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Posts Tagged ‘Gayle Fallon’

Makeup days

Sorry, kids. Houston area schools are facing possible cuts in state funding, and a bruising in the court of public opinion, by making up days missed earlier this year because of icy roads. With little fat built into the spring school calendar and several days of mandatory state testing, Houston schools have little choice but […]

School districts deal with ACA paperwork

The headline for this story says that Texas school districts are “struggling” to deal with requirements of the Affordable Care Act, but there’s not much evidence of actual struggles in the story itself. Texas school districts are scrambling to meet an Affordable Care Act provision that requires them to offer health insurance to thousands of […]

On school shootings

I have four things to say about this. In the national collective grief rising from Friday’s mass shooting in Connecticut, one apparent trust seems to have completely shattered: that an elementary school was sacred and safe ground. Left in the wake of 20 children and eight adults massacred by a lone gunman is a renewed […]

Two views of pensions

The Chron’s Sunday op-ed pages were filled with pension-related discussion. Here are the citizen members of the Long-Range Financial Management Task Force, fresh off of their report release, taking to the pages to lay out what the city wants from the Lege on pension issues. The Texas Legislature must change the current law that gives […]

Teacher evaluations

HISD is gearing up to implement a new teacher evaluation system, but not without a fight first. The Houston Federation of Teachers has launched what is expected to be a protracted battle to void the new evaluation. It starts with a hearing Wednesday before an attorney, who will hear evidence from the union and the […]

HISD approves tougher teacher evaluation plan

I have some concerns about this. Teachers in the Houston Independent School District next year will face tougher job evaluations that grade them on their students’ test scores under a nationally watched plan that trustees approved Thursday. The 7-2 vote did not shift from last month when the board gave initial approval to the evaluation […]

Meet the HISD hopefuls

The people who are hoping to be appointed to the open HISD Trustee seat made their appearance at Furr High School and made their pitch. Trustees are slated to discuss their options Thursday and must make a decision by next Tuesday. They could name an appointee to serve through 2011. The eight prospective candidates generally […]

CEP gets a good grade

As reported by Hair Balls, the Texas A&M consultant that was brought in by HISD and Superintendent Terry Grier to evaluate Community Education Partners (CEP), its provider for the disciplinary alternate education program, has now issued his long-awaited report. You can read it here, but the short answer is that CEP was given a fine […]

HISD to keep CEP

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has been pushing for months to get HISD out of its contract with Community Education Partners (CEP), its provider for the disciplinary alternate education program. He ran into opposition from HFT President Gayle Fallon, who has strongly disputed some of Grier’s claims about CEP’s effectiveness, and from some HISD Trustees. Grier, […]

Stimulus fight

As we know, HISD is reducing its workforce, including teachers, due to budget shortfalls. The Houston Federation of Teachers says that this is happening while there are a lot of unspent stimulus funds. Houston Federation of Teachers leader Gayle Fallon pointed to Texas Education Agency spread sheets showing federal stimulus dollars and annual formula dollars, […]

Everybody’s talking about Terry

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 […]

Interview with HISD Superintendent Terry Grier

On Monday I published an interview with HFT President Gayle Fallon in which we covered a number of topics relating to HISD, many of which are a source of contention between the HFT and HISD Superintendent Terry Grier. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Grier and discuss these issues, among others, […]

More on Grier’s alternative to CEP

The Chron has a story about HISD Superintendent Terry Grier’s recent proposal to replace Community Education Partners (CEP) with a school swap program for some students with discipline issues. The transfer program, meant to give students a second chance in a traditional school away from their friends, would not be open to violent offenders or […]

Interview with Gayle Fallon

As you know, I’ve been following the news in HISD lately, in particular the political struggle going on between new HISD Superintendent Terry Grier and the Houston Federation of Teachers, over things like the proposal to dump CEP as the disciplinary alternate education provider, and the teacher dismissal plan. In a recent post, I noted […]

HISD disciplinary data

Last week, I noted some differences of fact between HISD Superintendent Terry Grier and HFT President Gayle Fallon over the cost and use of alternate school CEP, which Grier wants to dump. Fallon left a comment in that post, and followed it up in a reply to an email I sent her with some spreadsheets […]

Fact check on Aisle 5, please

As we know, HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has proposed ending HISD’s relationship with Community Education Partners (CEP), which provides alternate schools for kids with discipline problems. Following that, the Chron editorialized in favor of Grier’s stance. Grier contends that CEP costs too much — $22 million annually and $180 million since 1997. During that period […]

Grier pushing to dump CEP

As we know, HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has been pushing to get HISD away from using Community Education Partners (CEP) as a provider of alternate schools for kids with discipline issues. He has now made his recommendation to the Board of Trustees, who were somewhat skeptical. Grier, who has been on the job six months, […]

HISD gives final approval to teacher dismissal plan

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has gotten approval from the HISD Board of Trustees to implement a plan that would allow for the dismissal of teachers whose students don’t make enough progress on standardized tests. Data provided by HISD show that, over the last three years, 421 teachers have gotten far lower-than-expected progress from their students […]

HISD moves ahead with its teacher dismissal plan

Here we go. The school board on Thursday gave initial approval to a policy that allows the district to dismiss teachers whose students consistently perform below expectations on standardized tests. The change represents a move to make personnel decisions based more on student learning instead of relying solely on principals’ classroom observations of teachers. [HISD […]

Evaluating teachers

This is sure to be contentious, but I think it’s the right direction. Teachers in Houston ISD could lose their jobs for failing to improve student test scores under a controversial proposal slated for a school board vote Thursday. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier’s plan to tie teachers’ job evaluations to their students’ progress on standardized […]

HISD candidate spending

After all I’ve done detailing how city candidates are spending their campaign money, I’d love to be able to tell how how candidates for HISD Trustee are spending theirs. I’d love to, but unfortunately I can’t, because that information isn’t available online, and I just don’t have the time to tromp over to HISD headquarters […]

Let the Terry Grier honeymoon watch begin

Place your bets on when the first major brouhaha of the Terry Grier Era will take place. Closing small schools. Firing teachers whose students consistently fail. Tinkering with popular magnet programs. A pile of these and other political hot potatoes is now in the lap of Terry Grier, who began work Friday as superintendent of […]

Kamrani not running for re-election as HISD trustee

There are now two open HISD Trustee seats up for election this fall as District I incumbent Natasha Kamrani announces that she will step down after this term. HISD Trustee Natasha Kamrani, who is completing her first term on the school board, has confirmed to me that she will not be seeking re-election. “I feel like […]

The HISD Trustee races

Most of the electoral action this fall will be for City of Houston races, but there are also five HISD Trustee seats on the ballot, one of which will be open. School Zone reports on the two races that will be the highest profile. District I: Natasha Kamrani, who is wrapping up her first term, […]