Mike Lunceford may be moving away from Grier Toadie role he has been playing...
houstonisdwatch.com recognizes Mike Lunceford for being a pretty smart guy and a potential consensus-builder. Although his vote to implement the TNTP teacher evaluation plan was dead wrong, and he knew it was wrong because he actually conducted small meeting with teachers and parents, he voted on the right side when he said "No" to expanding the distraction called Apollo and he was a leader last week in voting down another ill-conceived and poorly-researched Grier plan to change the start and end times to school to a common district schedule. Mike has a long way to go before he achieves independent thinker status on the HISD board. Keep in mind Mike has some strong parent voices in his district, especially Parent Visionaries, and he often doesn't have to go very far to find out the pulse of his parents. Now, Mike, try listening more to the teachers in your district. There are some terrific educators in District V. Listening to them doesn't just entail sitting in a room with them taking notes. It also involves using your voting power to validate their ownership in the education of HISD's students. We appreciate the good votes you have cast. We would just like you to cast a few more.
Here's the Houston Press' Margaret Downing's take on the June 9, 2011, board meeting: blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2011/06/hisd_bus_schedules.php
comments from houstonisdwatch.com reader Tired:
Grier has no new ideas ......Date: June 14, 2002 Page A1 LIST PRIORITIZES SCHOOL CUTS Byline: JOHN NEWSOM Staff Writer The Guilford County Board of Education could approve a list of budget cuts today, a move that could trigger layoffs if the school district gets no more money from the county.
School board members got their first look Thursday at a 23-item list of possible cuts, prepared by Superintendent Terry Grier and his staff. Atop the list were 39.5 central office positions, followed by a two-tiered busing plan that would lengthen the school day for every elementary school and change starting times...
He just brings what doesn't work in one district to another and our sub par board just follows along like a dog in heat.
by TIRED (Jun 12, 2011)
If Dr. Grier were a man of standards he would resign because he is a ineffective administrator. His district scores have dropped the two years he has been here and he has not shown any growth. I wonder what his (IPDP) WILL LOOK LIKE AND WILL THE BOARD SAY HE NEED MORE PROFFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. I say if teachers are fired for that data he shoul be too.
by Tired (Jun 12, 2011)
Texas property tax cuts in 2006 are hurting Texas public schools
Will HISD trustees ask for a Tax Ratification Election? Would voters support raising tax rates?
The New York Times today has picked up a link from the Texas Tribune discussing the state of public school funding in Texas. As you know the current funding shortages did not suddenly emerge out of the blue. They were well-predicted by former Texas comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn before proptery taxes were capped in 2006 with a "special tax ratification election" as the get-out-of-jail-free-card for local school boards. HISD's tax rate is the lowest in Harris County at $1.1567 per $100 of assessed value. Would tax payers support a tax increase now? Has Grier's tarnished standing in the Houston community diminished whatever remains of HISD's reputation for sound fiscal management?
Texas state senator Steve Ogden doesn't think HISD, or any other school district for that matter, has much of a choice if districts are not willing to tighten their belts, reduce administrative over-head, or dip into reserve funds. Under Paula Harris' leadership, HISD claims to be reducing administrative staff but the efforts have done nothing to impress voters that she is serious. HISD has not dipped into its hefty reserve funds nor has it developed a plan to sell off all the vacant property it owns throughout Houston.
Until Grier is fired and the board commits to reigning in outside consultants, eliminating TFA hires to those vacancies no current or Texas certified teacher can fill, and eliminating the TNTP teacher evaluation plan, houstonisdwatch.com will never support a tax increase. Grier and the board haven't demonstrated they can be trusted with one.
