HISD board agenda 9/11/2014
HISD board meeting video 9/11/2014
HISD board meeting minutes 6/12/2014

HISD took away students' science textbooks but 
can't maintain its computer network

Network Connectivity Issues at HISD
From: Information Technology Systems
Sent: Thursday, September 11, 2014 3:29 PM

Over the past two days, the district has experienced intermittent
problems with network connectivity that have been affecting access
to email, district applications, and the Internet in general. HISD
Information Technology is aware of the problem and is working to
resolve the issue.


Why is this happening? We have learned that certain machines are
triggering an excessive number of requests from the network, which
we believe is causing the problem.


What are we doing to fix it? We are working to identify the source
and/or sources that are causing the excessive requests and resolve
the issue.


We apologize for this inconvenience. We understand that staying
connected is a vital part of how students learn, how teachers
teach, and how the district operates. Consequently, resolving
this issue is our top priority. Thank you for your patience.

Taking on Big Testing is never easy
How young is too young to be inundated with tests? 

OPERA BUFFA Part 3 
Grier manipulates administrators to keep them fearful, obedient

Before we discuss Ms. Shonda Huery Hardman and Mr. Harrison Peters, high school
chief officers number seven and eight respectively, it is necessary to point out some
important events that happened in the high school office during the five month period
when interim chief Michael Cardona was the quasi-pseudo-leader. Dr. Grier fueled by
the new levels of cooperation he was enjoying with Academic Services, Board Services,
Human Resources and other HMW entities, put in motion a plan to completely empty the
high school office by non-renewing some or most of the high school SSOs. Or at a minimum,
Grier was going to require all of the SSOs to reapply for their jobs at the end of their contract
terms. It has been suggested that Cardona was somehow complicit in Grier’s SSO plan but
that has not been confirmed. The high school SSO’s situation was made even more serious
by the fact that Grier had removed Mark Smith from the Chief Academic Officer position and
replaced him with close family friend Dr. Andrew Houlihan. Consider the perilous reality of the
SSO’s predicament for a moment. The Superintendent wanted to fire all high school SSOs.
There is no High School Chief. Instead there is only an interim high school chief and the chances
that Michael Cardona is going to put his neck on the line for any of the high school SSOs was
highly unlikely. Also, Grier has reassigned Mark Smith the former Chief Academic Officer to
another position and replaced him with the chosen “godson” Dr. Houlihan who most likely would
have no qualms being Grier’s SSO executioner. This example highlights one of Grier’s long standing
strategies in running the 2nd and 3rd floor offices of Houston ISD. Grier does not allow many of his
top district leaders to develop effective relationships with colleagues or their subordinates. Grier’s
leadership motivation is deeply rooted in a culture of fear. On a regular basis, Grier publically
demotes or reassigns his top leaders and then shuffles the deck to ensure that everyone
remains a cooperative subordinate. 

With no where else to turn the SSO’s in an act of desperation reached out to the Houston ISD Board
of Trustees. And incredibly the usually asleep and unattentive HISD Board of Ed privately admonished
the Superintendent and provided the SSO’s the necessary protection and cover they needed from the
Superintendent. But the damage being done by this method of leadership is easy to see. Because 2nd
and 3rd floor personnel are unable to form quality and meaningful working intra-HMW-relationships, and
are also unable to develop quality and meaningful relationships with school principals and other campus
personnel, Houston ISD’s capacity for long term problem solving and progress has been destroyed. Why
the Houston ISD Board of education continues to allow Grier to run the district in this way, or why they
continue to allow the Superintendent to run the district at all is a tragic mystery.
 
Also occurring during the five month High School Chief Officer vacancy, in early May of 2014 all
principals in HISD were told that any teacher vacancy that remained open for more than 14 days
would automatically be filled by human resources with prescreened teacher candidates that existed
in the pool. By May, most HISD principals had already interviewed the prescreened teacher candidates
that were in the pool and many of those candidates were determined to be, not a quality candidate or
lacking the necessary qualifications and/or certifications to be hired by Houston ISD. Some principals
admit to settling on a candidate that was less than ideal under the mandate from Grier and Human
Resources. Other principals in an effort to protect their faculty and campus from a mistake in hiring
simply closed their vacancies, choosing instead to play a cat and mouse game with human resources
and the Superintendent.

