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Posts Tagged ‘Anna Eastman’

HISD hires its defenders for the teacher evaluation lawsuit

I have to say, I’m a bit uncomfortable with this. Earlier this year, seven teachers sued the Houston Independent School District in federal court over their evaluation system. That system uses a statistical formula and student test scores to grade teachers. At its meeting this week, the Houston school district decided to hire a high-profile […]

Last stand against school closures

Last chance, too. Community activists called Tuesday for HISD to spare two schools from closure in a last-ditch effort that included filing a federal civil-rights complaint alleging racial discrimination. Charles X. White, president of the city’s South Park Super Neighborhood group, said he had asked federal authorities to investigate HISD’s proposal to close schools in […]

HISD to take action on “Redskins” nickname

Good for them. Houston school district officials, plunging into a national controversy, are considering a policy change that would ban mascot names that might play on racial, ethnic or cultural stereotypes. Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier is expected to propose a new policy that would require changing the mascots of the Lamar High […]

Demagnetized

Some unhappy changes are about to occur at Houston schools. HISD officials unveiled a plan Thursday to cut funding and end bus rides next year for transfer students at 20 struggling magnet schools, tackling a politically tough topic that has confounded the district for years. The campuses will be the first to feel the consequences […]

Where things stand going into early voting

A few impressions of the state of the races as we head into early voting. Mayor – The thing that I will be looking for as initial results get posted at 7 PM on November 5 is how the gaggle of non-competitive candidates is doing. The thing about having nine candidates in a race, even […]

Endorsement watch: HISD

Clearly, this is an early endorsements year for the Chronicle, as they follow up their HCC recommendations with their endorsements in the contested HISD Trustee races. District 1: Anna Eastman, the board president, has been a thoughtful leader and a strong advocate for tightening the board’s ethics policy. We heartily endorse her re-election. Eastman, an […]

HISD race overviews

The Chron takes a look at the three contested HISD races. The District 9 race in south Houston sees the return of W. Clyde Lemon, an attorney who held the seat for two years until Marshall ousted him in the 1997 election. “Here we are, wanting to move the focus back to children being the […]

Interview with Anna Eastman

I still have some Houston elections to cover here, but for this week we turn our attention to the HISD Trustee races. I have five interviews to bring you for these races, beginning with my Trustee in District I, Anna Eastman. Eastman, the current Board President, is serving her first term after winning a runoff […]

The 2013 lineup

So many candidates. More than 60 candidates have filed to run for city of Houston elective office this fall, many of them rushing in before the 5 p.m. Monday deadline. […] Atop the ballot, [Mayor Annise] Parker is challenged by wealthy attorney Ben Hall, conservative Eric Dick, repeat Green Party candidate Don Cook, and six […]

July campaign finance reports, HISD and HCC

Ericka Mellon did me the favor of the heavy lifting for HISD Trustees. Campaign finance reports filed this week show at least two non-incumbents are entering races for the Houston school board this November, while contributions for most trustees generally were smaller following new board-imposed restrictions. Board president Anna Eastman, who represents District I, which […]

Show them the data

Interesting. A major donor to HISD’s key school reform effort is putting its remaining $3 million check on hold amid concerns that detailed research about the success of the program is lacking. The president of the Houston Endowment, Ann Stern, wrote a letter to top school district officials this month criticizing the recent progress report […]

HISD budgets for teacher pay raise and more Apollo

Whether that will mean a tax hike, and if so how much, remains undetermined. Houston ISD employees will see a 2 percent pay raise and many schools will receive more money to help struggling students under the budget that trustees approved on a 6-3 vote Monday. Left unsettled was whether property owners will face an […]

HISD contemplates tax hike

It’s not as much as they once thought they would raise them, since enough money was restored by the Legislature to stave off the need to raise taxes for that purpose. Superintendent Terry Grier’s budget proposal, released Monday, would increase the tax rate by 2 cents and would expand his Apollo school reform program, a […]

Midyear 2013 election update

Back in January, I took an early look at the 2013 elections in Houston. At the request of the folks at the Burnt Orange Report, who also printed my initial overview, here’s an update on the races in the city of Houston in 2013. Mayor Back in January, Mayor Parker had no declared opponents, though […]

HISD revises magnet school policy

This has been in the works for a long time. The [HISD Board of Trustees] voted unanimously on a revised policy governing its beloved magnet school program, saying the schools would be held more accountable for academic performance and their ability to attract students. While some of the 113 magnet programs are nationally recognized and […]

HISD to begin laptops for all program

Starting small, and presumably growing from there. Houston ISD officials announced Thursday that they are prepared to give students at up to 18 high schools their own laptops next school year, becoming among the first big-city districts to launch a one-to-one computing program. “This is a way of transforming what and how we teach,” HISD […]

Endorsement watch: Planned Parenthood gets an early start

From the inbox on Friday: Today the Board of Directors of the Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast ACTION FUND Inc, (PPGCAF) voted to endorse the following candidates for the November City Election. Each of the endorsed candidates has demonstrated a strong commitment to the health and well being of Texas women and families. PPGCAF encourages all […]

Charters apply to take over North Forest ISD

Fine by me. In a potentially groundbreaking move, three of Houston’s top-performing charter schools are making a pitch to run the long-troubled North Forest school district. The charter groups — KIPP, YES Prep and Harmony — are asking Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams to approve their plan, instead of having the Houston Independent School District […]

Senate committee restores some money to public education

Emphasis on the “some”. Texas public schools would get back a chunk of the $5.4 billion in state funding they lost two years ago under a budget proposal adopted by the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. But they probably should not expect much more than the $1.5 billion the committee added to the 2014-15 state […]

Laptops for all

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier would like to bridge the digital divide in HISD. Superintendent Terry Grier said his goal is to equip all 130,000 students in grades three through 12 with a laptop and hopes to start with at least some high schools next year. He will try to rally community support for the concept […]

A first look at the 2013 elections

It is 2013, right? So while we have the SD06 special election and the new legislative session to worry about, it’s not too early to start talking about the 2013 elections. Let’s start with a peek at the campaign finance reports from last July of the Houston officeholders who will be on the ballot this […]

How big should those high schools be?

This is a question that HISD is asking itself as the Board of Trustees considers the $1.9 billion bond proposal, much of which is to be spent on high schools. A number of HISD high schools have had large drops in enrollment, but many of these schools also have badly outdated facilities and would be […]

HISD Board renews Grier’s contract

It was not unanimous. The Houston school board on Thursday extended Superintendent Terry Grier’s contract through June 2014 in a split vote that signaled the controversial chief has bridges to build with the newer trustees. The five trustees who were on the board that hired Grier in 2009 supported the extension, expressing their confidence in […]

Audit says HISD isn’t cost sensitive enough

An audit of HISD’s procurement process says the district could be paying too much for some things. The audit, conducted by the nonprofit Council of the Great City Schools, found that the district’s purchasing standards “under-value” a vendor’s proposed price in some cases, which means the district could be paying more than it should. Last […]

HISD to hire back some teachers

More good news. More than 300 teachers and other educators in the Houston Independent School District have been rehired since the massive round of layoffs in the spring, according to newly released data. Additional HISD teachers could get their jobs back in coming weeks thanks to a better-than-expected budget outlook — though Superintendent Terry Grier […]

Update on HISD and HCC finance reports

I had mentioned before that it was hard to find campaign finance reports for HISD and HCC Trustees. I now have some updated information about this, so I wanted to share it with you. First, HISD Trustee Anna Eastman (who represents my HISD district) emailed me on Tuesday to let me know that their finance […]

The HISD/charter school “talent war”

This sounds more alarming than it should be. KIPP, in competition with HISD for students, increasingly is wooing high-level staff, too. Mike Feinberg, cofounder and superintendent of KIPP Houston, calls the contest for administrators “a talent war.” Since last year, at least 13 principals, administrators and central office workers have left HISD for KIPP, with […]

Should we do away with school police forces?

Grits makes the case. If public school budgets will be radically cut in Texas, a prospect which for the moment appears all but inevitable, which employees should be eliminated first? Judging from the ongoing debate, maybe campus cops. Jason Embry at the Austin Statesman describes some of the debates surrounding school budgets thusly: One of the […]

More on magnet schools

Some further information about the proposed changes to HISD’s magnet school program made by Superintendent Terry Grier at Thursday’s public meeting. Funding would drop at 69 schools and increase at 53 under Grier’s preliminary plan. In all, the district would slash spending for magnet schools, excluding busing, by more than $4 million next school year, […]

HISD’s budget and magnet meeting

A whole lot happened on Thursday evening with HISD. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier proposed a major shake-up Thursday night to the district’s popular magnet program, calling for 25 schools to lose the special status and for funding increases or reductions in others. “This stands to change the landscape of the entire Houston Independent School […]

Too many tickets

From Texas Appleseed, via Grits. Class C Ticketing, Arrest of Youth at School is Introducing Thousands to Justice System, Says New Appleseed Report Schools Should Follow Lead of Juvenile Justice Agencies: Restrict Pepper Spray, Taser Use Austin, TX. – A growing police presence in Texas public schools is coinciding with increased Class C misdemeanor ticketing […]

Help Hogg Middle School find its next principal

Hogg Middle School serves my neighborhood. They are in the process of searching for a new principal. The following is a note from HISD to interested parties about a meeting tomorrow related to this: Dear Hogg Middle School Community, As of June 14, 2010, Chris Wood has been serving as the Principal of Hogg Middle […]

Runoff precinct analysis, HISD I

To wrap up my series of precinct analyses from the 2009 Houston runoffs, we turn now to the HISD Trustee race in District I. I’ve added a sheet to the Google spreadsheet I put together for the District Council analysis with the precincts from this race, again minus the trivial ones. The first thing you […]

HISD Trustee runoff overview

Here’s the Chron story on the two runoffs for HISD Trustee. It echoes a theme from that Examiner story we saw yesterday. The outcome of the races could reshape several board debates — particularly over wages for construction workers, efforts to hold weak teachers more accountable and the role of magnet schools. Early voting runs […]