Use comment tag below to express your opinion.
houstonisdwatch wants to hear from you, especially HISD insiders.

HISD threatens teaching certificates of those teachers leaving mid-year,  but
are they doing the same thing to administrators like Yu who have demonstrated
no loyalty or sense of duty to their students, parents, and community??
What about Grier's gal pal Ivonne Rodriguez who recently deserted Deady??

HISD Trustees Harvin Moore & Anna Eastman
cheerleading for TNTP

Sortable file: All HISD principals, schools, contracts

Michelle Rhee now called an "education celebrity"

Roland Fryer, Harvin Moore's inspiration, still hasn't paid
back the funds from HISD's general budget used to prop up Apollo

Harvin Moore relies on his buddy Roland Fryer (aka Mr. Apollo) to give
us  wisdom about what works in public education...
"So what is this magic recipe? It turns out to be remarkably straightforward: Give frequent
feedback to teachers, use loads of data on individual students to guide their instruction,
employ heavy tutoring, increase instructional time, and maintain very high expectations.
All of the very best performing charter schools in his New York sample did these things
aggressively, according to a paper Fryer released last month, and this is what turned
around the Houston schools.

The other things you hear about improving schools – such as smaller classes and spending
per pupil – do not appear to be important. This seems to defy logic, but not for Seth Andrew,
founder of the Democracy Prep charter schools in Harlem. He uses larger classes because
this means fewer teachers lecturing at any given time, and the free ones can do tutoring, professional
development, and other essential activities. He spends less money per pupil than at other schools
because the administration is lean and careful. Last year, his class of black and Hispanic 10th
graders outperformed students from wealthy Westchester County."
Read more words of wisdom from Harvin Moore & friends

So, Harvin, if spending per pupil isn't important, why are you and your colleagues suing
the state of Texas?

Harvin Moore sits on the advisory board for TFA
Is Harvin Moore's favorite organization a fraud? Yes, says Bill Ayers
Calls TFA a "fraud"
Says TFA sends "educational tourists" into the schools
Weather Underground terrorist-turned-academic and Obama confidant William Ayers is
taking up a cause near and dear to teachers unions: bashing a program that sends young,
idealistic college grads into the inner city to teach poor kids.
The nonprofit Teach for America is a "fraud" whose participants are nothing but “educational
tourists,” said Ayers, a onetime associate of President Obama who was a professor in the College
of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago before retiring. The 68-year-old firebrand, now a
self-styled educational theorist, said the program's young grads are merely passing through the
gritty neighborhoods where they serve to pad their resumes at the expense of longer-term
educators represented by unions.
Read complete report.

Chang Yu didn't value the important work
at Sharpstown International, opts out midyear
Sharpstown International Principal says good-bye
From: Yu, Chang J
Sent: Friday, January 11, 2013 11:51 AM
To: Mitchell, Edward "Dale"; Lundy-Jackson,Angela; Wainright, Andrew T; Clayton, Cynthia M; Mosteit,
Carol J; Catchings, Jason C; Gavito, Luis C; Jacobs, Melissa; McDonough, Michael; Fendley, Paula K;
Grovey, Patrice L; Bolden, Tamera J; Miller, Tonya R; Stewart-Jones, Traci; Perry, Agnes E; Edgerson,
David E; DeLeon, Dan; Cotton, Rhonda; Williams, Sonja; de la Garza, Roy E; Barajas, Richard;
Fuentes, Justin G
Subject: Sharpstown International School 6-12

Team Fuentes/Barajas

I just wanted to say that all of you are such constant professionals and wonderful colleagues
whom I had the honor and pleasure to have worked during my many years at HISD. I will be leaving
HISD next week as I will be working for the Dept of Defense Pacific Region under the same capacity.
It will certainly be a new and exciting challenge, but I assure you that with all the changes and
programs that I and others have gone through these many years, I am ready. HISD has certainly
prepared me well for anything. If you ever in my area, please stop by and I can be your tour guide.

Chang Yu, Principal
Sharpstown International School 6-12

How do you explain Yu's sudden urgency to leave, leaving his school in the lurch
at the start of the second semester?  Ah, another administrator jumps on
TEAM HISD's merry-go-round and yet another one will be dredged up to take his

