Temper good news about lesson plans with Grier's overall war on teachers

HISD's career readiness programs: 36,000 students enrolled in career & technology education classes
New York City Schools description of their career & technical education programs
318 CTE programs in NYC and 51 designated CTE high schools

Change in format at Jordan HS resembles Miller Career & Technology Center in Katy ISD

HFT works to protect members' rights against excessive lesson planning requirements

Administrative memo on lesson planning & respect for teachers' time

Message from HFT President Zeph Capo:

The-mail below that was originally sent to our members at the beginning of school.  Several informational emails on this topic have followed, including an exchange with HISD Admin below and the production/distribution of the attached memo regarding the law on teachers rights.  We are tackling the lesson plan concerns from our members who share their concerns with us.  The illegality of many campus plan formats has been established and we must now enforce the law.  Teachers can help by sharing the information with one another and contacting us where campus principals choose to ignore both the law and their bosses.  We must work together not against one another if we want to change the culture of HISD and we are closer to that goal than many may believe.  I whole-heartedly agree with you that the results of the elections in November are crucial and I encourage everyone to move from behind their computer screens and join us walking or phoning for the candidate of their choice.

From: Zeph Capo Leading, teaching, and learning [mailto:zcapo@hft2415.org] 
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 7:45 PM
To: Zeph Capo <zcapo@hft2415.org>
Subject: Appeals Court Ruling re: Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans Ruled 
"Brief and general in nature" 
By Texas Appellate Court
HFT President Zeph Capo re: lesson plan advocacy story.
Join HFT at www.hft2415.org

A classroom teacher may be required to prepare “a unit or weekly lesson plan that outlines, in a brief and general manner, the information to be presented during each period at the secondary level or in each subject or topic at the elementary level.” The Paperwork Reduction Act, Tex. Educ. Code Section 11.164(a)(6).

“The phrase, ‘information to be presented,’ is intended to prohibit school districts from requiring lesson plans that contain anything other than an outline, which is brief and general, of the information that a teacher plans to teach during a particular class period and the activities the students will do in order to learn the subject matter.” Ysleta ISD and Commissioner of Education v. Porter, et al., 2015 WL 1735542 at *4.

A school district may not require information in a lesson plan “that is neither taught to students nor describes the activities that will be used to teach the subject matter.” Ysleta ISD and Commissioner of Education v. Porter, et al., 2015 WL 1735542 at *4.
Lesson plan template X  
TEKS or TAKS objectives* X  
Resources students will use X  
Assessments   X
Cognitive levels   X
Differentiated Activities/ Modifications   X
*Just referenced, not written out
Source: Ysleta ISD and Commissioner of Education v. Porter, et al., __S.W.3d ____, 2015 WL 1735542 (Tex. App. – Corpus Christi 2015, no pet.).
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*Hot comment*
Burrus El. and HISD Bullies OPT out kids and parents

Look what these kids and parents had to go thru. Issue was resolved but involved calling in some big guns for resolution. 
Great news! The twins were re-enrolled and promoted!

At 11 o'clock this morning, Shavonda Collins, the twins' mother, had her grade placement committee meeting at Burrus Elementary School. With her were representatives from CVPE and from the NAACP. The boys were re-enrolled and promoted to the 4th grade. As of today, Tyler and Tylan can begin their 2015-2016 school year.

Thank you for spreading the word and for contacting Superintendent Terry Grier, the Board, and the elementary school SSO's on behalf of this family. Bullying and scare tactics only work when no one knows about them or says anything about them. By bringing this out into the light, we, along with the NAACP and the media, forced the school to back down. We also sent a very clear message that retaliation against Opt Out families will not be tolerated.

Burrus Elementary Principal & HISD Abuse Power, Refuse to Allow Students to Learn
posted by HoustonCVPE | 29sc
August 29, 2015

As they did in April 2015, Houston ISD is going on the offensive against their students and families. They are deliberately breaking the law and established district procedures that violate the TEA Education Code and in doing so have caused serious harm to two students. HISD is retaining a set of B+ third graders in retaliation for the parents choosing to opt them out of STAAR math last spring. Will you email the superintendent at tgrier@houstonisd.org or call him at (713) 556-6300 and the school board members to remind them that HISD must comply with TEA Code and that this grade retention of B+ students would not have happened if they were White and privileged? The question we should be asking is what is the purpose of HISD's anti bullying policy if not to protect families from this? 

Tyler and Tylan Brantley are long-time students at Burrus Elementary, attending since pre-kindergarten. They are strong B+ students who participate in the fine arts magnet program at their school. Third grade was a big year for both Tyler and Tylan, as it is for many students. They passed their classes and were viewed by the school as stellar students during the school year; that is,. until the mother chose to opt her sons out of the STAAR math test over concern that school had become less about learning and more about test prep and test and punish policies. ALWAYS about the STAAR and so much less about learning and growth.

They opted out of STAAR math but like many other third graders across the state, they failed the reading STAAR last spring. Instead of holding a grade placement committee meeting, as district policy stipulates, where parental input could have been considered, the school demanded the students attend summer school as a condition of promotion. The parents complied with this requirement and made sure the boys attended each day of summer school and thought everything was going well. 

On the second to last day of summer school, the twins' parents were informed that their sons did not, in fact, pass summer school, and were both given grades of 69. This grade seems particularly capricious and suspect given that the students attended summer school daily, participated actively and learned what was expected of two hard-working almost fourth graders. Were the students to have received at least a 70, they would have "passed" summer school and would have been allowed to pass on to fourth grade. It is highly unusual and suspicious for third graders with B+ averages who attend summer school solely because of STAAR failure to be given summer school grades of 69. Each school year, over 40% of Burrus 3rd graders do not pass the reading STAAR, yet the school regularly promotes these students each year after they attend summer school.

A grade placement committee was not held until mid-July, at which point the twins' mother was told that her sons would be retained in 3rd grade and removed from the magnet program for a probationary period (1st report card cycle). During the grade placement committee, it was apparent the committee had not done two things required by state law: (1) considered parent input as the decision was made prior to the meeting, and (2) consider the whole academic record of the students as required by the Texas Education Agency code, the Student Success Initiative (SSI). You can read more here, the TEA Section 28.0211(c) and Tx Ed Rights grade placement guide.

The offenses continued and became grievous and outrageous when the twins showed up on the first day of school. They were not permitted to go to class, but instead were forced to spend the entire day sitting in the cafeteria and office, without any contact whatsoever with the parents. When Ms. Collins showed up the following day at Burrus and respectfully asked to meet with the principal, he refused to even come out of his office and then had Ms. Collins removed from campus by an HISD Police Officer!

This treatment of this well-intentioned parent by Houston ISD is abusive and outrageous. During the first week of school, Houston ISD was forcing the twins to miss out on valuable instructional time by refusing to allow them to return to class by stating that the twins, who have attended the school with a valid address since pre-K, were no longer in the school attendance zone. Ms. Collins has contacted the School Support Officer, who delayed meeting with the parents until the end of the first week, 8/28/15.

What will it take for the school to stop the unlawful action of keeping these boys from attending school? Can you imagine if your children were treated this way? Would HISD treat the child of a lawyer or a socio-economically advantaged parent this way? Is HISD treating the family in such a discriminatory way because they are African American and of limited means?

Call Superintendent Grier's office at (713) 556-6300 or email him at hisdsuperintendent@houstonisd.org or at tgrier@houstonisd.org

Call your school board member, which you can find here:

http://www.houstonisd.org/domain/10786#finder . 

Email the School Support Officers over elementary school: Sam Sarabia, SSARABIA@houstonisd.org>, Karla Loria, KLORIA@houstonisd.org, and Grenita Lathan, GLATHAN@houstonisd.org>

Tell them that it is NEVER okay for Houston ISD to bully ANY parent and the Brantley twins should be allowed to return to class immediately.


Larry McKinzie is an Educator and Advocate in HISD who supports...

Less Testing The "Community School Model" Equitable Educational Resources Vocational and CATE (Career and Technology Education) Programs STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Programs A Moratorium on the Closing of Schools "All children deserve a great education. Over the past 10 years, over 7 schools have been closed in District IV. 75 schools have been closed, repurposed and/or consolidated or a combination of the three since 2002; primarily in Black or Hispanic communities.

Davetta Daniels, former HISD principal, advocated firing Terry Grier in 2011
In 2011, Daniels took some heat for openly calling for Grier's firing. Now, many residents in District IV, who voted to reelect one of Grier's chief enablers on the HISD board, regret their vote.

Although she is running again in 2015, Daniels faces stiff competition from Jolanda Jones, who so far has failed to fire up the community behind her, and Larry McKenzie, who has been a presence at every school board meeting and works with the UUAA, outspoken critics of the Grier administration.


Ann McCoy has been part of the HISD system but does she understand how destructive Grier's policies have been?


Currently, Dr. McCoy serves as Director of Data Services and Research for All Kids Alliance at the University of Houston. She has also taught statistics and research methods at the University of Houston-Downtown and general and abnormal psychology at Texas Southern University.

Ann has evaluated a variety of programs serving children and youth including compensatory education and school-based reading interventions for the Houston Independent School District, as well as teacher professional development programs for RUSMP.

This combination of experience in the classroom and experience in program evaluation will make her an asset on the HISD School Board.

Will Jolanda Jones, former Houston city council candidate, be a fixture or an agent of change?


It would be my highest honor to earn your vote for HISD Trustee, Position IV.

I am a native of Houston and District IV and a proud product of public schools. Yet, when my son was ready for school, our neighborhood school in the Third Ward had a record of violence, a high turnover of teachers and principals and inadequate programming. I had to find a charter school across town to give him a good education.

I believe in strengthening our neighborhood schools, not closing them. HISD allows a school to decline until parents with school-age kids move out. Then HISD closes the school because there are not enough families with kids in the surrounding neighborhood.

I want to turn that around. If we invest in neighborhood schools with quality teachers, advanced curricula and improved safety, the surrounding neighborhoods will thrive – and so will our kids and our city.

That means promoting policies that encourage student proficiency in reading, writing, math and science. It means taking into account future employment opportunities and preparing our youth for college or giving them the skills and training they will need to be employable.

It means policies that develop and retain good teachers who understand the surrounding neighborhood – or even better, can afford to live there. It means evaluating teachers with multiple measures including student grades and work output, peer review and self-reflection – and scrapping the deeply flawed EVAAS system which is now being challenged in court.

And it means more transparency so that parents and taxpayers can hold HISD accountable for our priorities. Please join me and let’s work together to put our kids – and our city – on a safe and solid path to a brighter future.


HISD's top ten in compensation for 2015-16

Houston's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Caucus endorses Ramiro Fonseca & Rhonda Skillern-Jones,
Jolanda Jones, and Juliet Stipeche

Jose Leal,
Licensed Professional Counselor, Texas Can Academies, vies to unseat Manuel Rodriguez

HISD still looking for 2 principals & 64 teachers as the second week of school begins
Davetta Daniels lost to Paula Harris twice but hopes to prevail in a crowded District IV race
Davetta Daniels decries HISD trustees' "ignorance and greed"
Davetta Daniels, the candidate with expertise in education
Davetta Daniels, Off the Kuff...
Tre Magazine, Davetta Daniels
Davetta Daniels was also a candidate for an HCC trustee position in April 2015

Critics scrutinize Texas' unusual high school dropout rates
Since its rerun time, let's take a look back:
Diana Davila is quitting HISD board, citing family issues
Diana Davila resigns, and rumors fly
Diana Davila resigns, interwoven ethics problems
Abel Davila, Off the Kuff


Follow houstonisdwatch on twitter for the latest updates and news.

Houston Chronicle: Voters will see familiar faces in November election 
Ballotpedia HISD election news

Houston Independent School District elections (2015)

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2015 Houston Independent School District Elections

General Election date:
November 3, 2015
Table of Contents
About the district 
Method of election 
Key deadlines 
Additional elections 
External links 
See also
Houston Independent School District 
Harris County, Texas ballot measures 
Local ballot measures, Texas
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Four seats on the Houston Independent School District Board of Trustees are up for general election on November 3, 2015.

The seats of District II incumbent Rhonda Skillern-Jones, District III incumbent Manuel Rodriguez Jr., District IV incumbent Paula Harris and District VIII incumbent Juliet Stipeche are up for election.[1]

Skillern-Jones, Rodriguez and Stipeche filed for re-election to their respective seats. Skillern-Jones will faceYoulette McCulloughDarlene Smith and Larry Williams. Skillern-Jones is seeking her second term; she was first elected to the board in 2011.[2]

Rodriguez is set to compete against two challengers: Ramiro Fonseca and Jose Leal. He was first elected to the board in 2003.[2]

Stipeche has the least challengers competing against her with just Diana Davila aiming to unseat her. Stipeche was first elected in 2010 to finish out an unexpired term and then re-elected in 2011.[2]

Since Harris did not file for re-election in District IV, four candidates filed to replace her. They are Davetta Daniels,Jolanda JonesAnn McCoy and Larry McKinzie. Harris has served on the board since 2007.[2]

HISD school board election and citywide election news
From the Chronicle of Philanthropy:

Teach for America Debate Sharpens as Education Corps Shrinks

Teach for America is going into the new school year with much smaller cohort of new members than two years ago, a trend for which critics of the controversial teacher-training nonprofit are taking credit, The Daily Beast writes. The article also details the group's sharp public-relations response to critical media coverage and online debate about its practices and goals.

Growing division among alumni of the group, which recruits new college graduates for two-year teaching stints in low-income communities, has increasingly played out on social media and in blogs. A new book, Teach for America Counter-Narratives: Alumni Speak Up and Speak Out, gathers critical assessments by the nonprofit's veterans, supplementing ongoing debate among education advocates and teachers' groups over Teach for America's influence and classroom effectiveness.

Continue reading Chronicle of Philanthropy report.
From The Daily Beast: Is Teach for America Flunking Out?  


Why haven't the supposed "good trustees" spoken out against Grier's termination quotas?
No one has a backbone on the HISD school board. Catchings emails have been available to trustees any time they asked for them. houstonisdwatch told trustees
two years ago Grier had termination quotas. HFT notified them, too, in the process of notifying its membership and district teachers at large.

Lunceford, District V, has made noise about going to the press
over HISD's bond fiasco and lies to the public. But he should be
as outraged over the way veteran teachers have been treated in
the district. But we haven't heard anything from Mike on either

The implications of Grier's quotas, especially his targeting of veteran teachers, and, according to Gerry Monroe of UUAA, black teachers, reeks of discrimination, ageism, and ignorance.

Stipeche has done some very good things in her tenure on the
board and it appears she is running for reelection against former HISD.
trustee Diana Davila.

She hasn't however, been forceful enough to change the public's 
opinion about the Grier administration's lack of ethics, and she
has abstained from far too many important votes.

Juliet Stipeche has sat silent, too, when the right thing to do was to speak out against them.

No candidates should be safe in this election cycle. Stipeche, we expect more from you. Mike Lunceford, for once, speak up loud and clear for what's right and go to the media to condemn the Grier administration.

Harvin Moore, Greg Meyers, Manuel Rodriguez, and Paula Harris will never be more than stool pigeons for the Grier administration. And maybe District i's Eastman just doesn't get it.
*Hot comment*

Front Page Link About Catchings

Click on the link on the front page about Catchings. Reading through the email exchanges between Catchings and Grier sheds some light on the dark operations taking place across the district. Grier's comment - "Looks like Westbury is losing" and the reply from Catchings with numbers of teachers who are on growth plans, forced into retirement, suggests / proves that the "file review" process is sold to building principals as a contest. "Looks like Westbury is losing" shows that Grier wants the principals to compete with one another to fire or force out the largest number of teachers. This is sport for them. All of them. Grier and his principals. I have held on to the notion that many of the principals are upstanding professionals caught in a bad situation. But if they are participating in this sick contest to fire the most teachers, and not one...not one of them has enough character to stand up to this asshole and report to the community and school board and press the way this asshole operates then they are just like him. Screw em. They suck. All of them.

Catchings was frantic to meet Grier's termination quotas & blamed Westbury's problems on former Principal Wainright
HISD 2015-15 Employee roster with compensation, August 27, 2015 
HISD's monitoring system fails again, leaving 90 High School Ahead Academy students, an HISD charter, scrambling for a school
What one student had to say about HISD's Ahead Academy:
"old ass school air allways smelled bad and no nurse awesome teachers but one -_- bathrooms were allways dirty the floors were never mopped i mean thats what the janitors were for??but ehhh i passed so thats good"

Fox News report:
Damali Keith of Fox news 26: 
A number of parents say their Houston Independent School District charter school students, excited to start high school this year, are now being told they can't start 9th grade & will have to repeat 8th grade because they were given the wrong STAAR test at High School Ahead Academy last year. Your thoughts??? UPDATE: Statement from HISD (but it doesn't answer any questions about STAAR, how this could happen or if indeed these kids will be held back). STATEMENT
While pro...cessing student records, HISD officials discovered files for 89 High School Ahead seventh-graders appeared to contain incomplete information. District administrators immediately notified the campus and began working with administrators to ensure each student has the documentation needed to show content mastery for eighth grade and advance to the ninth grade.
· High School Ahead provides accelerated learning for students who have fallen behind. It’s not unusual for a student to advance two grade levels in one year if they work hard and show content mastery in both grades.
· Parents have been notified, and a review is underway.
· Students with files that are found to be complete (documentation was provided, but not submitted to the district) will advance to the ninth-grade, as planned. Any student with new or additional documentation submitted will go before a Grade Placement Committee to determine if he or she is ready to move to the next grade level. The Grade Placement Committee — made up of parents, teachers and campus administrators — conducts a formal review of each student’s grades, attendance, records and other assessments, and then makes an initial determination: to move forward with promotion or require the student to receive additional instruction.
HISD officials discuss bond shortage, set plans for opening day chaos in HISD in this early winter Thursday morning meeting:
Part One.

Part Two.

UUAA reports Jason Spencer, Grier's chief of staff, has informed Fox 26's Greg Groogan all HISD schools designated in 2012 bond will receive the same amount of money


HISD fritters away $319 million on architect fees and cannot fulfill its pledges to voters
$1.87 billion bond funds aren't enough as Grier administration officials waste taxpayer money 
HFT hates to be criticized. They take particular offense at criticism here.

But, my God, what in the hell is Zeph Capo doing? Where's the press conference to publicly call out the stupendously idiotic Grier administration for sending parents and students away from schools?

Where's the union on the issue of teachers being forced to teach-as-robots, spending inordinate and UNNECESSARY time planning lessons?

And why aren't schools like Bellaire and the rest of Lunceford's lot participating in the misery?

Apollo debacle haunts trustees like Harvin Moore who are totally clueless when it comes to educating anyone except the upper class.

The trustees are an inept mess, that's for sure, but did you hear Zeph and another service union speaker at the last school board meeting?

Are these the unions' big guns?

Zeph speaks in a very soft voice and the other rep, whose name need not be mentioned, couldn't stop chewing gum long enough to speak.

Did you pay your $600 or so dollars to HFT? Then you need to demand more action than all quiet on the western front. 

It's pathetic. Really stinks.  Just like their endorsement of Rhonda Skillern-Jones. 
His students don't have to...

Mike Lunceford, District V, told houstonisdwatch that the snapshot exams as they were conceived, written, and implemented last year, were a waste of time and only one school in his district administered them to students.

Only one. Digest that, if you will, and compare that to the hours of lost teaching time devoted to giving students exams full of inaccuracies, typos, and mistakes.

Also consider, as published on this page, that HISD scores actually declined as a result of these exams.

So why didn't the other eight trustees make the same demands Lunceford did? Really makes you wonder about their knowledge of and involvement with what is really going on in HISD. 
Another Grier disaster
Really, should we have expected any better from an administrative team that's a lot like jello, swaying back and forth as the earth trembles around them? Putting new people in place, creating more elaborate top-down power structures -  that's all Grier does. Yet his key people in schools couldn't be bothered to make the phone calls or visits the homes of their prospective students to tell them they are no longer going to be enrolled there?

Many of those parents and students inconvenienced yesterday were Latino. Grier doesn't really factor in their viewpoints because so many of them will not vote in the next election. Nor will these parents contact their trustee.  They just take the abuse the Grier administration and its lackey principals dish out.

So we have the KTRK report that HISD officials refused to be interviewed but, instead, sent out an email that said nothing.
Spencer Helen Communications & Publications Chief Communications Officer $195000.00

Here is the KTRK report.  For the sake of students and parents we can only hope HISD is a little more focused on opening school today than they were yesterday.
Frustrated  by trustees who don't answer emails, readers asked for their home or business addresses:
Harvin Moore, District VII
Juliet Stipeche, District VIII
Manuel Rodriguez, District III, 
Rhonda Skillern-Jones, District II
Greg Meyers, District VI
Wanda Adams, District IX
Anna Eastman, District I
Mike Lunceford, District V
Paula Harris, District IV
Harvin Moore's dream school, the Arabic Immersion Magnet, arouses protesters
Trustee Stipeche, District VIII, campaign finance report

Trustee Rodriguez, District III, campaign finance report

Trustee Harris, District IV, campaign finance report

Trustee Adams, District IX, campaign finance report

Trustee Moore, District VII, campaign finance report

Trustee Meyers, District VI, campaign finance report

Trustee Eastman, District I, campaign finance report

Trustee Lunceford, District V, campaign finance report

Trustee Skillern-Jones, District II, campaign finance report

New truancy law House Bill 2398 makes schools responsible for students until they are 19 years of age
HISD touts its bond progress at two elementary schools, one middle, and two high schools
In May Former Westbury Principal Jason Catchings said he was acting on orders from Terry Grier

HISD's board decision reeks of cowardice and refusal to acknowledge the man they supervise conducts regular witch hunts against teachers. The board's relationship to Grier makes them culpable by association.

Grier has been conducting hits against teachers for six years. When houstonisdwatch asked Harvin Moore why he supported termination quotas, Moore claimed these quotas did not exist even as HFT circulated information to teachers that Grier and his lieutenants had ordered up the hits and principals were to follow through or face the consequences.

In Grier's world quid pro quo is the most valued practice. Catchings was to conduct war on the Westbury staff and Grier would allow him to be absent whenever he needed to attend to his Catchings: Hunting & Fishing business.

What Grier should have demanded were full-time principals who were not running private businesses at the time. Milby Principal Roy de la Garza sold his Belgium-themed Heights restaurant when his moon-lighting was highlighted by houstonisdwatch. Catchings, however, devoted his energy and time to his first love. Now that HISD has officially severed ties with him, he'll have plenty of time to reload the guns and attach fresh hooks to the fishing poles.
HFT backs Rhonda Skillern-Jones, current HISD board president, who appears to have multiple ethics complaints filed against her

houstonisdwatch has learned by the UUAA that the Koffey Smith campaign has filed multiple - over twenty - ethics complaints against Ms. Jones. Indiscretions in campaign finance reporting lead the list. houstonisdwatch has not received a response from the Harris County district attorney's office asking to validate these complaints. 

It is difficult to understand why HFT jumped out early to endorse Ms. Jones if the union believes Terry Grier is unfit to be superintendent.  The list of reasons why Grier is a failure and will continue to fail can be narrowed down to three primary reasons: Failure to lead the district to academic improvement; Failure to manage the 2012 bond dollars as promised to voters; Failure to understand the concept of human dignity & treating employees with respect.

Grier model principal, Pershing Middle School's Kim Heckman, appears to be trying to resegregate Pershing. Hello 1950s.

Ashley Madison hackers users list shows city of Houston employees
Report shows teacher professional development usually a waste of time11
March 31, 2015 HISD 2012 bond financial report
Bond financial update report July 2015 shows some revisions, exclusions

HCC is spending a million to settle with former chancellor; how much is HISD paying for Larry Marshall's defense?  houstonisdwatch has submitted a TPIA request to find out.
HISD's Traffic Light report underestimates severity of bond problems
HISD hasn't updated its report since April 2015

*Hot comments*

Jeff Davis, Bellaire teachers told their schools won't be rebuilt (neither will Milby, Yates, Washington....etc.)


Davis teachers were told last week that the school would not be rebuilt. One of the teachers told me that hundreds of thousands of dollares were spent on architectures, etc. They sent dozens of teachers to view schools in Oregon or Washington. Didn't the voters vote for the bond. is this true? Can the district go back on what they told us parents? How do I find out?

Rebuild is a Do-Over

Ditto for Bellaire. Teachers sent to Oregon and Washington (guess they don't get that its a different climate there!). The architects got paid first! and less then half left... so BHS will get a fix-up/repair which is just fine with us! We (the community) did not want the school rebuilt as it has had 3 major refurb/additions in the last 20 years and large portions are in excellent condition.

69 black students - 10 white 59 black students - 18 white 57 black students - 12 white 29 white students - 8 black 41 black students - 9 white 25 black students 7 white

Only clusters 7-1 & 7-2 attempt to provide balance in membership.


Only 66% of Pershing students live in the Pershing zone and the majority of students who transfer out are white. Principal Heckman has created nearly all white clusters at Pershing despite whites only comprising 16 % of the student population.


HISD health care providers for 2015-16. EyeMed has been panned for providing negligent coverage (click image box for link).


Rufus Browning, Yates High School supporter and community activitist, wants to know the exact date construction will begin at Yates. He's heard rumors the demolition will begin this fall.

HISD has been asked many bond questions but has few answers.

• When comparing the 2012 STAAR gap results to the 2015 gap results, the student performance gaps appear to be widening between White, African-American, and Hispanic students for almost all grades over time.


