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Posts Tagged ‘Terry Grier’

HISD’s volunteer reading army

HISD’s number one priority is, or at least needs to be, improving reading performance. I really hope this will help. Leaders of the Houston Independent School District turned to the community on Thursday, launching the district’s largest volunteer recruitment effort in recent years – all to help solve HISD’s intractable literacy problem. The nation’s seventh-largest […]

HISD passes its budget

They restored a lot of funding, but it’s the changes to magnet school funding that everyone is talking about. Bouncing back from recent cash-strapped years, the Houston school board Thursday approved a bigger budget that gives raises to all employees, provides more money to campuses and may require a tax rate increase. The board, over […]

HISD prepares its budget

Teacher pay raises and magnet school funding changes are the main points of interest. Thanks to rising property values, all Houston ISD employees would receive raises and schools would get more money for supplies, field trips or tutors next year under a budget proposal drawing complaints for its long-term cuts to some popular magnet programs. […]

HISD magnet funding vote delayed till next week

You still have time to talk to your trustee about this. Superintendent Terry Grier’s administration has proposed standardizing how the programs are funded – a plan that would result in some schools losing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and others gaining as much. School board president Juliet Stipeche said Monday that she used […]

What is the deal with Vanguard funding?

It started with an urgent action email sent to Travis Elementary School parents: As you may have heard, the Houston ISD Board’s proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year would eliminate HISD Vanguard Magnet funding. These drastic cuts would threaten the viability of the Vanguard program at Travis. (see the April 24 Budget and PUA […]

HISD does have a role to play in the Bush Foundation literacy effort

I learned this from a Terry Grier op-ed in the Chron. That’s why last week’s release of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation’s “Houston’s Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action,” was such a welcome event. The foundation’s plan to unite educators, government and community programs – plus human and financial capital – in a […]

HISD unveils new mascots

Here they are. The cafeteria at Hamilton Middle School showcases a painting of a Native American in a feathered headdress. Students wear collared shirts with a similar symbol. They were, until Tuesday, the Hamilton Indians. Now, with a new school district policy banning mascots deemed culturally offensive, the Houston Heights campus has adopted the Huskies […]

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 […]

Dodson to be closed, Jones to be revamped

In the end, only one school was closed by HISD, but a lot of people are still upset about the whole thing. During a rowdy meeting where police had to quiet shouting protestors, the Houston school board narrowly agreed Thursday to close Dodson Elementary but accepted a compromise plan that would turn the long-struggling Jones […]

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 […]

Three of five schools escape closure

For now, at least. The other two are still on the block. Three small schools will be spared from closure at the urging of Houston school board president Juliet Stipeche, but Jones High and Dodson Elementary remain on the potential chopping block. Facing mounting community pressure against Superintendent Terry Grier’s closure proposal, Stipeche eliminated Fleming […]

The state of HISD

HISD Superintendent Terry Grier assesses the district in his State of the Schools address. While not mentioning the closure controversy Wednesday, Grier touted the district’s progress – being named the nation’s top urban school district in 2013, for example – while conceding he has more work to do in the two years left on his […]

Lots of pushback on HISD’s school closure proposal

People don’t like it when schools get closed. With the temperature near freezing, Maria Salazar bundled her three young children in jackets on Tuesday and walked them eight blocks to Port Houston Elementary School. She dropped off Joaquin, 7, and Arianna, 5, and then hiked home with her 2-year-old son on her hip. She doesn’t […]

HISD gives final approval to revised mascot/nickname policy

That’s that. Four HISD campuses will have to adopt new mascots after the school board gave final approval Thursday to a policy banning certain nicknames, such as the Redskins. The proposal from Superintendent Terry Grier drew some debate among students, alumni and community members, but the change puts the school district in line with others […]

HISD approves change to nickname and mascot policy

Good. Three schools in the Houston Independent School District are likely to have new mascots that no longer reflect a connection to Native American culture or history after preliminary board approval Thursday night of a policy proposed by Superintendent Terry Grier. A fourth school, Westbury High, could be required to no longer use Rebel, even […]

