Texas Education

Blog on Texas Education

Archive for the ‘bizzare’ Category

Maplebrook is clear to reopen Wednesday May 6, 2009

Posted by Texas Education on May 5, 2009

Officials have cleared Maplebrook Elementary (Humble ISD) to reopen to teachers and students on Wednesday, May 6, 2009. All staff and students should report to school as usual.

Advertisements

Posted in bizzare, H1N1 virus, learning, say what???, swine flu, teachers, Texas Children, texas education, Texas schools, uncanny | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

HISD to find new super

Posted by Texas Education on February 6, 2009

No, I didn’t miss the boat on this one, just trying to get my ducks in a row here. This came as quite a shocker to me. I don’t envy any school district to have to look for another superintendent, especially the largest in the state. I’m not much up on HISD, at least not much before now. I’m still learning, and feel I (as I teach) always will be.

Based on what’s been reported in the past, I was taken aback. Things are difficult with Texas Education (and that’s putting it mildly) right now, but I do have hope things will improve, at least from what is buzzing around now. (See yesterday’s post and the federal aid that I hope will see it’s way to our Texas schools. And having to find a new superintendent, well…we wish them all the best.

Posted in bizzare, In-the-news, texas education, Texas schools | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Cheerleading debacle at Atascocita High School

Posted by Texas Education on November 18, 2008

Wow, I was at the board meeting a few months back when a bunch, I do mean a bunch, of parents were a hooping and a hollering about some “injustice” being done on their beloved cheerleaders. Suffice it to say, I’m not a huge cheerleading fan. Cliques, is an understatement, and I will expand upon that later. At the board meeting, which I actually spoke at, giving a thumbs up on our water polo endeavors, though things can change ever so quickly, and they have, and more on that in another post. There is an article in the Tribune about parents up in arms about a student that was allowed back into the squad, though she did not make the tryouts this year. I’m still not clear on the whole issue, one, even why it’s an issue. The big deal (IMHO) is a policy was changed for one girl, who’s parents apparently made a stink, and the rest of the team and their parents were up in arms over that policy change by the board.

The student in question was awarded the position based on her previous membership in the program and her following elimination at tryouts. The ruling changed the policy retroactively, at Principal Donna Rovigno’s discretion, and was upheld by Associate Superintendent Paula Almond.

So, why am I here, why do I even give a rats patootie? Well, some parents have filed a law suit against the school district. OMG!

David and Maria Paulus brought a Level III grievance against the district following the addition of a varsity cheerleader five months into the year. According to the Pauluses, the addition was a violation of the handbook, which states that all members must try out, regardless of previous position on the squad or class level.

Mr. Paulus states in the article, “‘You are virtually crippling this person, because they now believe that they can get whatever they want, despite rules,” said Paulus. “We want to teach our students life lessons,” he said.” Dave Martin, school board president says, “I want inclusion. These aren’t 25-year-old women that need to be taught a lesson. When we went down this path to making smaller learning communities, we gave students the opportunity to be involved.” And Dan Huberty also says, “Our focus as a district is to be inclusive and let children participate. Has there been harm done?” I have to totally agree with both of these board members.

I also like to use the saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Based on what our students, teachers, parents, administrators and district have been going through, to bring a law suit to this district, only intensifies and exacerbates our problems. The parent goes on to say, “Harmony of the team has been shaken this year,” said Paulus, and added that cliques had been formed as a result of the controversy. Um? The harmony has been shaken because a student that had previously been on the team didn’t qualify, but was put on the team anyway? I’m sorry, but this sure smells of a bunch of whiny parents. Of course, I don’t know the whole story, but based on what I’ve seen and what I’ve read, these people need to get a life. I may be a bit blunt, but with our economy, schools in crisis, teachers and positions being eliminated, great programs being cut, this seems a bit petty. And even when I was in high school, seems cheerleading and cliques were synonymous, weren’t they, and aren’t they still?

Yeah, many will argue that this was, maybe, not right. Some were hurt and maybe an injustice was done. But to the degree of a LAWSUIT? And unfortunately, the Tribune misspelled Ms. Rovegno’s first name, for the record it is Dania!

Posted in bizzare, say what??? | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Crosby bus driver reprimanded for turning off the A/C

Posted by Texas Education on August 30, 2008

Just when you think you’ve heard it all, someone goes and does something completely asinine. This bus driver was, well, basically given a warning, but if it were my child, I’m sorry, I would have asked for her termination. Maybe that’s just me, but I’ve seen, especially in the news, where people have done far less and have been fired or asked to resign. Nope, zero tolerance, in my books.

