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Posts Tagged ‘HISD’

A roundup of interviews with runoff candidates

For your convenience, as you try to decide whom to support in the runoffs: Mayor Sylvester Turner Bill King Controller Chris Brown Bill Frazer At Large #1 Georgia Provost – 2013 election, District D Mike Knox – 2013 election, District A At Large #2 David Robinson Willie Davis – No interview At Large #4 Amanda […]

Endorsement watch: Bell for King

As the headline notes, this came as a surprise to many. Former Congressman Chris Bell publicly backed fiscal conservative Bill King in the Houston mayoral runoff Tuesday, a move that could bolster King’s efforts to make inroads with progressive voters. Bell’s endorsement came as a surprise to many political insiders expecting the progressive former mayoral […]

Precinct analysis: Did HERO hurt Juliet Stipeche?

It’s one theory. In the Houston Independent School District, trustee Juliet Stipeche on Tuesday became the first sitting HISD board member to lose since 1997. At that time, retired educator Larry Marshall defeated Clyde Lemon, a supporter of then-Superintendent Rod Paige. Stipeche, one of Superintendent Terry Grier’s most outspoken critics, fell to Diana Davila, who […]

Initial day-after-election thoughts

– We now have two cycles’ worth of data to suggest that having more good candidates in a Council race does not necessarily lead to better outcomes. Following in the footsteps of At Large #3 in 2013, a handful of Democratic candidates in At Large #1 split the vote with sufficient closeness to keep them […]

What the passage of the term limits referendum means

It’s a little unclear from this story. The passage of Proposition 2 also means some current officeholders will be able to serve longer than the six years they originally signed up for. Current freshman council members will now be able to serve two more 4-year terms, for a total of 10 years. Those serving their […]

Omnibus election results post

I’m going to take the easy way out here, because it’s been a long day/week/month and I’m hoping to get some sleep tonight, and just hit the highlights. There will be plenty of time for deeper analysis later, and of course we are now officially in runoff season. There’s absolutely no rest for the political […]

Chron overview of HISD Trustee races

Little late in the game for this sort of thing, but better late than never. With Superintendent Terry Grier leaving in March, the HISD board faces a big decision in choosing his replacement. Voters can help to determine who makes that decision, with four of nine trustee seats on the Nov. 3 ballot. At least […]

Turner’s public agency work

A lot of the attacks in the Mayoral campaign so far have been aimed at Adrian Garcia, in part to knock him out of second place where he is perceived to be, and in part because there’s some real material to use. There has been some sniping between Costello and King, as they fish in […]

Endorsement watch: Four for HISD

Here are the Chron endorsements for HISD Board of Trustees. The endorsements of incumbents Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Juliet Stipeche were expected and easily justified, so not particularly remarkable. The other two are worth comment. District III: Manuel Rodriguez Our choice for this important position, Manuel Rodriguez, was first elected in 2003 and then re-elected in […]

Interview with Juliet Stipeche

We wrap up our week of HISD candidate interviews with another incumbent. Juliet Stipeche is finishing up her first full term in District 8; she won a special election in 2010 to fill a vacancy left when then-Trustee Diana Davila (now her opponent this year) resigned. A civil litigation attorney and certified mediator, Stipeche is […]

No decision on interim Superintendent

The HISD Board of Trustees is still deciding how to proceed in the wake of Superintendent Terry Grier’s resignation. Trustee Anna Eastman said after [Tuesday’s board] meeting that she continues to have a lot of questions about how the job-order contracts have been administered. Among other things the audit showed that the district’s Construction and […]

Interview with Ann McCoy

I have one more interview to bring you in HISD District 4, which is being vacated by Paula Harris. Today’s candidate is Dr. Ann McCoy, making her first run for elected office. Dr. McCoy serves as Director of Data Services and Research for All Kids Alliance at the University of Houston. She has taught statistics […]

Interview with Jolanda Jones

We move on to District 4, which is being vacated by incumbent Paula Harris. I trust that Jolanda Jones is a familiar name to everyone reading this. Attorney, activist, former Alief Elsik and UH track star, Olympic trials qualifier, Survivor contestant, and two-term At Large City Council member, Jones is a well-known figure in Houston. […]

Interview with Ramiro Fonseca

HISD Trustee District 3 is a rematch of one of the uglier elections from 2011. Ramiro Fonseca is back to challenge incumbent Manuel Rodriguez again. The College Success Coordinator for Project GRAD Houston, Fonseca has a long history of service. He’s has served as President of the Houston Hispanic Forum, the Clean Houston Commission (Keep […]

Interview with Rhonda Skillern-Jones

We move over to HISD Trustee races, which I’ll be running this week. There are four Trustee seats that are up for election this cycle, and I have interviews with a total of five candidates in them. First up is Rhonda Skillern-Jones, who currently serves as Board President and who is running for her first […]

Time to guess the Chronicle’s endorsements

We are a bit more than a month out from the start of early voting, and as such we are getting close to the start of Chronicle endorsement season. I know from doing candidate interviews that the Chron has been holding screenings in recent days, so it shouldn’t be long now. So while we wait […]

HISD will begin process of renaming schools with Confederate ties

Good. [HISD] trustees plan to start the process with a vote to revise the district’s policy to state explicitly that names should be non-discriminatory. The revised policy also details how the board can initiate renaming schools. Board president Rhonda Skillern-Jones said this week that after the policy gains approval, she will propose renaming at least […]

What next for HISD?

