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Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Diane Trautman’

Abstinence +

Posted by Texas Education on March 6, 2009

In today’s editorial section of the Chronicle, there is an article Life Lessons. (I like how it starts out, “What’s wrong with this picture?” I use that phrase often.)

What’s wrong with this picture? Texas receives far more federal funding for abstinence education than any other state, yet in the latest government survey, it ranks third highest in the nation in teen birth rates.

Several state legislators are pondering that question and are working to expand the current system that stresses abstinence-only instruction to one that also includes information on contraception and disease prevention.

Two of those lawmakers are Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, and Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, who announced Monday that they are proposing legislation to give Texas students access to “complete, medically accurate and age-appropriate education about sexual health.”

“The status quo is not working,” said Ellis. “Only through honest information will teens have the tools they need for responsible decision-making and disease prevention.”

The proposed measure will not require public schools to teach sex education. (It is not currently mandated.) But it will require those districts that do so to provide complete and medically accurate information.

Even Sarah Palin’s daughter cried out that abstinence doesn’t work. We certainly need to start with that, and educate teens as to why they should NOT have sex, duh! But, we all know, been there done that, teens will have sex. Like it or not. So…we need to educate them on the fundamentals of and the consequences of, having sex, especially before marriage, etc., etc.

State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, an advocate of expanded sex education, told the Chronicle that comprehensive, accurate and age-appropriate sex education is “the first line of defense against unwanted pregnancy.”

My friend and colleague, Dr. Diane Trautman, is currently working with One Voice on their legislative agenda for this session. They are supporting three resolutions:

1. Continue funding after pregnant students deliver their babies. Currently, funds stop after delivery and of course that’s when the moms drop out.

2. Begin “Abstinence Plus” programs in middle and high school. Talk about abstinence but also include information on other types of birth control.

3. Make sure teacher preparation programs include Positive Behavioral Management strategies that teach teachers how to address problems in their classrooms rather than escalate situations and send kids to alternative placement, where again they just drop out rather than attend.

They feel these issues would address the drop out rate, which certainly is one of the key factors as to why teens tend to dropout – pregnancies.

I was also having a conversation with another colleague, Mike Beck, a social worker for Humble ISD, yesterday. We were discussing what happens when teens get pregnant. Then, within 5 years their kids start into the public school system. He made me aware of how these kids will be no more involved in their child’s school than their parents were. And we all know parental involvement is the key, a major key to success. A vicious cycle, if you ask me.

I’m beginning to see a glimmer of hope, each day. When we address issues and use common sense instead of old school – that don’t work syndrome – we may just see some success come our way…sooner better than later, I only hope.

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Good Stuff!!!

Posted by Texas Education on July 3, 2008

Occasionally I will post something that falls under the category of Good Stuff. When I attended Capturing Kids’ Hearts in January, they recommend doing something with your classes they like to call “celebrations.” I came up with good stuff for my classes. “Anybody got any good stuff?,” I would say. Granted, high schoolers don’t have much to say, even if it is good stuff. But, sometimes I would get an occasional “we have a game tonight!” I would get that, or “we are attending a competition.” Any who, I do have some good stuff today!! Someone I met recently, through the Diane Trautman Campaign, and who recently graduated from Atascocita High School, where my youngest attends, has a write up, about him, in the Tribune. (I took the pic!) His name is Krystafer Redden. (He’s going to blush,) but this is someone, even in his ripe old age of only 20, someone I admire greatly. He’s very modest, and a bit shy, but has so much talent, gumption, and a whole lot going on, I truly admire and respect him. I look forward to working with Krystafer (love the spelling of his name, but I sure have a dog of a time remembering how to spell it,) throughout Diane’s campaign, and I wish Krystafer all the best in the world. Not to worry, my mother (God rest her soul) lived with the name Paderewski for 70 years! I think I was about 13 before I knew how to spell it! Call me slow…

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In-the-News

Posted by Texas Education on June 13, 2008

Well, a few things in the news right now. HISD may open its borders to boost declining enrollment was in the Chronicle recently. (I meant to blog on that sooner.) This, to me, seems like a worthwhile effort to increase enrollment for faltering ISD’s. Especially since enrollment has fallen and they expect it to continue on that path. Board member Manuel Rodriguez says: “This will be a good move to help grow some of the student population.” They have stipulations though, which I also agree is worthwhile, must have good behavior and attendance would be mandatory. I’m not real sure if Humble would be at any advantage on this, as any new students, we create a deficit, as pointed out in Dr. Sconzo’s budget powerpoint. We lose roughly $2,000 for each new student to the district. I’m pretty sure that is the same scenario for most of the districts that are struggling. I found this information on a great website TexasISD.com. Another great place for what’s happening in-the-news. On the legislative page, State Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, says, “property taxes and school funding in Texas are worse now than when lawmakers began tinkering with the problems again four years ago.” [ View Article ] Wow, slap me in the face why don’t ya?

Dr. Diane Trautman recently said to me that, “We had the chance two years ago to stop this by voting against Crabb and putting in a pro-education candidate, but no one seemed to understand the urgency two years ago and now here we are at this cross roads. Indeed we must contact our legislators and inform them that their time in office is short unless they put public school funding at the top of the agenda this January! And then vote them out if they don’t!”

So, to all those who are in office, or are running for office, you are on notice, not like I have to tell any of them at this point, Though, it still seems as though Perry, Craddick, Crabb, just to mention a few, still aren’t hearing us, apparently. You can also check out TexasISD.com’s school finance section. Whew, that’s an eye full.

  • Arlington school district faces shortfall of $20 million
  • Corpus Christi: CCISD May Need Extra $200,000 For Gas In 2008-09 School Year
  • Cost of replacing football field adds to Wimberley school money woes
  • Cy-Fair ISD cuts staff, spending – and boy do they have some woes
  • Edcouch-Elsa schools to ask for $4.5 million loan to keep afloat
  • School board cuts become clearer for Humble ISD
  • Ennis: EISD pool will stay closed

Wow! And Rep. Beverly Woolley of House District 136 in the Memorial area said she had been assured by Rep. Rob Eissler of The Woodlands, chairman of the House public schools committee, that school funding would be reviewed when the Legislature convenes in 2009.

“I don’t think there’s even a slight possibility that we would let the school districts become insolvent,” she said.

She said that “as a Republican,” she likes Patrick’s call more funding education from sales tax revenues rather than property tax, but also suggested that school districts need to watch their spending. (this was from the Memorial Examiner on April 18, 2008.)

So, are you trying to tell me ALL of these school districts are not “watching their spending??” When, our school district is working off budgets (the state gave us) from the 1980’s??? I’m just glad I’m not working off a budget from what I was making in the ’80’s.

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