Link to School Districts Look at Increase in Tax Rates: www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/us/12ttdistricts.html
The Video: Catfights in Austin The-Texas-Tribune.flv
Thank you Texas House for spreading the pain of budget cuts to public ed. over two years (not) and succumbing to pressure from Dems and urban Repubs to dip into rainy day fund
from chron.com: www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7605737.html
The Week in the Texas Legislature: Video-The-Week-in-Texas-Politics-June-6-June-10-82nd-Legislative-Session-The-Texas-Tribune.flv
The Wrap on Rick Perry: thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/06/10/241830/top-10-thing-texas-gov-rick-perry/Grier planning to manipulate TAKS data to make his Apollo schools look good
Opps! There goes another one as SIO moves to Virginia
Knowing how dubious the SIO position is and hearing from HISD insiders that SIOs did next to nothing to help teachers leaves the feeling of so what? Close the position and hire two teachers, right? (houstonisdwatch.com)
“Katrise’s schools made outstanding progress this school year and no schools were rated ‘unacceptable,’” Dance said in an e-mail to HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. “In fact, out of all of the middle school SIOs, her cluster had the most growth. We are sad to see her leave us, but we know she will do well leading Isle of Wight Schools.”
Perera’s resignation comes as Jeremy Beard, the school improvement officer over HISD’s school reform project Apollo, is leaving to work for the nonprofit that consults with the district on the program.
Read rest of article: blog.chron.com/schoolzone/2011/06/hisd-administrator-leaving-for-top-job-in-virginia/
Grier can't seem to keep good help: First principal casualty in the program that focuses all the animosity directed at Grier; Attucks Principal: OUT!
Paula Harris, Grier toadie, makes excuses for Apollo, Brown, Attucks....
"...Patricia Brown, hired by the Houston Independent School District in mid-July, was a principal of Holub Middle School in Alief ISD. A glossy HISD document highlighting the “outstanding principals” hired to lead the nine Apollo schools in their first year says that Brown led Holub to make the largest academic gains in Alief in the 2008-09 school year. She began her teaching career at HISD’s Hobby Elementary School..."
Read rest of the article: blog.chron.com/schoolzone/2011/06/grier-principal-of-struggling-apollo-school-resigns/
Complete run down of where bills stand in the Texas legislative Special Session
by Morgan Smith
"In the House, Eissler's notorious HB 400 (teacher contract rule suspensions and notification date changes) into four separate bills: HBs 19 and 20 which change notification and hearing requirements for contract terminations; being rehired; HB 21, which takes away the equivalent of "teacher tenure" if a district is in financial straits; and HB 18, which requires the Texas Education Agency to grant class-size waivers under certain conditions...."
Read rest of article: www.texastribune.org/texas-education/public-education/updated-where-do-education-bills-stand-in-special-/
Texas House Passes Budget with $4 Billion in Education Cuts
link to Star-Telegram:www.star-telegram.com/2011/06/10/3142180/house-gives-first-approval-to.html
Hot Tip from houstonisdwatch.com insiders: Grier's Alleged TAKS Scores Manipulation
Apparently, Grier is feeling a little heat about his expensive Apollo project. houstonisdwatch.com insiders have told me that he is refusing to allow scan sheet corrections of student demographic data, even though these corrections at this time between the preliminary and actual results are released are permitted by TEA, to focus exclusively on the Apollo schools. Grier allegedly doesn't want scores of any non-Apollo schools to rise and, we can only assume, he and his staff are working feverishly to make enough corrections on the Apollo data to subsequently come out with a bold proclamation of Apollo's success. If true, I'm sure Harvard Labs is right behind Grier encouraging him to do whatever he can to buoy scores for Apollo students that have come in significantly below expectations.
ANOTHER SWEET DEAL FOR A HIGHLY PAID LESS THAN IMPRESSIVE HISD ADMINISTRATOR - THIS TIME IT'S JEREMY BEARD
Three years of Apollo to cost $67 million; HISD Foundation awards more money to Harvard and Blueprint
But there's no money to prevent 48,000 students from being dumped into over-crowded classes - whose priorities are being met here?from chron.com:
Beard said he is leaving the Houston Independent School District to become a vice president of the newly formed nonprofit, Blueprint Schools Network, co-run by
Harvard University economist Roland Fryer, the chief consultant on the Apollo project (Beard was the largely unimpressive SIO of Apollo)
Jeremy Beard, the chief administrator over Houston ISD’s school reform effort called Apollo, is leaving to work for the new national nonprofit that is contracting with the district on the program, according to an internal e-mail.
