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School woes not your fault Govenor Perry?

Posted by Texas Education on March 10, 2011

Rick Perry In case you didn’t know, the reason
Guv Dude isn’t ponying up any dollars for education, isn’t because there isn’t any money, it’s because the Republican Party doesn’t want to FUND public education. Plain and simple! Doesn’t matter if in one breath he is saying we need to create jobs in Texas, and then out of the other we are laying off upwards of 100,000 teachers  in the next two years. That is not his FAULT! At least, that’s his story and he’s sticking to it! See today’s chonicle article! “…the state’s not to blame if teachers lose their jobs…”

I guess there was a reason I came to Texas, I hear stories all the time where someone says they knew from the time they were little they were going to be a teacher. I will admit, I am not one of those people. I subbed at my kids’ schools, and gradually knew I could do that. And I did, even my dh said one day to me after I had finished some tests (and passed I might add) “I didn’t think you could do it!” And frankly, you would think I would have been a bit upset by that, but, I didn’t think I could do it either! So there! But, I have become an education activist in Texas, and then went on to get five certifications and I’m certified to teach Teen Leadership!

I tried last November to get my friends (most are teachers and most vote Republican, why I don’t honestly know) but, alas, you voted this moron (oh forgive me for the words I use.) But, I call a spade a spade, and this is what we have to deal with. Now, maybe you will vote in representatives that are on your side. Why can’t I, and others, get it through peoples heads the Republicans are not for the people, they don’t want their tax dollars, hell, they don’t want their money funding your kids’ education! That’s the attitude they’ve got.

This is their beliefs: “Dominionists believe the federal government should recede into the background. This would be achieved through massive tax cuts. Then the Church would assume responsibliltly for welfare and education. Tax cuts, Faith-based initiatives and school vouchers are the cornerstone of Bush administration domestic policies and recommended in the Texas GOP Platform. These policies are putting the U.S. on the path toward becoming what the Platform calls a “Christian” nation.” So, unless you are religious, you are SOL when it comes to your child’s education, in their books, anyway.

Is this what we need? (I don’t really want the fight, but they asked for it.) The Republicans can not do this, and the public roll over and take it, whether they are Democrats or Republicans, the parents! I just wish they would have seen this coming (like we did) and voted for Bill White. He would not have let this happen, I guarantee it! He would not have turned his back on the people of Texas like this!

source: http://www.theocracywatch.org/texas_gop.htm

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Posted in In-the-news, leadership, learning, say what???, teachers, teen leadership, texas education, Texas schools, Texas State Legislature, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Wow, I can’t believe I’m here!

Posted by Texas Education on October 22, 2009

I was researching some data for facebook. Yep, I do facebook now, not so much on the twittering, and I haven’t done much on my blogs. I do miss it a bit, but I just don’t have the time or the energy much anymore. But, since I was rummaging around the old barn, I thought I would strike up the old pen (well keyboard) and put a few syllables here. Haven’t been keeping up much with the legislative stuff, nor the Humble ISD information. Just doing more plain old political things now…oh, and teaching (subbing)! Oh, how I long for a classroom! It pains me so to walk into a classroom and KNOW I could be doing a better job. Oh, but I digress! Looks like I need a new hobby. Any ideas?????

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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.

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

Education vs. Prison

Posted by Texas Education on March 5, 2009

Wow, I’m actually agreeing with Kathleen Parker more and more, ever since she said Palin was out of her league last year. Now she has written an article about how we need to improve our schools or else spend it on prisons later. Which is what I’ve been saying for years now.

I keep yelling from the roof tops of how teachers will teach under the worst conditions, they will teach no matter what. I taught technology applications with no computers, no books, not even a computer for myself until the second semester. I never did really get computers. Oh, yeah, I got about a dozen, but they didn’t accept flash drives, would freeze up and I didn’t even have proper outlets to plug them up. I tried, I asked, but they have placed tech apps in never never land, no one but the principal to go to. Oh…and internet… forget about it.

It would be nice if teachers got the supplies they needed, decent furniture, enough books so kids didn’t have to share, or even get books at all, like moi. It would be nice if they even got the recognition they deserve. Lord knows I’d love to see “real” technology in the classrooms. I know, there are groups and committees that give them the kudos they deserve, but the average Joe still doesn’t get it. Really!!

Posted in financing, say what???, ummm..., uncanny | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Yes!!!! Eliminating TAKS???

Posted by Texas Education on March 2, 2009

scaredmonkeyOk, I’ve been a bit bored, unenthused, and lacking any desire to blog. Yes,I said it, but I have had a bit of a spark lit in me, as of late. One, I took the test for the BCIS (yes, no one ever even knows what that stands for, but when I say “business,” they shake their head in undertanding – for the record it stands for Business Computer Information Systems).  I’m actually surprised I passed, I got sick the week before the test and was still a bit sick on test day. The second thing is, well, I’m back! I had a very good week last week subbing, have been painting my laundry room (ok, maybe that is getting a bit personal and off topic).