High school test scores also show declines

Yes, Ms. Adams, HISD knew employee health costs were going up
Adams speaks at the 22:00 mark of I-3; Vision and dental costs going up 
Video from August 13, 2015 board meeting
HFT's Zeph Capo D-2, 1:13 mark
UUAA's Gerry Monroe H-2 on Mickey Leland School "When are you going to start building this school?" 

...Board Monitoring report:
2015 STAAR Grades 3–8 Reading Key Findings:
  • The number of students tested has increased at every grade and subject since 2012.
  • While reading performance at the current satisfactory level has decreased over the past three years, the percentage of students performing at the advanced level is the highest it has been over the same time period.
  • At the campus level, one-year improvements ranged from 52% (90 out of 173 campuses) in third- grade and fifth-grade reading to 16% (9 out of 57 campuses) in eighth-grade reading.

Elementary Curriculum and Development
In responses to the grades 3–5 STAAR results, Elementary Curriculum and Development will implement the following actions to support campuses and increase student achievement:
  1. Continue to provide principal and teacher training to support Literacy By 3 with an emphasis on comprehension of complex text to think deeply and critically aligned to the rigor of the STAAR Reading.
  2. Evaluating STAAR results and identify elementary campuses with significant gains to determine elements that contributed to their success. There are over two dozen elementary campuses with double-digit increases in STAAR reading this past school year.
  3. Provide teacher training to implement the Writer’s Workshop framework across the district.
  4. Provide pre-kindergarten (pre-k), grades 4 and 5 classroom libraries, and kindergarten–grade 2 Spanish language materials along with teacher training to expand the success of Literacy By 3.
  5. Partner with the Multilingual department to create systems, practices, and supports for students transitioning from Spanish to English
  6. Partner with Elementary School Offices to create networks in order for principals and teachers to share best practices, look at student work, analyze formative assessment data, plan lessons grounded in the district curriculum, and collaborate with teachers on demonstration campuses. Teacher Development Specialists and School Support Officers will leverage school leaders and teacher leaders on demonstration campuses in the following ways:
    • Instructional coaching
    • Peer observation
    • Formative assessment collaboration
    • Data-driven instruction
    • Collaborative lesson planning
August 13, 2015 board agenda
Grab and go August 12, 2015 board agenda

Despite the district's spin about a 2% increase in isolated grade level test scores, 57 HISD campuses failed to meet state standards
*North Forest schools struggle
*HISD's traditionally African-American campuses struggle


SB No. 507 was passed to protect the rights of special education students in Texas.  HISD is considered to be a rich district in the state. The district certainly has the funds to meet the state's demand.

State Senator Lucio is the point person for this law.

Schools districts were hoping camera law would fail. Really says a lot about how much trustees and central office personnel disregard students.

Despite concerns about some high schools not offering economics, Yates HS will offer eco in the 2015-16 school term. houstonisdwatch has requested social studies schedules for several HISD high schools using a Texas Public Information request.

Money apparently flows from 4400 W. 18th Street; HISD forced to pay penalties
to bring principals out of retirement

HISD struggles to ward off the hackers: This time it's Concerta
Voting Rights Act has been undone
Ericka Mellon reports on principal appointments in HISD
Cincinnati's public schools are closing the achievement gap between black & white students by using collaboration & common sense
*Intimidation of teachers and a steady stream of firings doesn't work, but HISD keeps doing it anyway

From Diane Ravitch: Does Cincinnati have the right formula?
One in three DISD schools will have new principals this year: What's the count in HISD?
Texas school funding levels called red flag: from DallasNews.com
How has Terry Grier survived in HISD?

Declining test scores, white and black flight, no texbooks, alleged blatant discrimination against blind students, and bond promises made but not kept - how does a superintendent survive this malaise?

Ask yourself another relevant question: Why do school board members like Manuel Rodriguez and Harvin Moore cling to their positions when there is no salary and the position requires an incredible commitment of time, albeit not always fulfilled when the attendance at the last two school board meetings is taken into consideration?

Harvin Moore obviously caters to the 1% in the HISD population, white, affluent, magnet school lovers and language academy affectionados, and of course, putting his kids in the best possible schools without having to spend a penny to do so.

How did Rhonda Skillern-Jones secure the support of HFT when she is not an advocate for teachers' rights nor has she publicly stated she believes the Grier administration has run its course?

How will Manuel Rodriguez finance a campaign that has no money in its coffers according to the January 2015 campaign finance report?

Why was it so important for the Greater Houston Partnership, an organization which recently won a court battle to keep its financial affairs private, to bless the appointment of Terry Grier engineered by Trustee Paula Harris?

No less than a sitting HISD trustee told houstonisdwatch of a money connection that somehow runs from Houston to Dallas, It might be better labeled a money trough. Those who know of this circuitous path to reward trustees say little. Those who benefit say nothing.

It's safe to say two trustees - Juliet Stipeche and Mike Lunceford - aren't participating.
*Hot comment*

Quote · Jul 20 2015 6:23 AM
The textbook or the transitioning to no-text-no-ebooks was brought up in this forum in January after the textbook committees were formed and Gohl announced this new edict. Initially, it was e-books would be available but when the publishers announced that the cost difference between e and print books was not a large difference the resulting decision was that the teachers would become the new source of content information. So excited we have all had this information provided and we all have been working on our aspiring writing careers with no hopes for payment or royalties over the summer! Think about it... the math teacher that is not quite solid on how to solve a certain concept, a history teacher that just never had a period or topic in their history/govt/eco courses, a geography teacher that never had a single course in geography (more the case then anyone wants to admit!!), and the science teacher teaching a science course that they had little to no content hours in! Revisionist education is all but 1.5 months away! and it seems no one is too alarmed at this. Such confidence in teacher abilities to carry this out exudes from the same administration that has conducted witch-hunts on veteran teachers for the last 5 years and then brought in TFA's so new and many with the focus of paying off their loans and not making education a career. Parents with children coming into the system need to be very vigilant, very afraid, very cautious, and very very active.

Koffee Smith addressed concerns about her opponent's campaign finance report at a press conference yesterday.

Interconnectedness of Eli Broad, the Clintons, Obama and corporate school reform

"...Before rushing to support Hillary Clinton, it's wise to review how her efforts have ot always served the interests of classroom teachers:
 After announcing her run for President on April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton met with the leadership of theAmerican Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association in June. She sought to distance herself from her support of No Child Left Behind when she was a Senator in 2001. While she was an early critic of standardized testing, her position seems to shift by which way the political winds are blowing. Given her history with the Broad Foundation, can there be any illusions that she will continue the neoliberal attack on public education? It has been reported that 181 Clinton Foundation donors lobbied the State Department when she was Secretary of State. The two top donors were leaders in corporate education reform: The Microsoft/Gates Foundation ($26,000,000) and the Walmart/Walton Family Foundation ($10,500,00)..."
Read full report

Grier stresses the importance of dual credit
*Hot comment*

HISD services for blind students called into question
E books, no textbooks and Power up
Quote · Jul 17 2015 9:54 PM
As a teacher of the visually impaired, electronic books materials do not provide blind and low vision students the same access they need to compete and learn along with their sighted peers. There are software packages for blind and low vision students to learn how to access electronic material using a computer. There are talking software programs for the blind that helps students navigate computer programs through speech access. There are low vision programs that enlarge the screen so that a student with a visually impairment can view the screen. 

Prior to Power-Up laptops, visually impaired teachers would teach the specialized software and provide access on classroom computers. However, due to security protocol, this is not allowed on the Power Up Laptops. No additional software can be loaded except that which has been specifically approved by the district and the HUB.

The Power Up Program is going on it's 3rd year. Has the district bothered to purchase and load these needed programs for students with visual impairments? No! HISD and their 6 figure salaried "tech heads" and administrators want this software on the HUB but can't figure out how to do that without compromising security protocol for the HUB. This specialized software programs are just as benign as loading Mictrosoft Word or Excel on a computer. So for the last 2 years blind and visually impaired students have not had the same access to the general curriculum as their classmates.

E books can only take a blind user so far because they electronic information by speech only. Ask yourself how will my blind student will access a map of Europe electronically?, a geometry problem?, what good is a video without descriptive speech? Blind students need braille, tactual maps and diagrams for access and learning. They need these materials at the same time as their sighted peers. I can tell you this is not happening in the district! When students were using textbooks, blind students for the most part had access through state adopted braille textbooks that were ordered by their visually impaired teachers. Supplemental materials, teacher-made test were sent to the district's braillist ahead of time. Using Power-Up and the HUB no longer provide that access to these students. It has been 2 years for some of these blind high school students since first wave of power-up laptop and e-text to not have materials for their classes. 

Imagine your normally sighted student not having access to print materials--- but only only given oral instructions to complete every tasks in a school day---ALL DAY LONG!. How would your student perform? Blind students need braille materials along with some electronic text!!!! HISD and it's high paid administrators, school board, and Terry Grier have set HISD's blind and visually impaired students back into the dark ages (pun intended) with this " over the top go all out with electronic text" programming.

Three HISD trustees & superintendent Grier put vacations over improvement of 17 HISD schools: Harris, Lunceford, and Eastman

Corporate school reformers keep Teach for America in business but its success is based on myths, not facts
Stipeche cites lack of community based schools model in essentially unrevised improvent plans, votes "no"
*Grier, three trustees on holiday
*Improvement plans approved 5-1 just in the nick of time
Ericka Mellon reports
July 16 board meeting video
*Hot comment*

Watch This
I strongly recommend that readers take a few minutes and watch the video of last night's board meeting, in particular, Gerry Monroe's comments about reconstitution. Go to the 5:45 mark on the video. Mr. Monroe was subdued yet brutally on point. This city is in for some tough(er) times if this superintendent and board continue down this same, failed path.

As I predicted, there were no "fireworks" at last night's board meeting. Whatever you've grown to despise these past six years, prepare yourself for at least one more year of it - maybe even longer. With each passing day, the
possibility of Grier beguiling yet another contract extension seems more possible.


Grier's failures in HISD demonstrated by simple charts: STAAR 3-8: STAAR EOC

Message to candidates: If you want to challenge an incumbent trustee, start early, hire a lawyer
Carol Mimms Galloway extends her influence in HISD by relationship with Skillern-Jones 

In the 2011 election cycle no one had filed paperwork to replace the retiring Carol Mimms Galloway. With Parent Visionaries full support, Ms. Galloway announced at the last minute Rhonda Skillern-Jones would replace her. Skillern-Jones ran unopposed.

A virtual unknown at the time, Skillern-Jones began her tenure as a fresh face, an objective trustee, an independent not under the shady influence of the Grier 4: Rodriguez, Meyers, Moore, and Harris.

Critics of Skillern-Jones are quick to point out how wrong early impressions were. Interfering in the selection of principals, failing to protect the antiquity of Wheatley High and allowing Kashmere to drift along with no announced plans to reconstitute on the table, even though its status - five years unacceptable - demands significant changes.

Her opponent in the upcoming election had placed before her major obstacles to obtaining the required paperwork to run. Attribute the five month wait to obtain forms and the confusion over which forms are correct to incompetence by HISD's board services office or to interference by the Grier administration.  Ms. Jones has taken no significant votes to oppose Grier and, like her colleagues, is allowing Grier to put the district through another fruitless reorganization.  

Looking back: 2013 election showed Harvin Moore with huge cash advantage
As of January 2015 Stipeche led all candidates with $15,600 in her campaign
Name Raised Spent Loans On Hand
Skillern-Jones 18,215 12,119 0 9,345
Rodriguez 0 0 0 340
Harris 0 1,500 12,000 0
Stipeche 5,500 7,162 0 15,618

Does the slight improvement in Grade 3 reading scores justify the district's financial and time commitment to implementing Literacy by 3?

HISD's response to STAAR scores: Secondary level improvement based on staffing structure, Literacy by 3, and PowerUp
"...After reviewing the 2014-2015 STAAR Grades 3-8 STAAR results, the Office of Secondary
Curriculum and Development confirmed that recent changes in staffing structure, literacy
priorities, and digital content are needed to increase student achievement in HISD at the
secondary level..."

What the district wrote is a fine piece of propaganda. Perhaps teachers actually working with the reading program in the schools and tell us how favorably they have been and will be affected by staffing changes and a revised bureaucratic structure, especially since staffing changes in the Grier administration usually occur as a result of a beaten down upper level staffer deciding sanity and health are more important than HISD.  HISD trustees have allowed Grier to expand its ranks of upper level administrators but what has resulted in a slight, very slight, uptick in grade 3 reading scores.

Literacy priorities should have been at the very top of HISD's academic agenda since former Superintendent Billy Reagan issued his report in 2011.

houstonisdwatch has reported on the elimination of science textbooks as a result of the PowerUp initiative. Teachers have reported numerous outages with PowerUp and supervision issues with students visiting taboo websites.  these issues are not unlike those experienced by other districts which rely on cyber instructional support materials.

From Nationaltechcenter.org: (Larry) ..."Cuban’s criticism is twofold. First, he holds that the view espoused by advocates that equipping students and teachers with computers will “revolutionize teaching and learning and, yes, increase test scores” (2006a) is largely unsubstantiated. Second, the advocates’ views too often ignore Cuban’s belief that achievement gains are more likely to emerge from innovative teaching, including individualized and problem-based instruction (2003), than from the deployment of laptop computers (2006a, 2006b). The first part of Cuban’s position appears inarguable. Evidence compiled over the last decade, shows a diminutive effect of 1:1 computing on teaching, learning, and student achievement across schools, districts, and states. A sampling of the evidence from two high profile 1:1 initiatives reinforces that point..."

Unfortunately for HISD's students there are more red arrows than green.

14 HISD schools are still looking for principals including Washington, Kashmere, and Worthing

Parents fight conservative zealots and charter school activists for control of their children's education
New truancy law lessening the consequences for truancy has some concerned: Ericka Mellon's blog
Slavery's shadows still visible in U.S. schools: from HoustonChronicle.com 
Koch-GOP fake science: We're heading toward another ice age: Only groups with $$$ in mind could spread this nonsense
More than 70% of Republicans don't believe in global warming
Did schools slated for reconstitution gather more community input since the June board meeting? And were the trustees' openly hostile remarks about Grier's heavy-handed approach, resulting in 17 plans that all look the same, a smokescreen to hide behind-the-scenes moves to extend his contract?  
1.     Alcott
2.     Bastian
3.     Dogan
4.     Foster
5.     Halpin Early Childhood Center
6.     Highland Heights
7.     Kashmere Gardens
8.     Ross
9.     Tinsley
10.  Woodson
1.   Jackson
2.   Sugar Grove
1.   Sam Houston
2.   Las Americas
3.   Long Academy
4.   Scarborough
5.   Sterling
Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Title 19 §97.1064 requires each campus assigned an IR rating under the state accountability system for two consecutive years to develop, in conjunction with the Campus Intervention Team (CIT) and the district, a reconstitution plan that meets the state’s definition of reconstitution found in 19 TAC § 97.1051(7) and that addresses and supports the reconstitution of the campus, as referenced in Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.107 and 19 TAC § 97.1064.
In conjunction with each school’s individual reconstitution plan, there are two important district-level supports provided to IR schools. First, a turn-around division has been created within the Schools Office whereby all IR schools are paired with a demonstration school to facilitate first-hand modeling of best practices through peerto-peer collaboration. Also, the School Support Officers (SSOs) working in the turnaround division will have fewer schools to supervise so that they are able to dedicate more time and attention to our neediest schools. Second, instructional expertise will be provided by a full-time instructional coach, paid for by the district, for each reconstituted school.
The district will follow procedures for public input found in 19 TAC § 97.1063(j) that delineate a sequence of events: 1) reconstitution plans are approved by the board,


Page 1 of 2
2) the school solicits public comment on the board-approved reconstitution plan, and 3) the school may modify its plan in response to public comment, as appropriate.
All IR schools, including these 17 reconstituted schools, are closely monitored by SSOs and state-approved liaisons called Professional Support Providers (PSPs) who take an active role in quarterly progress reports made to the TEA. This process allows time for schools to make real-time adjustments and change the plan as needed throughout the year.
As a reminder, in December 2014, preliminary drafts of these reconstitution plans were submitted for board review. 
Copies of the final reconstitution plans for these 17 schools are on file in Board Services.
Board agenda for July 16, 2015 meeting
HISD advertising for 326 teachers
Two more Grier officials leave HISD: Brita Lindsey and Mark White
Brita Lindsey, whose name was mentioned frequently in the Hope Academy's grade changing debacle, takes a high school principalship

From: Lindsey, Brita D 
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2015 10:50 AM
To: Alexander, Patricia L; Allen, Kimberly; Allen, Sharon Y; Atha, Alma J; Baker, Wanda F; Bennett, Joyce M; Blair, Claudia P; Brooks, Samantha; Campble, Yahaira D; Castillo, Elia; Clamurro, Susan H; Coronado, JoAnn A; Cortez, Jessica; Crawford, Valencia D; Curry, Nancy A; Darby, Anita; Dawson, Jacqueline T; De La Rosa, Christina; Dew, Lucille; Dorsey, Jacqueline E; Durham, Gwendolyn H; Escamilla, Kristin A; Esparza, Nayebe; Espinal, Dixie D; Farmer, Sandra L; Foster, Sheila R; Foster, Yolanda D; Gatlin, Beverly J; Ghosn, Nadine; Gong, M Lina; Gonzalez, Rolando; Green, Evelyn S; Guerra, Theresa M; Guerrero, Rosalva; Guidry, Betty J; Guinther, Benjamin M; Hagerty, Carla J; Hoffpauir, Rene H; Hueske, Jahnelle; Hughes-Becher, Mary J; Jackson, LaShanda; Jacobs, Melissa; Jones, Chandra R; Jones, Rachele D; Ledesma, Isaac; Love, Nancy L; Low, Wan-Hwa; Luckett, Sandra D; MacGregor, Noelle E; Maddox, Sheila G; Martin, Xernona D; Maxey, Ellen J; McElreath, Amelia (Mimi); Miller, Craig D; Moreira, Luis; Nelson, Anne; Norris, Marcia; Parrish, Aaron M; Partida, Zelda; Platt, Ida N; Pulido, Gabriela; Reynolds, Lynda D; Rutherford, Constance; Salinas, Bonnie; Samuel, Lana; Santos, Jose R; Seaton, Phyllis J; Shaw, Karen M; Spade, Larri; Stento, Caroline E; Straker, Joni A; Swanson-Joseph, Beverly; Thomas, Quanda L; Torres, Maria D; Turner, Renise M; Uresti, Victoria B; Vaught, Lora L; Webber, Alma D; Weigel, Shannon; Wilson, Laquisha E; Woods, Joyce M
Subject: My Departure
Importance: High

Dear Registrars:

I've accepted a position as a high school principal.  My last day as an HISD employee is July 6th.  I need to fill Cynthia’s position as soon as possible.

Please let me know if you are interested!

Brita Lindsey
Student Records Manager,
Office of Student Support

Federal & State Compliance

713-556-6744 (office) | 713-556-6751 (fax) 

Mark White, veteran HISD employee who moved up through the ranks, goes to Tomball
White was HISD's Director of Student Support Services; now he is working for Tomball ISD as Director: Research & Accountability

HISD trustee candidate Koffee Smith asks why it took HISD five months to respond to her inquiry about being on ballot

I don't understand HOW and WHY it took Veronica Mabasa who work in Board S
ervices at Houston ISD Administration Building (Hattie Mae White) 5 months to respond to my email requesting from her how many signatures in a Petition would I need in order to be placed on the Voter's Ballot as a Houston ISD Board Trustee for District 2 Candidate. I have finally been informed by her that I would have to pay a fee or receive 146 Signatures signed on a Petition. I personally feel this is a Conspiracy and Very Unethical. If you are willing to sign an Online Petition. Please Share this with your Friends and Like this page. Thanks! Koffey
Need a laugh today? The New York Times refuses to put Ted Cruz's new book on the best seller list
Texas social studies standards teach myth, not facts
*Moses was not a founding father of the United States
*U.S. Constitution is not based on the bible
*Founding fathers escaped from a theocracy; they were not trying to establish a Christian nation here
*The Civil War was fought over slavery, not states rights
Read Huffington Post's report on flawed Texas social studies standards
"Beware of Texas standards on social studies" Rachel Maddow reports
Ericka Mellon reports: Read the social studies standards yourself
UUAA Ex. Director Gerry Monroe convinces HISD trustees to reopen Gatlin investigation
"I've been shot. No big deal"
Shooting STAARs from Houston ISD Confidential
"Teaching high school English allows for discussions of the human condition with all its winding pathways and meandering journeys.  In that day’s planned reading, there was a dramatic moment when one of the characters in the story was wounded by gunfire.  A girl in the front shrugged, “It’s not such a big deal.  I’ve been shot.”  She raised her sleeve to show a scar on her arm.   The sudden epiphany silenced me for a while, then I asked, “How many people in here have been shot?”  A few hands went up.  “How many of you know someone who has been shot?”  Almost all hands went up.   It made the (fictional) story with all its drama seem lame as dealing with gunfire sequelae seemed to be an everyday occurrence with these students.  I began to ask more and more students as I made my rounds as an HISD substitute teacher (mainly in urban schools plagued by poverty) and realized another downside to the laser focus on standardized testing...

"..Fast forward to this spring.  I’m subbing at yet another HISD urban campus. A boy comes in girdled with medical supports around his middle.  Medical curiosity plus teacher concern combine—I have to ask.  He tells me that a friend became angry and shot him.  He was expected to be paralyzed, but the feeling came back slowly from his toes up.  I have to know if the bullet was retrieved—it was not—too close to the spinal cord.  Now, when the weather is cold, the bullet becomes icy and painful—the weather becomes hot, the bullet becomes a burning pain.  Yet, once again, the answer to this student was to stick him in a room, make him sit (hopefully in a temperature-friendly area) and have him take a standardized STAAR test to assure him a bright future.  As if the magic of these tests takes away all pain and everyone lives happily ever after..."

Read complete essay by HoustonISD Confidential
A very bad day for HISD
City of Houston investigating HISD for cutting down trees it had no permission to do
Marshall MS teacher arrested for online solicitation on campus
Ray Gatlin, Yates AP, reassigned pending investigation; HISD widely criticized for sloppy investigation

HISD's 2015 STAAR reading & writing scores for grades 3 - 5 mostly show declines despite slight uptick in grade 3 reading scores.


Yates HS assistant principal accused of sexual misconduct with up to nine girls; HISD's quick investigation found "no evidence of wrong"

The only male assistant principal at Yates?
Bland Marcus Yates High School Dean of Students High Sch 11M $66065.00
Ericka Mellon reports: HISD schedules July 15 meeting to consider reconstitution plans
Allegations assistant principal fondled female students at Yates quickly investigated by HISD but issue resurfaces
houstonisdwatch supports the URBAN

As stated at the end of this long page, houstonisdwatch is an independent, privately financed blog. It was created in August 2010. This website has seen two school board elections go by, both turning out bad for the anti-corporate reform forces in the district.  Parent Visionaries supported Romero Fonseca in his bid to defeat Manuel Rodriguez.  Fonseca ran a weak campaign despite support from Parent Visionaries and he lost to Rodriguez by 24 votes.

Ms. Fonseca chose not to contest the election loss. Is he going to behave any more forcefully this time?

Parent Visionaries also backed Rhonda Skillern-Jones as she was a member of their organization. Rhonda Skillern-Jones was handpicked  by former District II trustee Carol Mimms Galloway at the very last minute. She ran and won without a challenger.

Davetta Daniels tried twice to defeat Paula Harris and lost both times. Grossly under-funded in 2011, Ms. Daniels was unable to forcefully challenge the lies Ms. Harris told and Ms. Daniels refused to identify publicly Boris Miles as Harris' chief backer. She also did not disclose the money the Harris campaign was spending on a host of campaign activities (think Donald Trump's announcement of his run for president and the quick $50 he promised actors who showed up to hear him).

Two losing campaigns and one uncontested race. Both Fonseca and Daniels lacked the quick-witted fire back type of response needed to win.

As black enrollment declines in HISD's traditionally black high schools declined and black schools with achieving student populations were closed, the URBAN was born.

Mr. Gerry Monroe is an HISD parent and community activist. He has given countless hours of his personal time trying to change the culture of HISD - which means changing the board. He is doing so forcefully, emphatically, and consistently.

houstonisdwatch is privy to conversations which do not make it online.  You can trust the judgement of this website in supporting the URBAN or you can choose to remain doubtful.

Given the amount of time, effort and personal expense Mr. Monroe and his group have donated to the cause of terminating Terry Grier, houstonisdwatch is not approving any comments with cheap shots, personal attacks, and any other kind of swarm directed at the URBAN or Mr. Monroe.

If people making those comments believe being polite and demur is going to defeat Manuel Rodriguez or Rhonda Skillern-Jones, they are ignorant of the history of HISD board elections.

There is a time to stand up and confront the enemy face to face, and in many ways the HISD trustees have positioned themselves, through their ignorant and probably self-serving support of Grier with all its hidden quid pro quos and refusal to do right by students and teachers, are indeed the enemy.