Satterfield & Pontikes Construction built new wing at Bellaire High School
which opened just this fall and there are problems with AC installation
and leaky roofs despite hefty checks written to company
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/21/2012 $428,591.40
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/20/2012 $437,399.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/18/2012 $19,000.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/17/2012 $395,429.26
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 11/19/2012 $5,000.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 11/14/2012 $705,045.09
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 11/9/2012 $85,812.70
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 10/26/2012 $219,455.70
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 10/16/2012 $146,700.04
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 10/8/2012 $1,879,525.62
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/20/2012 $124,249.99
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/14/2012 $594,704.75
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/13/2012 $706,876.72
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 8/29/2012 $14,807.35
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/18/2012 $1,674,325.01
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/17/2012 $64,095.36
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/12/2012 $1,561,646.63
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/10/2012 $109,233.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/14/2012 $922,902.28
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/11/2012 $1,237,198.30
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 5/31/2012 $918,485.48
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 5/9/2012 $661,210.45
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 4/24/2012 $1,019,781.84
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 4/12/2012 $10,687.03
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 4/10/2012 $893,309.70
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/29/2012 $1,157,638.37
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/9/2012 $659,928.90
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/8/2012 $73,807.64
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 2/27/2012 $1,797,500.48
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 2/24/2012 $264,887.12
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 2/14/2012 $28,685.08
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/27/2012 $857,520.35
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/20/2012 $330,179.19
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/12/2012 $69,570.31
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/6/2012 $734,524.15
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/4/2012 $864,108.12
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/14/2011 $891,850.27
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/2/2011 $1,164,584.37
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 12/1/2011 $466,489.90
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 11/30/2011 $713,562.68
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 11/15/2011 $478,861.47
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 11/14/2011 $881,421.27
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 10/31/2011 $763,763.21
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 10/6/2011 $481,485.99
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/29/2011 $13,336.10
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/13/2011 $1,026,226.86
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/12/2011 $2,484.28
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/9/2011 $177,420.98
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/2/2011 $780,418.35
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 9/1/2011 $10,000.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 8/26/2011 $62,223.77
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 8/12/2011 $10,000.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/20/2011 $10,000.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/19/2011 $1,010,301.61
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/18/2011 $10,000.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/13/2011 $835,717.46
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/12/2011 $86,435.46
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/7/2011 $133,738.54
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 7/6/2011 $192,580.20
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/29/2011 $1,121,322.00
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/29/2011 $48,562.35
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/27/2011 $202,651.15
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/13/2011 $559,912.90
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 6/6/2011 $827,833.42
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 5/27/2011 $125,013.87
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 5/25/2011 $1,195,389.17
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 5/20/2011 $795,858.38
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 5/9/2011 $860,366.07
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 4/20/2011 $472,435.91
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 4/15/2011 $188,398.78
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/29/2011 $31,567.68
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/28/2011 $746,043.19
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/10/2011 $257,558.30
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 3/1/2011 $825,967.52
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 2/25/2011 $209,602.13
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/27/2011 $400,045.67
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/25/2011 $952,464.50
SATTERFIELD & PONTIKES CONST. (49451) 1/21/2011 $94,774.85

Satterfield & Pontikes is the firm that consistently earned high marks
from HISD:
“If I were (Satterfield & Pontikes Construction), the vendor that consistently scored No. 1 on the
qualitative analysis, I would definitely formally contest the award.”

Dick Lindsay, the school district’s chief business officer at the time and now a vice president
with Satterfield & Pontikes -- the same company that is rebuilding Grady Middle School – declined
to comment or answer any questions when reached by phone by Texas Watchdog.

When HISD kicked Morganti off the Grady project, the district quickly hired Satterfield &
Pontikes to take over. Satterfield has since built the school, and it is scheduled to open until
after Christmas break in January, Moore said."

Excerpt is from this TexasWatchdog article which clearly illustrates how Manuel Rodriguez
and Paula Harris interferred regularly to help friends and associates win contracts.

Satterfield & Pontikes donated $1 million to help HISD pass the bond. Grier publicly
acknowledged the firm at an administrators & business managers meeting.  It
certainly looks like they could afford the donation and will get it back, and much,
much more in  return.

Science teacher engaged campus gunman
, "gave students a chance to
escape: from
New release: Student with loaded gun arrested at Sterling High School

In Harrold, TX, teachers are armed with concealed weapons:

TSTA: Find money for classrooms, not gun training

Dewhurst wants to fund gun training for teachers: from

Adams to run for HISD trustee in District IV
Paula Harris and Wanda Adams are planning to switch positions....
Wanda Adams is a city council member who will be prevented
from running for reelection because of term limits.

Paula Harris, HISD's District 4 trustee, has bigger plans for
herself. She knows she deserves to be on city council. 
  Borris Miles will use his clout to make this
switch happen

Borris Miles' political machine is ready to churn.

Adams is waiting for Larry Marshall to make a decision about
running for reelection this coming November.

If he does decide to run, Adams will wait until Harris' seat
becomes available.

Harris will slide herself into Adams' spot on city council whenever
she can.

houstonisdwatch has been told Adams will be no better than
Harris or Marshall.

  Furr HS Principal Simmons is doing all she can
for her school and community despite HISD's efforts to run her off

houstonisdwatch again thanks Furr Principal Bertie Simmons for her
response to her one year contract. She posted it on this site over
the winter break. In case you missed it, here it is:
I would like to thank all those bloggers who have spoken positively about me on this site. I was
given a one-year contract and placed on a growth plan because our test scores dropped last year,
and that is the only thing that matters to the district. I assume total responsibility for that happening.
Quite frankly, neither the growth plan nor the contract means anything to me. My focus is solely on
being the best human being and leader I can be for the students and teachers at Furr High School.
Clearly Dr. Grier and I do not agree on all issues but he is the Superintendent of HISD, and I have been
loyal to the district for 52 years. My wish is that we put away all feelings of malice and remember the
goodness of others as we work together to make this world a better place for all people. To me, that is
what really matters. Happy holidays to everyone and may the spirit that prevails at this season spill over
and fill all the days of your lives, and you live with peace in your hearts.
by Bertie Simmons (Dec 23, 2012)

HISD turns to Texas Attorney General for opinion on the district's desire to withhold
"The purpose of this email is to notify you that the Houston Independent School District has submitted
a request to the Texas Attorney General for an opinion regarding your Public Information Act request
of December 13, 2012 for “all emails sent from Harvin Moore to Terry Grier and vice versa from
September 2011 to December 13, 2012.” As required by Tex. Gov't Code § 552.305(e), we are providing
you with a copy of the request submitted by the District today to the Attorney General. Pursuant to Tex.
Gov't Code § 552.301(e), the District will submit to the Attorney General by January 17, 2013 its written
comments stating the reasons why the stated exceptions listed in the attached letter apply that would
allow or require the information to be withheld; and a copy of the specific information requested, or
representative samples of that information if a voluminous amount of information was requested.
We will send you a copy of that letter at that time."

houstonisdwatch will respond in turn.
Some valid questions to consider:
*Did Harvin Moore really spring Grier's contract extension at the December 2012 board meeting
 as a surprise to everyone?"
*Should the public be suspicious of a quid pro quo arrangement between Moore, Grier, and other
 board members?
*Why did Moore act with such haste, especially after his fellow trustees extended Grier's contract
 at the beginning of 2012 so that it would last until 2014?
*Did Moore and Grier have any dialogue about this extension as incentive to pressure principals
 to work harder to pass the bond?
*When HISD actually begins its 2012 building projects, will Lamar High be the first high school
 on the list?
There are, no doubt, other concerns.

Jason spencer's spin on teacher stampede out of HISD:
“We are holding teachers accountable”

HISD's spin department in fantasy land
MyFoxHouston: Teachers leaving HISD in droves
After KHOU report, Houston Chronicle follows
*700+ teachers will ditch HISD to reclaim their sanity and free themselves
 from relentless bullying & intimidation
*Why are the trustees surprised by widespread discontent? That's right,
 they live in a Grier-inflated bubble
*Behind the scenes is HISD secretly happy to run off so many teachers?
 Isn't the plan to boost Yes Prep & Kipp's enrollment & rent more HISD
 facilities to friends of Paula Harris?
*Like a crazy relative sent away to a therapeutic community, HISD never
 talks about Grier's prized Apollo program
*HISD is again advertising for teachers on

Houston ISD Hiring now for the 2013-14 school year! (Houston, TX)
Date: 2013-01-09, 3:03PM CST
Reply to this post[?]
Apply by 1/14/ 2013 to secure an early contract for the 2013-14 school year.

Houston Independent School District (HISD) will have hundreds of openings for motivated teachers
who are invested in making an impact on student achievement. Top candidates are encouraged to
submit applications at by the Early Bird application deadline
of 1/14/ 2013. Candidates that apply early will have the best chance of securing early contracts for
the 2013-14 school year.

Team HISD is made up of passionate and committed teachers and school leaders who hold their students
to high expectations and believe without a doubt that every child can learn. And we're making serious progress.
HISD's graduation rate is at an all-time district high, our students are out-scoring their peers on national exams
such as Stanford and Aprenda, and our African-American and Hispanic students are succeeding academically
like never before.

HISD is a diverse, student-centered school district that's just as innovative as the nation's top charter schools.
HISD is looking for teachers who are excited by innovation, committed to inspire and motivate all learners,
and dedicated to unlocking the potential of every student.
The current starting salary for a 10-month teacher with a Bachelor's degree is $45,887. HISD offers a
comprehensive benefits package to teachers, including medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance,
flexible spending account options, and vacation time.

By filling out one application, applicants gain access to a network of nearly 300 diverse schools looking for
qualified, experienced teachers. Candidates must have a Bachelor's degree, hold a valid Texas teaching
certification (or reciprocal out-of-state certification), and pass a background check. HISD is committed to
diversity in hiring and employment practices and encourages all qualified candidates to apply.
We share HISD's belief that an effective teacher in every classroom is our city's best chance for a bright
future. To apply to teach with HISD, please visit HISD's online application at .

Educate. Transform. Empower.

Location: Houston, TX
Compensation: $45,887 (min) -- $72,920 (max), depending on experience
This is a contract job.
Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
Please, no phone calls about this job!
Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

KHOU reports:
Nearly 30% more teachers are quitting HISD this year
HISD teacher on why he is leaving:
"I would rather go back to active duty military service to be shot at then to set one foot
in another public school classroom," he said.

houstonisdwatch files complaint with Texas A.G. Greg Abbott over HISD's
refusal to release E.E.O.C. complaints filed against Scott Gilhousen and
Patricia Collins, employees in HISD's I.T. Department:

The Honorable Greg Abbott
Attorney General of the State of Texas
Open Records Division
Capitol Station
P.O Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548

Dear Attorney General Abbott:

The Houston Independent School District has asked you to support their request
to withhold all of the information pertinent to a request I made through
the Texas Public Information Act on November 27, 2012, asking for information
concerning E.E.O.C. complaints filed against Scott R. Gilhousen and Patricia
L. Collins over the past two year.

I publish a public information website entitled which has
168,739 repeat readers. Readers have asked for information regarding a $39,000
raise Mr. Gilhousen received from 2011-12 to 2012-13 and a $33,021 raise Ms
Collins received during the same time period.

HISD employees, including principals, received a 2% raise for the 2012-13
school year, yet Mr. Gilhousen received a 34% raise and Ms. Collins a 36%

To save money, HISD has been cutting employees across the board. I have
received complaints from houstonisdwatch readers that Gilhousen and Collins’
raises may have been awarded for carrying out terminations or making purchases
for the I.T. Department in violation of E.E.O.C. and HISD policy. Not one, but
several individuals have filed E.E.O.C. complaints against Gilhousen and Collins.

HISD’s request to you to withhold information is based on vacuous reasoning.

HISD quotes 552.101 but I had stated in my request to “redact any information
mandated as private by Texas and Federal law.”

HISD quotes 552.117. The district’s response begs the question. I asked for
none of that information.

HISD quotes 552.135 specifically using the word “informer.” The use of this
word conveys suspicious activity and implies HISD is involved in some type
of cover-up, especially as the district has responded to previous houstonisdwatch
requests for E.E.O.C. filings and, heretofore, the district has made accessible
emails, E.E.O. complaint forms, local resolutions, and, in one case, the transcript
of a T.E.A. hearing.

The information I have requested all falls within the public’s right to know. As
a public institution, HISD is required to follow E.E.O.C. guidelines in hiring.
The public is entitled to see proof that the district is offering promotions
and salary increases in a manner which is fair and promotes fiscal responsibility.

HISD is required to conduct its daily business in accordance with E.E.O.C.
guidelines. Disclosing these complaints will help the public feel more
confident the district is indeed doing that.

The public has a right to be suspicious of all financial information regarding
its I.T. Department. HISD was recently involved in an E-Rate scandal that
prompted a federal investigation and penalties.

The public has a right to be suspicious of E.E.O.C. law infractions
occurring within the I.T. Department. HISD’s media relations manager
wrote an apologetic letter after an I.T. Department staff member complained
about upper level staff making fun of disabled HISD students who performed
at a Cinco de Mayo ceremony.

Furthermore, a staff member working at the Hattie Mae White administration
building posted inappropriate, sexually suggestive signs on female rest room
stall doors used by the I.T. Department.

To the public, these incidents are quite unsettling and require further
investigation. Instead, HISD is thwarting any investigation by quoting
Texas statutes non-applicable to the Open Records request.



Deady Middle Schoo
l, ranked 1306 of 1889 Texas middle schools, recently
lost principal Ivonne Rodriguez who had been awarded with a tenuous
one-year contract.

Remember, back on June 2, 2012, Grier sent out this email heralding
his pick of Ivonne Rodriguez to lead Deady. Rodriguez was an HISD product,
a 14-year veteran and a participant in HISD's hot shot secondary school
leadership program.
Manuel Rodriguez, self-appointed District 3 savior
Manuel Rodriguez never misses an opportunity to claim credit for any positive
news, or news spin, in his district. What did he know about Deady and what,
if anything, has he personally done to help the struggling middle school?

Perhaps it was this test profile from last Spring's STAAR testing: 49%
of sixth graders passed the STAAR reading test (Spanish & English
combined) and 41% of seventh and eighth graders passed.

Compounding test achievement challenges have been gang issues
in Deady's neighborhood described in Gang Free Schools: An assessment of the
Extent and Impact on gangs on Houston's Greater East End

Texas school districts want $1 billion in supplemental funding but not
state interference: from

SSO for College & Career Readiness has had enough of HISD
Trustees watch Grier's turnover merry-go-round, detached, absolving
themselves from blame

From: Arriaga, Estibaliz E
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2013 9:49 AM
To: Dimmitt, Julia B; Lindo, Anastasia B; Johnson, Rhonda L; Anderson, Cassandra D; Azaiez, Hafedh;
Baez, Marcela A; Bonnette, Merrie; Bullock, Lois; Bunnell, Roger A; Campbell, Khalilah; Castillo, Diana;
Coleman, Anella R; Collins, Debbra C; Covarrubia, Jose; Crook, Clayton D; Crook, Dameion J; Crowe,
Deborah A; Cruz-Gaona, Rosa L; Cuby, Sabrina V; D'Angelo, Anthony J; Davis, Kenneth D; Day, Jennifer;
Delarosa, Diana M; Dimmitt, Julia B; Farinas, Pamela S; Foust, Charles; Gedward-Moore, Elva M;
Giacchino, Maureen; Guinn, Tynette L; Gutierrez, Siro; Harrison, Michael D; Heckman, Kim T; Heinze, Peter;
Henry, Cynthia S; Hernandez, Rosa E; Hobbs, Kimberly A; Ibarra, Roger; Iyamu, Cynthia L; Jao, Meilin J;
Johnson, Rhonda L; Kasper, Gretchen E; Kelley, Yolonda R; Kho, Arlene A; King, Bridget E; Lindo,
Anastasia B; Lockard, Lea A; Longoria, Noelia G; Lujan, Armando; Manley, Nancy C; Monaghan,
Susan J; Moore, Nicole; Moreno, Maria "Marie"; Muzyka, David J; O'Dell-Thomas, Delesa M;
Ponce, Geovanny J; Pope, George F; Porter, Jeannine M; Robinson, Tarrynce G; Rodriguez, Ivonne M;
Sanders, Wenden D; Schnitta, Mina C; Seymour, Corey D; Sharkey, Deirdre J; Sindaco, Eduardo D; Smith,
Linda A; Smith, Terra R; Tate, Carrie J; Taylor, Staci; Troutman, Kristina; Vaughn, Kelly L; Whitley, Linda E;
Williams, Joyce E; Yu, Chang J; Zapata, Alisa C; Allen, Robert Scott; Arredondo, Jorge; Baez, Marcela A;
Berger, Connie M; Bilbo-Ervin, LaShonda M; Bolden, Tamera J; Bullock, Lois; Castaneda, Jaime;
Catchings, Jason C; Clayton, Cynthia M; Cotton, Rhonda; Crook, Dameion J; Crump, Jane E; de la Garza, Roy E;
DeLeon, Dan; Edgerson, David E; Fendley, Paula K; Gasparello, Robert M; Giacchino, Maureen;
Glass II, Raymond G; Ituah, LaMyrle; Jacobs, Melissa; Lewis, Elaine M; Lockard, Lea A; Lundy-Jackson,Angela;
McDonough, Michael; McNeal-Sheppard, Marla J; McSwain, James A; Miller, Tonya R; Mitchell, Edward "Dale";
Moss, Ramon E; Mosteit, Carol J; Nix, Gregory T; O'Dell-Thomas, Delesa M; Perry, Agnes E; Pope, George F
Quintero, Monica Y; Rivas, Monico; Schur, Andria M; Siebenaler, Steve; Simmons, Bertie A; Stewart, Marguerite "Peggi";
Stewart-Jones, Traci; Tate, Carrie J; Wainright, Andrew T; Whitley, Linda E; Williams, Amber E; Williams, Sonja;
Wilson, Amber E; Yu, Chang J
Subject: Last Day

I have resigned from my position to continue to pursue my studies at Rice. As you may know, the work of AP, Pre-AP,
IB, LTF and SpringBoard will be shifted to the Curriculum department which is exactly where it needs to be in order
to improve student performance and achievement. I know that my skill set is not matched to meet the needs of
HISD students and teachers in the realm of curriculum, and even though this was a very difficult decision to make,
I strongly believe it is the right one. My last official day is today, January 7th.

I have very much enjoyed working and getting to know each and everyone one of you. Thank you for your
support, your assistance, but most of all, your dedication to Houston students. I have learned so much
about public education and have an entirely new respect for your work and commitment to the young
lives sitting in our classrooms.

I want to wish you all an incredible New Year.

With deepest and sincerest regards,

Esti Arriaga
Houston Independent School District
4400 W. 18th Street
Houston, TX 77092
713 556-7169

HISD Principals: Here today, gone next year?
One-year contract for these:

Advanced Virtual Academy Ituah, Lamyrle 1
Alcott ES Price, William 1
Ashford ES Sikes, Valarie 1
Askew ES Cumby, Ebony 1
Austin HS Arredondo, Jorge 1
Bastian ES Goffney, Bruce 1
Bell ES Moultry, Edrick 1
Benbrook ES Darden, Dana 1
Brookline ES Vacant 1
Burnet ES Galaviz, Cynthia 1
Challenge HS Miller, Tonya 1
Codwell ES Orum, Valerie 1
Community Services Cotton, Rhonda 1
Coop ES Guerreo, Steve 1
Crespo ES Sarabia, Jose 1
Crockett ES Chavez-Pinto, Claudia 1
Deady MS Rodriguez, Ivonne 1
DeAnda ES DeLaRiva, Cristian 1
Dodson ES Smith, Erin 1
Dogan ES Hegemon, Artice 1
Durkee ES Tanguma, Diane 1
Empowerment College Prep HS Stewart-Jones, Traci 1
Fleming MS Cuby, Sabrina 1
Fonville MS Ibarra, Roger 1
Forester ES Weatherton, Maya 1
Foster ES Raney, Marthea 1
Furr HS Simmons, Bertie 1
Garcia ES Dominguez, Aaron 1
Garden Villas ES O'Connor, Juana 1
Gregg ES Jackson, David 1
Grisson ES Rippard, James 1
Gross ES Brooks, Jill 1
Halpin Early Childhood Tejada, Jessica 1
Hamilton MS Bunnell, Roger 1
Harris J.R. ES Garcia, Judith 1
Hartman MS Ponce, Geovanny 1
Hartsfield ES Clark, Bonnie 1
Herrera ES Carnes, Christopher 1
Highland Heights ES Jones, Kettisha 1
Hobby ES Gittens, Stephen 1
Houston Gardens ES Arreola, Dana 1
Isaacs ES Gayden, Lisa 1
Jackson MS Pichon, Kelly 1
Janowski ES Bazan, Myrna 1
Jefferson ES Hamilton, Kerry 1
Jones HS Lewis, Elaine 1
Kashmere Gardens ES Rangel, Kristi 1
Kashmere HS Wilson, Amber 1
Kolter ES Shetzer, Steven 1
Las Americas MS Moreno, Maria 1
Lee HS Quintero, Monica 1
Lewis ES Woods, Tonya 1
Lockhard ES Adams, Felica 1
Long MS Baez, Marcela 1
Looscan ES Pollock, Robert 1
Love ES Chavarria, Robert 1
Madison HS Williams, Sonja 1
Mandarin Chinese Mag Bordelon, Bryan 1
Martinez ES Perez, Alma 1
McNamara ES Mike, Tiffany 1
McReynolds MS Gutierrez, Siro 1
Milby HS De La Garza, Roy 1
Milne ES Shane, Marilene 1
Mitchell ES Garcia-Salazar, Brenda 1
Neff Early Learning Center Leal, Gerardo 1
Neff ES Gandhi, Rupak 1
Northline ES Doyle, Brian 1
Osborne ES Parnell, Jacqueline 1
Paige ES Williams, Lisa 1
Park Place ES Trinh, Silvia 1
Parker ES Frodine, Lori 1
Peterson ES Ferguson, James 1
REACH HS Simmons, Bertie 1
Reynolds ES Balthazar, Debera 1
River Oaks ES Fovargue 1
Robinson ES Sanders, Terrence 1
Ross ES Sturgis, Kimberlin 1
Rucker ES Blanco, Bernadette 1
Rush School Sindaco, Eduardo 1
Ryan MS Porter, Jeannine 1
Scarborough HS Catchings, Jason 1
Shadowbriar ES Davis, Stephanie 1
Shearn ES Buck, Clifford 1
Sugar Grove Academy Smith, Terra 1
Thompson ES Blackmon, Marala 1
Tijerina ES Gonzales, Claudia 1
Tinsley ES Abu, Tiara 1
Travis ES Walker, Susan 1
Waltrip HS Siebenaler, Steve 1
Washington HS Bilbo-Ervin, LaShortda 1
Welch MS Iyamu, Cynthia 1
Westbury HS Wainright, Andrew 1
Wharton School Day, Jennifer 1
Wheatley HS Edgerson, David 1
Whidby ES Griffin, Roshanda 1
Wilson Montessori School Bonnette, Merrie 1
Worthing HS Nix, Gregory 1
Young ES Smith, Natasha 1
Young Men's College Prep Crook, Dameion 1 

From Frontline asks Rhee some  hard questions about
her alleged role in D.C. test cheating

Has KHOU caught the Chronicle flu?
Has HISD's media relations department
hoodwinked KHOU?: Based on
reports from houstonisdwatch bloggers, there are more open HISD campuses
than KHOU admits...I spoke to a reporter from KHOU recently who confirmed
HISD's manipulation of the Houston Chronicle. Seems to be common
knowledge among the news providers in Houston.

Doesn't seem plausible that Rhee would be worse
than Grier and his "TEAM HISD"

Michelle Rhee, the woman HFT President Gayle Fallon believes would be

much worse than Grier, is featured in "The Education of Michelle Rhee"
which will be broadcast on Frontline January 8, 2012

Disciplinary fees show the
problems with charters and privatization of
public ed.
: from

Ed. Secretary Duncan calls for
tigher gun control
In his first public appearance since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., U.S. Secretary
of Education Arne Duncan called on the nation to tighten gun control laws, improve access to mental health,
and curb the glorification of violence in movies and video games.

"Are we doing enough to keep children safe from harm? I don't think so, and neither does President Obama,"
Duncan said in remarks at Neval Thomas Elementary School in Washington.
Continue reading report

Teachers who want to be prepared for the time they are expected to be

armed, loaded, and ready in their classrooms: Spring gun shop owner
Christopher Rhodes has what you want

These HISD principals were awarded 2-year contracts. Based on what
you know about the individual, the school, and the community, was
the contract extension of one, but not, two years, deserved?

Abarca-Castro, Adriana Moreno ES 2
Agnew, Kimberly Wesley ES 2
Aguilar, Zandra Eliot ES 2
Alaniz, Laura Mistral Early Chdh. 2
Alexandre, Lisa Blackshear ES 2
Allen, Patricia MacGregor ES 2
Anderson, Lucy Stevens ES 2
Azalez,Hafedh Revere MS 2
Baker, John Davila ES 2
Barrera, John Wainwright ES 2
Bellard, Linda Elrod ES 2
Berger, Connie Reagan HS 2
Blakely, Diane Henderson ES 2
Bolden, Tamera Early College HS 2
Cage, Beverly Almeda ES 2
Campbell, Khalilah Thomas MS 2
Cardenas-Agular, Arnelia Sherman ES 2
Carrion, Elba Martinez ES 2
Castano, Jeannie Patterson ES 2
Castillo, Arturo Memorial ES 2
Caston, Paulette White ES 2
Cisneros, Mary Golfcrest ES 2
Crook, Clayton Cullen MS 2
Crump, Jane San Houston HS 2
Cruz-Gaona, Rosa Clifton MS 2
Daily, Tammie Bonham ES 2
Davis, Kenneth Dowling MS 2
Del Pilar, D Helms ES 2
Delarosa, Diana Henry MS 2
Deleon, Daniel Chavez HS 2
Elizondo, Julia Browning ES 2
Elizondo, Sanjuana Scroggins ES 2
Epps, Trealla Bruce ES 2
Fendley, Paula Eastwood Academy 2
Foust, Charles Fondren MS 2
Gage, Bente Mading ES 2
Garrido, Yoland, Y Barrick ES 2
Gasperello, Robert Sharpstown HS 2
Gaw, Sandy De Chaumes ES 2
Glass, Raymond Harper Alternative 2
Gonzales, Cecila Lyons ES 2
Gonzalez, Juan Briscoe ES 2
Guerrero, Lydia Pugh ES 2
Guinn, Tynette Ahead Academy HS 2
Hallinan, Mary Carrillo ES 2
Harrison, Michael Marshall MS 2
Harvey, Hannah Law ES 2
Heckman, Kim Pershing MS 2
Hendrickson, John Field ES 2
Henry, Cynthia West Briar MS 2
Hernandez, Rosa Burbank MS 2
Herrera, Jesus Sanchez ES 2
Hunter, Gwendolyn Pleasantville ES 2
Jao, Meilin Black MS 2
Johnson, William Herod ES 2
Jones, Eden A. Briargrove ES 2
Kasper-Hoffman, Gretchen Grady MS 2
Kennedy, Laquetta Cook ES 2
Lemons, Albert Atherton ES 2
Lewis, Cherly Bellfort Early Chhd. 2
Longoria, Noelia Ortiz MS 2
Lopez-Rogina, Maria Laurenzo Early Chdh. 2
Lueptow, Lori Whittier ES 2
Lujan, Armando Edison MS 2
Lundy-Jackson, Angela North Houston Early Col. 2
Martinez, Hilarion Burbank ES 2
Mayers, Onica Durham ES 2
McDonough, Michael Bellaire HS 2
McNeil, Faye Montgomery ES 2
Mercado, Nancy Cunninghan ES 2
Mitchell, Edward Sterling HS 2
Morgan, Bonita Hines-Caldwell ES 2
Moss, Ramon CVHS 2
Mosteit, Carol LECJ HS 2
O-Dell-Thomas, Delesa Young Women's Coll. 2
Olivares, Josefa Bonner ES 2
Oliver, Altha Farias Early Child. 2
Patin, Melissa Twain ES 2
Perez-Gwynn, Norma Longfellow Es 2
Perry, Agnes DeBakey 2
Pollock, Lindsey Garden Oaks Es 2
Punch, Shawna R.P. Harris ES 2
Randle, Dawn Red ES 2
Raphiel, Liliane Franklin ES 2
Reyes, Santos Braeburn ES 2
Rhodes, Stephanie Daily Es 2
Rivas, Monico Liberty HS 2
Robinson, Tarrynce Holland MS 2
Rodriguez, Alexander Emerson ES 2
Saenz-Phillips, Siomara Southmayd ES 2
Salazar, Gloria Smith Es 2
Sanders, Wenden Johnston MS 2
Schnitta, Mina Hogg MS 2
Schur, Andria Barbara Jordan HS 2
Seymour, Corey Williams MS 2
Sharkey, Deidre Attucks MS 2
Shenker, Susan Walnut Bend ES 2
Silber, Deborah Berry ES 2
Stephens, Adam School St. George Plc. 2
Stewart, Marguerite Westside HS 2
Strickland, Magdalena Lantrip ES 2
Taylor, Abigail Sinclair ES 2
Taylor, Staci Woodson ES 2
Thomas, Jenny Oak Forest ES 2
Thompson, Dawn Lovett ES 2
Vaughn, Rosalyn Anderson ES 2
Walker, Michael Fondren ES 2
Woods, Jessie Burrus ES 2
Yu, Chang Sharpstown MS 2

HISD school guide and principal directories...with changes coming fast
in S.S.O. assignments it might already be out of date...

Is it healthy for teachers to do school work over the holidays? Finding
work-life balance is an ongoing challenge for teachers

Texas cuts a big check for
Rick Perry's buddies at Formula One but
can't find money for school districts; Texas one of 10 states with
ongoing school funding litigation
: Reports from

Besides giving HISD a free ride, looks like the Houston Chronicle hasn't
done its job in reporting on HCAD: from
George Scott reports

A teacher grades HISD: from Diane Ravitch's blog
(Nov. 5, 2012)
So fair is fair, how are Grier and the District grading themselves in the Broad competition they
flaunt? 1) on the basis of how many kids take the SAT 2) how many kids take Advanced Placement
courses and 3) how many more kids graduate. Fine as it goes, but a) the District paid for the SAT
for all 10th graders b) it pays for any AP tests and recruited teachers and kids who were completely
unprepared for this incredibly rigorous course load (SpEd kids were enrolled in some cases!) and
c) created an on-line self paced Grad Lab program that is never backstopped for performance nor
any real check on comprehension. There are no effective teacher unions in Texas (no strike state),
so no one can blame that factor on Texas’ dismal performance of Houston’s. Maybe it is the super?
From North Carolina Greenboro, then San Diego…any comments from other teachers who taught
under T. Grier and dealt with the North Carolina experience?
Read complete blog entry

Can we allow 2013 to be worse than 2012?

After the high hopes of the 2011 election, the year that followed has been an
unmitigated disaster for teachers' rights, the education of HISD's students,
and investigative reporting on HISD.

A school board candidate who showed promise has turned out to be a
disappointment, echoing Paula Harris' talking points. Rhonda Skillern-Jones
expressed deep concern over the battle to remove the moniker "Turner"
from what was to have been "Turner-Lockhart Elementary School."
Whether she pursued that battle or simply wanted to sound concerned
at the board meeting, we will never know.

Turner was dropped. The elementary school is simply called Lockhart.

If sidekick Manuel Rodriguez had not resorted to gay-baiting in his
hate-filled campaign flyer and lost the election, would Harvin Moore,
in direct contradiction to the views of many in the HISD community,
been able to push through not one, but two contract extensions for
one of the most inept superindent's in the USA?

Despite STAAR scores which showed many weaknesses in Grier's TEAM
HISD and a teacher evaluation project that is still chaotic, Grier and his
quid pro quo possy continue to wreck havoc on the education of Houston's

HISD is busy advertising on craigslist for teachers and the persecution
of veteran teachers continues under the watchful eye of a somnolent
teachers union that is begging for new leadership.

What will you do in 2013 to turn the tide against the Grier TEAM HISD?
Are you registered to vote? Will you vote? Will you talk in your
neighborhoods about the conditions in HISD's classrooms, the
emphasis on route learning and low level test prep consuming a
huge hunk of time students should be using to develop higher order
thinking skills and nuturing their creativity?

Recruting good candidates to run against the Moore-Myers-Marshall
establishment will be difficult. School board members receive
no compensation. Some figure out how to make their time count,
either through securing employment or alleged kickback checks.

If you're unhappy with the Houston Chronicle's lack of focus on
HISD and it's almost total absence of investigative reporting
on district matters, cancel your subscription.  When you do it,
tell the paper why.

Miracles, although rare, do happen. 2013 is the year to create a
miracle in HISD, to force an emancipation from the cronyism,
wasteful spending, and hostility that pervades the district.

It's up to you.

