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Archive for December, 2008

Vacation???

Posted by Texas Education on December 21, 2008

Looks like Texas Education is going on hiatis till school resumes. I hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

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My rantings

Posted by Texas Education on December 18, 2008

Ok, I’ve been blogging for about 7 months now! I’ve mostly put educational “information” out there, and some personal comments, some may say more. But, nevertheless, today I felt the need to do a little venting.  This morning, while getting ready, I was watching a morning show. There was a journalist being interviewed and was stating why our country and our economy is in the tank, my word not his. Talking about the bailout, one of his comments was that the people handling our “money” don’t know what they are doing. He exclaimed we need better educated people, in other words.  I agree! We are now seeing the $700 billion dollar bail out is as poorly implemented, monitored and NOT transparent,  as anything else.  I find when trying to deal with insurance, clerks, sales people, almost anyone, there are mistakes after mistakes after mistakes being made, which only add to the cost of everything.  Companies are cutting back and putting more on the ones left, we are cutting back on what makes our schools run better and all we ever hear is how people whine the teachers have it made, or God forbid they have two periods to make parent phone calls, grade the hundreds, no make that thousands of papers, input grades, work on the tons of paperwork for their 504’s or ARDS, or modified work. Create lively, energetic, informative, substantial, engaging lesson plans, just to mention a “few” of the duties of teachers. I get it. I understand the ones in charge, the ones that keep getting elected into office are the ones who are undermining public education all for the sole purpose of vouchers, having a “choice” where they want their children to go to school. But, people, what are we talking about, a mere $3-4000 a year to put your child in a school that charges that…per month?

People are losing their jobs, their homes, their livelyhood. Our children are suffering to the nth degree, and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t change course and change it hard and fast. We are cutting programs that enhance a student’s interests, dreams and sometimes the pure motivation to go to school. I’m talking about art, music, technology, all the extra curricular  activities.

Thank God I had drill team when I was in school. I honestly don’t know what I would have done, where I would be now, if it were not for drill team. It literally saved my life. My home life was…well, not so much. I can relate, which is why I feel, sometimes, I have a connection to my students.  I know what it’s like for school to be a safe place! And it was for me, and it was exciting,  and I enjoyed learning.

Why aren’t we putting more into our schools? Producing a workforce like no other? Using the latest technology, non-stop?  What I see are computers sitting in classrooms gathering dust. Just big paperweights. When, the one thing students know and like more than anything is…technology.

As much as I’ve enjoyed subbing, again! I miss teaching. Teaching my own classes. Having my own students, my own parents. I create engaging lesson plans, I teach manners, leadership, I hold students accountable. I make sure to make connections with students, colleagues, administration, parents, even the community. I’m flexible, nice, very well organized, contrary to some beliefs. I’m computer literate, and incorporate that into what I do, what I teach and am amazed at how others, well, frankly, don’t. I try to improve my knowledge of technology, and other pertinent information concerning teaching and worldly stuff. Most of all I care, I’m compassionate,  and I’m completely dumbfounded as to why I sit here and I don’t have a classroom. I do wish someone would enlighten me, please!

Ok, I’m done, I wish I could say I feel better, but I don’t!!  The world is still cold and losing ground, I’m still, basically, unemployed and I need to get dinner before I do or say something I might regret, if it’s not already too late!!!

For your entertainment:

1976

1976

Yeah, that’ me, front and center!!

Posted in accountability, bizzare, Ethics, financing, Good Stuff, good stuff - not quite, leadership, learning, personal, teachers, teaching, teen leadership, texas education, Texas schools, vouchers | 2 Comments »

As if Texas schools didn’t have enough problems

Posted by Texas Education on December 16, 2008

Now the state is going to suspend the school bond guarantee it has provided for 25 years. The Permanent School Fund’s value has gone from $26.6 billion in 2007 down to about $17.6 billion.

The guarantee helps lower interest costs on construction projects. But because of the failing  economy, the diminished value of the funds, coupled with the number of school districts requesting the bond guarantee, have temporarily impaired the state’s ability to back the issuance of school bonds.

