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Posts Tagged ‘Chronicle’

Transparency within Katy ISD

Posted by Texas Education on July 7, 2008

This goes along with ethics, leadership and accountability…transparency! Our schools SHOULD have transparency, nothing should be hidden. In today’s outlook Alton Frailey, Katy ISD super responds on the article recently in the Chronicle.

Fortunately, the Katy trustees backed away from their absurd plan to ask state lawmakers to require information seekers to justify their requests. But their last-minute reversal before the scheduled vote was not because the trustees suddenly saw the wrongheadedness of the proposal. Rather, board members and Katy Superintendent Alton Frailey decided they didn’t want to fade the heat for preventing the community from knowing what goes on inside Katy ISD.

“I don’t want our board to be conflicted and misconstrued and misrepresented as trying to thwart public information,” Frailey said. “I’m not wanting to carry the water, but I have put the bucket in the well.”

Had the board proceeded, the public would have rightly seen it as being against open government.

Mr. Frailey says:

The editorial board should be applauded for noting that “repetitive, massive or petty requests for public information that are unfocused fishing expeditions or meant to harass administrators are aggravating and can cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.” This issue is real and is very much unknown by the majority of taxpayers. We have received feedback from those angry at the thought of having to tell the public why they are using public resources. But we have also received feedback from those angry that they are not allowed to know why someone is using a public resource their tax dollars provide.

This is certainly quite a controversial issue. We don’t want unwarranted, repetitive or fishing expeditions, but…we do want our leaders, administrator and yes, even our teachers to know they should keep everything above board and have nothing to hide. But, and I know this from personal experience, it is good to disclose information that needs to be out in the open. It CAN save thousands of dollars. Sometimes our officials and administrators don’t always know what is going on, and this is one way the public and those in charge can find out shady deals, hidden agendas, and down right corruptness.

I do applaud Mr. Frailey and the board for not preventing the community from knowing what goes on inside Katy ISD. If we keep the lines of communication open, have a trusting relationship, less and less people will find the need to go on fishing expeditions.

Wow, and speaking of transparency, A conversation on transparency on their website.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Districts battle to lure educators as state upgrades students’ courses

Posted by Texas Education on June 26, 2008

Oh, that’s only the sub title. (From Sunday’s Chron – Teach math, science? You’re hired.) But…I gotta say, I got a little steamed as I read this. Here, I’ve had a difficult time, at best, in finding and securing a position at a school/district. And here if you are math or science savvy, you get some districts offering signing bonuses or stipends, and at least one area district, Galena Park, is offering perks typically reserved for corporate executives. Wow, this is amazing.

The royal treatment

The royal treatment and perks. Galena Park ISD paid for someone to fly to Houston to spend two days with other out-of-town recruits. They stayed at a Galleria-area hotel, went to a “really great” Tex-Mex restaurant and, of course, got a tour of the schools and met with several principals.

“It was kind of like speed dating,” she said, “where you sat and talked to a principal for one school and then 20 minutes later, you switched.” If that’s not enough, What’s more, Galena Park awards signing bonuses of $5,000 for all middle and high school math and science teachers who make a two-year commitment. The district also reimburses up to $1,500 in moving expenses and pays health care premiums for a year, said spokesman Craig Eichhorn.

The Houston Independent School District offers one of the area’s biggest signing bonuses to math and science teachers: $6,000, with $4,000 paid upfront and $2,000 awarded in the second year.

Teachers who continue on the job also get an extra $1,000 annually, said Gomez, the interim HR manager. The article goes on to say.

The article, to me, seems to be boo hooing for the smaller school districts,

“It’s raising the bar for other districts to compete,” Gomez said. “And it hurts other districts if you don’t have the money to spend.”

not for teachers like me, who are teaching a “disposable” commodity, technology – an elective. Ok, call me bitter, but this is crazy, don’t you think? I understand the problems with the 4 by 4. And I also feel for the states, districts, and the teachers who are teaching math or science. I don’t envy them on that. I just wish more could be done for the electives, studies show extracurricular activities boost the kiddos grades, attendance, and make them all around better students and life long learners. Plus, colleges like to see that.

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Few options offered for Texas schools facing closure

Posted by Texas Education on June 16, 2008

A story by Eric Mellon, she is the reporter who put me in the Chronicle. I felt like a real celebrity, except for the fact I thought I was going to lose my job at Oak Village. Well, I didn’t, but that quote has followed me on the internet highway every since it was published over a year ago. She’s put Oak Village in the papers once again, only this time it didn’t come from me. Nope, it could possibly be one to face the chopping block. See her story here.

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