The Emancipation Proclamation is 150 years old
: from Daily Beast

How many slaves work for you? The Emancipation Proclamation was for
all Americans
: from
"...In the United States, thousands are held against their will; minors, especially, are the victims of ruthless
exploitation. While other countries are worse offenders, the United States, according to State Department
reports, serves as both a source and a destination for the trafficking of children.

In a speech delivered in September at the Clinton Global Initiative, President Obama declared that the
time had come to call human trafficking by its rightful name: modern slavery. “The bitter truth is that trafficking
also goes on right here, in the United States,” he declared. “It’s the migrant worker unable to pay off the debt to
his trafficker. The man, lured here with the promise of a job, his documents then taken, and forced to work
endless hours in a kitchen. The teenage girl, beaten, forced to walk the streets. This should not be happening
in the United States of America...":
Read complete article from

Texas legislators will grapple with
school finance lawsuit one way or another:

As an employer
HISD is rated 2.75 (out of 5) on glassdoor
"Recent changes in top level officials have scarred many campuses. There is not consistency in staffing.
Teachers are responsible for social issues that stem from inadequate home environments"

"Speaking up is not encouraged. New ideas are not welcomed. Management is strangely provincial and arrogant
simultaneously. Health benefits are surprisingly bad. Cost of living adjustments are non-existent as are merit
raises. Management leads through intimidation which leads to a keep-your-head-down attitude. Established
procedures seem to be there to prevent progress yet they are routinely circumvented when they are inconvenient
to management. Senior management believes it can do no wrong and quickly stamps out criticism through

"Upper level management is doing all it can to get rid of experienced teachers. Avoid if you plan on staying in
the classroom for many years."

"Students are out-of-control; parents uninvolved; administration is unsupportive & unprofessional. My last
administrator spent most of the day texting and checking twitter on her smart phone. She carried it everywhere,
and always had her head down looking at it."

"I worked at three different schools. At each school, people in the administration flat out lied and repeated lies.
The evaluation system is bizarre, and the schools have different extreme preferences. One school, I couldn't
get a set of SAT books to teach SAT prep during the 30 minute time that we had scheduled into the day because
it would be "too difficult for me" since I already had 2 preps and she didn't want me to have a third. While the last
school I worked at (for 2.5 yrs) gave me 4 preps my second semester and 4 my last when it could have been
scheduled so that no one got 4 preps. I pointed it out and they ignored me. It hurts students when I teach three
different classes each day."

Check out the rest of HISD's review of before HISD shuts it down!

Philadelphia School District plans to close dozens of schools
: from

Jones voted to extend Grier's contract to 2016
so he could "see the school building program through"

Rhonda Skillern-Jones: Biggest disappointment of 2012

Listen to Jones' interview with the Houston Chronicle in Oct. 2011.
Has she lived up to her own hopes?
Jones' interview on YouTube
Jones in Texas Watchdog

The presence of armed guards in schools
may harm students: from

Cloaking Inequity:
Texas vs. California vs. New York vs.Nation

Lamar Principal James McSwain

Michael McDonough rated
(only two ratings listed)

Texas teachers
flock to free handgun classes: from

houstonisdwatch is still waiting for a reply from Trustee Eastman
after sending this email to her on Dec. 19, 2012:

Good morning, Ms. Eastman:

I have a quick question: Did you Harvin Moore was going to ask for a contract
extension for Grier at the last school board meeting? redesigned to hide information about schools
Need to know who your child's SSO is? Forget about finding it on HISD's
poorly redesigned web site...

Are these principals the best and brighest in HISD? Links to HISD Trustee
Paula Harris are easy to spot

HISD's 3-year contract principals
Heinze, Peter Briarmeadow 3
Rose, Theresa Bush ES 3
Covarrubia, Jose Cage ES 3
Bowyer, Frederick Condit ES 3
Jackson, Karen Cornelius ES 3
Castaneda, Jaime Davis HS 3
Rodriguez, Yolanda De Zavala ES 3
Terrell, David E Frost ES 3
Gardea, Margarita Gallegos ES 3
Farinas, Pamela Gregory-Lincoln 3
Beringer, Kevin J Harvard ES 3
Harrington, Sarah Horn ES 3
Houston Aca. International Studies Jacobs, Melissa 3
Garcia, Herlinda JP Henderson ES 3
Williams, Joseph Kelso ES 3
Sherman, Daryl K Kennedy ES 3
Banda, Cynthia Ketelsen ES 3
Moore, Nicole Key MS 3
Coleman, Gabrielle King Early Childhood 3
McSwain, James Lamar HS 3
Smith, Linda A Lanier MS 3
Palacious, Maria Oates ES 3
Brown, Carlotta Peck ES 3
Monaghan, Susan Pin Oak MS 3
Swaby, Bobbie Piney Point ES 3
Amerson, Jeffrey Poe ES 3
Joyce, Williams Regan Ed Center 3
Hobbs, Kimberly Rice School 3
Martinez-Buley, Elena Rodriguez ES 3
Penning, Francisco Scarborough ES 3
Miranda, Angie Sequin ES 3
Zapata, Alisa C Stevenson MS 3
Cripps-Rains, Sarah Sutton ES 3
Muzyka, David TH Rigers 3
Little, Sandra Valley West ES 3
Threet, John West U. ES 3
Gibson-Johnson, Diana Windsor Village ES 3
McNeal, Marla I Yates HS 3
(From HISD principal contracts)

Link to Open Records reports, AEIS
Link to previous pages

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