In either case, the mandate resulted in a temporary decrease in the number of teacher vacancies, a
data set that was undoubtedly reported to Spring ISD by Houston ISD’s Chief Human Resources Officer,
Dr. RodneyWatson, in his successful bid to be the next Superintendent of Spring ISD. In this classic
example of the tail wagging the dog and utilizing his culture of fear, Grier threatened HISD principals by
limiting the time they have to hire qualified teachers to benefit  Dr. Watson and his superintendent bid
with Spring ISD. This is a severe act of hypocrisy on the part of the Superintendent. The High School
Chief Officer position is a vacancy the Superintendent is responsible for filling. Principals had to fill
teacher vacancies in two weeks, but the Superintendent was allowed by the Houston ISD Board of
Trustees to maintain a vacancy that left the High School Office without a quality leader for five months. 
 
Believe it or not, the Houston ISD Board of Trustees reportedly had developed concerns about Dr. Grier’s
behavior during the five months when the high school office had no leadership. Under pressure from the
Board, Grier abruptly ended his “exhaustive nationwide talent search” and hired Ms. Shonda Huery-Hardman
to be the next High School Chief Officer. Where did Grier find her? North Carolina? San Diego? Dallas?
Austin? San Antonio? Nope. Ms. Huery Hardman was HISD’s Assistant Superintendent of HISD’s Futures
Academy. This is not to say Ms. Huery Hardman was not qualified for the position. To the contrary, Ms.
Hardman’s CV is impressive and complete. So what do you do with first highly qualified high school chief
since Orlando Riddick served in the position? If you are Grier, you move her to be the Chief Academic
Officer only one month after naming her the High School Chief Officer. Ms. Huery Hardman’s role in the
high school office was very limited but in that short time, both SSOs and principals report that she was
“clearly in over her head”. In addition, Ms. Huery Hardman’s “All In” mantra annoyed many high school
principals and the consensus maintains that Huery Hardman was clearly a “yes” person which earned
her a promotion to the third floor.  All of this brings us to our current High School Chief Harrison A. Peters.
Peter’s CV is just as complete and impressive as Ms. Huery Hardman’s. But Grier’s track record for hiring
quality High School Chiefs is dismal.

Whether Peter’s journey to Houston was facilitated more by his connection to Chicago Public Schools and
Ms. Huery Hardman or Peter’s connection to Charlotte Mecklenburg Public schools in North Carolina and
Dr. Grier is unclear. Feedback on the new chief at this time is limited and principals and SSOs have been
busy starting the school year. But if Peters is anything like Grier’s previous Chief HSOs, we will have
something to report soon. So what’s the big take away? The Houston Independent School District’s High
School Office and the 2nd and 3rd Floor personnel are Grier’s Opera Buffa. Grier’s mismanagement of
both and Grier’s culture of fear reveal an inability to maintain stability in the school office which holds
the most accountability with the State of Texas. Under Grier’s leadership for the past five years, Houston
ISD’s High School Office has not had a focus, longitudinal leadership or a clear direction. This lack of
leadership could not have happened at a worse time. Other school districts with quality leaders who
understand and care about the challenges associated with the STAAR Test have been training principals
and teachers, setting goals and formulating plans and initiatives in order to guarantee student success.

For five years the High School Office in Houston ISD has floated in a rough sea not only with no rudder
on their ship, but with no Captain at the wheel… How long will the Houston ISD Board of Trustees allow
this to continue? The Children of Houston deserve better...
(provided to houstonisdwatch by an Insider quite familiar with the way Grier maintains his power)
HISD's control schools for Leverage Leadership experiment where
2014-15 is directed to be a repeat of 2013-14:
School Name

Ernest McGowen Sr. Elementary School
Kashmere Gardens Elementary School
Marcellus Foster Elementary School
Betsy Ross Elementary School
James De Anda Elementary School
James Reynolds Elementary School
A. A. Milne Elementary School
Judd Lewis Elementary School
Virgil Grissom Elementary School
James Mitchell Elementary School
Sugar Grove Middle School
James Deady Middle School
Thomas Alva Edison Middle School
John McReynolds Middle School
Louie Welch Middle School
Richard Fonville Middle School
Albert Thomas Middle School
Ruby Clifton Middle School
William Stevenson Middle School
Alexander Hamilton Middle School
Phillis Wheatley High School
James Madison High School
Charles Milby High School
Booker T. Washington High School
Stephen Waltrip High School
John Reagan High School
Westside High Schoo
Bellaire High School
Andrew Carnegie Vanguard High School
 
HISD still searching for 100 certified instructional personnel

LAW ENFORCEMENT HIGH SCHOOL
TAKES AN ATTENDANCE HIT

Freshman class totals only 90 students; overall
enrollment down by 70 students Insiders at Law
Enforcement cite last year's press over the closing
of the current to relocate (Dodson ES?) as a reason
parents advised their kids to stay away. 

The community believed the magnet school was closing for good.

There's also the matter of Leverage Leadership. Grier, Fryer, and Ed. Labs is
using Law Enforcement as an experimental school. Who would find that
appealing?
Wheatley preservationists, HISD in mediation
"The summary (2012 bond) provided to voters casting ballots never described the tear
down possibility." 
HoustonChronicle.com 
LEVERAGE LEADERSHIP'S ABUSE OF EDUCATORS & STUDENTS' TIME
SHOULD BE A CRIME

HISD's campuses of pain:
Elementary Schools

Alcott
Bastian
Brookline
Bruce
Cook
Durkee
Foerster
Garcia
Hartsfield
Looscan
 
Middle Schools
Cullen
Grady
Hartman
Henry
Hogg
Holland
Jackson
Marshall
West Briar
Williams
  
High Schools
Challenge Early College
Chavez
Davis
East Early College
Law Enforcement
North Houston
Early College
Scarborough
Worthing
Yates

As reported on this website, Leverage Leadership is nothing
more than a social, education experiment on the unlucky
students and teachers who were chosen by Grier's henchmen
to generate data for Apollo-creator Roland Fryer.

If you are a parent at one of HISD's Leverage Leadership campuses,
you should take the time to read all of the emails houstonisdwatch
obtained through a Texas Public Information Act and put online.

If you don't want your kids observed constantly in the cafeteria
and you don't want them tested, retested, and tested again for
the purpose of giving Roland Fryer free research data, then
protest to your campus principal and ask your local HISD trustee
(warning: HISD trustees are not known for being informed. You may
have to share stories about what's really going in on those campuses).

If nothing changes, withdraw your child. Sting HISD with a loss
of subjects, or more appropriately a loss of victims, for Terry
Grier and Roland Fryer's inhumane experiement on teachers and
students. 
BELLAIRE HS IS HISD' MOST POPULAR SECONDARY CAMPUS
NO LEVERAGE LEADERSHIP AT BELLAIRE
Current Bellaire enrollment: 3,685

Bellaire High School is more popular than ever. Built to accommodate 2,906
students, the school is now almost 800 students over capacity.

Former HISD Trustee Diane Johnson and Superintendent Abe Saavedra
tried to manage Bellaire's overcrowding by instituting meticulous address
checks. Both articulated positions calling for a smaller Bellaire. Reducing
Bellaire's enrollment, they thought, would help increase enrollment at
under-enrolled neighboring high schools.

Chief beneficiary, they thought, would be Westbury, current 524 students
under building capacity. Maybe Lee could benefit. Its current enrollment
is just half of the building's capacity. Houston taxpayers paid for Leeto
be extensively remodeled after the 1999 bond.

Grier's education experiment called Apollo diminished any chances that
parents who wanted their kids at Bellaire would ever consider Lee. 
Heavy-handed, central administration plants who've served as Lee
principals helped to create a stifling atmosphere at Lee. Harvin Moore,
HISD trustee for Lee, never expended any personal influnce to speed
up the exterior eyesore Lee presents to the community.

Parents opt to live in the Bellaire zone because they want their children
to attend classes on a traditional seven or eight period day. They know
the A.P. and I.B. programs are for real with test scores to back up that
claim.

They want a building principal who is responsive to them. Former
Principals Bill Lawson and Tim Salem, along with current Principal
Mike McDonough, have been responsive to both parents and staff.

Why, then, is Grier planning to rebuild Bellaire to accommodate
about 3,100 students? His team of cracker jack planners has all
the historical data about Bellaire's enrollment.

Grier believes in his own invincibility, no doubt, and he probably
believes he can force parents to send their children to neighboring
high school campuses.

That plan has never worked.
Screaming girl who struggled with HISD police over phone speaks out:
from chron.com

MILBY STUDENTS FORCED TO RELOCATE TO ACCOMMODATE
2012 BOND; MILBY'S ENROLLMENT DROPS 505 STUDENTS -
FROM 2032 TO 1527 

HISD enrollment up 5,418 students in 2014-15
HISD enrollment figures for first week of school

(This information was obtained through a Texas Public Information Act request
submitted by houstonisdwatch.)

Bellaire rebuild Option 2: students stay on campus during construction
Graf, Bobadilla tell parent to Eff Off until MyFoxHouston gets involved  
Conservatives are angry with College Board for what they claim is a revisionist
U.S. History A.P. exam
Mark Samuel's Dillard & UH transcripts redacted
Shadowbriar's Mark Samuel answered interview
questions on July 9, 2014
Shallow, pat answers to the usual questions

A quck review seems to show Mark Samuel knew he already had the job
(houstonisdwatch obtained this information through a Texas Public Information
Act request)

Bellaire rebuild Option 1
DANA BOST AND RICHARD RODRIGUEZ: HIRES THE INEPT
HISD TRUSTEES SHOULD NEVER HAVE ALLOWED TERRY
GRIER TO MAKE




GRIER'S DRUG BUST
COUPLE ARRESTED
BY ALABAMA POLICE





Opera Buffa Part 2

Cronyism, pledges of loyalty, quick exits mark Grier's unfettered authority to hire
and fire 
an HISD insider reports:
WHY DID THE HISD TRUSTEES ALLOW GRIER TO HIRE DANA BOST WHO,
AFTER ALL, HAD NEVER EVEN BEEN A HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL?

Chief Number Five: Similar to Dr. David Simmons (Chief Number One), Ms. Dana Bost served
HISD as the High School Chief Officer for only four months. Dana Bost had a lot of energy. A
LOT OF ENERGY. Following the sloth-like Riddick, Bost’s energy was infectious to the high school
principals that she briefly led. The general consensus from principals and school support officers
is that she was liked. Always on the move, Bost was frequently out visiting high school campuses
and reportedly asking good and relevant questions when in schools. However while she was out
being the first highly visible and attentive Chief High School Officer, she was oblivious to the power
struggle that was taking place at Hattie Mae White. Riddick’s demise was unsettling for many
people on the 2nd and 3rd floors at HMW. Grier axed Riddick publicly and in the most humiliating
manner, and the Houston ISD Board of Trustees didn’t even blink.

Everyone who worked closely with or near the superintendent was worried they could be the next
“Assistant Superintendent of Something Obscure”. Bost’s preference to be out of the office visiting
schools allowed high ranking personnel working in Academic Services, Board Services, Human
Resources and other HMW entities to try and gain favor with the Superintendent. Once the Superintendent
realized he had everyone’s attention on the 2nd and 3rd floor, Grier began to promote initiative after
initiative that often times supported his own agenda of bolstering Broad Prize data sets as well as data
sets that are relevant to various Superintendent of the Year contests. During this time, Grier also began
to make more business connections with vendors he had worked with in North Carolina and California.
The offices that should have been a support to school operations and working in concert with the High
School Chief were now working independently of the high school office and working to support the
Superintendent’s agenda. What resulted was an increase in the number of initiatives and special
projects that began to flow out of HMW down to various high school campuses across the district.
High School’s, still suffering from a decrease in school funding related to the State of Texas decimating
the High School Allotment in 2011, struggled even more under these new initiatives that many principals
referred to as “unfunded mandates”. Principals had to make hard choices on how to deploy their scarce
campus resources, which reportedly was frustrating because the unfunded mandates rarely had anything
to do with House Bill 5 or TEA accountability.
 
Whether it was the pressure of HISD or it was a part of her life prior to her arrival to Houston ISD is unknown,
but on a road trip with her fiance, Dana Bost and former Wheatley Principal Don Rodriguez, were arrested on
felony drug charges in Alabama. Both of these Grier imports resigned their positions in December of 2013 in
an unfortunate and embarrassing spectacle that the Houston ISD Board of Trustees again fully ignored,
never once questioning the personnel choices of the Superintendent. Once again, the High School Office
(and Wheatley High School) was without direction or leadership. To be clear, it is not being suggested that
Ms. Dana Bost was somehow negligent in her duties as the Chief High School Officer. To the contrary,
Ms. Dana Bost was the first High School Chief who really seemed to understand the hard work required
to benefit the high school students of Houston ISD. Being an import combined with her short tenure, there w
as no way Ms. Dana Bost could have effectively controlled the intra-office power struggle that ensued after
the demise of Orland Riddick
.
Chief Number 6: Similar in stature to Bost, the sitting Middle School Chief, Michael Cardona was charged
with being the interim High School Chief while an “exhaustive nationwide talent search” was conducted
and the next great high school Chief was named. The word coming from middle school principals and
middle school support officers was that Mr. Cardona would routinely put his own foot in his mouth by
making statements that any quality leader would never say out loud. And it did not take long for the
interim Chief to live up to these low expectations. Rooted in an obtuse bravado, Mr. Cardona, armed
with a very high opinion of himself, reportedly hatched a plan to try and be appointed Chief of ALL
Secondary Schools. While the opportunity for Cardona to earn the ironically humorous moniker of
“Big Chief” was unfortunately missed, the “Big Chief” plan was received about as enthusiastically by
the Superintendent as Cardona was received by the high school principals during his short interim
chief term. The consensus amongst high school principals and school support officers was “Cardona
was simply tolerated, once Mr. Cardona knew he had no future in the High School Office, his leadership
and involvement with high school principals was limited”. Cardona’s brief stint as interim high school
chief may have also damaged his relationships with his middle school principals. While serving as
both the MS and HS chiefs, Cardona would meet with the high school and middle school principals
separately. Many middle school principals were turned off by Cardona’s public criticism of high school
principals at their middle school principal meetings. Cardona returned to the Middle School Office in
late April of 2014.
 
Chiefs Number Seven and Eight and the rest of the chaos that is Grier’s High School
Office in the next part of this post. Stay Tuned!!!
HISD employees will have more money taken out of pay checks for TRS
Team HISD: 
If your Sept. 10 paycheck is a bit smaller than you were expecting, it may be due to a
recent rate increase for contributions to the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
 
The before-tax contribution rate increased from 6.4 percent to 6.7 percent on Sept. 1, 2014.
Additional increases will go into effect in the coming years — 7.2 percent on Sept. 1, 2015,
and 7.7 percent on Sept. 1, 2016. HISD is required by law to deduct these contributions
from eligible employees’ salaries
each month.
 
All TRS members must contribute a portion of their eligible compensation to fund benefits.
The contribution rate is set by the Texas Legislature, and membership in TRS is required
by law for all eligible employees. Participation in the retirement plan cannot be waived.
 
After Sept. 1, 2017, employee contribution rates conceivably could go down. If the state’s
contribution rate drops below 6.8 percent, the member contribution rate will be reduced
by an equivalent percentage.
 
Additional details can be found in the TRS Benefits Handbook<> and TRS legislative
summary.
 
Sincerely,
HISD Payroll Department
BOBADILLA, GRAF TELL PARENT TO F OFF BUT WHEN MY FOX
HOUSTON GOT INVOLVED, THEY FOUND A SOLUTION

No, Bobadilla and Graf did not tell the parent of a 12-year-old forced
to walk through some urbanized blight to "fuck off" but by refusing
to listen and help the parent, they essentially did just that.

Then Fox news highlighted the 12-year-old's situation, and, just
like that, Graf and Bobadilla were singing a different tune.
Bellaire community meeting tonight 6:30 p.m.
BELLAIRE COMMUNITY IS EXPECTING TRUSTEE LUNCEFORD TO
REPRESENT THEM, NOT GRIER & BOBADILLA

Does Mike Lunceford have the moxie to stop Grier & Bobadilla's planned
displacement of Bellaire students and avoid a "Milby" situation at BHS? 
DONETRUS HILL ACCUSED OF INCOMPETENCE;
STUDENTS AT YATES STILL NOT IN THE RIGHT
CLASSES 

"Give it a rest" is what Grier &
his cronies are counting on
...
The opposition to the current school board and
out-of-control, incompetent superintendent has
never spoken with a unified voice. At first Parent
Visionaries was very active in opposing Grier and
helped the Fonesca campaign against gay-hater
Manuel Rodriguez.

But the battles to unseat Rodriguez was not won. Members
of PV who could afford to send their kids to private schools
did exactly that.

HFT did not oppose Grier as it should have done when he was hired in
2009. Like other political groups, HFT does not like to be second-guessed.
Although this website is a strong supporter of workers' rights and believes
the union movement in the United States is responsible for what was once
a vibrant middle class, HFT plays a game of resistance.  

So until the forces opposing the current lawless administration overcome
their egos and petty differences, these forces will not be successful.

Instead of criticizing the band parents at Yates for opposing a principal
who has on file a documented investigation for miscreant behavior,
support the Yates parents.  

Parents seeking legal remedies to oust Yates principal:
From one Yates parent:
Donkey Hill at Yates is at it again.
1. Would not allow the 8 students that protested to perform for the
basketball celebration. 
2.also has refused the 8 children to be allowed to perform this Friday night. 
 
This man is tearing up the Yates family from the inside out. The parents are meeting
today with legal representation . A massive law suite is being prepped. No one will be
punished for exercising their constitutional right. HIS CANNOT SIT BY AND ALLOW
THIS MAN TO CONTINUE. HIS EGO IS OUT OF CONTROL.
****And from another Yates parent:
Will Mr. Hill continue to hurt the Yates HS community or will the people speak up? When you hurt children
you must be prepared to make an exit.  When students arrive on the first day of school, the hope should
be that learning starts on day one. Students at Jack Yates High School have been told during week 2 to
complete schedule change forms that must be submitted by the end of week 2. Well, what happened to
week 1? Week 1 was spent trying to figure out what to do for week 2, week 3 and week 4.  Back to the
students and their mixed up schedules…it will be the 3rd week of school by the time schedules are “FIXED”.
This is unacceptable! Week 3 means there are only 3 weeks remaining in the 6 weeks.  Why must our
children, mostly African Americans, be treated this way? So parents, when will we demand better? Will
we just accept that there is a lack of organization and leadership at Yates and allow our children to suffer
while Mr. Hill tries to figure it out? It is not fair! Do not accept this because it’s our children’s academic
future at stake.  I would not let my child go 3 weeks in a 6 weeks grading period with an incorrect schedule.
Again, when you hurt children you must be prepared to make an exit and it should be swift. Schedules
incorrect. Students taking classes they already took and passed. Students without classes they need to
graduate. Students taking Spanish 2 when they never had Spanish I.  A registration process that looks
like something from the 1960s.  And, a principal that is clearly incompetent, arrogant, and speaks to his
Deans like they are incompetent. Well we know that most people will talk badly to others to make themselves
look and feel better.  It is interesting that it was said by Mr. Hill himself that Dr. Grier spoke to him in a
demeaning manner on day one of the new school year but Mr. Hill does the same thing to those who
work at Yates.  What system was in place to bring Mr. Hill onboard as the principal of a once thriving
school?  You just don’t bring an unseasoned principal to a school like Yates because it’s a disaster
waiting to happen. After one year, parents, teachers, students, alumni, community and administrators
are starting to see the disaster unravel.  What will it take? When will it end? When will people demand
the best for children who deserve the best? Third Ward, raise up and hold Paula Harris accountable or
make sure she is not reelected. Third Ward, raise up and demand that Mr. Hill change his ways that
clearly are not working. Third Ward, raise up and say that enough is enough and you will not be bought
and sold to the highest bidder! Third Ward, raise up before our children are just another statistic in this
political game called EDUCATION.