Take the nice white gloves you are keeping just in case you meet Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and sit on your gloved hands. Nothing will change. Being timid has done nothing to support the cause of students and teachers in HISD. 
*Hot comment*
Quote · Jul 6 2015 7:46 AM
How do we make donations to Koffee Smith campaign? Where is her webpage and her platform? Can you post this information? Teachers want to assist with her campaign and do ground up work. How do we get the word out to teachers since HFT didnt even bother to converse with us? To HISD Principal, you and your peers have been upheld in their wrong doing by administrators. You probably have been upheld in wrongdoing by your SSOs when teachers have had valid concerns. Furthermore, the spotlight is on principals giving grades right now not teachers. I know for a fact that teachers are strong-armed into giving students grades. I am one of those teachers. With regards to payment, people do not work and do work for free. Only teachers have that mindset. We work long hours after our contracts and still disrespected on a regular basis. I have worked long hours after hours at the school only to have a principal critique work that I am not being paid for or compensated for. We should accept this behavior either so why would you expect anyone else that provides a service to do the same.
*Hot comment*
Ridiculous reorg
I'm beyond disgusted with the recent reorg foisted upon us by Dr. Grier, as it serves only to prove that Grier rewards his friends at the cost of an entire district. How in the world can Loria keep her position as chief after her disastrous tenure, and Jocelyn Mouton is reassigned? HISD will lose a truly dedicated, passionate, and intelligent educator if Mouton choses to leave over this. Loria can only hope she has no African American SSOs or principals assigned to her, as we can all remember the shuffling that had to be orchestrated midway through last year to ensure she dealt only in her comfort zone.

Also, am I the only one appalled at the fact that Ericka Mellon gets the news before it's released to the very people it affects? Grier can't even acknowledge the changes until days after it appears in the Chronicle. I don't think I should have to look to the newspaper to find out what's going on in my own district. What's the next big news that Mellon will get before everyone else? Her being named new press chief?
Ericka Mellon discusses the lack of agreement on removing Confederate names of schools
Governor Abbott puts Tea Party first this time 
Will the HISD trustees approve matching or increasing Lathan's salary from Peoria?
She earned $227,000 this year with an additional $39,000 in bonuses and benefits
Hours away from being considered for termination by the Peoria School District, Grier gives Grenita Lathan another chance 
Lathan signed "no fault" agreement with Peoria Schools
"...Lathan, who worked with Grier in San Diego and Guilford County Schools in North Carolina, will become the elementary school transformation officer, a newly created position.
The Chronicle's blog reported Felicia McKinnon and Revonda Johnson, both instructional improvement officers at District 150, will work under Lathan as school support officers. But Johnson has said she is not going to Houston, according to District 150 spokesman Chris Coplan.
A major shakeup in Houston public schools coincides with a major shakeup in Peoria.
Lathan announced her resignation Tuesday, a day before a newly reorganized Peoria school board was scheduled to consider terminating her contract. Houston school board members apparently learned of her hiring the same day Peoria school board members would have discussed her termination.
Grier's history of hiring former associates
District 150 board members approved a no-fault settlement agreement with Lathan on Thursday..."
Read JournalStar.com report.

Update from the URBAN

The URBAN hasn't been making the 5 p.m. news or having press conferences, but that doesn't mean the group isn't working.  You've seen on this site information about an Atlanta legal team that's coming to Houston. The long waiting period will soon be over. 

As Ex. Director Gerry Monroe wrote in the comments posted here, the URBAN is ready to assist any teachers who come to him with evidence of wrong-doing by HISD. However, hearsay and fragments of information are not enough. Keep in mind even with an admission of guilt (Catchings) and district action taken against the former Westbury principal, the URBAN had to apply hard pressure to the Harris County District Attorney's office to press charges.

Another group of teachers in HISD are alleging cheating by the Grier administration, this time the allegations pertain to Hartman Middle School and changes made to student's STAAR test score sheets.  The Grier administration moved quickly to terminate the teachers involved as a means of deflecting any wrong-doing on their part. The URBAN has been telling the board at the Hearing of the Citizens HISD's problems are as big as Atlanta's. The proof of their assertion keeps coming in.

The URBAN had a working relationship with former HFT President Gayle Fallon but the current leader, Zeph Capo, has not reached out to the most effective, active community group in HISD. HFT is working directly against the URBAN by endorsing Rhonda Skillern-Jones for reelection. What houstonisdwatch recently learned was how similar District II's Jones activities are to District IV's Paula Harris. Interfering in principal choices, subterfuge, dissembling, these are all behavior choices they share. 

Hopefully today will be a short rest from the upheaval and confusion that engulfs the lives of many HISD teachers. Sure, there will be fireworks tonight but they'll pal in comparison to the fireworks about to erupt in HISD as we get closer to the November elections.
Support Devalyn Rogers' campaign against unfair grading practices in HISD.

Two new six figure positions created: school transformation for elementaries; transformaiton for secondary.

Click chart for E. Mellon's report

It's Fonseca vs. Rodriguez again; HFT backs Stipeche, Fonseca, and Skillern-Jones
Union endorsement of Skillern-Jones is dubious at best and won't win the beleaguered union new friends
Ericka Mellon's education blog
HISD's guidelines, published by Federal & State Compliance, provide strict rules for changing grades 

Teacher Grade Changes The only reasons for changing a student's grade after it has been recorded are: ♦ If there was an error in the computation of the student's grade; or ♦ If an error was made entering grades into the teacher’s grade book. All such changes must be initiated by the teacher assigning the grade and must be approved in writing by the principal and the rationale for the change kept on file. A principal may not arbitrarily change a grade. All changes must be made before the end of the next grading period. After a cycle grade has been recorded, no additional class work may be accepted to improve a student's grade. If work assigned during the cycle was not completed, the student should receive an "INC," and the grade changed when the work is completed within the required time frame. A sample Grade Change form to assist schools in documenting teacher grade changes may be found on the forms channel.

Another HISD school chief bails, Huery going to Cleveland "to be with my husband" no mention of another job

Academic achievement in HISD will never go up 
as top level administrators ride the carousel and
jump off quickly, joining the many veteran teachers
who left HISD because they were grossly under-failed
and underpaid

Huery says thank you and good-bye

From: Huery, Shonda L
Sent: Wednesday, July 01, 2015 5:02 PM
To: Elementary School Principals; Boulouf, Maria M; Brown, Carlotta R; Carter, LaQuita D; Cavazos, Patsy; Chapa, Sylvia; Cloud, Michelle A; Coleman, Gabrielle J; Collins, Christina R; Crowe, Deborah A; Dawson, Jermaine R; Dimmitt, Julia B; Gibson-Johnson, Diana; Graves, Rita K; Gutierrez, Steven; Hamilton, August L; Heasley, Melanie A; Huery, Shonda L; Lopez, Jovita; Loria, Karla; Lundin, Robert A; Marquez, Mario C; Martinez, Cesar I; Martinez-Buley, Elena; McConico, Angela S; Metoyer, James F; Miranda, Angie; Mitchell, Jacqueline A; Moore, Nicole; Mouton, Jocelyn F; Orozco, Matilda; Pedraza, Martha P; Penning, Francisco M; Perez, Ruth M; Pruitt, Erick D; Robinson, Tymesha L; Rodriguez, Yolanda C; Rose, Theresa L; Saenz Phillips, Siomara; Sarabia, Samuel D; Sherman, Daryl K; Spencer, Willie; Taylor, Suzanne S; Vasquez, Maria A; Williams, Darryl M; Middle School Office; Middle School Principals; High School Office; High School Principals
Cc: Fair, Emile M; Oliver, Dawn A; Robinson, Tymesha L;; Bobadilla, Leo; Cavazos, Gloria N; Gohl, Daniel F; Hare, J. Donald; Houlihan, Andrew G; Huewitt, Kenneth; Hutchins-Taylor, Elneita; Schad, Lenny J; Smith, Mark L; Spencer, Helen C; Spencer, Jason G; Grier, Terry B; Cardona, Michael A; Hamilton, August L; Loria, Karla; Mouton, Jocelyn F; Peters, Harrison; Robinson, Tymesha L; Saldana, Blanca L; Sarabia, Samuel D; Williams, Darryl M
Subject: Special Thank You!

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a great pleasure to serve the students, teachers, staff and most of all, the principals of HISD.  I have made the very difficult decision to move to Cleveland to support my husband as he starts his fellowship at Cleveland Clinic.  My beautiful girls really miss their dad!

As a product of HISD, I have personally experienced the power and impact that HISD has on the lives of students.  I ask that each of you see this power as a unique gift given to you to shape the future of our city.  As I say farewell to the school district that taught me how to read, write, and SING---I want to personally say thank you for allowing me to have a tiny imprint on the lives of the 215,000 students we serve.

Finally, I want to remind each of you to remember my favorite quote by John Ruskin---“When love and skill come together, expect a masterpiece!”

I will be spending the next two weeks supporting the Superintendent with the transition of school chiefs and principals.

Enjoy the Holiday Weekend!

Shonda Huery Hardman
Chief School Support Officer
4400 West 18th Street
Houston, TX 77092


EOC results for 2015 paint a grim picture of the trustees and Grier's leadership.

HISD has the money to improve but not the leadership

HISD enrollment figures from May 22, 2015
Larry Marshall just can't shed his legal woes
Twinkies & freeze-dried stew: the shelf life of school superintendents
Six years of Grier's chaotic, wasteful leadership and the HISD trustees are as clueless as ever

This group of trustees loves to ride
dead horses. Their theme? Going nowhere.
What should we expect when one trustee, District
III's Manuel Rodriguez, thinks property taxes are
paid to the state and another, District VII's Harvin
Moore, has to run over and whisper in Grier's ear
when the board meeting discussion focuses on
the truth about HISD's failure to achieve?

Dodging the media and probably directing the Houston Chronicle's Ericka Mellon to sit on these scores, HISD finally posts its STAAR scores - scores that shame Terry Grier and his supporters on the HISD board: Harvin Moore, Paula Harris, Manuel Rodriguez, Grey Meyers (absent the past two school board meetings) and Anna Eastman, Gay Pride Parade Marshall



Analysis and discussion of these results will be forthcoming. houstonisdwatch just received the links via TPIA requsts.

Charleston exposes ugliest truth of our time: Our society places little value on black life
New study proves high value of experienced teachers but is HISD listening? 
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan all have strong teacher unions and their students out-perform those in right to work states
From PolitiFact.com:  AFT's Randi Weingarten:"Let me say this," Weingarten said. "First, the states that actually have lots of teachers in teacher unions tend to be the states that have done the best in terms of academic success in this country. And the states that don't tend to be the worst."

PolitiFact continues:  "The first is a study published in 2000 in the Harvard Educational Review. According to the abstract: "Comparison of standardized test scores and degree of teacher unionization in states found a statistically significant and positive relationship between the presence of teacher unions and stronger state performance on tests. Taking into account the percentage of students taking the tests, states with greater percentages of teachers in unions reported higher test performance."

Even critics of teacher unions have to admit that, at worst, teacher unions' effect on student achievement is a mixed bag. 

How states compare in the 2015 school rankings

Texas ranks 45th in per pupil spending, outlanked by such luminary states as West Virginia and Arkansas and....Louisiana

Texas ranks 29th in teacher salaries

Nearly half of current teachers consider leaving profession over standardized testing

25 states have passed Right to Work laws

Right to Work states still have lower wages

Building a multiracial, multicultural teaching force for our children
Inside the growing movement to unionize charter schools
Diane Ravitch reports: Texas, a chance to end the public school era 
Greg Abbott appoints a homeschooler to lead Texas State Board of Education

Dallas ISD way ahead of HISD: Looking for a superintendent who values integrity, openness, cooperation
Grier was superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District before coming to HISD. There he clashed frequently with union chief Camille Zambro, who didn't appreciate being treated as a subservient, and the San Diego board, who didn't allow Grier to silence criticism of him offered to the press. In Houston, trustees are just beginning to feel comfortable enough to criticize Grier in public.
*Hot comment*

HISD Board President travels to Austin to meet with TEA Commissioner Williams about the reconstitution of 17 schools this week. It was also reported that Grier has not called in those 17 schools to talk about their reconstitution plans and how they need to make changes so the Board will pass the agenda item. Realizing a problem, President Jones calls for a July Board Meeting. Grier's reaction is beyond belief. Does he not realize that he does have a boss and they are called the Board of Education. He is their only employee. Isn't it his responsibility to do what they ask? The Board wants these schools fixed internally without any intervention from TEA and quite frankly TEA really doesn't want to deal with 17 HISD schools if they don't have to. Drawing a line in the sand with the school board borders on insubordination! This is certainly his tactic to get fired. Actually, the Board should assign him to one of the "rubber rooms" located around the district and then hire a search committee. Makes you wonder if Jones had a sidebar conversation with Commissioner Williams about what the Board should/ could do if Grier continues to stonewall.

Ericka Mellon reports on HISD Board President Rhonda Skillern--Jones calling for a July board meeting 

Not paying teachers for advanced degrees is right out of the corporate school reform playbook
Diane Ravitch: States don't want to pay teachers for earning masters degrees

From Diane Ravitch: Reign of Error
"...The 'reform' movement is really a 'corporate reform' movement, funded to a large degree by major foundations, Wall Street hedge fund managers, entrepreneurs and the US Department of Education. The movement is determined to cut costs and maximize competition among schools and among teachers. It seeks to eliminate the geographically based system of public education as we have known it for the past 150 years and replace it with a competitive market- based system of school choice — one that includes traditional public schools, privately managed charter schools, religious schools, voucher schools, for- profit schools, virtual schools and for- profit vendors of instruction. Lacking any geographic boundaries, these schools would compete for customers. The customers would choose to send their children and their public funding wherever they wish, based on personal preference or on information such as the schools’ test scores and a letter grade conferred by the state (based largely on test scores)...

Read billmoyers.com complete report 

By resisting all the demands of standardized testing, teachers are fighting back against dehumanization the work place


HCAD's double-whammy: Property taxes go up and so do HISD taxes. With increasing property values all over Houston and ample new construction, HISD taxpayers are supporting 90% f HISD expenditures.


HISD on the road to turning back funds to the state to help less wealthy school districts.


District III Trustee Manuel Rodriguez made the most stupid comment of the night at last Thursday's budget meeting. "What we pay back to the state in property taxes..."


Isn't someone running against this guy who obviously doesn't understand the budget process in District III?


HISD general fund appropriations


HISD is planning to put more capital towards its new teachers and administrators


HISD paying $197,187 back to the state in recapture, and the district will increase bilingual stipends which have fallen behind area districts.


Ken Huewitt, HISD's budget chief, talks about cutting targeted assistance funds. HISD will put money in its recruiting and training efforts for teachers.


Health insurance costs will not increase for employees and HISD has seen reduced costs for workers' comp.


HISD budget summary. Thanks to Juliet Stipeche for her work to raise the minimum hourly wage to $10.00. Huewitt working with HISD police to find money for raises.

Ericka Mellon reports: HISD hires a charter school reformer, Jason Bernal from Yes Prep
Bernal's conflict with Chris Barbic YES CEO, ended Bernal's ties with YES

Another know-it-all corporate school reformer bites the dust (Miles right side above photo)
Like Terry Grier in Houston, Miles was never able to positively impact student achievement in Dallas
Does this sound familiar?

"...Miles’ entire tenure has been marked by controversy and ambitious initiatives. He designed and implemented new evaluations for teachers and principals, which he called the most rigorous in the country. Despite his reform efforts, student scores on state STAAR exams have stayed flat or decreased during his time.
But he continually clashed with employees and several school board members over his management style. He survived several attempts by a few board members to fire him. Most recently, he quarreled with some school board members over his decision to fire three principals despite the board’s vote to keep them.

Dallas ISD board President Miguel Solis (left) and Superintendent Mike Miles. (Ashley Landis/The Dallas Morning News)
He always pledged that he would finish the job in DISD and not leave..."
Read entire DallasNews.com report
HISD's ratings according to the 2013-14 Texas Academic Performance Report
HISD is advertising for 344 teachers & 18 principals with salary of $130,000 + $20,000 bonus
 Westbury High School is advertised??? 

HISD 2015-16 Resource Allocations Handbook
White terrorism is as old as America
White supremacists without borders

Want more of the same? Act the same
I'm sure teachers have told their students variations of the notion presented in the headline here. Failing the class? Engage in the same behaviors that led to a failing grade and you'll fail again.  In many cases, the behaviors are fairly easy to identify: not coming to class prepared, not coming to class at all; not doing major projects; not studying; playing with the cell phone during class...

And the behavior science of you are what you do, not what you say is established.

So please tell me how being nice and polite to the HISD trustees is going to make anything different in HISD? Blame Grier all you want - and his track record of repeated failures speaks for itself - but the real culprits are the HISD trustees. It's fair to say that a minority of the eligible voters in HISD's territory -  and it's a small minority who actually vote - have done nothing to change the anti-teacher, corporatist direction of the board, District VIII voters excluded. 

When citizens do go in front of the board with an agenda to change the status quo and they give all the Emily Post kudos to the board members, what do you think the board actually hears? Confirmation of their own superiority and that's about it.

I have read and posted comments on this website that are very typical of the barcalougner crowd voicing displeasure over Mr. Monroe and the URBAN's street tactics in addressing HISD.

Gentile behavior and passivity have done nothing to advance the cause of students and teachers in HISD. HFT chief Zeph is criticized for not being in your face to the board and Gerry Monroe is criticized for being too in your face. 

Gerry Monroe and the URBAN aren't the face of houstonisdwatch. The intent of this website is stated explicitly at the bottom of this long page.  But houstonisdwatch supports Mr. Monroe and his organization and has regular communication with him. If that disheartens you, then please write exactly how you plan to bring about change in a district that does all it can to protect the interests of  trustees who are in cahoots with the superintendent in a relationship that can be nothing more than quid pro quo.

When is someone going to point out the hypocrisy and lies of Rhonda Skillern-Jones who said publicly she wouldn't vote to close anymore schools and like a skunk snuck out of the board meeting to catch her imaginary plane "in 30 minutes." No one makes it from anywhere in Houston except possibly Greenspoint and boards a plane in 30 minutes. We know Ms. Jones knows this because she just want on a Las Vegas fight tour a month or so ago.

Or Wanda Adams slipping out because she didn't want to ruffle any feathers? Or Mike Lunceford, Anna Eastman, and Harvin Moore, three white trustees who have yet to vote against closing any black schools? Is their behavior racist?

Thank you for reading & posting on this privately owned & financed website. Diversity of opinion  is always welcome.

Remember what you tell your failing students when you advise them on how they can pick up their grades ....and extrapolate that advice to how you feel about/deal with your local trustee. It's long overdue for some in-your-face action. 

$50 million for the URBAN?

HISD should be concerned. The $50 million is the amount the district could be sued for before the end of the summer. The URBAN plans to use that money to support the five teachers whose careers have been ruined because they dared to speak out against illegal grade changing. And money for future school board elections so the Harvin Moore/Anna Eastman John Arnold money connection can at least generate some well-funded competition. The Davetta Daniels' campaign in 2011 and the Anne Sung campaign in 2013 could have used some financial help.

Monroe comments: It is widely known that me and Paula Harris are like oil and water. Paula is a failure. The way she sold Hope out didn't surprise me. The things she said about me didn't surprise me. She is a complete failure. To me personally she is trash. She doesn't care about kids. But to say I don't is a joke. Both my boys are Top a Teens. One is a freshman the other will be a senior. Both great students. So I'm fighting for the kids that need the most help. She is upset because im shining a light on HISD that doesn't need to be shown. It's messing up their criminal empire. And their is nothing they cant do nothing about it. All I'm waiting on is for my lawyer to get on that flight from Atlanta. And it won't be long. When that day comes I'll go away. For a mere 50 million.


Trustee Harris, feeling the heat from Monroe's look, gets up to leave. Call this fleeing, not having any answers, fear...you call it as you see it. 55 second mark of section H.

Rhonda Skillern-Jones' name plate is visible because Ms. Jones couldn't stay around long enough to vote on the future of Hope Academy.

By this time Manuel Rodriguez and Wanda Adams left the board meeting too, citing other commitments.

Greg Meyers never showed up.

What kind of message are the trustees, who so much want to be portrayed to citizens as a unified body, sending to citizens, particularly Hope Academy? They asked Hope to do a presentation and Hope did. Almost half the HISD board couldn't even be bothered to be there to hear it.

That seems to be the epitome of arrogance.

Mike Lunceford & Julie Stipeche didn't let Grier bully them; Harris' treatment of Monroe indicates a schism in District IV

*Hot comment*
Historic Negative Board Votes
Quote · Jun 18 2015 9:28 PM
I have followed the HISD Board for over 25 years. If someone was able to crunch the numbers I'm sure they would see that there has never been so many negative votes from the Board in one meeting. These negative votes and the fact that so many Board members left or were not present is a direct reflection on Grier and his lack of leadership and planning. Adams could have found a better excuse than to attend a "community meeting". This Board meeting had been previously scheduled and as an elected official the Board meeting should take presedence. Get a better lie Wanda or face the music. A former superintendent once told me that every vote at a meeting should be 9-0. This shows that the administrative staff had done their job before the actual meeting to educate every Board member and make all necessary updates to the items. If not, the item should be pulled and reworked. Finally, Board members took a stand and put it back in Grier's face. I can only imagine the yelling and finger pointing that will take place on the third floor either tomorrow morning or definitely on Monday. Folks, it's beginning to wind down....
Greg Groogan's report on My Fox Houston
KHOU: HISD votes to terminate Hope Academy's contract

Ericka Mellon reports on chron.com
Blog from board meeting June 18, 2015
*HISD property owners are paying 90% of district expenses (board video)
*HISD received $120 million more in local tax dollars this year
*Ken Huewitt: The future (budget) isn't bright
*Paula Harris: HISD probably giving money back to state ($140 million)
**In 2016 expect ruling in Robin Hood lawsuit
*Local roll in budget): $153.6 billion
*Aramark/HISD making profit from "nutrition" services (food service)
*Police raise coming from decrease in one-time funding
*Stipeche pushed for $10/hr minimum
*New teachers to receive $51,500 starting salary
*Principals at hard to staff schools to earn $150,000 making more than SSOs
*Harris gets in dig at URBAN (principals have to deal with "outside entities")
*UUAA Monroe lambasts board on reconstitution plans. Reconstitution plans were available in December 2014 yet HISD claims "little time."
*Larry McKenzie: You (trustees) need to look at things like a teacher
*Andy Dewey: communities had little input, in some cases none. in reconstitution plans
*Grier opposes community schools
*Jackson MS teacher: Your new plan is just the old plan that didn't work...we need community type program
*CVPE wants community schools model for reconstitution; involve parents and community
*Lunceford has had a problem with Grier's plan. "I have issue with federal government" 
"Superintendent will not let principals talk to us" Mike Lunceford
*As Grier describes school reconstitution plans, Stipeche shakes her head no
*Grier blaming principals at schools to be reconstituted schools for lack of community engagement
*Lunceford calls out Mark Smith for misreading the current Las Americas plan
*Lunceford says plan calls for age, not proficiency, grouping which he opposes 
*Skillern-Jones quotes Farrakhan: "We are doing nothing to change learning environment for these children..there are no nurses, librarians, counselors
*Skillern-Jones: we are not taking reconstitution seriously...(principals) have cut and pasted last year's plan
*To Grier: You are having these principals put these plans together and you fire them??  Justice or else
*Skillern-Jones won't be voting for plans
*Eastman: "We have more schools ....on these plans....we aren't doing something right" 
*Motion to reconstitute schools failed
*Skillern-Jones is leaving for the airport at 7:56 p.m. Won't be there to vote on Hope Academy. Turns meeting over to Paula Harris
*At 7:58 p..m. only five trustees remain
*Monroe blasts HISD for lying..."Ain't gonna be no peace in HISD"
*Monroe cites extensive illegal grade changing at Sam Houston HS in 2008-09
*Hope Academy claims HISD head registrar made grade changes at Hope
*Moore just got up to whisper something in Grier's ear like he did last week during Hope presentation (8:16 p.m.)
*Larry McKenzie: We've got one monkey closing schools...we need to send that monkey back to the zoo
*90,000 grade changes at SHHS. Speaker has documentation on grade changes. Grier did not report grade changing to district attorney as promised
*Stipeche: How will charters be better monitored?
*Mark Smith: we check schools records - a few schools a year
*Paula Harris: I am the board member who fights for our kids." 
*Paula Harris attacks Gerry Monroe. She says he is not about excellence in education"
*Paula Harris touts her own credentials give her pre-justification for voting to close Hope
*Harris criticizes Hope's plan for reform (she says its just three pages) & defends trustees who left meeting early
*Paula Harris blames Hope for press conference that she says went poorly
*Stipeche gives justification for pending board vote (which will be to close Hope)
*Stipeche faults Grier for not having a plan to stop illegal grade changing

With just 12 days remaining to make changes in reconstitution plans for 17 low performing schools , Grier urges trustees to approve his plans despite community complaints about their lack of involvement in process

Hope Academy: Open or Close? Trustees will vote to rescind plans to extend Hope' Contract...or not

HISD trustees will spend $6 million more on yet another Grier reorg
*Salary increases slated for $42 million in additional funds 
*HISD to raise its lowest rate of pay to $10/hr 
*Bilingual stipends to go up to $4000
*Some targeted assistance funds moved in budget to pay teachers more
*HISD to allocate a meager $3 million for career & technology education

Carl D. Perkins Act IV

The 2015–2016 planning entitlement for the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education program is $3,079,101. These funds support curriculum integration, staff member development, career guidance and counseling, development of career concentrations and coherent sequence, nontraditional programs and activities, and participatory planning with parent and student involvement. The funding of this grant will be used to support the following programs:
  • Futures Academies
  • Existing Career and Technology programs
HISD board expected to allocate $12 million for 2015-16 ASPIRE program
Was Trustee Paula Harris the instigator to close Hope Academy?
Harris is alleged to have proposed a behind-closed-doors to close Hope
The premise that District IV Trustee Paula Harris was the advocate of closing Hope charter school so that Grier could purchase the land is not at all far-fetched.  It was Harris, after all, who started the growing civil war in District IV when she closed Grimes Elementary School to establish a STEM charter for associate/friend Lois Bullock..

