HISD Superintendent Terry Grier, that is. A few things I’ve noticed lately:
From Rick Casey:
For all his controversies in previous districts, Grier earned a reputation for improving the performance of all children, but especially of low-income and minority children.
I have room for only one example, from the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record in 2003, where Grier had been superintendent for three years:
“District students have reached all-time highs on state tests during Grier’s tenure. Black students, who traditionally score lower on standardized tests than their white peers, have made particularly strong progress. At some grade levels, black students have improved by 20 percentage points since the 1999-2000 school year. White students also continue to make gains.
“Dropout rates have improved and the number of students taking Advanced Placement high school courses has nearly doubled in the last three years.”
From Lisa Falkenberg:
Lee isn’t your typical failing school. In one campus, its students seem to personify every major socio-economic problem and demographic challenge facing urban schools today. At the same time, it’s a petri dish for academic innovation, full of Stand and Deliver-type successes.
It’s a place you have to see to believe, which is why it’s so unbelievable that HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has chosen to make major decisions about Lee without setting foot on campus since he started in September.
“I’m not satisfied with the quality of public education in Houston. My youngest child … goes to a public high school. Unlike a lot of other cities and states, I have no authority over the school system, although I feel like I have a lot of responsibility just as a citizen.
“We have a brand new superintendent [of the Houston Independent School District], Terry Grier, who’s been there just a few months longer than I’ve been in office. If he does not do a good job, I will not be successful as mayor.”
From an email sent by Gayle Fallon, President of the Houston Federation of Teachers:
HISD LAYS OFF HOUSTON TEACHERS WHILE THEY RECRUIT NEW TEACHERS IN CALIFORNIA
OPPOSE THE LAYOFFS
ATTEND THE APRIL 8 BOARD MEETING at 5:00
At the Board meeting on April 8, Terry Grier will ask the Board to lay off teachers from schools that are closing or losing positions. This includes special ed teachers, diagnosticians, elementary and secondary core subject teachers, counselors, and nurses.
Before Grier, HISD kept these employees and they were placed in other teaching positions.
At the same time, HISD is recruiting new teachers to fill the anticipated 1200 vacancies for 2010-11.
HISD needs to treat its employees decently and place these employees in open positions!
HFT needs you to attend the Board meeting to let the Board know that laying off Houston teachers so they can hire from California is not acceptable.
It may not be you this time but he is not through changing and closing programs and laying off HISD teachers.
Sign up to speak to Items E4-E7 regarding teacher layoffs. Forms to address the Board are on the HISD website.
Houston Federation of Teachers
See here for some background on that last item, and here for Grier’s response to HFT; see also today’s Chron for more about the layoffs at HISD and FBISD. Maybe it’s just because I’m paying more attention now that I have a kid in HISD, but I don’t remember previous Superintendents being such a focal point. Dr. Grier’s tenure here will not be boring, that’s for sure.