Twenty Texas school districts intending to use the bond guarantee program this month have been told their applications will be deferred.

“We recognize that this action may cause some hardship on school districts, but believe it to be necessary to ensure that capacity remains available for bonds that have already been approved during the current period of market volatility,” Adam Jones, TEA deputy commissioner for finance and administration, said in a letter to school superintendents.

So this is going to impeed our schools even further, as I said, as if the schools didn’t have enough problems.

Projects guaranteed by the Permanent School Fund program automatically receive a AAA rating from Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch bond ratings services. The high rating gives school districts better interest rates and assures investors they will be repaid.

Every $100 million school bond issue roughly saves taxpayers anywhere from $100,000 to $550,000.

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Eggers dedication…don’t forget!

Posted by Texas Education on December 15, 2008

In the news

James D. Eggers Humble ISD will dedicate the James D. Eggers Instructional Support Center
during a special ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at 4810 Magnolia
Cove Drive in Kingwood. The community is invited.

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Teaching “Texas” teachers

Posted by Texas Education on December 11, 2008

Texas Tech lands $3 million grant from Greater Texas Foundation

Now here’s something I can get on board with! Texas Tech University will use a $3 million grant from the foundation to fund a program for current middle school math and science teachers. Twenty-two universities across Texas competed for the $3 million grant. “Improving math and science education is a national imperative,” said Wynn Rosser, executive director of the foundation. “This program is unique in that it aims to improve instruction for teachers who serve underserved student populations as well as provide opportunities for math and science teachers to accomplish several other goals,” Wilhelm also said.

Teachers interested in participating in the program should contact Ms. Wilhelm at 806-742-1997 ext. 229 or e-mail her at jennifer.wilhelm@ttu.edu.

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ABCD

Posted by Texas Education on December 10, 2008

I just noticed another search to get to my site, “Cynthia Dunbar.” Also, I was searching, please don’t ask, I search for anything and everything, and came across, an article by LISA FALKENBERG, just love her! on our infamous friend about her book. I wish, and one of the main reasons I blog about Texas Education, more and more and more people would see the leaders (and I use that term loosely) that they have elected to run our “government schools”:

“Public education is tyrannical, unconstitutional and the Satan-following Left’s “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” And parents who surrender their children to government-run schools are “throwing them into the enemy’s flames even as the children of Israel threw their children to Moloch.”

These aren’t the beliefs of just any right-wing Christian zealot — no offense to the right wing or to Christians in general — but one who was elected by Texas voters to help shape the curriculum for all of Texas’ 4.5 million public schoolchildren.

Oh kay! Isn’t this a conflict of interest? Wouldn’t the reason she is on the board is to undermine public schools? Isn’t there anything we can do to get her off since the people don’t know what the heck they are doing? This is appalling, decitful, and downright unethical. I think when she runs next time I’m going to run the ABCD campaign…Anything But Cynthia Dunbar! Kinda catchy, eh?  Worse yet;

In a piece for Christianworldviewnetwork.com, Dunbar wrote that Obama, the terrorist sympathizer, would bring tyranny to America by declaring martial law after his accomplices attack our soil.

The commentary, condemned by conservatives and progressives alike, was quickly removed from the Web site.

But her book is available at Amazon.com for anyone to read, even a tool-of-Satan, mainstream media columnist like me.
[…]

Obama as Hitler?

The Founding Fathers created “an emphatically Christian government” and, thus, every person who wants to govern in this country should have “sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God.”

Dunbar argues that America’s declining, immoral society is in need of Christian soldiers who will rise up to save it. At one point, she proclaims that the similarities between our society and that of “pre-Holocaust” Nazi Germany are “striking.”

She lists the similarities, and then comes to the leadership component.

“Well, I guess that is the one missing ingredient,” she writes. “After all, we certainly lack a charismatic, driven leader with a hidden agenda, a leader who comes out of nowhere who seems to command the awe and allegiance of many. Or are we?”

This elected state official seems to be suggesting our newly elected president could be the next Adolf Hitler.

Lisa sums it up rather nicely: “Whether it’s about reading, evolution or a far-right version of Bible curriculum she and other board members are pushing, Cynthia Dunbar is touching every public schoolchild in Texas.”

Oh but there’s more on Dunbar (I can’t with all conscious put a Ms. in front of her name) Steve Blow at the Dallas News wants to nominate Little Miss Sunshine 2008 Texan of the Year. I’m pretty sure he is using sarcasm, you think? She can stir up hornets nests like no other.

Taking down America is one thing, but our Official State Cassandra sees conspiracies lurking right here in Texas classrooms, too.

As a member of the State Board of Education, she pledges “to fight for parental control over hidden socialistic, humanistic agendas.”

In fact, she calls public education itself a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” (Her kids have been home-schooled and attended private school.)

I lalso found someone who blogs about our own Little Miss Sunshine 2008 Texan of the Year (hey, that just might stick.)  Justorb has a few choice words here and here to say about her. But, then with someone as crazy as CD, you could throw a rock and probably hit someone who would have a few choice words to say about her.  So, how the heck do these people keep getting elected when they can even pi$$ off some of their own kind because they are so far off the planet?

And it’s certainly people like her that make me ashamed to put Texas behind my name. She is an honest to goodness…wow, I can’t even think of a word that truly describes this loon.

Posted in bizzare, completely unbelievable, Ethics, leadership, say what???, SBOE, texas education | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

North Forest rollback election is defeated 4-1

Posted by Texas Education on December 8, 2008

Ouch, looks like ACORN was a bit misguided.

The referendum failed by a 4-to-1 margin Saturday night, according to preliminary results. The local Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, mounted a campaign against the rate hike.

“It was a difficult time to be calling an election,” said Adrain Johnson, the state-appointed superintendent and a former TEA associate commissioner. “I’m disappointed, but not discouraged. There’s a lot of work to be done to rebuild the trust in the community.”

I truly feel for this district, and after this, wonder what is going to happen. My thoughts and prayers go out to the community, administrators, parents, teachers and especially all the students of North Forest ISD. Chron story here.

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SBOE Member Dunbar in hot water again!

Posted by Texas Education on December 7, 2008

Capitol Annex has an article about Ms. Dunbar and her antics getting her in hot water.

Fresh from her statements that an Obama administration would result in martial law in the United States, right-wing State Board of Education member Cynthia Dunbar is now in hot water as a result of a new book she has written in which advocates for, among other things, a “biblican litmus test” to guide government.

The Houston Chronicle has a rundown on the book:

In her book, One Nation Under God, Dunbar argues that the country’s founding fathers created “an emphatically Christian government” and believed that government should be guided by a “biblical litmus test.”

Dunbar endorses a belief system requiring “any person desiring to govern have a sincere knowledge and appreciation for the Word of God in order to rightly govern.”

She calls public education a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion.” The establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even “tyrannical,” she writes in the book, because it threatens the authority of families, granted by God through Scripture, to direct the instruction of their children.

Dunbar defends herself by claiming the text wasn’t written for the general public, but rather as “an educational tool to the body of Christ:”

“I don’t think most people in the churches are aware of the venom against Christian America,” she said. “So, it’s more of a wake-up call to be informed, to be involved. They are fine with the body of Christ as long as we stay hidden in our four walls of the church, sitting quietly in our pews.

“But if we become civically involved or active in public policy issues, then we’re going to be shot down,” Dunbar said.

The Texas Freedom Network, an organization that monitors the influence of the Religious Right in Texas, is rightfully calling on SBOE Chairman Don McLeroy to remove Dunbar (R-Richmond) from the board’s Committee on Instruction:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in accountability, bizzare, completely unbelievable, Ethics, leadership, texas education, Texas schools | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

North Forest needs taxpayers to vote YES!