But, what I’m all excited about is this article “Texas lawmakers’ plan would replace standardized tests.” Are you kidding me?? Could it be???

Two Republican lawmakers plan to introduce legislation next week that would replace the state’s current school accountability system based on annual standardized testing of students with one based on charting an individual student’s progress over time.

I like the sounds of that…

Posted in accountability, completely unbelievable, Good Stuff, leadership, say what???, texas education, Texas schools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Cash infusion controversy and more

Posted by Texas Education on January 27, 2009

I recently had some people talking about my blog on-line. I won’t say how I was able to access their conversation, suffice it to say…technology!! They were talking about some of the things on my blog, that I’m a teacher “waaaa more money,” and I was for TFN (Texas Freedom Network) and RYHT (Raise your hand Texas). Now, I won’t go into those, right now, suffice it to say, I’m all for both organizations and I’m also for Texas Parent PAC. Just like President Obama, not everyone is going to agree with what they do and say, not 100% of the time. The group talking about me were parents for Autism and homeschooling. Saying I was making fun of homeschoolers on this post. I posted this because I received it as an email (I’ve received it before) but posted it because it’s puppies, who doesn’t like puppies? I thought it was cute, that’s all, just cute. Not making fun of homeschooling. I’m all for homeschooling, but I do have concerns, which I won’t get into now. That’s for another time and another post. I’m also concerned about Autism and neurobiological disorders.

Back to my purpose of this particular post. Looks like, per our new president, we may be getting more money for schools. I sure hope so. Yeah, me, teacher, “more money”! I honestly don’t think (even some educators, parents, and especially the general public) understand how some of our schools are functioning. I was quoted in the chronicle when I was at North Forest,

Take supplies, for example. Patty Pinkley, a first-year teacher at Oak Village Middle School, began teaching a course called “technology applications” in August. The only problem: The district didn’t give her computers that worked until last week – eight months into the school year.

“I’ve been teaching a lot of vocabulary,” Pinkley said. “But unfortunately it’s hard for (the students) to grasp it, just seeing it on paper.”

It can be found under “wikipedia”. Only place I’m in wikipedia…so far!

Others have commented about the conditions of their schools:

Judi Caddick, a middle school math teacher in blue-collar Lansing, Ill., just south of Chicago, said in the older part of her World War II-era school, classrooms had just two power outlets, forcing teachers to string multiple extension cords into the rafters or to unplug a TV power point presentation in order to plug in a computer for a child.

This certainly reminds me of my classroom. They did put the computers in, but never got the internet connected to them. So I never really got to use them. Unfortunately, that never made the paper. Another teacher was teaching science, towards the end of the year, she lost power in her classroom so she didn’t even have an overhead projector. Most of the overhead’s bulbs would burn out and they were never replaced.

I always would say that by studying technology I would never be a floater. Well, never say never (I WAS a walking cliché that year!) I floated for the first semester. The second semester I had a room (no computers) but a room. I even got a laptop because I was making the badges for the school. I’m not complaining, well, maybe just a little, but the conditions were deplorable. Don’t get me wrong, one of the first things I say about teaching is we learn from our mistakes and our problems. I learned a ton, and I also made friends with teachers, learned from them when I was floating, that I never would have been able to do had I had a classroom from the beginning.

Ms. Craddick went on to say:

“It looked like a spaghetti bowl.”

Special-education classrooms flooded when plumbing backed up, leaving an unmistakable smell on hot days, not to mention allergy and asthma problems, despite efforts to clean the carpet, she said. And hallways were so dark and crowded, teachers often couldn’t see shoving and bumping among students in time to stop fights.

A new building to replace that old school is now almost complete. The last group of students, the eighth-graders, moved in earlier this year.

“It’s a huge difference,” Caddick said. “We don’t have to have necessarily state-of-the-art and fluffy stuff. But at least when you don’t have mold problems, and you don’t have things that are broken, and you don’t have an inability to use the technology, it’s an investment.”

These types of upgrades can also make kids healthier. Measures to prevent mold can decrease asthma. I suffer from asthma. It has gotten much worse for me now. I had an attack just recently, and I don’t even remember having attacks when I was a child. I had to call my dad and ask him how old I was when I was having attacks. I was about one year old. The school I was at, at North Forest, often flooded too and talk about yer mold.

The massive economic-stimulus package unveiled by House Democrats this week and President Barack Obama includes more than $100 billion for K-12 and higher education — for building repairs, technology upgrades, (music to my ears) financial aid, and programs to help special education and at-risk students.

I see a lot of negativity concerning our schools, our districts needing more money. Not just Texas, but the nation as a whole. I once remember seeing a bumper sticker saying, “It will be a great day when our schools have all the money they need and NASA will have to hold a bake sale to build spaceships.” Imagine that! You can’t, can you?