Beard said he is leaving the Houston Independent School District to become a vice president of the newly formed nonprofit, Blueprint Schools Network, co-run by Harvard University economist Roland Fryer, the chief consultant on the Apollo project.
Read rest of article: blog.chron.com/schoolzone/2011/06/chief-of-hisd-apollo-project-resigns-for-national-job/
Sixteen hours later, Texas House Tentatively Chops $4 Billion from Public Schools
by Morgan Smith
Lengthy debate on a key budget bill featured many retreads of contentious topics from the regular session — but it was Rep. Wayne Christian's revival of his famous "pansexual" amendment around midnight that almost killed the whole thing.
Christian, R-Center, proposed banning state funding of college gender and sexuality centers through an amendment to the Senate Bill 1 fiscal matters bill that contained the school finance plan of $4 billion in cuts to districts statewide and several payment deferrals and tax accelerations adding up to about $3.5 billion in revenue, all essential to balancing the 2012-13 budget.
Read rest of article: www.texastribune.org/texas-taxes/budget/after-after-16-hours-texas-house-passes-bill/
Massive teacher layoffs, Floods in Missouri, Wildfires in Arizona but Congress and Obama Play With Themselves
U.S. Congress, President Not Having a Good Week: my.firedoglake.com/scarecrow/2011/06/09/while-congress-administration-play-with-themselves-missouri-is-flooding-arizona-is-burning-etc/
Remember, terminating Grier only solves part of the problem
Have you heard anyone talk about what a great job Terry Grier is doing? Anyone? Building the momentum to fire him will invigorate the HISD community. Why does anyone trust that this board - especially Paula Harris, Greg Meyers, Harvin Moore, Manuel Rodriguez (who left early before last night's vote to ditch the change of school start time but would have been a "yes"), Anna Eastman, Larry Marshall, and Mike Lunceford - will hire a superintendent who supports teachers and respects the culture of the district? The ground war is challenging every crackpot idea Grier has by communicating with trustees just like was done on the change of start time for school. The air war is removing board members who subscribe to Obama's big government take over of public education and who worship the ground Michelle Rhee walks on. It's a two front battle that the HISD community can and will win. Getting Grier out of HISD will be the easy part. Based on his track record (see "The Largely Lusterless Career of Terry Grier" below) he is about to expire soon anyway. He likes to spend three years, get a nice payout, and high-tail it out of town. Changing the board requires concentrated field work. With the economy in the pits, many Houstonians are surviving day-to-day. How much do you worry about teacher lay-offs when you have lost your job too?
The first step is to simply remind Houstonians what an unacceptable superintendent HISD has, how his methods are harmful to students, and how many times (as in all the time) their trustee has enabled Grier to create chaos, waste district resources, create a high principal turnover, and generally demoralize professionals whose success in large part demands that they feel valued working in a positive environment.
The "Calling Card"
One easy first step is to print a message on small cards, business size or index, and place them on cars in a particular trustee's district. It does catch voters' attention because they immediately recognize you are not trying to sell them anything. A brief action message and a few words rationale. It takes almost no time and requires little expense but you plant the seed. Remember, the Republicans have been very successful since the Lee Atwater days by repeating the same message over and over again. Voters respond to the consistency.
Then...there are more dramatic actions to take. Check the link provided below for the group "The Ruckus Society." Essentially a green group, Rukus specializes in dramatic interventions that upset the equilibrium of their opponent and often provides the climatic moment when real change occurs. Fantasize what would be appropriate in HISD. Better yet, just fantasize about shocking (and SAFE) actions that would generate the buzz needed to make a difference in our news-saturated culture.
Raise a rukus: ruckus.org/
Yates science students improve in spite of two principals this year
Ronald Mumphrey retired in a hurry in September 2010. Until January 2011 Yates had interim principal leadership before Samuel Coleman was recruited to lead the school. Coleman's claim to fame was that he knew Terry Grier. You see, Grier wanted to keep Coleman's wife, Kim Hall, in Houston. Like Samuel, Kim worked with Grier in San Diego and came to Houston at the start of the school year. Magically, Samuel became the anointed one to lead Yates through academic challenges, parents, and testing. Yates High School Enrollment
Yates TAKS scores are nothing to shout about. The guy who should be held responsible is the SIO, John Allen, who makes close to $100,000. Instability in campus leadership is often a result of instability at the district level - certainly true this year. Yates science examines raised their scores by 4 points from 71% passing to 75%. Social studies stayed the same, and math and language arts went down.
In five months there just wasn't much Mr. Coleman could do to impact test scores. Comments about Mr. Coleman have generally been favorable. Some have pointed out that he was not a good match for the job. He has not commented publically but the rumors point to weak discipline at the high school which Mr. Coleman couldn't overcome. Additionally, he was just burned out.
HISD turned to Fleming's principal who was already listed as a new hire in Austin, TX. Marla McNeal-Sheppard will become Yates' first female principal. Coming from middle school, she should be up to the challenge.
Examiner's Take on Failed Plan to Change School Times
by Ken Fountain
..."...Grier put the item (change of school start/end times) forward as a way for the district, already strapped in a tough budget year and with further cuts in state funding looming in the Texas Legislature, as a means for the district to save aout $1.2 million through the reduction of buses and fuel costs.
But many parents complained about the effects on their lives of having students at different schools or different levels, with conflicting start and end times, and the impact that child care issues would having on working parents.
Read rest of article: www.yourhoustonnews.com/bellaire/news/article_4418695a-a613-5ba1-be18-863b3b518ada.html
HISD BOARD FINALLY TELLS GRIER "NO!"
Kudos to trustees Anna Eastman, Mike Lunceford, Harvin Moore, and Julie Stipeche who listened to their constituents
Harris, Meyers, and Marshall continue to be the Grier toadies on the board
Finally. Haven't we all been waiting for almost two years to see the HISD trustees stand up to bully Grier and tell him "No, we are not doing that. We are not going to disrupt the lives of our parents and students by changing the bus schedules to save what only amounts to $1.5 million". Remember, Grier and his staff rake in
over $1.37 million in salaries. The board didn't say it to him tonight, but hopefully they will. If he is so hellbent on saving a million and a half dollars, he can start with himself and his anything-but-elite team of underlings who haven't yet accomplished much of anything - Aaron Spence, Dallas Dance, and Sam Sarabia.
Larry Marshall is losing it. More correctly, he just gets worse. This is how Houston Chronicle reporter Ericka Mellon described Marshall: On the other side, Marshall, raising his voice in apparent frustration, said the board needed to approve the changes to avoid a tax increase with a looming state funding shortfall."'It’s time now for everyone to share the hurt." With all due respect, Mr. Marshall, it clearly is not the time.
If any readers live in the Westside area, Greg Meyers' district, let us know if Mr. Meyers surveyed you about start of school times. My hunch is he did not. Lamar and Bellaire are comparable to Westside in demographics, and parents from Lunceford's Bellaire district and Moore's Lamar district communicated their disapproval of this plan. How good of a representative is Greg Meyers? On most occasions he appears to be a rubber stamp for Grier.
Paula Harris voted "Yes" as she always does with Grier's suggestions. Perhaps she had Nicole West on her mind this evening and just wanted to get through the meeting.
What exactly does Grier's friend Leo Bobadilla do in HISD? Ignore stake holders appears to be one thing
Grier's $150,000 man Leo Bobadilla never did a parent survey to determine the support for a change in school start/end times. Why wasn't he asked to do so? Why isn't Michelle Pola, another six figure HISD employee, asking for surveys on issues that have immediate impact on HISD's families? Why didn't the board ask for one? Better yet, why didn't Mr. Bobadilla conduct one without being asked?
Paula Harris: Maybe it's time to take your rich butt home...
Paula Harris' actions have contributed to the general chaos that is now the trademark of HISD. Keeping the same school board and the same superintendent insures that HISD will turn out like all the other stops in the busy hop-scotch career of Terry Grier: disastrous. What TWD doesn't mention is the disorganization that takes place when, for example, the district has a drop-out prevention program in place and the counselors already know the neighborhoods and the clientele. They were all fired in the fall of 2009 to Harris could prop up her friends. Maintenance in HISD has been in chaos as well as the rules and roles constantly change. The way HISD conducts its business is anathema to any sound organizational practices. And each time HISD changes gears time is lost and money is wasted. What Paula Harris "should" have done and what she was "required" to do are only different in degrees. An ethical individual chooses the "should" option. Ms. Harris has been waging war on HISD employees - and obviously helping her "rich" friends get richer - while little appreciable academic progress has been made by her hero Dr. Grier. She is in very bad taste as well. Talking about how rich she is when she is one of the responsible parties for laying off over 750 teachers just makes it look like she is "slumming" in HISD, shielded from the effects her actions have on the district family at large. At the very least she deserves shame and to be defeated in the next election.
written by the alter ego of houstonisdwatch.com Judd Bingle
According to houstonisdwatch.com insider, Educrats in D.C. don't have a high opinion of Grier (see comments by Education Grrrrl below):
Comments from houstonisdwatch.com's readers:
(Comment by houstonisdwatch.com Insider to Editor:) Setting aside your extreme partisanship, you have done a better job than the Chronicle to date in putting together a profile of Grier. Thank you for your good work on this.
by hunter (Jun 8, 2011)
Hunter: Your comments are very much appreciated. Thank you.
by Editor (Jun 8, 2011)
And then there's the federal education policy folks up in D.C.---I was attending a political get-together and when the D.C. people heard that I was from HISD--they sidled up to me and asked "Everyone in D.C. is wondering how you got stuck with that guy (Grier)? He's arrogant and cocky. How did Houston pick him?" I couldn't answer. I felt nauseous and excused myself. It's hard to make polite party talk when someone like Grier is damaging a once-great school district. It's heartbreaking.
by Education Grrrrl (Jun 9, 2011)
houstonisdwatch.com's advice to Paula Harris: Resign Now
Houston ISD trustees president Paula Harris voted on millions of dollars in contracts involving close friend's firms
by Lynn Walsh
When the Houston Independent School District has a problem, it increasingly looks to Nicole West to solve it.
Need schools painted or fences installed? HISD hired Nicole West's firm Westco. Need security cameras and burglar alarms installed at schools? It hired Westco. Need drapes dry cleaned for a school auditorium? It paid Westco to do it.
Need elementary school students tutored in reading? HISD paid Nicole West to tutor them. Need a high school decorated for a rededication ceremony? It paid Nicole West. Need an ambulance on standby for a high school football game? It hired another of West's firms, a small, private ambulance service.
Read rest of article: www.texaswatchdog.org/2011/06/houston-school-hisd-trustees-president-paula-harris-voted-on-millions-of-dollars-in-contracts-for-friends-firm/1307584698.story
The crisis facing furloughed teachers, teachers forced out of their jobs, and other HISD staff "let go" due to the $275 reduction per student at HISD campuses
Finding a job. Period. If you are gainfully employed and haven't had to work the employment listings for a while, you have probably been lulled into a false sense of complacency that everything is all right and, after all, it's the people who don't bring skills to the work place who are having such a hard time finding work. Wrong. Even people with strong skill sets can't find jobs. Employers now have the option to pick the best candidate out of twenty or thirty instead of five. According to job-hunt.org the average craigslist job advertisement elicits 100 responses. Keep in mind, minimum wage jobs prevail. When skilled, degreed professionals have to endure two and three interviews as well as personality inventories just to get a minimum wage job, the employment market in this country has gone beserk. The HISD math and science teachers who have lost their jobs (ironically math and science did much better on TAKS than Reading/Language Arts and those folks get to stay) may be able to find work in the energy industry or with one of the city's communications giants. Be prepared to sweat to find work.
Advice to current HISD teachers: Be sure to keep your second career skills updated. If you were an administrative assistant, for example, before becoming a teacher, you might want to work part-time in that field. Engineers-turned-teachers might want to work part-time in engineering as well as teach. If and when the time comes you no longer have steady income from the district, you will have your feet firmly planted in your second career. In other words, planning for the worst right now could be the best planning to do. With the increasing time demands upon you, and the possibility that changes in start-and-end times of the school day could require even more time in your busy day spent at school, it is difficult. Focus on the fact that we all need to be in a survival mode these days. Few are as lucky as the Kate Winslet character in Titanic, going down with the ship and survivng to live a wonderful life.
On jobs, our government has abandoned us. By government, I mean the Obama administration that has had its finger in its butt since 2009. Many people, including houstonisdwatch.com, wrote to the Obama administration early in the health care debate and advised the president that health care was the wrong issue. People want jobs. People want their president to focus on jobs, jobs, jobs. The Obama administration never listened. Obama is still talking about the bailouts of GM and Chrysler. Yes, they seemed to work but that is so last year. What are you doing lately to help people find jobs? His failure to do much to improve the employment crisis may be his undoing in the next election.
Republicans haven't helped, either. We all know by now that tax breaks for the wealthy do not provide employment opportunities and we all know corporate tax breaks, unless they are coupled with government hiring requirements with perks, create no jobs. The Republicans have obstructed with greater success than they deserve. Obama has kowtowed far too often as result of his not having a plan.
This rant is not written to cry baby, scare, or place blame on others. The difficulty of finding a job is a fact. If you are over 50, you will find your stress level sky-rocketing. The current emploment picture has allowed ageism to run rampant through human relations offices. You wil need more than a shot of optimism and relentless perseverance. Hearing of layoffs in education, or aero-space, or transportation, should make us all take pause. Texas is projected to be the worst offender in the U.S. as far as teacher and staff layoffs are concerned with close to 100,000 facing unemployment.
HISD Trustees to vote tonight on school start/end times but have no idea of the cost implications
Parents: The HISD trustees are going to vote on the start/end times of school for the 2011-12 school year. houstonisdwatch.com insiders report the vote is not a done deal and that trustees are still looking for parental input. If you do not approve of the changes contact your HISD trustee ASAP.
The trustees have done NO financial analysis of the need for this change or its effect on the budget. Surprised? It is typical of the slip-shod work the board does, their over-reliance on Grier for information and direction, and a true lack of preparation or homework completion before making decisions that impact thousands of people!
HISD Trustee email addresses:
Please note: HISD administration has not conducted or produced a financial analysis of the
added costs to campuses across HISD from starting school earlier/later and
running the school day longer. As outlined in the proposal the school day is
lengthened at many campuses. So, some teachers and staff may have to teach or
supervise 15 - 45 minutes longer everyday. Some staff may be required to
supervise young elementary children dropped off early AND there are costs
associated with keeping buildings open longer. If campuses incur only $4,050.
in added expense to provide safety measures and to pay for teachers and staff,
F16 will be a money loser for HISD.
How much will changes cost? HISD Trustees Don't KnowIt is so very telling that the actual F16 agenda item reads:
COST/FUNDING SOURCE(S): None
STAFFING IMPLICATIONS: None
Clearly, the only costs considered in this agenda item are central office costs.
Why are Apollo schools exempt from any discussion of school day changes?
As a reference point to the financial costs associated with a longer school
dayâ?¦Why is Apollo 20 costing HISD $24 million dollars more? Longer school
days, more staff, and related expenses at the campuses? Also, Apollo 20
campuses are not being asked to make any changes to their bell schedule and are
allowed to keep their current start/end times as part of the F16 Agenda Item.
Ask your trustee to please vote this down. HISD cannot prove that F16 will
actually save money and NOT SIMPLY SHIFT MORE COSTS TO CASH STRAPPED CAMPUSES
who have suffered devastating per student funding cuts.
The "Good News" is that if trustees vote F16 down, HISD can still provide busing
to KIPP and YES and make money for the district without costing the district
millions in predictable costs.
HISD Academic Performance - HISD MISSED almost all commended goals
If you look at the details of the agenda document linked below and here: www.houstonisd.org/PolicyAdministration/Home/Board%20Items/Agendas/2011/060911OA_POST.pdf, you will see
HISD missed almost all of their commended performance goals Taxpayers can
consider their return on investment from several hundred million in additional
stimulus dollars, grant dollars, and philanthropy dollars that has managed on
behalf of HISD students.