The board ponders its options for Superintendent while they prepare to search for a successor to Dr. Terry Grier. The Houston Independent School District board is set to meet Tuesday morning to discuss the district’s next steps after Superintendent Terry Grier’s surprise announcement Thursday that he was stepping down effective March 1. Board president Rhonda […]

Grier to step down as HISD Superintendent

This was sudden. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier announced Thursday that he is stepping down effective on March 1. Grier became superintendent of Houston in 2009, leading the nation’s seventh largest school district to win the Broad Prize for Urban Education in 2013. “Time flies when you’re having fun. This is, like, year seven,” Grier […]

HISD bond concerns

It’s always something. A key Houston ISD school board member called Sunday for audits of the district’s 2012 bond program amid estimates of a $211 million shortfall and concerns about breaking promises to voters. Juliet Stipeche, chair of HISD’s audit committee, submitted her request for internal and external audits after a Davis High School teacher […]

On cellphones and school zones

I guess I need to talk about this. Six years ago, state lawmakers hoping to protect students banned drivers from texting and talking on hand-held cellphones in school zones. The ban, however, has never been enforced in Houston. City and school district officials have opted not to install the warning signs needed to issue tickets, […]

Your official slate of candidates

Yesterday was the filing deadline. Here’s the official list of candidates, modulo any challenges or subsequently invalidated applications. The highlights: – There are thirteen candidates for Mayor. The City Secretary might consider starting the ballot order draw now, this may take awhile. – Dwight Boykins in D, Dave Martin in E, and Larry Green in […]

Idiots protest at school

Jeez. The kindergarten and pre-K students experienced an early civics lesson Monday morning when they entered Houston Independent School District’s new Arabic Immersion Magnet School for the first day of class. At least a dozen protestors, some wearing red, white and blue, stood along the fenced perimeter of the campus, just north of the Heights […]

Endorsement watch: Houston GLBT Political Caucus 2015

Congrats to all the endorsees. A raucous municipal endorsement meeting brought mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner the coveted backing of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus on Saturday, positioning the 26-year state representative to broaden his coalition to include the city’s progressive voting bloc. Caucus members voted 142-85 to endorse Turner after more than an hour of […]

HISD and HCC finance reports

Here’s what we know, though it’s incomplete. Fundraising among most HISD board members was slow during the first half of 2015. Board president Rhonda Skillern-Jones, who plans to seek re-election to her District 2 seat this November, raised the most money this reporting period ($4,000) and has the most on hand ($8,195), according to the […]

Interview with Karla Cisneros

We continue with candidates in District H, where incumbent Council Member Ed Gonzalez is term limited. Today’s interview is with another Heights neighbor of mine, Karla Cisneros. Cisneros is a longtime educator and education activist, having served six years on the HISD Board of Trustees, including a stint as Board President. She was a teacher […]

The debate over changing Confederate-named schools in HISD

Predictably, not everybody likes the idea of rechristening HISD schools that were named for Confederate generals. Houston ISD board president Rhonda Skillern-Jones has said she wants her fellow trustees to consider renaming six campuses, following the June shooting deaths of nine black worshipers by an alleged white supremacist at a church in South Carolina. In […]

Supreme Court to hear school finance appeal in September

Mark your calendars. The Texas Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Sept. 1 in the long-running case challenging the state’s school-finance system. “We are very pleased that the court is moving so expeditiously,” attorney David Thompson, representing the Houston Independent School District, Fort Bend ISD and dozens of others, said Friday. “We think it’s a […]

HISD Board President backs changing Confederate school names

Fine by me. Amid a growing move to shed symbols of the old, slave-owning South, the Houston school board president said Thursday that she supports renaming six campuses named after Confederate loyalists. Rhonda Skillern-Jones said she plans to discuss the issue with her fellow trustees at an upcoming meeting. Superintendent Terry Grier added that he […]

HISD’s test scores

Not so good. Needs to be better. Houston ISD high school students continue to struggle with reading and writing, passing state exams at significantly lower rates than the state average, new results show. The district’s scores in algebra, biology and U.S. history also dipped a couple of points from last year, at a slightly sharper […]

What now for Terry Grier?

The HISD Superintendent is in the last year of his contract, and it’s not clear whether it will get extended or not. Kashmere has made limited strides as one of the schools in Superintendent Terry Grier’s signature reform effort, called Apollo. Students passed their first AP exams and the graduation rate rose, yet the school […]

Where the education reform bills stand

As we know, the attempt to take a first stab at school finance reform did not make it to the House floor. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t some action on school-related issues. This Chron story from the weekend recapped a couple of the major bills that did make it through. Lawmakers likely could have killed […]

HISD mostly declines to rezone its schools

Lots of noise, not nearly as much action. A divided Houston school board on Thursday rejected most of the rezoning proposals designed to reduce class sizes after dozens of parents expressed concerns about families having to send their children to different campuses. Only two of the six proposals passed, with parents and board members in […]

HISD postpones redrawing school boundaries

This stuff is hard, y’all. The school board [had planned] to vote Thursday on the district’s biggest rezoning plan in recent years, involving more than two dozen campuses. The proposal mostly would redraw attendance boundaries to shift homes from more crowded schools to campuses with space. The major impact may not be immediate, however. As […]