“It’s not only economic recovery, but it’s investing in kids,” said Jeff Simering, Legislative Director of the Council of the Great City Schools.

Dr. Guy Sconzo, Superintendent of Humble ISD, foresees an increase in teachers, lower class sizes and more tutorials if the district receives the estimated $11 million earmarked under the Democrats proposal.

In North Forest ISD, where voters recently rejected the proposal to raise the property tax rate, Superintendent Adrain Johnson said he would welcome the estimated $20 million stimulus payout.  Johnson said he would like to expand after-school programs — to introduce more students to musical instruments, for example — and his schools could use millions of dollars to fix leaky roofs and persistent drainage problems.

I can relate to that! And, I’d like to see that too!

President Obama has given few specifics about the economic recovery plan, which could cost as much as $850 billion over the next two years. But, there is no way to know how much of that will go to our schools. The only dollar figure from President Obama so far, is that schools would share with roads in an immediate infusion of $25 billion for repairs and rebuilding.

I only hope we do see some relief, and soon. I would like there to be more money for technology, not only for the kids and the teachers, but it might just open some new doors for me too!!!

More on this subject here.

Posted in funding, say what???, Texas schools | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is no child left behind finally on the way out?

Posted by Texas Education on January 19, 2009

bushnochildleftbehindcaca6
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NCLB gave us grade schoolers literally throwing up under the pressure of high stakes testing. It gave us a cottage industry
of prep books filled with multiple choice exercises. It gave us the discontinuation of art and music classes to provide time for TAKS practice ( i.e.) teaching to the test.

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Could it be on the way out?

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A writer named Margaret Downing tells a story about her experiences as a tutor a few years ago:

School test scores rise as more low-scoring students drop out

…I signed on as a volunteer tutor at my local elementary. I was matched with a student – I’ll call him Eddie – who was failing miserably at both the math and English portions of the TAAS (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills), a statewide minimal skills test that was the precursor to today’s TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills).

I took him on in math, it being the worst of all his subjects, and began a series of one-on-one weekly meetings. It soon became apparent that while Eddie’s multiplication and division skills were very shaky, his ability to subtract once we got into double digits was no better. Asked to compute 25 minus 17, Eddie’s eyes darted around the room looking for an escape hatch. There were too many numbers to count on his fingers.

Word problems only ramped up the agony.

We continued meeting. I took him back to subtraction and then up to multiplication and division. I talked with his teacher, who’d show me more failed papers, and then Eddie and I would go over them.

He began to improve. I wasn’t the perfect teacher but I was someone paying extra attention. The grades on his class math tests weren’t stellar, but better.

The week after the TAAS, I showed up for my session with Eddie. Of course the scores wouldn’t be reported for a while, but we were optimistic. Then the teacher asked what I was doing there. The TAAS is done, she said. You’re through.

There were several weeks still to go in the school year. Eddie was still Eddie. He still needed a lot of extra help with his math and his English and probably other subjects as well.

As I walked out of the school after being dismissed, I realized I hadn’t been helping a kid. I’d been helping a kid prepare for the state test, which really meant that I’d been helping that school toward a higher accountability rating so the teacher and the principal could be sure of their jobs.

I thought of Eddie when I was talking with Rice professor Linda McSpadden McNeil, who has co-authored a study showing that the increase in Texas’s statewide test scores directly correlates to lower graduation rates.

In fact, it contributes to them, she believes.

Scores have been rising, not because all these students have suddenly mastered the TAKS, but because low-scoring students have been forced out by administrators whose own job success depends on good student scores.

After all, who wants to carry an Eddie on his record?

And thus it has been over the last seven plus years. High stakes testing has been a special disaster for minority students, a group we will need to maintain our economic prosperity as he population demographics tip inevitable toward these groups.

A Harvard educational report put it this way:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in accountability, leadership, learning, national education, say what???, teaching, texas education, Texas schools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Playground nicknames – a good thing?

Posted by Texas Education on January 6, 2009

I will go with what I usually say when I’m on the net…are you kidding me? There’s an article from the UK. Well, I guess I should consider the source, I never much get British humor anyway. The  article says, “Playground nicknames such as “four-eyes”, “carrot-top”, “pizza-face” and “stinky” can be good for children, according to an academic.”

shortyIt would be very difficult for me to agree with this article. When growing up,  I was called shorty, squirt, pee-wee, shortstuff, half-pint, little-bit, tiny (if they could see me now!) shrimp, and flatty patty (and again, if they could see me now!).  I know, that has nothing to do with being short, but it still hurt.  Even from total strangers, and all of them, at one time or another, no lie!!!

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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!!!

Posted in Good Stuff, say what??? | Leave a Comment »

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 »