Grier editorializes for HISD policy change on school mascots and nicknames

Here’s HISD Superintendent Terry Grier’s op-ed in the Chron about the likely forthcoming change in HISD policy on school mascots and nicknames. HISD must retire, respectfully, school symbols that no longer reflect the values of who we are – proudly diverse, inclusive, forward-thinking and committed to instilling character and social awareness in our youngsters. The […]

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 […]

Federal lawsuit against HISD and Trustee Larry Marshall dismissed

Good, I guess. A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a three-year-old bribery lawsuit against the Houston school district and trustee Larry Marshall, ending the prospect of a high-profile jury trial. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled in part that the construction contractor that sued lacked standing because the company did not prove it suffered financially. […]

Magnet reprieve

This was unexpected. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has reversed course and decided to give 20 struggling magnet programs another year before eliminating all their extra funding. The sudden switch from the plan he unveiled last month comes after some parents and school officials expressed surprise their programs were on the chopping block. Under Grier’s new […]

The HISD elections and Terry Grier

The Chron writes about the possible effect of the HISD Trustee elections on Superintendent Terry Grier and his agenda items like Apollo and revamped teacher evaluations. Of the three contested elections, the one that has the greatest potential to swing the way the Board operates is in District VII. The closely watched District 7 race […]

Mostly good news for Apollo

That’s the story so far. A three-year, multimillion-dollar experiment to improve 20 struggling HISD schools yielded big gains in math and limited progress in reading, according to partial results of a study released Wednesday. Now, Superintendent Terry Grier and the school board face decisions over what, if any, changes to make to the district’s nationally […]

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 […]

HISD board approves 3-cent tax increase

It was a close vote. Property owners in the Houston Independent School District will see their tax bills rise after trustees Thursday narrowly approved the first tax rate increase for operations in a dozen years. The board voted 4-3 to raise the tax rate by 3 cents to fund a budget that includes raises for […]

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 […]

The new accountability standards

Here’s the TEA press release about the school accountability ratings for 2013, which came out on Thursday. The Texas Education Agency today released the 2013 state accountability system ratings for more than 1,200 school districts and charters, and more than 8,500 campuses. The ratings reveal that almost 93 percent of school districts and charters across […]

School superintendents for Early To Rise

From the press release: (Houston, TX) Today Harris County Superintendents participated in a press conference for the Early to Rise campaign, which is seeking to create a dedicated funding stream to improve the quality of early childhood education through a ballot measure in November. Representing over 400,000 students and their families, the superintendents gave comments […]

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 inspects North Forest schools

It’s not pretty. The HISD leaders tried not to scowl as they walked into classrooms with broken glass, flooded floors, outdated chalkboards, graffiti on walls, gum on desks and the smell of mildew. The head of food service swept cockroaches from the high school kitchen and pledged that the exterminator would return for a second […]

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 […]

HISD moving forward with North Forest annexation

Despite some legal uncertainty, they pretty much have to keep moving forward. The Houston Independent School District moved forward Wednesday with its takeover of the beleaguered North Forest school system even as state education officials prepare for a Thursday hearing that could delay the annexation. HISD Superintendent Terry Grier announced principal assignments as well as […]

Laptops for fewer, at least for now

HISD’s proposed laptops for all proposal has been scaled back from an 18 school pilot to a ten school pilot in response to concerns that they weren’t quite ready yet for anything bigger than that. Lenny Schad, chief technology officer for the Houston Independent School District, told the school board via email this week that […]

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 […]

North Forest still fighting as the deadlines approach

Never give up, never surrender. North Forest ISD has spent more than $595,000 appealing the state’s order to shut down, newly obtained records show, and the school district is continuing the court fight as its July closure date nears. Despite the district’s ongoing appeal before an Austin court, the Texas Education Agency has ordered North […]