If you read the report below, "The largely lusterless career of Terry Grier," you will see that there is nothing shocking or unexpected in HISD's drop in scores due to Grier-mandated personnel changes and principal exits from the district. Grier has a track record of lowering academic achievement when he pays no attention to the culture of a school and community, shows no respect to successful, sitting principals and tenured teachers, and always undervalues the impact his decisions make on the real stake holders in the district: HISD's students.
Preliminary 2011 HISD TAKS Scores: HSFA_Support_01bc_-_TAKS_Met
THE PRELIMINARY DATA INDICATES GRIER, HARRIS, RODRIGUEZ, MEYERS, LUNCEFORD, MOORE, MARSHALL, AND EASTMAN ARE ACTUALLY HINDERING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN HISD AND TEST SCORES PROVE IT:
Why is Paula Harris punishing the children of HISD?Need more proof than what you see in the score report?
Check out the performance at the five schools receiving the federal magnet grant
money last year and schools that have lost principals during the last year.
An example of what you will find in the attachments:: Crawford Elementary
school was exemplary in 2010. It was merged last year with Sherman Elementary
which was recognized in 2010. Lisa McClinton was the princial at Crawford last
year and leading the campus in very successful ways. Lisa was moved to Dodson
Elementary which was also Exemplary in 2010. The former principal at Dodson was
moved to Pleasantville. Lisa McClinton quit Dodson Elementary and went to KIPP
in the middle of this academic year. Note what happened to academic performance
at both campuses.
Students at Dodson
Passing rates dropped in Math from 92% to 75%
Passing rates in Reading/ELA dropped from 96% to 80%
Passing rates in Science dropped from 89% to 80%
Passing rates in writing dropped from 93% to 76%.
Students at Sherman
Passing rates in Math dropped from 92% to 90%.
Passing rates in Reading/ELA improved from 83% to 87%
Passing rates in Science dropped from 92% to 85%
Passing rates in Writing improved from 95% to 96%
These communitites have been harmed and it is the students who suffer.
Thank you to the houstonisdwatch.com insider who provided excerpts from the Parent Visionaries' report. From houstonisdwatch.com's vantage point it looks like the wagons are beginning to circle around Grier. Remember, though, he is enabled by a very weak, subservient board with the exception of Carol Mimms Galloway and Julie Stipeche. You have got to contact your school board trustee - email addresses provided above - and tell them Grier must be terminated and you will hold your trustee accountable if he or she fails to take appropriate action.
HISD board meets June 9 - here is their agenda: www.houstonisd.org/PolicyAdministration/Home/Board%20Items/Agendas/2011/060911OA_POST.pdf
Bush's $2.5 trillion dollar tax cuts didn't help the economy but did bankrupt the country enabling Republicans to wage war against teachers all over
The cost of the Bush tax cuts continue to reverberate since Obama decided to extend them
What could have been done with the money?
- Hire 4.19 Million Firefighters Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 3.67 Million Elementary School Teachers Every Year For Ten Years
- Hire 3.6 Million Police Officers Every Year For Ten Years
See the complete list: p://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/07/237560/10-years-bush-tax-cuts/
The largely lusterless career of Terry Grier
Terry Grier is not learning any new tricks. In fact, looking back at his career through stints at San Diego School District, Guilford County Schools, NC, Williamson County Schools in Franklin, TN, Sacramento United School District, Akron Public Schools, OH, Darlington County Schools, SC, Amarillo ISD, and McDowell County Schools, NC, you will find Grier engaging in the same tactics, same strategies, espousing the same philosophy from one stop to another and producing the same results. Every school district Grier has left voluntarily or been terminated from has needed a period of reconciliation and renewal. Wherever Grier goes, he uses up people like matchsticks. Clearly HISD's principal turnover is a direct result of Grier domineering over the principals' school management as he has done at all of his other stops.
Grier obtained his first superintendency at McDowell Public Schools in North Carolina. He served the McDowell school district for three years from 1984-1987. McDowell was a school district of 6000 students, 90% of whom were white. Other than his time at the Guilford County Schools, Grier stayed longer at McDowell than anywhere else in his administrative career but his tenure was not without problems. When Grier applied to the superintendency in Darlington, South Carolina, he was ripped in the Darlington newspaper by a McDowell school board member.