Community activists like Travis McGee were livid at the news and, in Travis' case, he had to scramble to find another school for his child. 

Closing schools after voters supported bond funds for them arouses no pangs of conscience for Trustee Harris, who proceeded to take $1 million in bond money for Grimes and give it to Jack Yates High School. Four years later, it's impossible to see any tangent benefits of that money at Yates.

With Rep. Boris Miles' assistance and ample cash on hand, Harris was able to defeat activists like Davetta Daniels who lost to Harris for the second time and McGee.

Now, insiders report, Harris does not have the same sway over her colleagues on the board. It's true her three regular supporters - Rodriguez, Meyers, and Moore - aren't moving forward to terminate Grier at this time.  Harris could always depend upon former District IX trustee Larry Marshall to go along with any school takeovers Harris concocted. Marshall's replacement, Wanda Adams, is taking a more cautious approach.

The way the grade changing scandal at Hope has worked out played right into the hands of Harris. She didn't have to votes to close Hope before the news broke about Hope's superintendent, principal, and registrar, but once HISD did its hurried investigation, she appeared to have won again.

Harris discounted the community uproar over Hope's closing and today's pivotal vote, if it is to keep the school afloat, will be a resounding defeat for Harris.

Will Harris show up today at 4 p.m. to face a hostile community? If her track record is any indication, she will not.

UUAA's Gerry Monroe challenges Grier to a charity boxing match
From the 2011 Texas Parent Trigger Law:  A version of the law passed in 2011 has largely gone unused because it applies only to campuses rated "unacceptable" by the state for five years or more.

Kashmere has been unacceptable for five years. Despite the Apollo program, reconstituted staff, numerous principals, the trustees and the Grier administration have not been able to positively impact Kashmere.  The instability brought about by constant change has probably hurt the school more than helped.

Recently, Grier named new principals for Westbury and Sterling but did not list Kashmere whose principal indicated he would not return for 2015-16. 

Parents in the Kashmere community have stopped believing that Terry Grier and his nine trustees will do anything positive for the school.

Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones wants to keep parents out of the process
If Koch-Repub Sid Miller has his way, Big Soda & Fried Bird will be returning to schools near you
(Disclaimer: I begin every day with a 12 oz. Seattle's Best and a can of RC Cola. When it comes to soda, I am no one to talk but....Have you ever supervised lunch in a middle school before sodas were banned?

Rows of overweight sixth and seventh graders, gulping down Aramark chicken fingers and 20 oz. sodas. They would need to spend all day in P.E. to burn off the calories from that sugar & fat enhanced meal. Didn''t the Texas legislators try to mandate fewer hours in P.E. as a way to save money?

This report in the Dallas Morning News is funny until it isn't.

The Blaze reports on sugary sodas and deep fryers: It's so Texas  

Ever had the deep fried Milky Way at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo or the State Fair at the Cotton Bowl? Words can't describe....

What does Miller want to do to offset his sugar high? Make mandatory Farm Fresh Fridays for kids.  Maybe that's not a bad idea because in addition to rewarding Big Soda, no doubt backers$ of Miller's plans, our Koch-Republican Ag Commissioner wants to turn the deep fryers back on. That's right, it's deep fried chicken, potatoes...who knows? Maybe the deep fried Milky Way will make its way on the menu.

You have to admit he does have a point here. We banned sugarful sodas and replaced them with fruit juices which are usually 30-40% juice with the remainder being....sugar (no, not cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup! Yipee) 
Hope Academy's CEO Reverand Cofield (pictured above) made compelling case to keep school open; called Mark Smith's HISD report diatribe 
Mark Smith, Chief Student Support Officer for HISD, recommended Hope Academy, a charter school under the auspices of HISD, be closed after a grade changing scandal and disqualification of some students from graduation in 2015.

With a strong presence at the  June 11, 2015 board meeting, Hope CEO Pastor Cofield called Smith's report a "diatribe."  Cofield presented these facts to back up his claim:
*the investigation into grade changing was not initiated by HISD; Hope Academy identified a problem and began to investigate
*subsequently, three Hope Academy officials lost their jobs: the superintendent, principal, and registrar. HISD did not terminate these individuals; Cofield did.
*the Hope registrar denied changing the grades but Carl Shaw (former HISD technology official) produced a 700 page report that found the registrar guilty of failure to control data access with her password and login
*mysteriously, HISD rehired the superintendent and registrar fired by Hope. The superintendent was assigned as an assistant principal at Ortiz MS and the principal was assigned to HISD's associate teacher pool.
*Grier denied any knowledge of the rehiring and stated all personnel issues had to be approved by him.  There is, however, no doubt these officials were rehired and Grier, at best, seems to be suffering from memory loss, and, at worst, is just plain lying.
*the rehired officials were then subsequently fired, apparently after Hope Academy questioned by HISD would rehired them.

At the time of the firing/rehiring/firing sequence, Grier aficionado Andrew Houlihan was in charge of HISD personnel. The episode calls into question Mr. Houlihan's direct involvement with Human Resources. He had to have signed off on the rehiring.  What was he thinking?

*Hope Baptist Church has poured several million dollars into the academy, and Colfied stated the money given to the school by HISD has never been enough to cover all expenses.

The HISD trustees planned to go through the motions and close Hope Academy at the June 11 board meeting, but protests from the Hope Academy community prompted the board to withdraw closing the school from the meeting agenda.

The board will hold a special meeting on June 18, 2015, at 4 p.m. to cast the decisive votes on Hope. Based on Harvin Moore's comments in support of Grier last Thursday, his vote will be to close Hope. Elusive District IV Trustee Paula Harris, who is responsible for Hope, should be back in Houston and should attend the meeting.

Will the board vote to keep Hope open?  To borrow from sports vernacular, the odds are split 50/50.

Has America given up the dream of racial integration?
Racial isolation in public schools?
The massive liberal failure on race
The failure of integration
American schools still segregated by race, income

Grier's contempt for veteran teachers continues
*Hot comment*
This is the fourth time my salary would have been greater if they had not lied to the public about my "raise". My salary 'once again' would have been about $1,000 greater had they not shifted the experience step again. Once again they take money from veterans to give it to the least experienced. I've lost count of the number of these inexperienced teachers in our building who have quit the district over the years but the number is high and money wasn't the issue. Ironically because of Griers utter contempt for veteran teachers. The salaries between veterans and newbies are so close now. Principals who want order in the school and a fighting chance to keep their job. Have defied Grier's orders and opted to support the veterans because they know the inexperienced teachers are struggling to maintain sanity. Delivering instruction is a distant second to that struggle. I'm not bitter however, I'll continue to help drag the newbies through their day. Because I finally see the daylight at the end of this hellish tunnel.
Let's Review:
Big talker Wanda Adams didn't stick around for the vote on Hope. She had another engagement she says.

At the 16 second mark in the Agenda F discussion, Skillern-Jones left to catch a flight. This is after she quoted Farrakham.

Paula Harris chaired the Hope presentation and discussion. She told Hope leader Rev. Cofield he shouldn't have brought the URBAN into the discussion. These comments were part of her insults directed at Gerry Monroe. 

HISD's three white trustees who were present at the meeting - Lunceford, Eastman, and Moore - all voted to close Hope. They also voted to close Dodson two years ago. They are consistent in voting to close black schools.

Here is the Hope Academy vote:
Trustee Paula Harris, the designated trustee for Hope, abstained. Juliet Stipeche voted to keep Hope open. Did the trustees already know who would not be present for the vote and how those who would be present planned to vote? Decide for yourself.
Remember in November: Send away the clowns
*Hot Comment*
FED-UP---Yes They Are Clowns

Clowns is the perfect word to describe the members of the HISD Board. They are 9 of the biggest fools in the world. Why Grier was hired is beyond my comprehension. He was a failure at 4 other districts. Didn't they read his resume? Didn't they do an investigation before hiring this idiot? Other districts cut him loose quickly, but HISD has let him run wild for 6 years. What is wrong with this picture? How many teacher jobs have been lost? How many lives have been affected by this disgusting man? Why have 9 people let 1 man destroy our district? The sad part is that when the HISD Board chooses another supt., they will most likely choose another poor choice. They have no insight. They don't have the slightest clue. Voters need to rid the Board of all these losers. HFT needs to start recruiting candidates. Get moving now-----the November election is just around the corner. 
*Hot comment*
Sue principals for malpractice?
So Brandi Brevard took Tinsley down in less than two years. A reconstituted elementary school Amazing!! And now KIPP has hired her to run a school. Somebody at KIPP did not do their due diligence. She won't last six months without all of her buddies to cover for her. I feel so sorry for these kids. This is their future that is going down the drain while these nitwits make so much money doing nothing. It's too bad principals can't be sued for malpractice. They can't blame this on the new principal. It has taken him all spring to get rid of the trashy friends of Brevard. Once they found out they actually had to work they couldn't wait to get out of there
Agenda for board meeting today, 5 p.m. 
Grier interrupted District VIII Trustee Juliet Stipeche at the June 11 board meeting and, according to reports, yelled at her yesterday. No surprise: Grier has always tried to bully his employers
In Sacramento, the school board fired Grier. Grier sued board members who voted to throw him out and lost in court.

He went to Amarillo ISD where he was fired, or left by joint agreement, after just one year.

In Guilford County, NC, Grier claimed some successes but getting along with the community wasn't one of them. In this Jamestownnews.com report Grier was asked to apologize to Adults Believing in Children in Guilford County and referred to as "King Grier." 

In San Diego, Grier attempted to silence school board members who spoke against him, he proposed a small schools plan like Apollo which failed, and union leader Camille Zombro said, "The biggest problem facing this district is Terry Grier..it's not the budget, it's not anything else."

So yelling at soft-spoken Stipeche is just part of his shtick, part of his routine.  
Community activist Larry McKinzie recounts hearing Fuentes speak:

As I sit here listening to the New Principal at Sterling Aviation High School. I'm listening to Justin Fuentes say he and his wife wanted him to go back and be a principal but it would be a pay cut. Then out of the blue hisd offered a $40,000 bonus. Now he's interested in being a principal at a school that he has been associated with directly for three years. He has been associated with Sterling for the last 8 years and has lied since the beginning of his association. He and Dr. O (brand new SIO) has lied. So please, if you know of any concerns, please inbox me. I will contact and address your concern.



Four county school districts earn coveted Recognized status

Montgomery, Willis, Splendora, and New Caney
DISD: 57 principal changes and counting
Have we lost count of Grier's principal changes in HISD?

The Dallas Morning news is keeping up with principal changes in DISD and has asked the public for help. "51 and counting....if you have a tip please let us know..."

Overall, there are been 57 in Dallas.

There probably were 57 in HISD made by Grier the first two academic years he was here.

Here the Dallas Morning News provides a convenient chart to keep track.

Grier clone Mike Miles fired three principals after the DISD board voted to keep them. Like Grier, Miles never misses an opportunity to throw the proverbial finger at his employers.

Why should superintendents like Grier and Miles listen to their communities? They are corporate school reformers, after all, imbued with all the answers to solve the many academic challenges of their inner city school populations.

But neither is achieving results - just like other corporate school reformers, but they keep on alienating the community, firing key personnel like principals, destroying communities.

They don't care. Any doubts are quickly erased with one long look in the mirror.

When you're perfect, like Miles and Grier claim to be, disappointments and underachievement is never your fault. It's always the fault of others. They believe it's their job to keep changing the others even if doing so destroys relationships and schools.

Narcissism knows no boundaries.
17 HISD school are eligible for reconstitution based on 2011 Trigger Law

Parent Trigger Law: Conversion of public school to charter

Texas Senate considers stronger parent trigger law

Parent trigger laws in the united states

Texas' 2011 Parent Trigger Law

HISD job vacancies: District is looking for 562 teachers
16 principal positions are open

*Hot comment*
Reconstitution plan
Quote · Jun 13 2015 8:27 PM
IF Grier is going to go in the classroom it needs to be realistic! No textbooks only the Hub! plan on what to do when they don't bring their computers or never PAID for the free computer. Next he needs to have 40 students in a lab room- well sort of a lab room- with lack of funds lab supplies are kind of short so plan on doing worksheet labs- key here is plan!! Next he needs 12 that are recent arrivals and ESL with modification needs because they were not at a 9th grade level from the different countries they came from and 4 left school when they were maybe 10... and then there are 17 that are under spec. ed modifications and they have different issues from modified exams, extra time, simplified vocabulary, excused from all work, on and on and on... and then don't forget that of the 40, 35 students do not read at a 9th grade reading level. But that's ok since you don't have books anyway and those computers are best used for social connections since lunch is coming up soon. Don't forget if you were going to use your lunch time that's not possible as 2 days a week you have to monitor the cafeteria- watch our for that flying stuff they call food! The other 2 days a week you have hall duty so the children don't try to go out the doors and then that last day you have a PLC meeting where some TFA person with 4 months of experience is trying to remind everyone how important all the benchmark exams are, and that the STAAR exam could result in everyone being on a growth plan. When your appraiser calls you in because some kid isnt coming to your class and apparently it is your fault. All she can do is scream at you in some kind of illiterate language so you just stare blankly at her degree and license that she displays on the wall as if she has to remind herself how credible that on-line degree mill is and how well prepared she is. You can confirm that perhaps at one time she might have been able to handle the spoken language. It's then that you realize that the business world doesn't treat people like this. Wait- you have a coaching background so you are also responsible for the baseball team this afternoon. The boys didn't bring their uniforms, your 4 main starters are not eligible and your relief players have to go to work and another has to babysit his child. At the end of the day, maybe around 7pm if you are lucky, you realized you survived another day and the extended hours are ok cause you might get a 2% raise on your $57,K salary. That big raise will help to cover the cost of the team practice shirts, but not all, that you bought the players so they could look like a Team! cause the only "I" in Team is in the a-holes! Yes, Dr. Grier, you really should walk in our shoes! Maybe you might get a sense of the injustice that you have created for the students and the teachers. If you think you can bully the kids like you do the administrators and teachers- forget it! They don't have anything more to lose! Try it! you might become another person!


URBAN has more evidence of illegal grade changing in HISD; Atlanta legal team poised to take HISD to federal court arrived in Houston last week
Gerry Monroe 21:46 mark Hearing of Citizens

Denetta Williams (independent), Rufus Browning, Devalyn Rogers,  present strong viewpoints against current direction of board, superintendent  
Mr. Browning speaks at the 1:25 mark Hearing of Citizens

Denetta Willaims egrant falsification by HISD 18:51 Hearing of Citizens

Devalyn Rogers at 23:46 mark  Hearing of Citizens
Grade changing scandal could land HISD in federal court
Teacher Development Specialists, School Support Officers....the joke's on HISD taxpayers
Under the leadership of Superintendent Grier and the HISD trustees, expenses for non-classroom personnel have skyrocketed in HISD. Spending $9+ million on the TDS positions is bad enough. Add another $3,279,344.57 to the budget for school support officers. What are school support officers really doing? It's probably easier to describe what they are not doing:
*Not improving instruction (STAAR & EOC scores will bear this out when finally reported)
*Not adequately supervising principals (Jeannie Topper & Donetrus Hill, for example)
*Not giving sound advice or guidance to principals (Jason Fuentes was demoted to for his advice to Jason Catchings, who followed it & was fired.
*Not coaching teachers
*Not providing guidance to the frequently lost teacher development specialists
*Not maintaining their positions for the course of an academic year (Bellaire HS had five SSOs in one academic year)

Here is the list of school support officers and their salaries.

*Hot Comment*
TDS- a joke!
As a teacher... I would expect that someone with a title of Teacher Development Specialist working with teachers in specific disciplines would have degrees in those specific fields and a proven track record of teacher outreach and training. The teachers that should be in those position are actually in the classroom, some still in HISD others have left. The TDS applied for the position because of the perks! and the huge salary boost. Judd - this was a topic of discussion a few years back on your owRin sight! They are moved around cause they are just another example of the over stuffed and over paid administration that have contributed nothing to the students. Now.. just wait and see what's going to happen. Since Grier said no textbooks for the latest adoptions- science, math or social studies unless it is a STAAR area- teachers have to become the writers of everything including reading material as well as the "hands-on" materials, the planning, the management etc... That 2% pay raise that I might get certainly isnt going to compensate for that time you are now stealing. Oh! and how are students going to do this? on those laptops that are now 2 years old, not issued for 3 weeks when school starts and collected 2 weeks before school is out. So I guess the TDS is going to be this content master as well? so many talents!!

HISD's solution to saving schools slated for reconstitution? Leverage Leadership and getting rid of bad teachers.

Who are the biggest fools? Grier or the trustees who don't demand his immediate dismissal???


Support the effort to stop unfair grading practices in HISD.

State of science achievement by HISD students under Grier and Menster's leadership is sinking fast
The state of science education in Houston ISD under Grier
houstonisdwatch has been a frequent critic of the Houston Chronicle's coverage of HISD. The paper does not cover the ongoing assaults on curriculum being perpetrated by religious extremists who believe Moses is one of the founding fathers of the United States.  The paper has neglected science instruction achievement, or lack thereof, under Grier's leadership.

Science achievement levels are decreasing under the leadership of Grier and the HISD trustees
 Here are some interesting – but not surprising – statistics about the sad state of STEM education in our schools.  Using the STAAR as a comparison tool to the state and our biggest competitor, Dallas, you can see that under the Grier regime the achievement gap WIDENED significantly.  We were much better off before Grier’s bullying, revolving door of staff, and dog and pony show initiatives.  Sorry folks, the proof is the pudding and even Grier’s massive PR team can’t spin this.  Thing is, will anyone really care?  GHP are you listening?  There is our future workforce.  Do you care now?
In 2012, our 5th grade students in HISD were only 3 points away from the state average with HISD at 69% of the students passing STAAR and the state average being 72%.  In fact, we were beating Dallas by 11 points!
In 2015, the gap increased dramatically.  HISD 5th grade students now perform 9 points below the state average and Dallas is closing the gap with only 4 below HISD.  Wow.  Do we really call this progress?
Here is the report with a key graphic.
Undoing expensive advice given to HISD by....Vikas Mittal
Grier announced recently that elementary, middle, and high school chiefs would report to him now. They used to report to Grier before he contracted with Rice marketing and business professor Vikas Mittal.   Recently one of HISD's trustees told houstonisdwatch that Mittal's work in the district was necessary to help HISD organize and present a unified message to the public.

Yes, those concerns have certainly....had no impact on test results.
URBAN will file level 1 grievance to prevent Patton from violating TEA policy & Rogers' right to choose her own representation
134 Teacher Development Specialists in HISD cost the district 

If the HISD trustees believe the teacher development position is critical to the success of HISD students, they should ask Grier some hard questions, such as
*Do Menster and Wolfe have clear objectives for the specialists?
*Are specialists regularly in dialogue with Menster & Wolfe so the "drifting without a compass" feeling many of them had in the past is no longer the case?
*How do the teacher development specialists report time spent with individual teachers? Is their a log? Do they have the teaching schedules for their caseload
*How will data from Staar & EOC tests, along with Stanford results, be used to evaluate the specialists?
*Have all the teacher development specialists been evaluated for the 2014-15 school team and are the teachers they supervise test results included in the evaluation?
*Have the specialists been given the time or found the time to develop a nurturing, positive professiona relationship with their teachers?

Most likely, as in all activities in the Grier administration, most of the above criteria is not in place, specialists have been threatened with job loss, moved around quite a bit, and work in an unstable climate.

If Grier and the trustees want teachers evaluated based on test results, it's only fair and fitting the teacher development specialists are also evaluated on their
work with teachers via these test scores and Menster, Wofle are too.

We can be certain that is not the case.

The teacher development specialists were moved to curriculum this year. Where will they be in 2015-16?
Curriculum Department Follies Militate Against Progress for HISD Students
Lance Menster, HISD's Officer, Elementary Curriculum Instruction, puts his house on the market 
Menster Lance Elementary Curriculum Instruct Officer, Curriculum & Instruct $133900.00
Does this mean someone in HISD has connected Lance Menster's exurberant pushing of snapshot exams on HISD teachers and students to the less than satisfactory STAAR and EOC results we are still waiting to see?

Exams so poorly written HISD was shamed in the Houston Chronicle and on Diane Ravitch's education blog? 

The snapshot exams and HISD's poor performance on standardized exams are a big part of HISD's failure to advance academically under Grier. Another huge detriment to HISD's success is Grier - his temperament, his personality, and his choice of personnel.

Just why did Grier hire Annie Wolfe? Sure, Ms. Wolfe is another cute, young, white woman Grier became infatuated with but did she deserve a high ranking position in secondary curriculum?

Both Menster and Wolfe supervise the ever elusive and mostly expendable Teacher Development Specialists who, along with the rest of Grier's curriculum department, aren't raising student test scores. No doubt there are some competent individuals among this bunch. After all, they were supposedly chosen because they were solid pedagogical practitioners.  Their positions have been scrambled for years and, as was reported on this site several years ago, they have no guidance, no direction, and no leadership.

Note that current Assist. Super Menster was a TDS. Unfortunately, he did not use his experience as a building block to make the teacher development specialists, a group he has been supervising, into a positive force for academic improvement in HISD.  Menster's partner Wolfe didn't have positive impact upon their effectivenss, either.

And this little tidbit is right inline with Vikas Mittals' $450,000+ advice for Grier and his trustees: Organizations don't fail; leaders do

Maybe someone, like the educrats earning six figure salaries or the elected trusttees, at 4400 W. 18th Street should be paying attention?

URBAN chastises HISD trustees & Grier for not disclosing school reconstitution plans, especially Sterling High School. Parents were not notified as required by law. "You disrespected Sterling community."

Video link E-2 1:05 timeline. Click photo for link.

Check board meeting video Section A-2 timeline 2.21: One picture says 1000 words
Manuel Rodriguez bolts out of board meeting early
Hope Charter wanted a second chance; instead they got a week delay

Mark Smith, HISD's Chief Student Support Officer, recommended Hope Charter be closed in a move that had to have been dictated by Grier  (Smith, Mark   Chief Student Support Officer $190,550)

Graduation delayed for Hope Charter School Seniors

Former teachers accuse HISD of rampant grade changing

HISD delays action on fate of HOPE

Hope Charter demanded fair hearing by HISD

URBAN Ex. Director responds to Farrakhan criticism
I want you guys to know something. Any forum where I can push school school reform is good for me. Nobody and I mean nobody can side track me. If I gauged everyone by the company they keep I'd never have friends. Nation of Islam children go to HISD schools to. So thanks for the support and if you stop supporting me that's ok too. But no one will side track me. I may just change him. 
URBAN is the change we've been waiting for....
Gerry Monroe, Executive Director, and the URBAN have brought hope to those of us who view the current board as inept and the current superintendent as misguided and, possibly, corrupt.

The URBAN is not in competition with HFT. The URBAN has maintained good relationships with all organizations attempting to bring about real reform and change in HISD.

Currently, the URBAN is working with HISD teachers who have been asked  to leave HISD for no apparent reason except possessing an independent mind and unwillingness to enage in all the time-wasting activities Grier, Menster, and whoever else is the latest curriculum expert, and the trustees have devised to ruin education for Houston's children.

99% of the work the URBAN does is philanthropic, and the only time the URBAN asks for a contribution is when it provides very detailed, individualized, and time-consuming support of teachers grievances.

The URBAN's legal team from Atlanta, for example, is working now to stop Patton's investigative team from taking away the rights of Texas educators.

The URBAN has donated $4500 to HISD students who had no funding to participate in a battle of the bands this summer.

Yes, Mr. Monroe has a fulltime job, yet he still finds time, or makes time, to meet with media and legal representatives in support of HISD teachers, parents, and students.

Although this information may rattle some white folks, Mr. Monroe will be meeting with Reverand Louis Farrakhan as part of a panel on race relations this summer.

Support the URBAN. They, more than any other group, have seen the big picture and are putting the pieces together. Supporting their efforts to elect a new board in November will pay off for Houston's children, the integrity of Houston's teachers, and the calm Houston parents should feel about sending their children to HISD schools.

Yes, the URBAN is the change we've been waiting for.
Here is a letter HISD's inspector general sent to Pershing Middle School teacher Devalyn Rogers telling her she cannot allow the URBAN's Executive Director Gerry Monroe to represent her.

Making the Grade Part 3

Patton states that he wants to finish the Pershing investigation quickly.  Of course he does and, more importantly, his boss does too. Any prolonged investigation into wrong-doing by Pershing Principal Kim Heckman and HISD will probably reveal more 
HISD's CFS Executive Robert Sands on leaving HISD: "It's time for me to find another place to go..."
Read between the lines. He, and Bastian Principal Toron Wooldridge are awaiting resignation settlements.
Ericka Mellon on HISD budget considerations
*No raise? HISD may walk off job to protest 
*HISD trustees message to HISD police: F*U, buddy, no raise, forget what we promised
*HISD protecting Hope Charter administrators for possibly two reasons? 1) Outside auditors did not conclude there were serious issues of grade changing at Hope BUT HISD wants to close the charter anyway...a little quid pro quo? Wouldn't be the first time
*Drew Houlihan made the right decision on student testing. Is his on-the-job training finally beginning to pay off for HISD parents?
*Who's now vying for power in HISD's beleaguered curriculum department? Why is Lance Menster still employed by HISD?
*HOPE CHARTER: Two administrators involved in what is described as a massive scam to alter grades have been quietly reassigned to positions in HISD; one is an assistant principal at Ortiz, the other a substitute teacher.

AMENDMENT to AFFIDAVIT provided to the State of Texas County of Harris by Devalyn Rogers on Jun 2,2015
Coercion to falsify federal documents

HISD, through its principal at Pershing Middle School and support of her actions, established a hostile workplace,fostered an environment of fear, badgered me repeatedly in attempting to corrupt the integrity of my grading process for the benefit of a few select students, and eventually coerced me into making such
changes with the implied threat of losing my job,thereby violating federal laws govern ing school records of students.

Rogers complaint states when laws are broken and teachers must go to authorities, FERPA allows for protection of students within scope of complaint:
"FERPA,20 U.S.C. 1232g,generally provides that information contained in students' education records are private and that parents largely control the access to that information. The exceptions in FERPA permit schools to disclose education data without a parent's consent under certain circumstances .

"Congress enacted FERPA as part of the Federal Education Amendments of 1974 in an effort to ensure student and parent access to education records and protect the privacy of a student's education records. FERPA applies to all public and private schools that receive funds through applicable  U.S. Department of Education programs. Schools that fail to comply with FERPA can lose federal funding.

So Superintendent Grier stating he would use FERPA to terminate employees who report wrong-doing and have to use student evidence as proof, well Grier is wrong. He's engaging in intimidation and bullying, this time as a proactive threat to control the message and keep HISD's criminal acts out of the media.

Here is Ms. Rogers' amendment to the affidavit. 
All white clusters at Pershing? Heckman's attempt to make her school a "white" neighborhood school....and where is Trustee Mike Lunceford on this issue?

HISD Trustees have allowed Grier to eviscerate the EEO department, forcing employees to file with federal EEOC officials
But employees have to go through the process of filing with HISD's EEO

*Rogers documents instances where Heckman's behavior is such that  "...anytime anyone white says anything  it appears as if it is th e truth and she does not ask questions to get at the real truth,  she does not interview any additional witnesses to statements  made or perhaps it is because she continues to try to create   this   hostile  working   environment   in  order   she  will   force   me  to   quit   as  she   has  run  off   many  other   good   black employees

Kim Heckman engaged in highly unprofessional behavior:
Kim Heckman principal of Pershing Middle School where I am currently employed by HISD called my name over the all call system for me to report to her office. The entire seventh grade level of teachers were in the library when my name was called and I was met with "AHHHHHHHH you're in troublllllle . you have to go to the principals office" .  

Kim Heckman gives white parents preferential treatment:
I shared with you most of the  complaints  evolved from white  parents who did  not go through the process of speaking with the teacher first, they went straight to you and not only did you  not  investigate, but you  were  already  poised  to  write  up  the  information  you received  from  them  even without  my  input. Our conversation with witnesses touched on how you shared w ith me the 'perception" of the neighborhood   parents was very important and more important than what was  taking  place  in  the classroom

Ms. Heckman makes dubious assignments where it appears race is a consideration:
 It has been said in conversations around the school Mrs. Williams is just the "overseer" to give the appearance Mrs. Heckman is not a racist. Not only did Mr. Scott want the position of eigth grade teacher   (bringing past proven high scores), but Mrs.  Salinas  wanted  the  position  of Science Chairperson, the position you gave to a white teacher with no scores to support she would be best in that position, the same position you had a white in that had no growth in at least four years (this information was shared with me by the white teacher Ms. Broz).

Ms. Heckman created a "white cluster" because she wants to be the (white) neighborhood school:
She continues to state we are trying to become a neighborhood school, the neigh borhood in which the school is located is w hite, she has cut  back  on the number  of students  that come to  Pershing via a number of different methods which appears to be to c ut down on the number of  non-white  students  attending  Pershing Middle  School   She has rid the schoo l of a number of adm inistrators and teachers,  mostly non-white and has hired white teachers some who are not as qualified as the or.es she has let go, some in fact with no prior teach ing expericence and mostlv white. More importantly , there is 3 cluster of students who were picked to be in what the teachers in the school call the "white cluster",  

And Trustee Lunceford did exactly what to address these concerns? 
I have  notified our  school board member Mr. Lunceford and had a conversation with him in detail about Mrs. Heckman pulling me out of  my lower level classroom, the same lower lever classroom to address parent concerns (who did not speak with me initially) parents who were either parents of Pre-Ap students or GT students 

Ms. Heckman intentionally put Pershing students' academic achievement at risk by removing a certified science teacher for disciplinary meetings and replacing her with a sub who couldn't teach science:
. I continually  requested her not to do so as not only wou ld it negatively impact student performance, and as our evaluations  and  ASPIRE  awards  are   attached to such , would negatively impact that and ultimately impact me. This continually happened at a moments noticed although Ms. Heckman and myself addressed the issue numerous times . When pulling me out of my class, the students were not learning as she replaced me with a substitute who admitted she could not teach science, Ms.  McGrew Pershing  dedicated  sub .  Mrs. Garner  is  witness  to  Ms.  Heckman  pulling  me  out  of  these classes   

Ms. Heckman intentionally kept black and brown students out of Pershing the EEO document reports:
 She cut  the  amount  of  students   she  allows  into the  school  to  keep out  minorities  for  it does  not please the white  parents  in the  neighborhood,   clearly the neighborhood  is not only white,  there  are  minorities that  live in the neighborhood also, but she is not trying to appease them only the whites.   

Read Rogers' complete EEO complaint here and please note: Ms. Rogers did not withdraw the complaint as was strongly suggested she do so. HISD would then "reconsider" renewing her contract.  

HISD Trustees & Terry Grier's hypocrisy in action
Terry Grier said teachers should feel free to report allegations of grade changing and abuse to his administration. Then his administration, in this case stooge Heckman at Pershing, moves to terminate them.
To begin Ihave classroom rules which were given out at the beginning of the year. Iwill get you a copy.

Pershing MS Trustee Mike Lunceford
was notified of Ms. Rogers' concerns, 
as well as being informed about racial
segregation encouraged by Ms. Heckman
but did nothing except recommend Rogers
talk to HFT, which reportedly had no desire
to fight. the union told Rogers to take a settlement.

My basic philosophy is:  All students can learn and in this classroom will learn.  They may not all learn at the same pace or the same information the same way or the same time,however the requirement is that you learn something new each day to incorporate into your schema and understand how it is truly relevant to your life as you know it now and in the future.
  1. Records show: On December 17,2012 Iwas pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  2. Records show:  On January 11,2013 Iwas pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  3. Records show:  On February 12,2013 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  4. Records show:  On March 22, 2013 Iwas pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  5. Records show: On April 19, 2013  I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  6. Records show:  On May 30,2013  I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  7. Records show:  On October 2,2014 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  8. Records show: October 6, 2014 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  9. Records show: On February 12,2013 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  10. Records show: On February 12,2013 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  11. Records show:  On September 12,2014 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  12. Records show on or around October 2014 I wrote a memorandum (subject: REBUTIAL TO DIRECTIVES Memorandum dated October 5, 2014) to Principal Kim Heckman specifically addressing her pulling me out of the lower level class environment which is minority filled to discuss concerns. I also stated her actions were discriminatory in nature as to the impact it has on the students. Istated "Iimplore you to stop these harassing tactics that negatively impact my working environment and most importantly the learning of the students".
  13. Records show: On November 3, 2014 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  14. Records show: December 19,2014 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment all day to address concerns.
  15. Records show: December 12, 2014 I was pulled out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.
  16. Records show:On December 8,2014,I was kept out of the classroom learning environment to address concerns.In the Month of December records show a meeting with the parent of  required my presence out of the classroom to address concerns. 
  1. Records show: Imade complaints to the union in reference to the number of times Ihad been pulled out of the classroom learning environment over the years,especially the first year Principal Heckman came to Pershing Middle School. Christy Cobb is the main person I spoke with in regard to these concerns.
Devalyn Rogers
(houstonisdwatch obtained this information from Ms. Rogers at the Fox taping of Making the Grade. houstonisdwatch has filed TPIA requests to see the breakdown of Pershing's clusters, which Ms. Rogers also addresses here:

Another example of systemic racism in HISD & HISD teachers being coerced to change grades:

April 14, 2015
Good Evening to the School Board of the Houston Independent School District:  

I come to you today to implore you take necessary methods to thoroughly investigate the following declarations referencing those involved in the following discriminatory,coercive, and retaliatory actions and ultimately take all available legal and corrective measures.
I am Devalyn Rogers,Science teacher at Pershing Middle School. I have been at Pershing MS for approximately 6 years.  I currently have an ongoing grievance and EEO complaints against Pershing MS as well as the Houston Independent School District. I have begun working closely with Mr. Gerry Monroe of the UUAA in reference to wrongful non-renewal of my contract.

During the course of Principal Heckman's tenure at Pershing Middle School the following incidences have occurred she and one or more of her superiors,EEO officers,etc.  have been notified via some form of media:

Individuals responsible for issuing,delivering, inputting,student grades have been coerced, asked, if not asked, directed to change student grades by                             Principal Heckman.  Review Principal Heckman's emails.

The parents of the West University and Bellaire areas only have to complain about their child not making 11A1s11   and Principal Heckman will remove the teacher from general education classes of instruction to address how to "fix" the concern . Such has been noted and shared, the teacher is consistentlyremoved from the "lower level" students classes of instruction. Review Ms. Williams and Principal Heckman's emails.

The teacher turnover has increased by almost 47%. Teachers are literally walking out of classrooms during the school year,never to return. A seventh grade teacher walked out. There were a good percentage of his students failing and had been failing previous to his walking out; after his exit they were passing 
 Continue reading  Rogers' letter to the HISD trustees

Picture above: Another bully SSO Dr. Omogbehin, removed from San Diego Schools, who feels empowered by Grier & the HISD trustees to bully here, but she isn't getting test scores that justify her salary of $130,950


Kim Heckman, another Grier appointed bully principal, cheats Pershing Middle School students out of 60 - 200 minutes of instructional time every two weeks compared to Pershing's feeder high school, Bellaire.

This information comes from the Pershing Middle School faculty advisory council meeting minutes: Compared to other HISD middle schools Pershing students lose between 60 to 200 minutes of instruction every two weeks.

Pin Oak Middle School: Alternate block schedule 8 periods at 80 minutes each. Plus an 8 period day on Friday which has classes at 45 minutes. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 410 minutes.

Johnston Middle School: Block schedule 8 classes at 85 minutes each. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 425 minutes. Lanier Middle School: Block schedule 8 classes at 90 minutes each. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 450 minutes.

West Briar Middle School: 7 period day at 54 minutes each. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 540 minutes. Fondren Middle School: 8 period day at 55 minutes each. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 550 minutes. For high school credit classes,

Pershing students lose 130 to 180 minutes of instruction every two weeks. Lamar High School: Block schedule with 8 periods at approximately 96 minutes each. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 480 minutes.

Bellaire High School: 8 period day at 53 minutes each. In a two week period teachers see each of their students for 530 minutes.

Ms. Heckman's response: Heckman: We are on this schedule because we need to address the needs of all students. Students learn at different rate. Lower-performing students need more time to master concepts. Higher-performing students need less time to master concepts and need other academic enrichment. For 6th and 7th grade students who need more time to master concepts (intervention, on level, and PreAP with support), they will have 2 reading blocks (Tier III students need a 3rd reading block), 2 math blocks, 1 writing block, 1 social studies block, 1 science block, and 1 required PE class. Those classes total to 8 blocks for intervention, on level and PreAP with support. Tier III students will need 9 blocks. Magnet students who are on those tracks will need an extra block to take their required magnet elective.

But requiring teachers to teach a 10-period schedule is beyond ridiculous. Where was HFT?

click photo above to read Pershing Middle School's Faculty Advisory Committee meetings


Segregation in Pershing's academic clusters has accelerated under Principal Heckman according to sources at the school.


URBAN demands Terry Grier resign, or be terminated, now


School is out for the summer and HISD trustees have failed to serve the public by ensuring STAAR scores by campus have been published for the public to see. HISD's website still lists 2013-2014 scores as most current.

May 14, 2015, HISD board meeting video

Jason Catchings interviewed by
Greg Groogan on My Fox Houston...
but this isn't an interview: Greg
Groogan talks while Catchings
mouths words.. 

Texas A.G. Paxton has legal troubles of his own

HISD had no choice in Catchings' situation and Grier
offered him up in a weak attempt to save himself


Grier, a great public communicator? Who knew?

HISD trustees received video evidence of academic fraud
in December 2014 but did nothing

From the URBAN:
Now let me say this Grier and the trustees, principals: what does it feel like when someone
is being bullied? I'm coming to get all of you. And there is nothing you can do about it. Think 
we will take out a board member next. Bye bye Paula. You are now on notice. We are the
most dangerous Group in America. It's The Urban baby

My Fox Houston, with investigative reporter Greg Groogan in the lead, is staying on top of the grade changing scandal in HISD.


Roland Fryer, architect of Grier's failed Apollo project and Lance Menster's useless snapshots, should be held accountable for HISD's latest STAAR debacle.


Teacher abuse is widespread in this era of corporate school reform and Koch-Republicans' desire to destroy all unions, especially public sector unions


Richard Patton, HISD Inspector General, conducted a sham investigation of Reagan High School grade changing ordered by members of Connie Berger's administrative team. Teachers who made complaints were taken into a room and intimidated, threatened by Grier officials as Patton watched. This report comes from a local news channel reporter who was there.

Are you an HISD  teacher who has been bullied by your assessor, assistant principal, or principal?
Have you been asked to resign for no apparent reason?
Are you a first year teacher who has been put on a PPA?

The URBAN can help you prepare for a grievance meeting to undo the harm HISD is trying to inflict upon you. You must, however, have real documentation, i.e. evaluations, memos, write-ups, etc., to support your case.

Already a number of teachers have chosen the URBAN to help represent them. Unlike a union, the URBAN asks for a one-time right-sized consultation fee.


HISD teachers on the attack: Madison teacher alleges grade fixing; grade fixing, segregated clusters alleged to plague Pershing

*Hot Comment*
Key Dates Mobilization

Houstonisdwatch & the URBAN:

Is there any way we can get this out to the community? We really need someone to run for those 4 seats. Paula Harris, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Manuel Rodriguez Jr. and Juliet Stipeche are up for election. The candidate filing deadline is on August 24, 2015. I say we start with fresh new faces. Also, will there be any meetings that teachers can attend to mobilize to go from door to door and set up call centers for the new faces? Is there a place to make donations for candidates? There are so many employees that want a change. Can we do a mailing or do post cards? We have teachers willing to donate if a paypal account is set up so that we can create mailouts. These board members need to know that they are replaceable and we can prove it.

June 25, 2015 Deadline to post notice of candidate filing deadline
July 25, 2015 First day to file for place on general election ballot
August 24, 2015 Last day to file for place on general election ballot
September 4, 2015 First day to apply for ballot by mail
October 5, 2015 Last day for voter registration with county clerk
October 19, 2015 First day of early voting
October 23, 2015 Last day to apply for ballot by mail
October 30, 2015 Last day of early voting
November 3, 2015 General election day
Grier warns principals about taking to board members (except, of course, if Paula Harris or Harvin Moore are involved)
Read Ericka Mellon's education blog

*Hot Comment*
Tests lost. Calls from HISD to become a summer school teacher? Am I to understand there are no duplicates to be sent? Something doesn't smell right here? How many times has this happened in the district, anyone know?
@From The Leftovers- thank-you for your post but may I add other board members to your list? It is not just Harris, who we know is not going to run and MR, it is the rest of the board. Don't forget schools closed down while other board members were able to open new schools that may be relevant to a board member's business and his wealthy donors. How many times do we have to repeat ourselves? If folks do not get out and vote we will be stuck with the same self serving members as we have now. 

As far as grade changing, has anyone heard of this in other schools, down to elementary where students have failed and but principals have been told to pump up marks? I just read about the one case here, allegedly. 
Thanks for this site and let's continue to share it with the community.

*Hot Comment*
Ashford Parent alleges Valerie Sikes Ashford  principal rewards friends with jobs, doesn't work a full day

Frustrated with Ashford   •  west houston
I really just need to let out my frustration with the Principal of Ashford Elementary School. She has been at the school for three years and done nothing to improve the school except to redecorate and put barriers up to try to keep parents out of her office and out of the hall. I was there a lot and saw what was going on firsthand. She is overly friendly with one of the younger teachers and this teacher is always running to her office ( who watches her class?) Isn't there some training for Principals on how to behave? I am so aggravated sometimes and do not understand why she isn't transferred. Maybe I am out of touch but I've made a list to make myself feel better and I only feel worse.
She leaves early almost every day ( out by four or way before)
She favors one or two 
She ran off many decent teachers ( my guess is she likes very young teachers who do not know what to expect yet
She gives her friends the jobs that bring in extra money ( dual lang person, testing person, technology, gifted and talented , summer school etc). What does this do to the morale of the other teachers and our children if their morale is low?
She walks past people like they don't exist and rarely shows the manners we want our children to learn
She takes trips to places like Chicago and now we hear Palm Springs! Who is going with her? Why spend money that is meant for the children? Aren't there workshops in Houston she and her friends could go to?
She has bullied many people and word does get around
No need to ask why the neighborhood kids are leaving and the annoying part is that she will leave too and never look back to the mess she created for us.
Too bad that this isn't all folks.
HISD exams answer sheets go missing

HISD teacher alleges cheating at Barrick Elementary School in TEA complaint

HISD grade inflation probe moves to Pershing Middle school & Madison High School


Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Manuel Rodriguez, and Juliet Stipeche should not be planning to return to their seats on the HISD board next year. Stipeche's heart may be in the right place, but her voice and vote frequently are not.

There are no signs of community leadership coming from District III's Rodriguez. Sleeping through school board meetings and trying to get your friends contracts do not qualify as leadership.

Rhonda Skillern-Jones doesn't get it, hasn't learned the HISD system, and continues to say just plain stupid things to parents. She told the group at Kashmere to go in mass to the school board meeting to be heard. Keep in mind they were there at the Kashmere meeting and expect Jones to do her job and represent them.
If Jones can't do that, she needs to get off the HISD board now. Telling parents to take off work to attend yet more HISD meetings, especially school board meetings where Harvin Moore will pontificate about issues totally non-related and Paula Harris and Terry Grier will be texting on their cell phone,s is mind-numbingly stupid on Jones' part.

Juliet Stipeche is another trustee who tells groups of parents to do her job for her. Go to meetings, more meetings, (because you have nothing else to do & I am too weak and too soft-spoken to represent you),  Ms. Stipeche has wracked up a number of abstentions in key personnel votes. Not voting is not supporting teachers, regardless of the spin HFT may put on her actions. Union support won't be enough to save Stipeche's seat.

Show some real leadership, Stipeche, or move along. We don't need mealy-mouthed trustees who go along to get along.

Westbury, then Reagan, Pershing, now Madison...The URBAN is exposing what insiders have known all along: HISD fudges the numbers to increase graduation rates, reduce retention rates, and in the process attempts to force teachers to outright lie.

Terry Grier threatened teachers who went to the media about being forced to change grades with their jobs. Ironically, it's his job that's on the line.

As reported here, KHOU camped out at HISD headquarters all day today to get HISD's response to the URBAN's press conference. HISD has to cook up another lie and, you know, that takes time.

The URBAN continues to hand evidence over to the Harris County district attorney's office.  

The longer Terry Grier stays around HISD, the more likely it is he will be forced out, possibly charged with crimes. 

Whistle-blowing HISD teachers ask DA for investigation, protection.

They are the ring leaders of the Grier circus. HISD's failures are clearly theirs, and the city of Houston deserves so much more, like a completely new board.

Ericka Mellon (and Jason Spencer's) magical mystery tour of Grier's debacle

Changing the grade  Part 1
Changing the grade  Part 2
Changing the grade Part 3
Changing the grade Part 4
Grier once again throw the finger at the community - this time its Westbury who gets Susan Monaghan as principal
Westbury community wanted a individual who reflected racial make-up of school; Ms. Monaghan does not.
 From: "Grier, Terry BDate: June 5, 2015 at 1:33:04 PM CDT
To: Board Members
Subject: Westbury

New Principal at Westbury High School
We are pleased to announce that Susan Monaghan has been selected as the new principal at Westbury High School.  Ms. Monaghan began her career in HISD at Lockhart Elementary as a 3rd grade teacher.  After nine years in HISD she transferred to Alief ISD for the next five years.  Ms. Monaghan returned to HISD in 1995 as a Middle School Counselor at The Rice School.  She was later promoted to an assistant principal at the same school.  In 2001 Ms. Monaghan became the Assistant Principal at West University Elementary.  Three years later she was named the Principal at Lovett Elementary where she remained for the next six years. While at Lovett Ms. Monaghan was named 2008-2009 West Region Principal of the Year and the school showed tremendous growth moving from acceptable to exemplary. Ms. Monaghan just completed her fifth year as the Principal of Pin Oak Middle School.  This past year she served as a Lead Principal for Johnston and Ortiz Middle Schools.
Ms. Monaghan received her Bachelor of Science in Education from Western Michigan University and her Masters in School Counseling from University of Houston – Clear Lake.  In addition, she received a Masters in School Administration from University of Saint Thomas.
Watch Rhonda Skillern-Jones' possible replacement - Koffee Smith - on the HISD board talk about dysfunction in HISD's EEO department and possible collusion between EEO and legal in an attempt to prevent complaints: 44:46 point in the Hearing of the Citizens video
"A Pattern of Stagnating Performance"  Ericka Mellon, Houston Chronicle
Ericka Mellon provides quick view of high school end-of-course exams which, under the trustees' and Grier's leadership,fell below averages for the state of Texas.
HISD has still not released results.
*Hot Comment*
SSO's are Useless

I see Grier has an SSO that worked as a principal for him in San Diego- Dr. Omogbehin. Seems like she has not faired well here in HISD continuing with the same practices that caused her to be removed in San Diego. Schools under her are still low performing. She still bullies teachers. She doesn't care about the kids.
MAKING THE GRADE ON FOX 26 last night: Sanborn, Rogers, houstonisdwatch discussed pressure to change grades in HISD 

Coming up on houstonisdwatch:
*HISD curriculum department in chaos
*Andrew Houlihan on-the-job training as Chief Academic Officer
*Documentation from Pershing Middle School of principal intimidation to change grades




Here's the report houstonisdwatch requested through TPIA.  New teachers have even more proof that staying away from HISD is the best move they can make for their careers. Each line represents one new hire put on a PPA (growth plan) by and HISD principal or assistant principal.

Warning: Dramamine may be needed to get through this piece

HISD trustees, Grier prefer to use allegations of cheating for their political aims 
ES Officer Karla Loria, Principal Ashley Green play their role as typical HISD trustee/Grier thugs
Here is the full report provided to houstonisdwatch by the URBAN.
McReynolds MS  kept student out of school forcing parent to turn Texas Support Personnel Employees Local 1 for assistance

Other than spying on principals, failing to take actions to improve test scores, and possessing any real clout to get anything done, what do schools support officers actually doing to earn their six figure salaries?

Why are the clueless, inept, and out-of-touch HISD trustees forcing HISD taxpayers to support useless SSOs?

First this spring, Justin Fuentes former SSO, gave advice to former Westbury Principal Jason Catchings that cost Catchings his job. Now another SSO can't even
get McReynolds Principal Zevallos to do what was promised during a parent meeting.

HISD doesn't need SSOs and can't afford them. They are useless.

Paul Zevallos, McReynolds Principal
is to blame along with Crowe

McRenolds' mea culpa:

On Thu, 5/21/15, Crowe, Deborah A <DCROWE@houstonisd.org> wrote:

Subject: McReynolds
To: "hectormireles50@att.net" <hectormireles50@att.net>
Cc: "Zevallos, Paul D" <PZEVALLO@houstonisd.org>, "Lewis, Douglas E" <DLEWIS1@houstonisd.org>
Date: Thursday, May 21, 2015, 10:42 AM

Mr. Mireles, on May 14, 2015
as per your request we met at McReynolds Middle School to discuss your concerns regarding **** ******, eighth grade student.  **** mother was in attendance and
said she gave you permission to represent her.  Also present were Paul Zevallos, McReynolds principal, and Douglas Lewis, assistant principal.     Please review the bulleted list of items you requested that have been granted.· 
A formal apology: The principal and I apologized for Chancery not being updated and for the attendance miscommunication between the parent and he school. ·        
Training: All personnel who enter attendance and discipline will receive updated training either in May or in the summer.·        

Attendance and Discipline Audits:
Attendance audit will occur in May.  Discipline audit will occur this summer.·     
The Chancery system has been updated and shows **** last two discipline infractions and his attendance have been updated as well.·      
Make up work is ready for Rudy when he returns to school from being absent.

 If you have
further questions, please contact Mr. Zevallos or me. 
Thank you.  D. Crowe713-556-7102  

Ms. Crowe, 
We are requesting copies of following items:
1. As initially requested by the parent, a written explanation from the principal as to why her son was sent home for nearly two weeks without written notification informing her of a reason. We still have not recieved a written explanation. 
2. Evidence that clerks and administrators responsible for data entry and coding have been properly trained in respect to attendance and discipline.  Evidence  pending. 
3. Evidence and a copy of the audit results for both attendance and discipline records.  Evidence is pending. 
4. A copy of Rudy's updated Chancery screen to reflect attendance has been corrected and posted into Chancery. As discussed, he was and continues to sit at home while he is counted present in Chancery. Evidence is pending that this has been corrected.
5. Grade entries into GradeSpeed closed on Wednesday, May 20th. Our meeting was held on May 14th, a week ago not allowing Rudy an opportunity to make up his work in a timely manner.  Should he receive failing grades, this will be appealed.

During our conference, I clearly stated that no repercussion or retaliation be taken against Rudy, however upon his return to school the assistant principal sent him to ISS under the direction of the principal for being in the hallway with a hall pass as he went to the restroom. I personally contacted the assistant principal requesting a copy of the ISS letter and was told that we would get it, and we have not received it. He was sent home the same day he returned back to school on Friday, May 15th at noon again without a written notification or explanation as to why he was sent home or when he should return back to school. Meanwhile, continues to sit at home.  It is a clear violation of TEC, chapter 37, as previously expressed during the initial conference that the administrators responsible have violated state law in respect to discipline and continue to do so. They have clearly exceeded and continue to exceed the 3 days for out of school suspension
and the 5 days for ISS. This is a pattern at McReynolds MS, not just to Rudy but to other students.

In closing, I am requesting that you conduct a full investigation. 


Hector Mireles
Texas Support Personnel Employees, Local 1
Office: 284-974-5169
Cell: 832-584-8263
Fax: 281-974-5184  

Shonda Huery hanging around HISD waiting for Grier to get the ax
There were many questions raised about CSO Shonda Huery's ability to perform her duties as a Chief School Officer and even more about high school chief Harrison Peters.  Grier has touted Huery and doesn't want her to leave HISD so he's been keeping Peters around.

Notice that these political maneuvers have nothing to do with teaching and learning. They are all about the bottom $line.

How ironic it will be if Grier gets the ax and Huery gets his job.

The lesson these scoundrels teach us? Loyalty to self supercedes all else.

Grier's cronyism is trashing HISD's Curriculum Depratment
The HISD trustees haven't questioned Grier's reliance on and promotion of friends into positions of power in HISD. Drew Houlihan serves as a fitting mascot for bad matches between job requirements and applicant attributes.

When loyalty is the only real attribute necessary, individuals like ego-driven and self-promoting Lance Menster are given positions of authority so encompassing the daily lives of HISD's students and teachers become plagued by incessant testing.

The fact that Grier has not disposed of Menster yet shows the sinister power of blind loyalty.
Trustees are playing a waiting game with Grier by not extending his contract and by not buying it out
This information comes from insiders at 4400 W. 18th St. Two trustees are expected to face tough reelection battles - Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Manuel Rodriguez - and they have joined Eastman, Stipeche, and Lunceford in wanting Grier gone.

These trustees feel very misled by Grier's promises, his profligacy, and the stark reality and embarrassment of reports like these by HISD homer Ericka Mellon.

Mellon's reporting confirms it's hard to spin a disaster. HISD's academic performance under Grier is certainly that. 

Here is Grier's initial contract. Firing him for poor leadership does not appear to be one of the criterion.

Attorneys for both sides are primed to act.
Professor Ford addressed trustees at their Thursday morning meeting with this report.. The trustees were shocked to see the hard data which provides more evidence of systemic racism in Grier-led HISD.
Despite inaccurate letter and blatant threats made by Chief Academic Officer Dan Gohl, the inept HISD trustees did't punish Gohl or Superintendent Grier
HISD's letter to parents about opting out of STAAR
Did HISD whitewash Reagan investigation?
URBAN Ex. Director Gerry Monore was not in Houston when  HISD completed its investigation of alleged grade tampering at Reagan HS.  On May 15, 2015, HISD. Chief Audit Executive Richard Patton, a Grier appointment in 2014, concluded in his hasty investigation he found no evidence to substantiate claims brought
by HFT.

houstonisdwatch has submitted a Texas Public Information request to review Patton's Reagan audit. The audit did not appear to be thorough and without the intense
pressure only the URBAN can apply to HISD, no one contested the findings. 

According to the Houston Chronicle's report, the allegations of massive grade changes were made anonymously.  

Teachers who are willing to go on record with these complaints up until now have been right to fear for their jobs as HISD is far more interested in punishing whistle blowers than wrongdoers. However, the URBAN offers protection to teachers and assistance to eachers throughout the process.

Ignoring bullies like Grier and his administrative team encourages them to bully more. 
Ericka Mellon has report on Grier's salary proposals
Justin Fuentes was encouraged to take buy-out
In typical Grier fashion, he looked for someone to dump on as a result of Westbury's grade changing scandal. Justin Fuentes, former high school officer became the logical choice.  He is the one, after all, who advised former Westbury Principal Jason Castchings tl tell the associate teacher to assign placeholder grades.

Grier offered Fuentes a buy-out but, figuring he would outlast Grier, said no.  Grier had already assigned him to be interim Westbury principal. Now Fuentes is the fulltime chief at Westbury.

By the time next year's STAAR EOC exams are graded, Grier will be gone.

Kudos to Mr Fuentes and good luck.
$Promotions$ without interviews besmirch Houlihan's rise in HISD

"Houlihan joined Houston in 2010 and rose quickly, holding positions including principal, chief major projects officer and chief human resources officer. He has been chief academic officer for less than two months."
from WashingtonPost.com
Texas' choice of standardized test provider questioned
From Philly voice: Concerns about Pearson Rising
Pearson turns to craiglist to fnd exam graders

Houlihan impressed Montgomery County Public School officials
Houlihan didn't believe it was a good match for all sides

Waiting for 2015 STAAR results? Last year grades 3-8 results were released by HISD on June 14
600 teaching vacancies posted by HISD
Harris avoids her trustee responsibilities to community
Community groups have all but given up contacting Trustee Harris for assistance.  When Yates students walked out, she was absent.

When URBAN Executive Director Gerry Monroe wanted to meet with her, she declined.

When Dodson was being clobbered by the greedy Grier administration, she did nothing. 

An emerging group of District IV leaders have only negative comments about her, fueled by venom not usually directed an an outgoing board member.

Harris earns a comfortable salary at Schlumberger where she serves as Global Director Corporate Social Responsibility Planning. Yet she votes to disrupt the lives of HISD teachers and students by her almost 100%  support for every acton Grier takes.

She is unconcerned with firing teachers but very concerned with helping award HISD contracts to her friends.

You have to question Schlumberger's cognizance of the real work Harris has done, work evident of a lack of common decency and void of social responsibility.

houstonisdwatch has requested her emails to and from ousted Yates Principal Donetrus Hill.  She helped Hill maintain power despite the gang problems and community relations failures Hill never managed to get a handle on.
Plan to overhaul Texas public school financing dies
My Fox Houston investigates: 90,000 grade changes at Sam Houston HS
during 2008-2009 school year

*No evidence of grade fixing at Reagan HISD auditor reports
What do you make of this?
What is being taught in HISD health classes?

*Hot Comment*
He was never able to do the things in other schools districts that he was able to do here. He found the Clampetts (HISD Board Members) and he became the millionaire. So, now, he is just that arrogant to say to the board, "I do what I want to do. You are not going to buy me out, so I will continue to make you look like idiots." The nerve of this guy to curse, yell, and scream in meetings and not one board member would even say, "That is unprofessional, this is not what we do here." The board was suppose to select a leader. A person that leads by example, a professional. So, people might wonder, where has all the professionalism gone? The nerve of a superintendent not even taking the time to honor teachers. The board allowed this. People can only do what they are allowed to do. Bottom line, the board does not care. The board has placed principals in positions that should have been on a PPA as a teacher. There should be a fresh new board selected. There should be principals that are effective in place. Do not leave anyone of them sitting. This board has allowed systematic destruction that will take years to fix. Generations of students negatively affected by this leadership. 

The principals are not working hard. Many sit at their desk and boast how many board members they know. No one cares. They boast about their success that no
one else sees. They sit in their offices and laugh and joke. Then, they go on these witch hunts as if that is the bulk of their job. This is what makes a great principal in
this district. How many teachers a principal can exit? Not how many they can train effectively. Once the district is done with them, now, it is their time to be a part of the witch hunt. Meanwhile, students are in class not getting what they need. 

There are teachers that are just as backstabbing. They go above and beyond to "get the heat off of them." Some teachers sell their co-workers out and many have
seen their co-workers severely mistreated. Not one rally organized, just damn complaining that does nothing. One teacher that I know did everything in her
power to ruin her co-workers. It worked for about 3 years. Well, after the principal tired of her, then, of course, it was her turn. There are also teachers in this district
that takes advantage of the system. They do nothing to help students. They come to work and watch students do the minimum. 

This district is a district that dislikes employees that go above and beyond. Many principals do not cherish individuals that are intelligent, smart, and hardworking.
They get rid of these people. As you know, that is competition. When their hard workers try to leave, they tarnish their names. Yes, Open Transfer is a hot mess.
The lies come out because their "bread and butter" workers want out and these principals hold on to them by giving horrible recommendations. 

Between schools, there is a lack of collaboration. Principals that have great ideas just keep them to themselves while other schools suffer. You know why-because
schools are competing against each other for students. Very dumb. Instead of working together, schools work against each other when it really should be
about the students. 

Parents are manipulated on a regular basis. These board members come around pretending to care about their kids that are in failing schools. I wish one of these
parents would ask, "Would you send your child to a failing school?" The answer would be hell no. Of course, they would never answer this question. Many of the
parents within this district must do a better job of educating themselves about the rights that they have. There are students that have been retained at least 3 times
in the same grade. No one gives a damn. There are students in high school that cannot even read Cat Sat. Parents should help at home and set standards instead
of depending on the school to do everything. Some parents come to the schools about bullying. Many more should start. Many parents do not even know what is
developmentally appropriate for their children. I had a parent that was excited about her child knowing his letters and sounds by the end of 1st grade. They should have known this in Kinder. 
*Hot Comment*
"With Houlihan being named finalist for Superintendent in Maryland school district, Grier's exit shouldn't be far away. His goals in Houston were never to improve schools for Houston's students. Instead he looked to advance family and friends as well as lining his pockets with low-hanging fruit performance bonuses and lucrative out of district speaking opportunities"
HISD trustees' strategy to reduce overcrowding?
Despite parent opposition, HISD will move forward will rezoning,

hitting elementary schools extensively
Grab and go May 14 2015 school board agenda
As expected, Zeph Capo will replace HFT's Gayle Fallon
Harris County Appraisal District reports to HISD


Ms. Adams, in her typical jump to generalities without solutions, discusses Westbury's
grade integrity problem which is not germane to only Westbury. Yes, Wanda, it needs
to be fixed.

You are your fellow trustees pay the Grier administration officials millions of dollars
a year. If they can't do their jobs, fire them. 

Going along to get along makes you part of the problem

Grier clone Mike Miles is "hanging on by a thread..." but Grier is safe?

So what's the Grier administration going to do with golden boy Catchings?
Caught red-handed with verifiable evidence, Catchings awaits his punishment 
Grievances - settlements - outside counsel
HISD's teacher vacancy count: 689 jobs posted

*Catchings didn't even have the guts to attend the parent meeting called
 by Westbury's PTO president to....well....investigate him
*Catchings was apparently dumb enough to sign directives to have grades 
 changed -most  likely violating federal law - for students who did little work
*Catchings runs a private business that insiders report takes him away
 from his main job as principal. In most districts except the corrupt world
 of Terry Grier, this behavior would not be tolerated.
*Jason Catchings is simply a hit man at Westbury, sent there to give Terry
 Grier the sadistic pleasure of seeing more teachers fired.
*Catchings was told to fire "up to 30 teachers" according to insiders

Request by HISD principal
to make illegal grade changes
doesn't deter HISD Board
President Rhonda Skillern-
Jones from partying in Las
Vegas at Mayweather bout

Maybe Westbury HS Principal
Catchings should stick with selling
fish bait?

*ABC 13 reports on illegal grade changing
at Westbury High School
*Greg Groogan's report on illegal grade changing
at Westbury High School

*Hot Comment*
Principal Selection/Failing Schools

How do they select principals in this district? I sat in a pre-interview. Members of the
committee simply ignored qualifications, they immediately discuss, well this candidate
made me feel relaxed-what does that have to do with raising test scores? Well, I know
this member, she is nice. I don't give two measures of passing gas who you know, does
that raise test scores. I am not sure what people are thinking when they select these people.
In the interview, the test scores, some principal inbasket was completely ignored. The
selection of the people interviewed should be based on this. The entire time the committee
was talking about how the person looked, how they made them feel comfortable. One person
even said, that person is too smart. I am livid. I can see why things go the way they go here.
I retired from corporate America and started teaching. They asked me to be on this committee
and this is what was going on. I am sure this goes on throughout the district. Pass up the strong
candidates for someone that people know or has nice teeth. This is the qualifications for effectively
running a school.

More money for Pre-K education in Texas? Patrick says NO


If you think Texas Republicans are sitting at the tablets writing bills as they
go, you would be attributing to them industriousness far beyond what they
actually do.

Instead, they wait for ALEC, allowed to operate with unlimited resources thanks
to the Roberts' court, to hand them completed legislation.

Koch owns the Texas government and middle class citizens will take a deep

Want to see what's coming in Texas? Take a look at public ed. in Bobby Jindal's
Louisiana or Sam Brownback's Kansas.

That's what the Koch-GOP wants for Texas. To destroy teacher unions,
they are willing to deny every child in the state an education in a public school.
Jason Spencer told Houston Chronicle editor Veronica Flores she was...
"essententially retaliating against my decision..."
HFT's Zeph Capo questions quality of benchmarks and the number of teachers
on PPAs
Bush Elementary rezoning questions
Paula Harris, before she disengaged from HISD, requested recognition 
for Yates Coach Luther Booker, Texas African-American sports hall of
fame inductee 
Jason & Helen Spencer are the heart of HISD's media team
In case you missed it, UUAA's Gerry Monroe discusses HISD closing schools
in the black communty

Should parents refuse to participate in this additional, unnecessary testing?
*Hot Comment*

More Testing Coming After Iowa
Quote · Apr 29 2015 6:48 PM
And you just thought testing would end next week after Iowa. Oh no, the pre-approved
assessments to fulfill the Teacher Appraisal and Development System requirement are
coming the week of May 18th. Elementary kindergarteners will take a reading, math
and writing assessment; other grades will be given science, social studies and even
a PE multiple choice test. The madness never ends.
Registrar, Catchings signed memo
demanding grade changes
Greg Groogan, My Fox Houston, goes live at five with report on illegal
grades changes requested by Jason Catchings' administration at Westbury 

The URBAN, the United Urban Alumni Association, has researched illegal
practices by the Grier administration.

It has videos of HISD students working as janitors in credit restoration programs in HISD.
Credit  restoration is not to be confused with credit asterisk removal.

Asterisk removal students have achieved passing grades but did not earn credit as a result
of excessive absences. Credit restoration students did not pass classes.

Awarding credit to students who otherwise failed courses based on their performing janitorial or
clerical work is against the law.

Westbury HS teachers, fearful for their jobs, were hesitant to bring documentation to the URBAN.
Executive Director Gerry Monroe has worked tirelessly on this issues. Ambple documentation
persuaded Greg Groogan to do a live report. Mr. Groogan
has been following this story for three months.

in case you didn't know, there is a cautionary tale for HISD unfolding in Dallas ISD.
Board President, Michael Solis, a former Superintendent Mike Miles' administrator,
tried to prevent his colleagues from having a discussion about firing Miles.

Dissatisfied with Solis' agenda setting as board president, three Dallas ISD trustees
 sued their board president on Monday. Judge Carl Ginsberg ruled that Solis must
conduct a board meeting to discuss Miles future. Ginsberg said the meeting must be
held Friday, May 1, 2015.

See, this is what real opposition does to a dysfunctional, out-of-control superintendent 
who is hurting kids and schools on a daily basis.

Unlike the Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News does investigative journalism.
The paper has provided full coverage of the failed reign of Miles, just another Grier-clone
corporate school reformer.

The opposition to Grier on the HISD board is concerned about overstepping their authority
or generating bad press for the district.

They are so blind - Lunceford, Stipeche, Eastman - they have no clue how much they contribute
to Grier's war on children and schools going on every day.

houstonisdwatch had a conversation with a current trustee who confirmed board members
didn't want to overstep their authority.

So as they refuse to stop them, Grier's hand-picked henchman and ineffective principal
Jason Catchings (aka Catchings Hunting and Fishing) is getting "rid of" thirty teachers.
These teachers are meeting this afternoon with HFT and the UUAA to describe the
abuse they have been subjected to at Westbury. Scarborough's CAR rank under
Catchings: F.

And according to UUAA the Grier administration has targeted African-American 
teachers with more than a few years of teaching experience all over HISD.
Dan Gohl, HISD Chief Academic Officer, joins Lance Menster, Assistant
Superintendent for Professional Development as additions to the growing Grier
administrator Hall of Shame with threatening letter
*Hot Comment*
Joanna Pasternak HFT
Quote · Apr 27 2015 11:51 AM
I see a correlation: Schools with the lowest scroes are also the schools where we
get the most complaints of adminstrative abuse of employees - so being a A__ H___
doesn't result in student progress? Including PECK which got a D- while many other
campuses with even higher percentage of at risk kids scored higher.
Why do Broad  Academy superintendents like Terry Grier and DISD's
Mike Miles disregard the input of parents?
Short on transformation but disruption in abundance
What in the Sam Hill is Going on in Dallas? Diane Ravitch's blog.
No trustee running this November is safe. Even Stipeche could
face an opponent backed by UUAA.  She is viewed as being
too unwilling to take high risk to serve her community.

Rhonda Skillern-Jones: probably challenged by Koffey Thomas
District IV:  Larry McKenzie & Davetta Daniels will compete with
  Jolanda Jones for this open seat
Manuel Rodriguez will face an aggressive candidate who will
  hammer him for his construction contractor connections and 
  almost 100% voting record to support Grier agenda
Juliet Stipeche: No opposition candidate as of yet.

Gerry Monroe, Executive Director of UUAA, now simply referred
to as The Urban, is coordinating efforts with his constituency to find
the best, most electable candidates possible. 

Bellaire High
gets A+ from

HISD's comprehensive
high school ratings:
11 passing grades; 11 Fs

2 As (BHS with A+ and Lamar with an A)
2 Bs
2 Cs
5 Ds
11 Fs

Lee HS

Sharpstown HS  

Jones Futures Academy 
Kashmere HS
Attucks MS
Dowling MS
Key MS 


*Grier & HISD trustees knew as early as 2011 Apollo was a failure

*Kids don't want to go to Apollo schools & parents won't force them to

*Despite Roland Fryer's dearth of good ideas to improve schools, HISD signs
 another contract with him & awards him $45,000

*Roland Fryer boasts about his "effective" work

*Super Collider: Inspired by Grier's heavy-handed rollout of new progams

Inside HCCS blasts Houston Chronicle's coverage
"The Houston Chronicle is bad...Ericka Mellon probably....worst reporter"
HISD 2015 Children at Risk school ratings
HISD's extensive contract with Aramark for food services
How can HISD justify being party to such low wages for
its cafeteria workers, many of whom rely on public
assistance programs to get by?

Children at Risk 2015 Texas school rankings to be released April 27
Separate and unequal PDF
Separate and unequal
Dallas trustees clash over meeting to evaluate Superintendent Mile
DISD super removes a popular principal and trustees held parent meeting 
Lt. Gov. Patrick pushes school voucher bill, and Texas Senate approves
Quanell X wins lawsuit against Angela Box
*HISD sent letter to parents warning them not to opt our kids
from taking STAAR
*Parents say HISD bullied them
*My Fox Houston: HISD's STAAR warning letter to parents

*Hot Comment*
FED-UP-----Sat. and Sun. Tutorials
The district can't require your child to attend school on weekends. Teachers and students
are bullied into attending. Many principals asked their teachers to give up their SPRING
BREAK and tutor during those days. I am so glad that a parent is questioning this policy.
Thank you. Everything is about testing in HISD. Your child should not be punished for
failing the test. Keep your child home on the weekends and encourage other parents
to do the same. The only way this testing craze is going to stop is if more parents get
involved. I personally will not do any tutoring for the test. I will however tutor to help a
student that needs help with his/her classwork. Again, thanks for questioning and
standing up for your child.
ALEC, aiming for teachers unions, writes parent trigger laws 
Three things to know about parent trigger laws
Diane Ravitch: Parent trigger laws, five years later

Texas senate passes parent trigger bill
TEA touts "fifth and eighth graders perform well" on STAAR reading
Students opting out of STAAR

Math portion of STAAR test won't count in
state school ratings for grades 3 - 8

*Hot Comment*
Snapshot effectiveness?
Quote · Apr 23 2015 8:32 AM
5th and 8th Grade STAAR reading scores are out. 5th grade Reading HISD average 1528,
1 point increase over last years score of 1527. 2013 average was 1529 and 2012 average
was 1527 - so for 4 years the scores have been in a 2 point range. How long before the district
reports anything about the scores?
Brown, along with Bellaire's Michael McDonough and 18 other HISD principals,
received $15,000 bonuses in February 2015

When you regularly vote to support the abusive practices of Super-
intendent Grier and his handpicked cadre of principal/goons, you
find it so troublesome to have to vote against Grier. I mean you have
supported his abominable personnel moves for six years...why
stop now?

That's the position the spineless HISD trustees find themselves
in when faced with compelling evidence of wrong-doing by the
Grier administation's representative at Peck ES.

Kudos to HFT and the Lora Peck faculty who had the courage to
say enough is enough.

houstonisdwatch had to cite the Texas Attorney General's office
to get these documents and, at this time, there is no resolution..
Grier's tenuous tenure,,.
Currently three trustees want Grier removed. Lunceford, Stipeche,
and Eastman are definite no votes to any contract extensions. 

Wanda Adams, at this point at least, is unwilling to say she wants
Grier's contract extended.

Remember, in 2012 when HISD extended Grier's contract to 2016, the
vote was split. 

Trustee Manuel Rodriguez knows the wagons are circling around him.
He won in 2011 by just a handful of votes. He has been described by
labor leaders as the easiest trustee to defeat in 2015.

Don't underestimate the power UUAA wields at this time. Executive
Director Gerry Monroe has contacts with teachers all over the city.  He
has documentation that could incriminate the Grier administration in
grade tampering.

Finally, houstonisdwatch was advised in a confidential conversation
with an HISD trustee Grier won't be extended.
From Sterling to Walrip....because?
Principal Edward Mitchell, formerly of Sterling High School (Mitchell Edward
Sterling High School Principal, High School $98230) replaces Andria Schur at

Mitchell emerges from the botched principal hiring process when the Waltrip
community was left high and dry by an inexplicable change of day from
Wednesday to Monday to gather parent input and the rush to name Mitchell
as the new Waltrip Apollo principal.

 Dear Community, 
First, let me apologize to those of you who had seen our social media notifications for the
Wednesday Community meeting and then were not notified of the change to Monday. Please
know that I take sole responsibility for the oversight. During the change in date, we were
working diligently to get updated parent letters out with report cards on Friday, in English
and Spanish with a corresponding call-out, faculty notifications and SDMC pulled together
for Friday. I did indeed forget to go back and make corrections through our social media,
and again, greatly apologize for this oversight. Please know that this is in fact one quality
that I did express as desired and needed in your next Principal. It is my hope that not only
will he/she continue the focus on growing all academics and programs in ensuring Waltrip
becomes the Best Comprehensive High School in the state, but also increases the communication
and celebrations among all stakeholders. I hope each of you will accept my sincerest apologies.
Please see the attached link of the Principal Profile that was established, as well as my letter
sent out to Parents.
Thank you,
Andria Schur
Principal, Waltrip HS
HISD is advertising to hire 683 teachers
SSOs and Principals should be feeling extra heat

When the new administration is finally in place and self-serving board
members like Paula Harris are gone, the new superintendent should move
quickly to eliminate the superintendent's police - otherwise referred to
as SSOs - who, even according to Grier, have contributed little to
academic progress in HISD.

Grier already has his list of principals (Waltrip's Schur is on that list)
and SSOs he plans to terminate. People like Jamie Castaneda and
Justin Fuentes are probably safe. Their promotions helped Grier avoid
heat from the Hispanic community. Other than Leo Bobadilla, there just
weren't many Hispanics on the crony gravy train for Grier to pick.

Harrison Peters, high school CEO, won't be back. The principal who should
have been fired months ago, Yates' Donetrus Hill, is looking for work in

But this SSO and principal elimination, Grier's spring rite of passage,
may be spinning out of his control.

Hard evidence of credit assignment fraud and forced grade changing
by HISD administrators willing to do anything to get ahead, exists.

UUAA, playing this scenario close to the vest, has the evidence.  

Of course, we all want to see copies of it. Board members have seen the
evidence. They have the list of renegade principals and SSOs who have
broken not only state law, but federal law as well.  

Tampering with student academic records is a federal offense.,

According to UUAA sources, HISD's problem with rival Atlanta's
cheating scandal.

Jail time has been given to Atlanta's miscreants.

Grier is concerned. Resigning from HISD may be the least of his
Magnet schools hock for more applicants
Yates, Austin, Scarborough are among the HISD campuses whose
magnet programs have not filled up. HISD is holding a school choice
fair this Saturday to attract parents and students. 
Waltrip community member complains about sudden change in date
of new principal attribute meeting to Trustee Eastman.

Dear Parent:
I am very sorry about this.Administration creates and maintains the
process and 
schedule. I just learned of the change late yesterday.
I've copied those in charge for an explanation.
Sincerely, Anna 

If Eastman just learned of the change yesterday (Tuesday, April 14),
she obviously was not planning to attend the parent meeting.

Attending important parent meetings is a fundamental task required
of trustees.

Houston Chronicle's Ericka Mellon asked to see job evaluaions
for the following:
Michele Pola
Julie Baker
Alicia Thomas
Melinda Garrett
Arne Viramontes
Anne Best
Aggie Alvez
Tiffany Davila-Dunne
Dallas Dance
David Simmons
Orlando Riddick
Aaron Spence
Dana Bost
Dick Lindsay

Mellon made this request on Oct. 10, 2014.
*Why was she asking for evaluations of former employees
*Why did H. Chronicle readers never see this information?

HISD appears to be  taken off guard by Mellon's request
Questions from the Houston Chronicle's Cynthia Smith to
HISD about selection of student who will receive $10,000 scholarship

Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones inquires about HISD's progress
in establishing a social media monitoring platform

Nancy Gregory, Jayne Edwards & coding project
Yates Principal Hill applying for jobs in Atlanta
His protector Trustee Harris will be leaving the board in December
Texas  shows net loss of jobs
Schur asked to leave after just two years

One way to exclude parents from the process -
a strategy the Grier administration has  
perfected is to reschedule community
meetings at the last minute.

The Waltrip community meeting ostensibly
designed to hear what the community 
wants from a principal, was scheduled 
to be held Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Apparently without notice, the meeting date
was - and this tactic always results in a
diminished turnout - moved up to Monday

The pool of principal candidates, if there was
a pool, had to speed up the process as well.

Roland Fryer and Terry Grier will pull any
subterfuge they think they can get away with
to force the Apollo concept on additional

Anna Eastman is asleep at the wheel. She not
only has shown complete indifference to the
needs of the black community schools, she is
now screwing her own constituents.

From a Bellaire HS Insider:
"Criminal acts on campuses - not the same response" generated 
rebuttal from Bellaire.

Both students involved in the fight were suspended. The district
attorney would not take charges on the students.

In short, the school took action.
*Hot Comment*
Criminal acts on campuses- not the same response
Quote · Apr 13 2015 7:36 AM

2 students get expelled from Kipp Sunnyside for making a snapchat video hating
on others. Two different nasty and violent fights at Bellaire HS and the students get
nothing! No! Nothing..no ticket, sent home for the day, no suspension, nothing...
back at school already. Oh.. and tell PR Spencer... not even half of the "administrators"
were even on campus on Friday like reported in his statement- but good try to cover up!
Heard two administrators were out running a marathon but they are off campus every day
out running in the early afternoon. They run through my neighborhood and I see them most

Why no action? because of the denial that these events happen on campus. HISD does
not want it written up so it is not documented so it doesn't effect ratings. A crime is a crime.
The fight on Friday and the video of the boy thrown to the floor. He was actually the instigator
and had been baiting the bigger boy who slammed the first against the floor several times.
Regardless, that boy took a hard hit to the head causing him to have a seizure.
HISD magent program perpetuate separate, not equal
Excel file

14 taken to hospital after HISD school buses crash
Lamar HS teacher: Dr. McSwain is a caring principal
First of all, I feel very safe at Lamar.  I am a first year teacher here but I have been teaching
for 30 years in  other school districts.  There are problems everywhere and they are handled
almost the same at every school.  Do you think that poor student behavior is anything new? 
My 3rd year of teaching (1983), I had a student pick up a desk and throw it across the room. 
Ten days later, he was back in my classroom.  Please, do not blame the administration(s). 
They are doing the best they can within the framework provided by local, state, and national
regulations that handcuff schools.    I love it at Lamar.  Dr. McSwain is a caring and extremely
capable administrator for whom I am proud to work.

Do you believe magnet schools are doing their designated job of helping HISD achieve the goal
of racial integration?

Looking at the school rating according to Children at Risk, and comparing it with the actual
enrollment of black and white students shows striking imbalance.

In short, and probably as you expected, white students go to the best schools, black students
fill up the programs with lower ratings by Children at Risk.

Elementary school magnet enrollment profile 1
Elementary school magnet enrollment profile 2

Two fights at Bellaire High School caught on camera, go viral
and picked up by Click2Houston
*Hot Comment*
Race Issue - no. More of a class issue. The problems that are pervasive in urban schools
are to a great extent, the desired effect of what is wrongly called "reform". Powerful people
and their useful idiots have successfully undermined public education in the poverty stricken
urban areas across the country. Their primary motivation is to privatize the system and profit
from privatization. A secondary motivation is to create a permanent underclass that reduces
competition with the truly elite class. If there are fewer highly trained and highly educated people
competing for the best opportunities, the elites can more easily pass along wealth and status to
their children. They brilliantly named this plan "reform" and the masses bought their garbage,
hook, line, and sinker. They scapegoat teachers and are creating a teacher corps that is comprised
of young adults who will teach for less that five years and then move on to a real "profession".
This keeps teachers politically weak and because so many have no intention of remaining a
teacher, the rights of teachers are quickly diminishing. I would encourage anyone considering
entering the teaching profession to reconsider and explore other career options. There are
certainly many rewarding moments in a teacher's day. But for the most part, it's a constant
beat down.
McKenzie cites Jim Crow in HISD; shames two
board members who always vote to close schools

Potential District IV trustee candidate Larry McKenzie 26:57 mark
of Citizens Hearing (use board meeting link below)
HISD April 9 board meeting video
14:25 mark of Citizens Hearing, minority contractor alleges discrimination
 in bond contract payments by Balfour Beatty group
Koch-GOP in Texas proves you can still be an idiot with a college degree
Abstinence-only education and middle-aged virgins...ah, Texas
UUAA supports Texas Parent Empowerment Act
but do Texas teachers want this bill to become law?

UUAA Executive Director addresses supporters in Austin
Texas Koch-GOP in a feeding frenzy to cut taxes, and that won't
be good for public schools

"Educate a child" should read "Ruin your career" 



Schur Andria Waltrip High School Principal,
High School $119,158

How many HISD media officials does it take to get the message out about
Kolters Code Award? Too many.

Grab-and-go board agenda
Redaction is protection, and HISD gives it to Trustee Harris even when the
subject appears to be innocuous
Jason Spencer defines talking points and Greg Meyers puts himself on agenda
right behind Grier
LULAC and Children at Risk dispute HISD's dropout rate configuration. Ericka
Mellon asks questions, and the Spencers help convey HISD's figures
What is HISD's DAC, who is on it, what's its mission?
Ericka Mellon receives Jason Spencer's message on Barbara Jordan HS
But Chronicle's coverage does not highlight the disagreements about HISD's
reconfiguration nor at least one board member's complaint that the mission
of the school has been significantly changed and no longer meets orginal
Ericka Mellon requests copies of audits - comprehensive, single, IT, superintendent's

Deloitte auditor cited "small finding" with Grier's travel. Did Houston Chronicle readers
ever see the audit or the results? 
Have been out of town working, without phone, now trying to catch up!
*Hot comment*
Does anyone care about students?
 · Apr 1 2015 7:33 AM
To 3rd Floor
Houlihan has risen at the expense of others in this district who weren't given
a shot at the job. What happened to the concept of posting a position and 
conducting interviews? So not only are we talking nepotism here, but we're
facing a situation where the same old people are making the same old decisions.
It's tired leadership without fresh ideas. 

As far as Peters goes, good grief, the man hasn't a clue. That was clear from day
one. But he was brought here by Shonda Huery, who talks and talks and talks but
moves nothing forward. 

Are we in a hopeless mess? Yes, and change is not a-coming until we elect a School
Board with the brains to look beyond the latest educational fad (Leverage Leadership
is just one example) and the guts to control an erratic, all-over-the-chessboard


Aren't these moves simply about making Andrew Houlihan, Grier's adopted
God-child, a superintendent somewhere?
*One of HISD's worst offenders who doesn't give a damn about kids or
 schools sharpens his knives for his next career jump: THAT'S YOU MENSTER!
WARNING: Before you read this crap check your gag reflex or keep a vomit
bag close by:

From: Superintendent 
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 1:19 PM
Subject: Message To Staff From Dr. Grier
Effective April 20, Chief Human Resources Officer Drew Houlihan will assume the position of Chief Academic Officer, replacing Dan Gohl, who recently accepted the same position in Broward County, Fla. Mr. Gohl will serve HISD as special assistant to the superintendent until the end of the school year, helping the district maintain the momentum of the Academics division, which, under his leadership, is successfully implementing digital curriculum, innovative teaching practices, and global education initiatives.
I am confident these positive gains will continue with Dr. Houlihan at the helm. A member of Team HISD since 2010, Dr. Houlihan previously served as Chief Officer for Major Projects and Chief School Support Officer, as well as principal of Parker Elementary School. Before joining HISD, Dr. Houlihan served in leadership roles at the local, state, and national level, in which he put teaching and learning at the forefront.
I’m also pleased to announce the addition of Gloria Cavazos to our team, replacing Dr. Houlihan as Chief Human Resources Officer on April 20. An HISD resident, Ms. Cavazos joins us from Aldine ISD, where she served as assistant superintendent of Human Resources for nine years. In her 29-year career at Aldine ISD, Ms. Cavazos served as an area superintendent, principal, assistant principal, and bilingual teacher.
A fluent Spanish speaker, Ms. Cavazos holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in mid-management from Sam Houston State University.
Ms. Cavazos oversaw Aldine ISD’s award of a major grant from the Arnold Foundation, Greater Houston Partnership, and the Houston Endowment to create and implement a new teacher evaluation system that emphasizes gains in student academic achievement. Under Ms. Cavazos’ leadership, Aldine ISD has become a leader in teacher recruitment and retention efforts, which we are excited to have her lead in HISD.
Please join me in welcoming Ms. Cavazos to Team HISD and congratulating Dr. Houlihan on his new position.
Terry Grier
Readers have told houstonisdwatch that Aramark, the Philadelphia based
conglomerate which does everything from plumbing (ARS) to stadium food
concessions (NRG) to school cafeteria food (HISD), nows controlling all food
sales associated with HISD campuses.

Anytime a student organization, club, or even PTO wants to sell food they have
to purchase Aramark products and agree only to sell Aramark-approved items.

houstonisdwatch has filed a TPIA request to obtain HISD's contract with the
Philadelphia company. 
Paula Harris, acting in her capacity as Director, Community Affairs, Schlumberger
Giving Ericka Mellon what she needs to write spin on Arabic Immersion School
Andrew Houlihan needs to "circle up" with Jason Spencer before providing E. Mellon

with a response
Helen Spencer most likely approved Ericka Mellon's Nov. 1 2014 report on the
struggling arts in HISD

Special meeting agenda for April 2, 2015 board meeting
HISD confirms magnet notification process maybe "confusing and intimidating"
of taking no preventive actions; HISD downplays incident
Parent blames bullying for HISD school fight
*Hot comment*

HISD's solution to the problem of kids growing up in bookless homes? Take away
more school books of course

Unfortunately, I predict the situation in the district will only get worse. More students will run
to other options, and teachers will not apply to HISD for any reasons. What now? 

The Chief Academic Officer has stated that HISD will only procure books when we as a
district are unable to create and/or curate our own instructional materials using locally
developed materials, freely available online educational resources, and subscriptions
to online resources.

As part of Proclamation 2015 for secondary, the only e-book purchases
authorized at the February board meeting were for EOC courses Algebra I and US
History. I am sure you are relieved that HISD will be covering itself by making sure
they have a reference tool for the STAAR exam courses, but the rest of the courses
have now been deemed insignificant and any materials will be created by the teacher.
How is that concept of teach what I know and forget the rest working for everyone?
Mellow Monday, Test Tuesday, Work Wednesday, Tech Thursday and Film Friday...

what a way to learn government, economics, world history, geography in the global
economically integrated society we live in today, (check those secret (govt course) trade
(economics course) negotiations going on with 40 countries (geography) that is all over
the news (not the drug, murder, accident report news). Maybe this is the solution to low
skilled immigration (legal or illegal makes no difference)?

HISD is going to make our own low skilled low thinking society- I knew there had to be a
solution somewhere.

Now, I am definitely not endorsing that a textbook or an e-book is the answer to all things
educational. BUT, if a child has no or very few books in a house, is not read to, or encouraged
to read and think- just how are they going to develop those inquisitive search skills that we all
use on the computer to self-teach ourselves? Those endorsing the 21st Century schools idea
have wonderful ideas, but remember we all started with developing that curiosity to learn from
books- and from a variety of books to better synthesize and evaluate usefulness and accuracy
of information or if it even fits in with our ideology. But now, HISD is removing even that. As I predict
the future... more teachers will run because they cannot be the masters of their content when they
have packed classes with no discipline enforcement (remember HISD doesnt want to hear those
discipline problems- it hurts rankings), wide ranges of abilities and multiple preps to do this. The f
uture is more less prepared, less skilled students, more teachers running, fewer students staying
in the district. The future is looking pretty sad....
HISD has the gall to ask for a code restriction exemption to reduce
required parking spaces in the third ward

HISD's response to dwindling enrollment at Yates is to build another
school in competition with it....without doing adding programs at Yates  
Chief Middle Schools Officer Michael Cardona looking to get out of HISD
Cardona is hoping to beat out 40 other applicants for Albuquerque  superintent's
position (Cardona Michael Middle Schools Office Chief School Officer $176382.6075).

Cardona was hired by Grier in May 2012.  In the Grier administration, his almost 3-year
tenure with HISD is long.
The hypocrisy of Students First: Group uses astroturf organization to
undermine public school teachers
Pearson Education in the gutter: Testing giant accused of spying of students
during NJ's PARCC exams

UUAA Excecutive Director Gerry Monroe blasts HISD trustees for
neglecting kids (5:03 mark) 

Texas, land of plenty, still finds its education expenditure in the
bottom third of the nation

 AUSTIN — Texas has moved up several spots in spending per pupil in the U.S. thanks
to rising property values and more state funding, but its ranking in the bottom third of states
in a new study still undercuts its position in the long-running school finance case. Figures
compiled by the National Education Association and released Wednesday show that Texas
schools are spending an average $9,559 per student in the current school year. That is well
under the national average of $12,040 and ranks Texas 38th among the 50 states and District
of Columbia. 
Continue reading DallasNews.com report.
HISD's gear up for STAAR is anticlimactic 
Whatever happens this testing season some results have been
*HISD will spin the results as a testament to their leadership
*The trustees will search for a way to award Grier with $$$
*The division between rhetoric and results will not save the
 principals who have already made Grier's hit list
*No one in power will ask the obvious question: If you over-test
 students, how do you expect them to stay focused on the ones that count?
*The Houston Chronicle's Ericka Mellon will only write what the district
 tells her to write about the results
*When the high school EOC results are finally presented to the board,
 most of the trustees will be out of town, disinterested
*However the results are tabulated into value added stats, the teachers
 at the schools where ASPIRE money is plentiful will see windfalls;
 teachers at the schools withe the neediest students will see few bonus $$
HISD teacher vacancies shoot up to 405

The individuals who give the most - their time, passion, money - are mere
pawns in the ongoing power plays orchestrated by Roland Fryer and Terry
Grier and approved by trustees who should know better by now but don't.

HISD teachers are being forced to give intrustive, error-plagued DLAs,
or shapshot tests, with principals and SSOs monitoring the administration
process every step of the way. 

The snapshots are indeed a mess. The tests themselves are poorly written,
rife with errors, and the scope of the testing program, at first limited to
Leverage Leadership Schools, now encompasses the entire district.

Lance Menster is the chief in charge of this project in HISD. What exactly
is he trying to prove? (Menster Lance Elementary Curriculum Instruct Officer,
Curriculum & Instruct $133900)

Initially, the snapshots were designed to check the effectiveness of the
Leverage Leadership Initiative. Menster worked behind the scenes to
expand the testing, hoping to snag a higher paying position in curriculum
and instruction. Pleasing Grier and Fryer proved to be his ticket to a
$134,000 annual salary.

It's unfair to fault HISD's curriculum department for the many errors in the
tests. The staff has been directed to produce the tests quickly and send
them off to Harvard for approval. Apparently, Fryer's department isn't
big on proof-reading.  What difference do a few errors make when career
advancement is the cause du jour?

Menster is a brutal task master with these exams. He wants them done
quickly. Appeals made by his staff to lengthen the production time 
to improve the product have been ignored.

Menster has convinced two trustees he is a boy wonder. Mike Lunceford,
although he doesn't want the snapshots in his schools, believes they
are a good tool for the other trustees to have for their districts.

Anna Eastman, whose stock continues to sink with her own district
schools and parents, clings to the belief they are helping the district

By the way, it comes to houstonisdwatch on good authority that Ms.
Eastman by no means wrote the editorial in the Houston Chronicle
trying to have it both ways on testing.

As it has been described, Ms. Eastman has neither the depth of thought
nor the writing skills to produce it. 

The UUAA is keeping it's promise. The Urban is set to depart Houston on 3/17/2015.
The destination is the State Capital. The mission is simple. Reforming HISD is not an
option. Exe. Director Gerry Monroe and his army are taking 2 bases to Austin. And
knowing the The Urban there will be some in your face controversy. This group has
made in roads faster than any group in the last 30 years fighting HISD. To support any
bill is a step outside the box. And THE URBAN has the political muscle to pull it off.
Monroe stated what has motivated him more than anything were the RACIST comments
made by board member Harvin Moore and Terry Grier at the last board meeting. Stripping
them of their power to dictate will be my pleasure. The Urban is filming the whole trip for
the purpose of a documentary.Not since the civil rights movement have we Seen a group
like this. Malcolm would be proud. So sit tight as the Urban gets ready to ride off into
History. Austin will never be the same. The month of April will be Epic for The UUAA.
Grier's reign of error: Another school chief finds
greener pastures

Dan Gohl is making a lateral move. Ericka Mellon writes that the
Broward County district is larger than HISD, but if you work for
a district in the top ten in terms of student population, how can
this move be seen as anything else but an escape?  
Board meeting video March 12, 2015
In an attempt to balance out attendance zones and reduce over-crowding,
HISD to consider changes to school zones (see Section F in agenda) 
Board will fail again to demand accountability in Haberman screening

Haberman Educational Foundation

HISD                                    District wide                         $24,000 (In-kind)         None
Haberman Education Foundation will provide free training events for principals
charged with the selection of teachers for their individual schools.
(from board agenda for 3/12/2015)
HISD touts its Hispanic student summit and provides campaign
platform for District III candidate Manuel Rodriguez

Districts like HISD are making teaching as unattractive as possible
Multiple reports of marijuana and xanax possession, laptop thefts, physical
violence, videotape of sex acts on campus, and even suspicion of child
pornography confirm reports of safety issues at Lamar High School
Terry Grier's Houston property on hcad.org
Listed by trulia.com

Back in February Terry Grier agreed with union leaders that more
needs to be done in HISD to stop bullying....but his administration,
i.e. hand-picked principals and SSOs are doing most of the bullying
and Grier is the biggest bully of all.

This one has got to get the Hypocrite of 2015 award, don't you think?
While Grier's power to hire, fire, and settle remain unfettered, Dallas ISD
hopes to clip Superintendent Miles' right to determine settlements with
departing executives
What kids want: more school focus on preventing dating violence
Fasten your seat belts: Lieutenant Governor Patrick unveils first round of
education "reforms"
*more virtual learning courses
*grading campuses as well as districts with A-F ratings
*making it easier for parents to take their kids out of failing schools
*expanding online course offerings
*expanding dual credit programs 
Dry cleaner in River Oaks at center of pollution enforcement debate
Slumping oil prices take toll on Texas job growth
Allegations made against HISD administrators by advocates
for students suspected of gang activity at Sharpstown High School
describe the typical ways HISD covers its tracks

First you accuse, then you suspend, silence, and sully with suspicion. There is no better
example of "TEAM Grier" in action that the way it's handled accusations made by
non-English speaking students against one of its favorite son principals, Rob

Keep in mind this isn't Mr. Gasparello's first brush with the law, nor is it his first
suspension from his job as principal of Sharpstown High School.  There are,
however, no records of criminal activity for Mr. Gasparello found as a result of
a Texas Department of Public Safety search by houstonisdwatch.

Grier and Gasparello have some kind of connection (talk among yourselves here),
and when houstonisdwatch queried HISD to uncover this connection, it was stymied
by no less than three documents defending HISD's right to withhold {potentially
damaging information from the public
}.  The Houston Chronicle and KTRK
were also snubbed in their attempts to find out why Terry Grier, who loves nothing
better than to fire employees, has come around full circle on Mr. Gasparello.

Grier even called in a favor from Randy Hardin, high-powered Houston attorney,
to defend Mr. Gasparello. (Again, talk among yourselves as to the potential nature of 
the favor for which Grier was owed).

houstonisdwatch does not know if the students are guilty or innocent, but they are being
shipped away to a DAEP.

We do know the pattern of attack. Remember when Anna Eastman was punished by
Grier when he threatened to close down elementary schools in District 1? Of course,
Ms. Eastman was against closing schools (or against closing schools in her district) 
before she was in favor of closing schools everywhere else. Yes, it does reek of
hypocrisy just as it will if it can be proven her recent editorial in the Houston Chronicle
was actually written by a Grier lackey on W. 18th St.

Seriously, an HISD trustee can't even pen her own editorial?

Eastman should know by now how Grier operates and stop voting to support people
like Roland Fryer and companies like Pearson.

Then there was Mary Nesbitt, former leader of a group that's gone totally undercover
called Parent Visionaries. Ms. Nesbitt was taking on Grier and had the connections
to know what most of us didn't. houstonisdwatch talked to her regularly in the build-
up to the 2011 board elections.

Grier's team went after Ms. Nesbitt, arranging editorials to be written about her by the
then newly formed shadow group Parents for Public Schools. Then the ever ready to
kiss Grier's butt rag called the Houston Chronicle published a supposed news story
about Ms. Nesbitt tape recording a meeting with HISD officials.

That wasn't newsworthy. What would be newsworthy is someone dumb enough to
go into a meeting with any of the HISD administrators and not tape record the proceedings.

In Texas tape recording a conversation without the other parties knowledge or
permission is allowed. In dealing with HISD, it is an absolute necessity.

houstonisdwatch doesn't know for sure but it seems likely Terry Grier's team
got a little too close to Ms. Nesbitt's husband. She balked and bailed out.

Now, Team Grier is busy working to uncover any dirt they can find on UUAA,
especially its Executive Director Gerry Monroe. Mr. Monroe told houstonisdwatch
Grier's operatives were moving in to smear his wife.

Unlike Ms. Nesbitt, Mr. Monroe isn't going to stop battling HISD. houstonisdwatch
has covered HISD for five years. The pattern of dirty tricks is so obvious. Monroe
knows the score.

So let's wind back to Mr. Gasparello and the immigrant students he allegedly
raised a hand to.  Terry Grier put him right back at Sharpstown after he was quickly
cleared. It helps to have a crackerjack attorney on your side.  Gasparello's return
draws attention away from the allegations, doesn't it?

There's another thread here but houstonisdwatch can't mention it yet. It doesn't
involve Gasparello or Sharpstown, but it does involve what makes the district
go round and round and Terry Grier stay here long past his welcome.

In this thread there are some players who might surprise you and some connections
that are well ensconced behind some nearly impenetrable walls. 

For a dictatorship to endure it must control the media. Coming up soon on
houstonisdwatch are emails which give us a glimpse of how the Grier
administration is controlling almost all of the local media, save for Greg
Groogan's brave reporting at My Fox Houston.

alleges blatant
disregard for state
graduation requirements
by eliminating .5 credit of
ECONOMICS for students
at Worthing, Jones, Sterling..

*State of Texas graduation requirements for high school students
*Complaint filed with TEA by community activitist Denetta R. Williams
LULAC alleges Intentional and Systemic Disparate Treatment
of and Discrimination against Hispanic Students on the basis
of race and national origin by Sharpstown High School Principal
and Faculty.

From LULAC's letter to HISD: 
In July 2014, complaints were filed with the Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights
(DOE/OCR) alleging that HISD has discriminated against Hispanics on the basis of race
and national origin. Texas League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Districts 8 &
18 are filing this complaint with you/trustees and intends to file complaints with DOE/OCR that
discrimination against Hispanics continues in HISD in 2015, especially against those classified
as English Language Learners (ESL). Or who appear to be of immigrant background or who
associate with other Latinos in any size or type of group. Students are targeted and falsely
accused of perpetuating organized criminal organizations or “gangs,” without proof and in
direct violation of the proper procedures to save these children from dropping out- not forcing
them to do so through persecution and false accusation. 

The school system and the anti-Spanish speaking culture at Sharpstown High School have all
but failed these students. It seems as though in a school district that purports to put students first,
these have been made to come in last. Certainly, if it is a challenge getting students to graduate
from Sharpstown, these students have it the worst
Specifically we will complain that the HISD has a long history of “pushing out” Hispanic students  
with a total disregard of Texas laws. HISD also seriously harms Hispanic students with unlawful
removal actions and in the case below, inappropriate physical contact by the school’s administration.

Full text of LULAC's letter to Terry Grier and HISD trustees

Hello Everyone,    
This is Art Smith. My concern is the Stolen Instructional Time That Is Lost between qualified
teachers and non-qualified instructors is what's hindering classroom performance and 
short changing tax payers. How much lost instructional time has HISD thrown away with good
sounding excuses? I am a Parent of a 12th Grade Student at Phillis Wheatley High School. My wife
Koffey and I met with our son English Teacher Miss Allen last week because we were concerned
about how our son received an A/B Honor Roll Certificate for the first semester and then receive a
C' on his report card, for the starting of the second semester. That bothered me because my son is
so concerned about getting into College with top grades. So after my wife and I met with Miss Allen
on last Thursday, it was our surprise to hear from the English Teacher herself (Miss Allen), that she
have been taking on the task of Double Duty, by coming to the Campus everyday, giving instructions
to the Full Time Sub that has been subbing in her 12th Grade English Class while she spends everyday
on campus getting the 10th Grade Students ready for their State Mandated English STAAR Test.This
is a Cram/Crash Course, Type Style of Teaching. I told Miss Allen that this is not fair to her and if the
10th Graders doesn't the Standards to past the STAAR Test, their gonna look at her. That's not right.
I most definitely want all students to past the STAAR Test. I request that they receive quality, fair and
legal teacher from a Certified 10th Grade English Teacher, not abandoning the 12th Graders by taking
their teacher from them. This is not Fair at all to our Students (In The 10th and 12th Grade) on Phillis
Wheatley High School Campus.

According to the George W. Bush Institute and Global Education Report Card. 60% of Students Achievement
is Directly Related to the leadership of the Principal and the Teachers, therefore the staffing difficulties at
Wheatley and the lack of leadership by the administration puts our children in a perpetual failing situation. 

The new SSO (Mr. Dino Coronado) for Phillis Wheatley called me last night and said to me that this situation
will have to remain the same until they figure something out. I said to him that this is not acceptable in our 5th
Ward Community and at Phillis Wheatley High School. I also said that I understand that he is new and this
have been going on before he got here. I'm not pointing the finger at him. I see that he's trying. But I don't
agree, understand and will not accept the Principal and Administration allowing this to happen.
This is by design for our Kids to Fail. The Teachers and the Administration are failing the students, therefore
Terry Grier is failing our community. If it's happening at Phillis Wheatley, then the Community and I are asking
the Media to help us investigate if it's happening at other schools also or just at the brown and black schools. 
How can the 10th Graders Pass the STARR test without a Full Time Certified English Teacher in the Class Room?
Now I know Miss Allen is a Certified English Teacher for 12th Grade Students because she's my son teacher
and her name is listed on his report card, even when she has not been teaching him hands on with this
Substitute Teacher (WHO IS UNKNOWN)has been on campus the same time as Miss Allen is on campus
every day.

Questions? Is Miss Allen a Certified 10th Grade English Teacher? Where the 10th Grade English Students
Parents and 12th Grade English Students Parents notified when this change involving the Substitute Teacher
for the 12th Grade English Teacher and no 10th Grade English Teacher Missing when all this started? Can
Two Teachers be on Campus legally instructing the same class? At this time of the year a Teacher/Students
should have some strong rapport to the point where Strengths and Weaknesses of Learning Patterns should
be already identified by the students certified teacher. How can a Brand New Teacher come in and get the
same expected results by Teaching on the FLY(Fly By Night) and with a attitude?
1)What was the Teacher name and was she qualified to teach the 10th Grade English Class before she left? 
 2)Why is that Teacher no longer at Phillis Wheatley?
 3)Who gave the Principal the Green Light to have Miss. Allen go outside the State and Federal Law and Play
   the 2 Places at one time Game!
4)What was the last Date/Month/Year of the Missing 10th Grade Teacher?
 5) What is the name of the Sub,    that covers for Miss. Allen who told the Seniors? (according to their
statements     said, "I don't have to be here, Houston ISD sends me my check in the mail through FEDEX
every two weeks. Yall don't have to do the work if yall don't want to, it don't matter to me."
This is the Second time a Sub has been so Arrogant in the Class with our Son. Who is Hiring these People?
TEA is going to evaluate Phillis Wheatley according to the STARR test and we are Set Up To Faill way
before the TEST takes place. This administration must be held accountable and we in the Fifth Ward
Community Demand to be treated Fair according to Board Policies and Procedures and the State and
Federal Law. 

Teacher for 10th Graders getting them ready for the STARR TEST. Show me just one. Can someone show
me one other High School in Houston ISD, that does night have a Certified English Teacher for 10th Graders
getting them ready for the STARR TEST. Show me just one.
In the Black and Brown Community You All may not expect our Students to be something in life. I am a
Parent and my wife Koffey is a Parent that cares and I want to see a full investigation on why this have
been allowed to take place. We will not stand for this.
If we as Parents don't receive Fair and Honest answers concerning our students academics, as soon as
possible, we will be forced to Protest by the hundreds for our kids to receive a fair and legal education
that that have the rights as students to receive within the Houston Independent School District. 
I am a active and concern parent seeking help for a brighter and better future for my child and all
Art Smith

(Art Smith is a member of the United Urban Alumni Association. His wife Koffey Smith is seriously
considering challenging Rhonda Skillern-Jones to represent District II on the HISD school board
in the upcoming November election.)

HISD's web still lists Mr. Coronado as the SSO for Furr High School.


*Allen Patrice Wheatley High School Tchr, English $49600
*Harris Dyan Wheatley High School Tchr, English $50600
*Martinez Sandra Wheatley High School Tchr, English $52500
*Payne-Martin Burice Wheatley High School Tchr, English $56500
*Waller Stacie Wheatley High School Tchr, English $65304
Apparently, the anti-testing voices of all of us with common sense are
beginning to rattle the big corporate Pearson-loving school reform-backer

Anna Eastman wrote this editorial published in the Houston Chronicle
"...Many share my righteous indignation with these practices. But unfortunately, rather than
demand that the tests themselves be examined and improved – or that our local districts
prohibit days wasted with practice tests and lockdowns for kids in untested subjects, who
ultimately miss out on valuable instruction time – folks want to drastically limit the frequency
of testing or throw the tests out altogether..."

Eastman seems to forget her votes to close neighborhood schools have had lasting
negative impact on vulnerable students. 

"...The urge to retreat from an annual statewide testing system is tempting. Without tests, we
envision engaging lessons, rich curricula that combine complex problem solving with creativity,
reminiscent of an imagined schoolhouse from days gone by. I don't think we need to eschew
one to get the other. While I'd be my children's and many others' temporary hero for advocating
that way, I believe it would be a grave mistake – one that would have a devastating impact on
our most vulnerable kids..."

In choosing where to send her own kids to school, Ms. Eastman hasn't always been a champion
for the vulnerable campuses in HISD. Nor can Ms. Eastman explain why, as HISD's standardized
testing program has ballooned into weekly intrusions into the educational process,  parents
with means have taken their kids out of HISD schools.

HISD is facing credit and graduation issues at many high school campuses. Perhaps, if learning
were practical, challenging, and congruent with the natural urge we all have to explore those
things we are most interested in, more kids would be in school everyday and more kids would
be lining up in graduation regalia this spring.

Of course, CVPE is crazy, just like the rest of us who feel Big Testing is exploiting our
youth under the guise of helping underprivileged children.
houstonisdwatch filed a Texas Public Information request to obtain the
names and dollar amounts awarded to non-campus based administrators
through ASPIRE.

The district had no information responsive to this request.
Teach for American just can't shed it's me-first image 
The disastrous impact of income inequality on public education
222 HISD police charged with protecting the safety of 28,410 HISD
employees and 213,234 students

With escalated violence in HISD schools under the leadership of the
Grier administration, the current HISD police force is grossly understaffed. 

Chief Robert Mock has impressive credentials, but by Grier administration
standards where Chief of Staff Jason Spencer earns $190,550 a year,
Mock's salary of $133,900 seems underwhelming given the critical task
his department is asked to perform on a daily basis.

Spencer Jason Chief of Staff Chief of Staff, 12 M $190550
Mock Robert Police Department Chief of Police $133900

The Grier administration's revolving door of principals has allowed
incompetent individuals to assume control of campuses, regardless
of how short a tenure they have.

Principals live in fear of Grier's wrath, and requests to add police officers
or to confess there are serious safety issues on your campus is a major
no-no. Just ask veteran Principal McSwain at Lamar whose discipline and
safety issues were exposed by local media. Ask Donetrus Hill at Yates who
refused to ask for assistance from the HISD Gang Task Force.

Grier was criticized by Guilford County parents in North Carolina who
determined his schools were too loose.  With stints in Sacramento,
San Diego, and Amarillo, Grier is not prepared to face the inner city
issues of poverty and violence that afflict many HISD schools.

Poverty rates remain high in big cities
Texas ranks 8th in list of states where kids go hungry
Why many inner city schools function like prisons
Role for police officers in schools
Teachers taking value-added evaluation supporters to court
Texas legislators weighing whether Pearson or ETS should get new Texas
testing contract

State contract for STAAR for the next four years to be awarded next month 

*Even Texas politicians have had enough of Sandry Kress
*The resurrection of Sandy Kress
*Sandy Kress, NCLB architect

Top 115 salaries in HISD as of Feb. 2, 2015
Latest HISD employee roster 
Lamar High School's McSwain highest paid high school principal


*Yates students will report on Donetrus Hill's unfit leadership; students who
walked out in both band and safety demonstrations will speak
*Safety concerns at Yates and throughout HISD are not being addressed
*Grier administration refuses to fund and staff HISD police to meet challenges
*Credit recovery program is in violation of federal law which forbids falsification
  of government documents
*UUAA will summarize community distrust of the Grier administration and
  HISD trustees by disclosing citizen complaints

HISD officials should be very concerned. UUAA has not revealed the documents
it possesses nor the conversations it has on file. It will do so at the appropriate

It's time to topple the Grier administration and the ignorant trustees who support it.

 TEA will hear UUAA's grievances about the Grier administration and HISD on
March 17, 2015.

*Fights recall Trustee Adams comments at board meeting regarding
 Lamar's gang problems
*Lamar's McSwain is a "lead" principal for Grier. What exactly is he leading?
*1900 students transfer to Lamar from other HISD high schools; 3241 total
  enrollment as of Jan. 2015 
HISD acknowledges problems with kindergarten GT testing
HISD's letter to parents
Gifted and Talented test abnormalities have put hundreds of parents
on hold

HISD claims Yates' credit recovery is "routine"
UUAA says abuses in program are widespread
HISD will conduct audit 
JOB WATCH: HISD still looking for 327 teachers
HISD quickly resolves accusations against Gasparello in
Gasparello's favor

Student advocate Robert Kimball plans to meet with HISD officials

HISD's Gasparello makes the national press...and not in a good way

interviews with students via video cast via USA Today
HISD's longtime Principal Herlinda Garcia, a Grier pal, named
LULAC's Principal of the Year
Greg Groogan Fox 26 Houston is investigating credit recovery
*he reported live from the Yates campus yesterday
*he received information from the UUAA and HFT that
 significant numbers of Yates seniors cannot graduate
*he is also investigating credit recovery issues across HISD
 Students are being told to sweep halls, clean desks
 Students are not being given the opportunity to complete course work
 Schools have merged credit recovery and asterisk removal programs

Original credit recovery program overview
HISD graduation labs
HISD's statement on graduation labs
Is HISD letting students cheat through its grad lab program?
Briar Forest parents unhappy with rezoning
Some Texas legislators want to make it easier for seniors who haven't
passed required state exams to graduate

Shock and awe: Has the Houston Chronicle finally taken an honest
view of HISD under Grier and the current trustees' leadership?

HISD ASPIRE Awards for 2013-14

Rob Gasparello, suspended Sharpstown
Principal, is probably getting a pass again 
from the public because he is principal of
...well...Sharpstown High School


From one superintendent to another, from one reform to the next, Sharpstown -
its teachers, students, and parents - has in many ways been ground zero for
HISD's attempts to be successful in accomplishing its core mission.

Established in 1968 to relive overcrowding at Lee High School, Sharpstown
High School became famous for a race riot in 1988. It is alleged to have
been payback for a previous racial incident.

Sharpstown and HISD officials claimed ignorance. They simpyl didn't
know that after two black students had been attacked by a white a
revenge attack was being planned by blacks.

Then in 1991 two portable buildings burned up. Arson was suspected.

In the late 90s, then HISD West Superintendent Anne Patterson sent Lee
High School counselors to Sharpstown to clean up "transcript problems."
Lee counselors found irregularities of all shapes and sizes.

To "save" Sharpstown, Ms. Patterson and HISD officials looked to....
the growing school reform movement, where else?

HISD invested $68 million dollars in a program labeled "First Things
First" that pledged to break down barriers between teachers and students,
require smaller classes, and, best of all, give students a new focus on
being in school.

You know Sharpstown was having severe student attendance problems.
Student attendance problems are always symptomatic of a looming
dropout crisis.

Superintendent Rod Paige had greater plans for his career than merely
being HISD's superintendent. He wanted to go to Washington, D.C.
He and George W. Bush, newly elected U.S. president, desperately
needed a big ol' Texas miracle.

Kenneth Cuadra, data specialist at Sharpstown, helped them create
one. In the process, student records were falsified. A long court battle
did not clear HISD. HISD did everything it could to make Cuadra the
culprit. HISD's efforts failed. Harris County prosecutors dropped the
case against Mr. Cuadra.

John Hopkins' University produced Dropout Nation. Texas ranked first
with over 1000 dropout factories.

Sharpstown and Lee High Schools made the list.

So even though there was this, and now this, many are giving the
beleaguered Sharpstown HS principal a pass.
Hany Khalil, Ruth Kravetz, and Anne Sung nail it in
critique of HISD's corporate school reform

Yes, HISD is in a precarious state and has been since the fall of 2009
"...The HISD board has invested in test prep at the expense of a rich curriculum
and precious instructional time, and instead of investing in teachers, librarians,
and counselors. This year elementary school students will take 16 district-created
practice ("benchmark") tests; older students take 30 practice tests. HISD has
earned scorn as the district that gives practice standardized tests to kindergarteners..."
Full text

HISD Trustees & Roland Fryer got one over on the HISD public
this past summer

Roland Fryer and HISD hoodwinked the public by agreeing to what, on
the surface, appeared to be a good deal for the district. But the loss of
instructional time caused by nonsensical DLA exams is much more
expensive, and detrimental, to real teaching and learning 
Roland Fryer's EdLabs contract with HISD
Texas bill will allow teachers to kill students for destroying
school property
Publishing giant Pearson hauls in billions in education dollars,
but do students benefit?

Retired teachers could face rising health care costs

A twitter storm may be brewing? 
Anna Eastman compares bond money to
three little pigs straw house

Does that even make sense?

Harvin recently retweeted Hardin retweeted "Je Suis Charlie"
Does this mean he supports pornographic pictures of the prophet
Mohammad? Is he encouraging HISD teachers to show these cartoons?

Of course, Ms. Harris won't make her tweets public, you have to ask her
for approval. Not exactly a believer in the public's right to know, are you,

And please follow houstonisdwatch on twitter!

*Bellaire HS leads HISD in number of A.P. exams administered in 2013-14 &

82% of exams were scored 3 or better

*HSPVA has the highest percentage of enrolled students taking A.P. exams and
the highest percentage of exams (90%) earning scores of 3 or better

HISD released its comprehensive Advanced Placement report for the 2013-14 school
year on October 14, 2014

Wheatley Principal Shirley Rose-Gilliam is used to constant
change, job movement

From 7/1/2005 through 2/14/2014 Ms. Rose-Gillian served as an
principal in three different Fort Bend ISD Schools, ending her
career there as a middle school principal with nine service
years in a principal's position. 
Ms. Rose-Gilliam's background information
and HISD job

Ms. Rose-Gilliam's answers to group

HISD welcomes Dr. Rose
chron.com on Rose's hiring
abclocal on Rose's hiring
African-American news report on Rose

Did Trustee Paula Harris owe Gaither a favor?
Many red flags should have kept Gaither away from Yates HS

Jerry Gaither taught PE at Attucks about 15 years ago.He arrived with baggage -
teachers gossiped about him having been kicked out of his other schools.

I thought it was typical school gossip... until one day a female student came
screaming out of the gym and straight into the principal's office crying that Coach
Gaither had propositioned her. Our principal removed him and he never set foot
on our campus again. He was never officially fired or charged (he said/she said),
but apparently, this was what had gotten him into trouble at his previous schools.
Fast forward a couple of years and there was a story of how a male assistant
principal at Christa McAuliffe Middle School (in Fort Bend ISD) got in trouble for
telling a female teacher that she wouldn't get a favorable assessment unless
she slept with the a.p. Apparently the teacher had an audiotape of the threat
and the guy supposedly not only was fired but convicted. The a.p.'s name was
Jerry Gaither. That was the last I heard of this guy until your Yates/Gaither story.
This guy must have some friends in high places because it sounds like he's
been a predator his entire life. Probably Paula Harris's cousin or something.
Shaking my head. This district dismisses quality people by the hundreds
yet hires every incompetent and perverted individual with a pulse.
(submitted to houstonisdwatch by a colleague of Mr. Gaither's at Attucks
Middle School )



*car stolen from teacher's parking lot
*students in possession of controlled substances
*student in possession of stolen HISD property & marijuana
*suspect hit complainant without consent
*Breaking & entering with intent to steal
*Narcotics found on campus
*complainant threatened
*arrest for bodily assault in a public school
*"threat to kill" made against student
*more assault
*caller: "Female in route to kill the principal"

(houstonisdwatch obtainted this information through a Texas Public
Information Act request)

There's more assault, marijuana, threats. Click link above.
Anyone who teachers at Sam Houston High schould receive a valor
award and a bonus. 
Lauren Topek of Shadowbriar shame went to Spring ISD
Lupita Hinojosa was a Mark Smith kiss up. She did his bidding at every turn, she was
nothing more than a passive-aggressive control freak. And by the way. Grier had no
use for her, he wanted to fire her years ago and probably celebrated the minute Watson
hired her in Spring. Watson also hired Lauren Topek. Anyone who's been in HISD long
enough will remember her horrendous behavior towards her janitor when she was a
principal. She was rewarded by HISD by being promoted to HR. Now she's been
rewarded again and given an executive position in Spring. Tell me why such
incompetent people always land on their feet?
Witness to the madness houstonisdwatch commenter
Terry Grier disappointed about Broad Foundation cancelling its
award for this year, especially with an election coming up

Fox 26 carries the real story of Grier's dog and pony show yesterday

Education reporter Ericka Mellon on the scene but doesn't report
For real news about HISD follow great all over

*UUAA Army crashes
Grier's event
*CVPE gives real state
of schools
across street from Hilton

THE UUAA escorted out of Grier
State of the Schools Address. 

The UUAA has shown again they have
zero fear. The Executive Director Gerry
Monroe  and his small army showed up
with one mission.
DESTROY this day of celebration for
Terry Grier. They were surrounded by HISD police. Mr. MONROE QUESTIONED was
tax payer money used for this event. The answer was no. Every city politician you
could name was in the building. The threat of jail didn't quiet him down. Police were
basically begging in for the UUAA TO LEAVE. Mr. Monroe told them if I leave this floor
I will bring hell on earth to HISD. Mr. Monroe has organized his own event. THE CITY
OUR SCHOOLS ARE TREATED. The UUAA has taken the front seat in the fight.
And the driver is Gerry Monroe. Make sure you attend this event with solutions
to the problems. HISD has met their match. Monroe just won't go away. But his
efforts may make Terry Grier go away for good.
Community Voices has common
sense agenda for Grier & HISD trustees
Why aren't they listening??

In 2014-15 WE ASK HISD
  • Support quality neighborhood schools; don’t close them. Change
  • HISD school closure policy to ensure at least one year’s notice
  • including communities as part of the process before making decisions
  • on closing or “restructuring” schools.
  • Limit class size.  Reduce class size waivers by at least 50% for 2014-2015.
  • Eliminate the use of STAAR as a promotion standard in non required
  • grades (3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th)
  • Restore extra pay for teachers with masters’ degrees
  • Keep strong teachers and principals in HISD. High faculty turnover destabilizes
  • schools and hurts children.
  • Provide nurses, librarians, counselors and social workers in all schools
  • Support Universal pre-K.


  • Restore full funding of public education
  • End the use of STAAR as a promotion standard.  STAAR should
  • be for diagnostic purposes only.
  • Charters receive public funds and must be required to admit and retain
  • all students just as neighborhood public schools do.

Why did current Yates Principal Donetrus Hill
hire Jerry Gaither in the first place? 

Jerry Gaither (Gaither Jerry Yates High School Tchr, Special Ed SC Lifeski
jgaither@houstonisd.org Restricted Restricted XX 99999 Restricted      
$76,966.00 Yates High School 8/4/2013)

Even more obvious question, given this criminal record, why was Mr.
Gaither hired on August 4, 2013, and why is he still earning his
$76,966 salary?
(correction: Ms. Sheppard did not hire Mr. Gaither).
Cut-and-paste HISD board agenda for 2/12/2015
Grier's plan for Reduction in Force will, no doubt, please
anti-public schoolers like Harvin Moore but in light of

HISD's teacher shortages and the money the district
spends to recuit teachers, it's nothing more than a

Here's a challenge for the HISD trustees...for once, flex your 
muscles, take a stand, and vote NO to Riffing in 2015-16.

UUAA does not support Riffing,,,and it will be present at
the board meeting when this issue is discussed...
Are dual credit courses as challenging as A.P. & I.B.
courses? Grier thinks so, and he's pushing for weighted
grade points for dual credit

houstonisdwatch has heard from A.P. teachers who do not
support the balancing in weight for G.P.A. purposes of
dual credit courses, administered through HISD's partnership
with H.C.C. and rigorous A.P. & I.B. classes.

Grier's proposal will get a second reading at Thursday night's
board meeting.
Westbury 2012 bond money used to fulfill promises HISD made
in 2002 & 2010 

$8,000,000 in HISD promises to Westbury High School amended
to follow through on previous land acquisition and promises to
HISD board agenda for Feb. 12, 2015 meeting
Grier wants $4 million to study facilities; could be precursor to another
bond election 

Where is the outrage in
the Milby community
concerning proposed
cuts to Milby's 2012
capital improvements -
no swimming pool, no

Board Bond workshop claims 100% inflation hindering scope
of original bond promises

*Original 2012 bond promises made to high schools

*HISD points out other districts are experiencing unexpected
 higher costs, too 

Koch-GOP declare war on public education

How many meetings with HISD officials does one organization
need to have before it becomes very clear HISD has no interest
in responding to community concerns?

How long can District IV Trustee Paula Harris continue to throw the
proverbial finger at her constituents and suffer no consequences?

UUAA Exeuctive Director Gerry Monroe, completely aware of the
futile nature of grieving the district, followed district protocol
by filing five. Two mandate the removal of Superintendent Grier.

In addition, he has filed complaints with the U.S. Department of
Civil Rights on behalf of his constituents. 

There are trustees who disagree with Paula Harris and the
Grier administration. But they have not spoken out forcefully
enough, they have not been clever enough, nor have they
put principle over the need to perpetuate the facade that
everyone in HISD is getting along.

Looks like the feds, who are already in HISD investigating financial
impropriety, Larry Marshall's pay-to-play contract involvement, 
and numerous civil rights complaints will have even more to do.
Yates Principal Hill: Accused of inappropriate sexual
behavior with a male student, was cleared by HISD police

Based on being accused on inappropriate sexual relations with
a male student, Yates Principal Donetrus Hill should have been
suspended and assigned duty at the HISD warehouse

Here is the report alleging inappropriate conduct against Mr. Hill.  

The investigation cleared Mr Hill but it raises several questions:
How many other HISD administrators have been accused by
a student of engaging in same sex relations with another student?

If the district believes the student bring the accusations made false
charges, why wasn't he or she disciplined according to porcedures
outlined in the HISD Code of Student Conduct?

Did Paula Hill interfere, inappropriately and in violation of HISD board
policy to ensure Mr. Hill was not suspended from the campus, as he
should have been, during the investigation? 


The votes just aren't there to extend Terry Grier's contract again.
A lack of follow through on major projects, lack of accountability, and
a lack of academic progress commensurate with the promises made
are forces working together to end the reign of Terry Grier in HISD.

Most important of all, however, is a lack of community support for Grier's
programs and policies.

Grier's contract extended through 2016

Sure, there are votes to extend his contract. Harvin Moore, Paula Harris, Greg
Meyers, and Manuel Rodriguez have always come through for Grier.

Wanda Adams won't risk further angering of  the community by voting to
extend Grier. Anna Eastman, Juliet Stipeche, and Mike Lunceford clearly
wouldn't support an extension.

Rhonda Skillern-Jones could be the wild card but Jones is not looking
favorably on Grier at this time. She is especially displeased with Grier's
choice of high schools chief Harrison Peters who, so far, has bumbled 
his way through his job.

For Grier, the best he could hope for is a split vote with one abstention.
He would have no choice but to resign. The vote, however, is probably
5-4 against Grier, possibly 6-3. Rhonda Skillern-Jones wants the
support of the UUAA. So does Manuel Rodriguez.

houstonisdwatch has been told the UUAA is not going to support
Rodriguez. In fact, the UUAA is working with Latino leaders to
field a credible candidate to run against Rodriguez. 

It's impossible to verify this information through TPIA requests.
houstonisdwatch learned about Grier's current tenuous status
through off-the-record conversations with key constituents.

And while I'm leaping into the future, let me put this out there:
Grier's hatchet men, the hires made because of nepotism and
favors owed, and, most especially, the vindictive principals, 
assistant principals, and S.S.O.s who have contributed nothing
to real student learning - all of these individuals need to be
pink slipped when major changes occur.

School board members risked being
labeled racists if they did not vote
to give Larry Marshall a commendation
upon his exit even if they backed Gil

Ramirez in his suit against Marhall

houstonisdwatch obtained this information from a very high ranking
source in the district but is not at liberty to divulge his identify.

Houston Chronicle has the Gil Ramirez article behind a pay wall. As a
protest against the Chronicle's negligence in covering HISD, houstonisdwatch
no longer subscribes.
NAACP drops lawsuit against HISD over Jones High repurposing
Fewer top college graduates want to join Teach for America
HISD State of the Schools Feb. 15, 2015
Updated HISD enrollment report (1/30/2015)
TEA communication with HISD on class size waivers
Link to previous pages
Contact: Editor@houstonisdwatch.com



HISD teachers are turning to pastors to confess they've changed grades under pressure from Grier administration officials. Greg Groogan at My Fox Houston has the story.


Larry Marshall is back in the news as Gil Ramirez, Jr., won his appeal in the RICO investigation. Just how much money is the district continuing to spend on Marshall?

houstonisdwatch.com HISD Updates