flew The Coop (Jun 25, 2012)
Elrod's situation not being covered by media
I think it is time to carry out case to local and national news outlets. Since there is a deaf ear on the situation
at Elrod it is time to track down the boss of the boss of the boss. We have gone to the board now we will go to
congress and Department of Education. Someone will hear us. We are tired of getting scraps.
by Elrodo (Jun 24, 2012)
No money for Elrod. What exactly did Linda Bellard report to Parsons?
Okay after investigating more on this bond I noticed that Elrod would not even get a cut of this money. The
principal does not advocate for students. Why shouldn't Elrod get a new school? Kids have to nearly swim
to class when it floods. The money that does go to Elrod goes for salaries of people that really are not needed.
This principal has turned away people willing to help within the school- volunteers wanting to help refugee
population. This principal does nothing but sit in that office on that laptop. Her teaching staff dislikes her.
They have asked me in the past to help give Elrod a voice. We are working together to get Elrod a leader
that wants to be there-not sent because there is no where else for that person to go.
by Taxpayer (Jun 24, 2012)
(Editor: Grier has said principals know best when facilities improvements are involved. We know Parsons
relied on computer sketches based on what HISD principals reported to them. So what exactly did
Bellard report? Did she report anything at all?
Take concrete action to defeat bond
Fylers, word of mouth, billboards? posters. Everyone can be a part of saying "No" to the lies of officials in
HISD Apollo+Failure=No Bond Overtesting+Failure=No Bond Bad Administrators+Failure+ No Bond Displacing
Teachers+ Failure=No Bond Teachers Running for their Careers+Failure=No Bond Put them on car windshields.
I am starting NOW!
by Abascus (Jun 24, 2012)
Paula Harris not telling the truth??? Imagine that
I heard Paula Harris lying on the radio this morning. She was exclaiming the virtues of the bond proposal.
What she didn't admit is some of the schools slated for new schools were included in the last bond proposal.
Specifically, Empowerment HS. As a former parent, we fought so hard to get a campus; promises were made,
money was allocated and because of one Board member (Marshall)everything was brought to a halt. Now she
would have you believe that this is a new thought. Ms. Harris also diverted funds from money promised to other
schools in her area after she closed them. THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN! This bond money will keep her friends Boris
Miles and Nicole West well situated for a long time so I'm not surprised she is so gung-ho. We must galvanize to
get the word out to offset their publicity machine. It's obvious we can't count on the Chronicle; we must begin a
grass-roots effort to defeat this bond. Your website is a great start.
by Unbelievable! (Jun 24, 2012)
Grier's real motive in bond - furthering his political aims
You are right on target in questioning Grier's motives for requesting one of the largest bond proposals in the
history of education. It is his whole motivation for every initiative and outlandish program he has ever brought
forward--to further his POLITICAL AMBITION! It is the reason behind APOLLO and other misguided efforts. He
wants to brag about being able to deliver this bond to an unsuspecting and naive public. It has nothing to do
with need. He has strategically promised new facilities in every community in exchange for their votes. They
fall for it, vote yes and then they later close the schools and divert the funds. We must send a message--YOU
ARE LIARS and we do not trust you with another red cent!
by The Real Deal (Jun 24, 2012)
To insider: I totally agree with you. Until this board and their annointed one, Terry, can improve
these high schools why should we spend millions and millions of dollars to rebuild the outside
when the inside (education/graduation rates) continues to fall apart? Grier and a few crooks
on this board, and we all know these contract pimps, want to continue wasting taxpayer
dollars and it is so sad that educating our children ranks very low on their agenda. And
recently the board discussed closing the High School for Law and would sell off the land???
Again, how does this disruption and corruption add anything to the elevation of education
at our failing schools. We know the answer...look at Elrod ES, Lee HS, Frost ES, Golfcrest ES,
Attucks MS, Kasmere HS, Gregory-Lincoln MS/ES, Jones HS, and the list could go on! So
get your act together before asking for more money by way of raising property taxes
and then adding on more with a huge bond election of $1.9 billion. People...remember
to add these two tax hikes together?! More dollars added to your tax payments to cover
their mismanagement and wasteful spending by this board and Grier for what?
Let's hold these so-called leaders to the same high standards and accountability that
they force on the teachers. If we did, Grier, and many of his cronies, and quite a few
old corrupt board members would find themselves on the street for not making the
Too bad they don't live by the same ethics and rules they force teachers to adhere to
daily! Again, vote NO on the bond...and YES to holding Grier and this board MORE
accountable with our money.
Remember, they work of us and right now ask yourself, "How's that working out
for our kids and us as taxpayers?"
by You are right (Jun 23, 2012)
Transformational bond? Maybe for the contractors HISD hires who will refuse
to pay union wages (like last time)
"I say this and I mean this with my soul: this bond could transform Houston as a city." -
Dr. Terry Grier.
And vendors (especially friends of Paula Harris and Larry Marshall) all across the greater-
Houston area gave a great, "Amen!"
Well, two years ago, I told Dr. Grier this, and I meant it with all MY soul: You are not going to
make Attucks (and other Apollo schools) better by getting rid of good teachers and using
the students as guinea pigs."
Here we are, two years later, and many of the Apollo schools are in disarray. Attucks has
had two completely different administrative teams. Jones HS has lost enrollment. Ryan
was primed for closure. Staff members at Lee, if posts on this site are accurage, have
been run off or have left voluntarily. As of today, three weeks after the end of the
regular school year, there is still no word about TAKS results for any of the (Apollo)
Aside from this website, the local media have been remarkably uninquisitive about the
mountain of unfulfilled promises and general incompetence of this administration.
The general public has been equally disinterested.
Apathy is Dr Grier's ally.
Let me make a prediction: Dr. Grier will allow Jason Spencer to release TAKS scores
some time in mid-July. By then everybodfy will be too busy enjoying summer vacation
to notice. Just the way Dr. Grier planned it.
by Thomas Iocca (Jun 22, 2012)
Parsons claims they were hurried to complete bond proposal, had no time to visit all the campuses
in their documentation
Read Mike Cronin's report: Parsons only visited 35 of 279 HISD campuses.
Guess who rushed the entire process? Terry Grier. So what is Grier's real agenda?
Texas Bond Review Board's report on Texas' bonds.
Is bond proposal a band-aid approach to stem decline in enrollment at many HISD high schools?
Furr High is slated for a $68.5 million school replacement, but the Mercury Drive campus off IH-10 only
had 802 students enrolled in 2011-12. The campus was built for an enrollment of 1407. Is a new
facility the lure that will convince former HISD families who have moved to Pasadena ISD, Galena
Park ISD and Goose Creek ISD to resuburbanize by moving closer to Loop 610?
At Lee High School, it seems as though the work from the 2000 bond has never quite been completed.
Lee's facility is even more grossly underused than Furr's. Only 1,520 students attended in 2011-12, but
the school was built to accommodate 3,000 (2,981). Lee's problems range from poor administration,
revolving door principals, and safety and security. How will a new facility attract students from overcrowded
Westside High School (capacity 2,381; enrollment 2,866). How much money has HISD already poured
into Lee as a result of its Apollo designation?
Sharpstown, like Lee, is an underpopulated Apollo campus. The current Bissonnet Street campus has
room to grow. Its 1,280 students had plenty of leg room. Their campus was built to handle 2,062
Sterling High School is already seeing an influx of cash through HISD's partnership with HCC called
the Houston Innovative Learning Zone. Its 2011-12 enrollment of 912 students fell 33% shy of building capacity.
Like Sterling, Washington High School was included in the HILZ proposal approved by the HISD trustees
in February 2012. Its 2011-12 student population represented only 41% of building capacity. Constructed
to house 1,931 students, Washington only had 778 enrolled this past school year.
Yates High School suffers from a student exodus on two fronts. Many of Yates zoned students opt for the
magnet program at Lamar or find other reasons to transfer there. Black families continue to emigrate
from HISD to suburban high schools (and many opt to stay in Houston but attend KIPP and
Yes Prep). This past school year Yates' enrollment was only 37% of capacity. Will building a new
Yates school stem the flow of transfers to Lamar and the flight to charter schools or suburban schools,
like Katy ISD?
Taxpayers feel the brunt of bad school leadership
To Elrod neighborhood taxpayer: I like you, also live near Elrod. Have you noticed that homes that have sold in
the last 4 years have children that go to other magnet schools amongst those who already live in the neigbhorhood?
The evidence is in their front yards – Kolter, Parker, Herod, Lovett, and Longfellow; with the exception of few that attend
a private school nearby. From what I recall, when my kids went to Elrod, they had a well rounded education – music,
art, and real science and math labs. The community was invited to see the great things our children were doing. It
seems like those times are no longer evident in this school. I am not saying that any of the teachers working there
are not excellent. I’ve seen a few doing excellent work when I go into the school to vote.
by From one taxpayer neighbor to another (Jun 22, 2012)
Some citizens see the quality of Grier's principal picks and say no bond, no way
I am all for paying taxes yes but I do not want my money wasted by inept administration. I want the value of my home
to increase like any person and that school has become a deterrent. Yes when I go to vote there too the principal is
never visible. The kids rip and run like wild boars at the end of the day. They fight in the yards. From what I am reading
it's the admin. Paying additional taxes is not acceptable because the money is wasted. My kids do not even go to that
school. They are in private school.
by Elrod taxpayer (Jun 22, 2012)
Grier's contract gives him absolute authority over principal selections
In response to wousers: Grier only hire/assign principals that he can control. They are all ineffective for that reason.
They go along with whatever he says, whether it is right or wrong!! They don't care about their students or teachers..
by insider (June 22, 2012)
Ok let's talk magnet. Well the position was held by a teacher that was essentially forced to leave by Bellard. Now the
position has been filled by a teacher who does not meet any qualifications but being a major suck up. No MA Degree.
Her only duty is to avoid teaching students and report and tell on teachers. The position was never posted on the portal
which should be illegal. Now after years of avoiding students yelling at teachers another inept person promoted. Is this
by Elrodo (Jun 22, 2012)
(Editor: I do not believe the magnet coordinator's position requires an advanced degree. Not having community involve-
ment and faculty representation on interview committees has allowed Grier to place his cronies in way too many positions
of leadership in HISD.)
Bellard violating NCLB rules on teacher certification?
Let's not forget the first grade class. All year and subs in and out of the class. Okay you had four certified teachers out of the
classroom doing nothing. You had subs and aides teaching a first grade class all year long. Common sense-why not get
one of the four teachers to teacher that class. Nope that was too smart. Let's just put subs and aides in the class while
you have certified teachers pass out books and sit in a classroom without students all day. Now of course All of those
students are in summer school. But guess what-all those certified teachers that could not teach the kids during the
regular school year are definitely working summer school.
by More On Elrod (Jun 22, 2012)
What about the Stanford scores being released as well? Some schools got theirs last week - we are supposed
to get ours next week.
by more.... (Jun 23, 2012)
Those in the know know no news isn't good news...
Principals have no respect for educational process when they call out staff members as "inept"
Bellard uses "inept" all the time. For example, in a staff meeting why on earth would you say -
I thought I was going to have to get rid of the plant operator. Seems like intimidation to me.
Why try to pit teachers against one another by saying - if you want a three or four on your
appraisal you need to start reporting on other staff members? Or basically telling teachers
they should not associate with this person because he or she is ot a good teacher? Do
not associate with inept teachers? If this woman would focus on students and instruction
like she focuses on mess the school would be exemplary.
by Elrod Insider (Jun 22, 2012)
Link to previous pages.
Link to Open Records Requests, AEIS, and more.
Use comment tag to express your opinion. houstonisdwatch
wants to hear from you, especially from HISD insiders.