This quote from the Amarillo School Board president sums it up nicely: "Dr. Grier's actions confirm that the Amarillo School Board's decision was right when members voted six to one to terminate his contract..." (Rhino Times).
From 1988-1991 Grier was superintendent of Darlington School District in South Carolina. There is little information about why Grier ended his relationship with Darlington in 1991. Google Darlington, Grier, and problems and the word reform will pop up. It's not difficult to infer what happened there.
The Akron Public Schools hired Grier to be their superintendent in 1991. "The History of Akron Public Schools" says this about Grier: "Terry Grier became superintendent in May 1991. Grier was instrumental in the establishment of many new programs, such as a school for the visual and performing arts and BECOME (a program designed to increase the number of minority teachers in the district.) Grier began the job in May of 1991 and ended it in May 1994. Was Grier just anxious to get away from the dreary, cold city of Akron and move to California?
Ida Russell, Virgil Price, Louise Perez, and Gaspar Garcia - behind closed doors and the deed was done. Grier was shocked and angry. He filed a lawsuit against the four for violating the open records act. A California judge threw Grier's lawsuit out.
After his obviously mismanaged job in Sacramento, Grier should have called it quits. He had already been accused of forcing school personnel to work for the election of school board members. It's easy to imagine him enlisting his subordinates to write grants whereby he landed a plum position at East Carolina, where is an alum, or North Carolina. The school superintendent thing was just not working out.
He couldn't find a job. Perhaps for the first time in his life he couldn't find even a small band of supporters. In 1996 he landed in Franklin, Tennessee. Taking a huge cut in pay, he spent four unremarkable years in this predominately white district and left no mark. Nothing is mentioned about his tenure there. Perhaps he did learn something in Sacramento - how to survive.
He instituted intradistrict charter schools for underperforming students then offered to pay more to teachers who taught in them. At this point, he earned the fury of parents. Teachers had already had with him: Interruptions in the school day, constant changes of policy and direction, and threats. Guilford County saw the Grier ugly face and the twisting arms. Administrators lived in fear of him. In fact, when a report from the state showed the number of suspensions went up from one year to the next, Grier demanded administrators lower the numbers. And lower they did. Rumors circulated that students could do anything they wanted in Guilford County Schools, and it probably took murder to qualify as a suspendable offense.
School discipline is not a subject Grier cares much about. After all, he only spent a total of four years as a high school principal before becoming an associate superintendent.
Here is what a parent said about Grier as the Guilford County schools chief: "Most problems in Guilford's schools can be traced to administrative decisions...kids could wear anything they wanted (to school) and walk around drinking Coca-Cola..." While Grier and his task force study school discipline, "...teachers and other personnel continue to be hurt trying to control the mobs and daily outbreak of fighting. Some actually gang style fighting...makes me wonder how long it will be before chains, knives, and brass knuckles will be part of everyday equipment..." (by BrendaBee from greensboring.com).
While Grier was busy padding his Advanced Placement numbers and placing all 14 Guilford County high schools in the top 4% of schools nationally offering AP programs, only 58% of Guilford Schools met state testing goals in 2005, a decrease of 8% from the previous year. Most incriminating to his aura of being reform master was the 20% decrease in Adequate Yearly Progress from 2004 where 78% of Guilford's schools met the goal to 58% in 2005.
In both Sacramento and Guilford County, Grier left a legacy of shame. The Sacramento mayor's annual school review found the Sacramento City Unified School District to be in desperate condition during Greir's tenure. Even worse, two schools in Guilford County were among 19 in North Carolina Superior Court Judge Howard Manning, Jr., threatened to close if achievement didn't improve.
It is easy to see how Grier shrugged off the TAKS results this year which showed a mixed bag but nothing comparable to what was expected or promised.
It is also easy to see how the HISD trustees had to hide behind closed doors to hire Grier, a charlatan of his trade in many respects.
San Diego Unified staff got the word out quickly to HISD. A public hearing would never have allowed him to be hired.
Link to previous pages: 6/6/2011
Link to TNTP assessment: TNTP ass.
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