Posted by Texas Education on December 4, 2008

A wonderful article in the Chronicle today by the new super at North Forest ISD. I thought I was keeping up with the comings and goings of North Forest better than I actually have been. Did not realize their super was Adrain Johnson. Seems their scenario is not as bad as ours. We needed 17 mil just to keep our heads above water for the remainder of the year. They need only 4 mil. I know it’s still a ton of money no matter how you slice it, but if 4 mil, costs their taxpayers only $66 a year, not too shabby, I’d say. Seriously, if that’s what they need to asked the voters of North Forest to approve a 13-cent increase in the property tax rate, which will generate $4 million a year to help resolve the crisis (but, lets be serious, it will only be a band aid, again) and make improvements in their schools, I sure hope it passes.

That’s why Dec. 6, 2008, is a crucial day. On that day, citizens have a chance to cast a vote for better schools and a better future for our children.

At our district Legislative committee meeting Tuesday, board member, Dan Huberty, explained how Tommy Williams told him in no uncertain terms, we have to go to them and show them how many coaches we have fired, what kind of cutbacks we have made, etc., well, we have and so has North Forest:

The employees of North Forest ISD have worked with the leadership to make tough cuts in the budget to become more efficient. We’ve consolidated our two high schools into one and merged two of our elementary schools as well. We have also cut administrative jobs throughout the district.

I was deeply impressed with this article. Got to be the first time I was impressed with anything that had the words North Forest in them. My heart always goes out to North Forest ISD, where I got my teaching certificate, so it will always hold a place in my heart. I love the kids, and sure hope the best for them as I do for ours here in Humble. Just yesterday when I was at TMS, again, I was passing out some papers and a student said, “were you at Oak Village?” I looked at her and, didn’t recognize her, asked her her name and then said, ” were you in my class,?” she said no, thank goodness, so I didn’t forget her, but she knew me!!! By getting around, different districts, almost 11 years of subbing now, I can’t seem to go anywhere without seeing a student who, I feel, I have touched their lives, and of course, they have touched mine!

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Humble ISD District Legislative Committee Meeting

Posted by Texas Education on December 3, 2008

Last night I attended the first of many District Legislative Committee meetings. This is the school districts way of getting information out, informing the general (voting) public, and tax payers alike of the insane current funding of our schools. I was totally amazed at the turn out, though I don’t think I should have been. There were approximately 65 people in attendance. Many with anger in their voices. The good kind of anger! The kind that get people motivated, informed and doing something. Not only were there a lot of people at this meeting, but there were some very bright individuals in attendance. People like former Board member, Lynn Fields, Chamber President Mike Byers, many business leaders, PTA/PTO members, principals, teachers and our deceased HISD Board President Jim Eggers’ wife. Dr. Sconzo recognized Mrs. Eggers and reminded all of the dedication of the ISC building at 4810 Magnolia Cove Drive in Kingwood on December 10, 2008 at 3:30 p.m. I’m sorry I must have gotten the date wrong at the meeting, the website says Humble ISD will dedicate the James D. Eggers Instructional Support Center during a special ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, at 4810 Magnolia Cove Drive in Kingwood. The community is invited. 

Board members Dan Huberty, Charles Cunningham and Dr. Bonnie Longnion will be heading up this monumental adventure. Our plans are to make and effect plans to involve our community in informing our state elected officials of our needs and to propose needed solutions to the State Legislature for resolving the sate public education funding crisis. Dr. Sconzo and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Cecilia Hawkins developed the following state legislative goals which are being recommended to the full Board for adoption:

  • Increase WADA target revenue to close the significant and inequitable gap that exists among school districts and build in an annual revenue inflation factor.
  • Increase the transportation allotment and provide a realistic inflation factor for needed revenue growth to meet annual inflationary cost increases.
  • As fast growth school districts necessarily serve more students every year, allow for those districts to realize local property tax revenue growth without an equivalent reduction in state aid.
  • Increase the guaranteed yield for Existing Debt Allotment funding and establish this funding as a permanent form of state aid for fast growth school districts.
  • Block any proposed legislation that is an unfunded state mandate.

It is not too late to join our adventure. Our next meeting will be Thursday, January 15, 2009. You can email legislature@humble.k12.tx.us.

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