Here’s the scoop:

A Crosby school bus driver accused of punishing unruly elementary school students by turning off the air conditioning and rolling up the windows was reprimanded Friday by the school district. Parents complained to the Crosby Independent School District transportation department after their children got off the bus flushed and sweaty Thursday afternoon. School administrators said Friday the bus driver told them she turned off the rear air conditioning unit, but kept the bus’ front cooling unit running. ‘I was infuriated,’ said Jennifer Colombo, whose 6-year-old son Dylan was a passenger on the bus. ‘Especially with all the stories you hear about children dying in hot cars, there’s no reason anyone should be disciplined that way.’ Dylan’s first-grade classmate at Barrett Primary, Abigail Jensen, was beet red and dripping with sweat when she got off the bus, her mother Pam Jensen said.

‘Abby had on a red shirt yesterday and she was as red as the shirt,’ she said. She asked her daughter what had happened, and the girl replied, ‘Nobody would be quiet so the bus driver turned off the air conditioner and would not let us roll the windows down or anything. ‘She said they would even be in worse trouble if they rolled the windows down,’ Jensen said. ‘So here they are in 96, 98 degree weather and all these kids with no air.’ Jensen was livid. ‘I mean that’s uncalled for,’ she said. ‘I can understand children needing to have some consequences if they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do, but you don’t turn the air conditioning off, especially in Houston with the weather the way it is.’

The driver, Michelle Crawford, has worked for Crosby ISD since March 2007 and has no previous disciplinary record, said district spokesman Robert Tatman. Attempts to contact Crawford for comment Friday were unsuccessful. Tatman said Crawford told CISD Transportation Department officials that she was having problems with the students Thursday afternoon so she told them that she was going to turn the radio off until they quieted down. ‘That did not work,’ Tatman said. ‘Then what happened was that she went ahead and said that she would turn off the air conditioner. You know, trying to get them to be quiet.’ Crawford]said she only drove for about three minutes before turning the air back up, Tatman said. ‘It was just two stops,’ he said. ‘She counted the exact number.’ Crawford will continue to drive while on probation, but if there’s another incident she will be fired, Tatman said. ‘No one’s defending turning the air conditioning off, obviously,’ Tatman said. ‘It was inappropriate and hopefully would never happen again.’ Jensen said she has requested to view video from the bus so she can see for herself exactly what happened. ‘I’m still mad about it but at least they have done something,’ she said.

lindsay.wise@chron.com

“At least they have done something.” ??? What?? What did they do? No, this is unacceptable behavior, this women should not be in this line of work, if that’s all she can think of for discipline. I’d kinda like to see that video myself.

Posted in accountability, bizzare, completely unbelievable, Ethics, In-the-news | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

State law, books are required to have covers????

Posted by Texas Education on August 29, 2008

Wow, I’m scratching my head on this one. Did you know that? I sure didn’t. That there is a state law that all books must have book covers?

State law says that “each textbook, other than an electronic textbook, must be covered by the student under the direction of the teacher.” It does not require school districts to supply students with said cover.

What? This is a law? If you don’t cover your books, what happens? I just thought the schools did that to “protect” the books to enable them to last a bit longer. Wow, a state law??? No wonder the other states laugh at us every time we turn around. This article doesn’t have the title mine does, because apparently the press already new it was a law. Am I the only one who didn’t know this? Their title, “No paper bags for these school books, Austin school district to spend nearly $30,000 on new book covers after supply of free ones dries up.” Even that is enough to make you take a double look. Districts paying $30,000-$100,000 for…book covers? And we wonder why those not associated with education accuse us of misappropriating funds.

I watched my daughter put a Hollister paper bag on one of her books, just last night. Oops, is she breaking the law? I hope not.

Here are a couple of responses to this article:

This is just one more example of why I will NOT vote for an increase in school (i.e. my property) taxes. Use brown paper bags, the ways legions of school children have for decades. When you waste the taxpayer’s money, it’s no wonder you always need another tax increase. Vote NO on new school taxes.

and…

State law says that “each textbook, other than an electronic textbook, must be covered by the student under the direction of the teacher.”
Boy, I hope the penalty for failure to comply doesn’t involve jail time for teachers because this law is not being enforced in Round Rock or Taylor. If someone presses this issue, then at least two districts–and I suspect many more–just lost all their staff.

I am just not going to sleep well tonight.

Full story here if you dare to look.

Posted in bizzare, In-the-news, ummm... | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Company markets prenatal curriculum

Posted by Texas Education on July 7, 2008

Going with more of the bizzare category here. A story by JENNIFER RADCLIFFE, she wrote:

An increasing number of parents are hiring tutors to prepare their young children for kindergarten and elementary school. With all the pressure that comes with TAKS testing, they say they just want to make sure their child has every advantage.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with that.

But, now I’m getting a pitch from a company marketing a prenatal curriculum. It’s had me shaking my head for about a week.

The public relations guy writes: “Many people are unaware learning can actually begin in the prenatal years, and those who start their children on an appropriate curriculum before they’re born have seen amazing results.”

Here’s more from the press release: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bizzare, teaching | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »