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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 »

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 »

Capturing Kids’ Hearts is coming to Humble ISD

Posted by Texas Education on April 16, 2009

Well, not exactly, but…I got an update from the last Board meeting, sorry I missed, that they are…well here’s the update:

Capturing Kids’ Hearts Professional Development

The entire Summer Creek High School staff will be pursuing Capturing Kids’ Heart professional development training. This special training in affective development techniques will cost $67,900 and will be paid for with Federal Title II grant funds.


This is such a wonderful, and I must say, surprising thing. My heart believes so strongly in Capturing Kids’ Hearts. I do believe it has made me a much better teacher and has given me the hope, that all of us need, to know that every child deserves the best from his/her teacher and this program/philosophy does just that.


In other action, the Board approved:

  • Design development plans for elementary school #26, Turner Stadium renovations and additions, and Community Learning Center renovations and additions.
  • Boundary option 1 for Lakeshore Elementary. Details
  • The annual AVID Membership Renewal for 2009-10 for all secondary campuses. The $42,574 is paid through the State High School Allotment fund.
  • Declaring a corner lot across the street from the old Bender High School in Humble as surplus property. The Board authorized having it appraised and advertising it for sale.
  • Population And Survey Analysts to begin its total Demographic Study focusing on the southeast area of the school district at this time.
  • Lemons Auctioneers to provide online auction services for 31 surplus portable buildings.
  • Chick-Fil-A to provide pre-packaged, ready to serve chicken sandwiches at all middle and high schools.
  • SBWV as the architect for the Kingwood High softball field design work.

Posted in Good Stuff, leadership, teachers, teaching, teen leadership | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

ED-ucation!!!

Posted by Texas Education on April 7, 2009

Last night was the first night for a new show on MSNBC, called The Ed Show! Hosted by Veteran talk radio host Ed Schultz. The show debates and discusses issues affecting all Americans. In this video “Rebuilding America,” Ed discusses how we’ve spent money on Education and where President Obama will spend money on Education. He starts on Education at about 4:33 minutes into it, he talks about education:

“I believe that the conservatives have vilified public education, they have short changed teachers, they have short changed facilities, and now we’ve got ourselves in a pickle, and all the conservative talkers in America you know what they do? ‘Public Education’s terrible, it will never work, we’ve got to push this school voucher thing.’ …I believe that we have to give an equal opportunity to every American if we’re going to be the great county we once were.”

Posted in accountability, Ethics, financing, leadership, national education, teachers, teaching, vouchers | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

This could happen to Texas schools

Posted by Texas Education on April 7, 2009

And we thought things were bad in Texas – and they are – but in South Carolina, their governor is planning on not taking stimulus money for education. Oh, my my!! I’m sorry, let me rephrase that, he is accepting stimulus money, just not going to give any to public education. See what kind of shape their schools are in…highlighted in the last paragraph. I find it interesting it’s the Republican governors who are not using the money to help middle America or our schools.

Governor Mark Sanford’s last-minute decision to accept federal stimulus dollars – but not send public schools their share – increases pressure on South Carolina districts faced with eliminating jobs next year, State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said today.

Rex said that continuing uncertainty over federal assistance would force school districts to build budgets for next year based on their worst-case scenarios.

“Things are no clearer today than they were yesterday,” Rex said. “The situation is still confusing and contentious, and districts can’t postpone their budget process indefinitely while they wait for this political drama to play out.”

[…]

South Carolina schools have absorbed $387 million in cuts throughout this year, leaving many districts with few alternatives except to consider cuts to their most important assets – their classroom teaching positions. Eighty to 90 percent of a typical school district’s budget is made up of salaries, with most of those salaries going to classroom teachers.

Posted in national education, teachers, teaching, vouchers | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Relationships and rigor

Posted by Texas Education on March 15, 2009

Reading David Brooks piece in today’s Houston Chronicle. (Though, that link takes you to the NY times on Thursday – couldn’t seem to find it in the chon.) Don’t even usually blog on Sunday’s, usually everyone is resting up for the week, but I’m pumped, for a number of reasons…I won’t bore you with here.

When he was a boy, his mother would wake him up at 4:30 to tutor him for a few hours before he went off to school. When young Barry complained about getting up so early, his mother responded: “This is no picnic for me either, Buster.”

That experience was the perfect preparation for reforming American education because it underlines the two traits necessary for academic success: relationships and rigor.

I’ve learned, relationships are the key in education. Friday, when I subbed at the school that I taught at last year, I saw some of my former students (a couple that made me earn my $$$) come up to me, big smiles, hugs, the whole nine yards, actually making a scene. Don’t think I wasn’t eating that up!!! Boosted my self-esteem ten – fold. Even though we had difficult times (those two I referred to earlier,) sleeping, checking out stuff we shouldn’t be looking at, at school, let alone in class, etc., they still have a big smile, a hug and warm wishes for me. (Yeah, that’s what we love about teaching.) Asked if I was coming back…I wish!

We’ve spent years working on ways to restructure schools, but what matters most is the relationship between one student and one teacher. You ask a kid who has graduated from high school to list the teachers who mattered in his life, and he will reel off names. You ask a kid who dropped out, and he will not even understand the question. Relationships like that are beyond his experience.

This is what really caught me. How true a statement. So, those two young men who I saw in the hall, got a hug from – one even introduced me to his girlfriend – the other came back from California (was worried about him being in gangs when I heard he was going out there) are, still in school, and apparently, doing better than last year. I would have loved to have still been there to watch my students continue to grow, succeed and excel.

Of course, Brooks goes on to talk about the other side, the rigor.

As Education Secretary Arne Duncan told me, “We’ve seen a race to the bottom. States are lying to children. They are lying to parents. They’re ignoring failure, and that’s unacceptable. We have to be fierce.”

Obama’s goal is to make sure results have consequences. He praises data sets that “tell us which students had which teachers so we can assess what’s working and what’s not.” He also aims to reward states that use data to make decisions. He will build on a Bush program that gives states money for merit pay so long as they measure teachers based on real results. He will reward states that expand charter schools, which are drivers of innovation, so long as they use data to figure out which charters are working.

Brooks sums it up well, “There’s reason to think that this week’s impressive speech will be followed by real and potentially historic action.”

Posted in accountability, In-the-news, leadership, learning, national education, teachers, teaching | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Education! Education! Education!

Posted by Texas Education on March 10, 2009

President Obama delivered his Education Plan at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce today, watch it in its entirety here. Grab a cup o’ joe, it’s over 3o minutes long. But, of course, I like what he has to say, and I only hope we can accomplish a portion of what he says.  I’m glad to see Education being put first, finally! Stimulus, mimulus, some are saying to put health care and education on a back burner (what have we been doing for the last 8 years?) and work on the economy. “WE CAN’T AFFORD TO PUT EDUCATION ON THE BACK BURNER ANY LONGER.”

He mentions 50 different benchmarks, crazy, I know! Why do we have that?  He is

“calling on our nations Governors and state education chiefs to develop standards and assessments that don’t simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test, but whether they possess 21st century skills like problem solving,  critical thinking, and entrepreneurship, and creativity, that is what we’re gonna help them do later this year. When we finally make NCLB live up to it’s name by ensuring not only the teachers and principals get the funding that they need, but that the money is tied to results.”

He even mentions Houston, in a good way, I kid you not! He goes on to say,

“Of course, raising standards alone will not make much of a difference unless we provide teachers and principals with the information they need to make sure students are prepared to meet those standards. And far too few states have data systems like the one in Florida that keep track of a student’s education from childhood through college. And far too few districts are emulating the example of Houston and Long Beach and using data to track how much progress a student is making and where that student is struggling.”

Houston, an example? I’m sorry, but am I missing something? I certainly don’t mean to diss our great city, but I  seriously don’t get it. Maybe I’m in a situation where I only see the negative. We really have to work to find out “what is right with this situation,” or what is “good.” I’m all for what he is saying, I only hope we see some sort of change, progress, help even.  I also hope to be a major part of this enormous undertaking.

I totally agree with President Obama about tracking a student’s progress throughout his school career, instead of testing him/her – a good friend of mine, teacher, her own son called her from home throwing up on a TAKS day – on a day or two, judging whether he/she moves up to the next grade or judges a whole school based on a student’s test scores on one day’s testing.

I do hope our childrens’ futures will be brighter. I’m trying to see the glass as half full.

As most of you know, if you have received an email from me,“To achieve your best, get in over your head and rise to the top.” – Dr. Richard Tapia Professor of Computational Mathematics, Rice University. This is still my mantra!!!

Obama’s vision for a new education system

Posted in accountability, Ethics, financing, funding, Good Stuff, Higher Ed, leadership, learning, national education, teachers, teaching, 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 »

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.

Posted in FYI, Good Stuff, Higher Ed, learning, teachers, teaching | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »