Link to previous pages: 7/28/2011 Grier sells out TNTP to save his job
Lusterless career of Terry Grier 6/10/2011
HISD's UNACCEPTABLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS July 2011
BLACKSHEAR EL Academically Unacceptable
BONHAM EL Academically Unacceptable
E O SMITH EL Academically Unacceptable
FROST EL Academically Unacceptable
GARCIA EL Academically Unacceptable
GREGORY-LINCOLN ED CTR (EE-5) Academically Unacceptable
KANDY STRIPE ACADEMY Academically Unacceptable
TEXAS CONNECTIONS ACADEMY AT HOUST Academically Unacceptable
WOODROW WILSON MONTESSORI Academically Unacceptable
HISD's UNACCEPTABLE MIDDLE SCHOOLS July 2011
ATTUCKS MIDDLE Academically Unacceptable
DOMINION ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL Academically Unacceptable
RYAN MIDDLE Academically Unacceptable
SMITH EDUCATION CENTER Academically Unacceptable
WOODSON MIDDLE Academically Unacceptable
HISD's UNACCEPTABLE HIGH SCOOLS July 2011
HARPER ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL Academically Unacceptable
JONES H S Academically Unacceptable
KASHMERE H S Academically Unacceptable
WASHINGTON B T H S Academically Unacceptable
WHEATLEY H S Academically Unacceptable
WORTHING H S Academically Unacceptable
YATES H S Academically Unacceptable
HISD's laid off teachers are part of this statistic: curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/07/28/jobs-market-worst-for-middle-class/
HISD plans to spin this year's state accountability ratings by removing TPM from last year's rankings
from Houston Press.com:
by Margaret Downing
"...Except that if the now discarded and discredited Texas Projection Measure (a method of giving extra points to schools by predicting that certain kids who failed the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills actually would pass in the next year) was removed from last year's results, and other new "accountability measures" were factored in, according to HISD, then in 2010 there were 46 HISD schools that were really exemplary. Which would make this year -- at least in the exemplary category -- an improvement. And Terry Grier a hero (or at least not a complete goat)?..."
Read rest of article: blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2011/07/hisd_test_scores_arrive_with_a.php
TEA Accountability tables for HISD's Apollo schools
Jones High School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912006.pdf Academically Unacceptable
Kashmere High School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912007.pdf Academically Unacceptable
Lee High School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912009.pdf Academically Acceptable
Sharpstown High School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912023.pdf Academically Acceptable
Attucks Middle School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912041.pdf Academically Unacceptable
Dowling Middle School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912075.pdf Academically Acceptable
Fondren Middle School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912072.pdf Academically Acceptable
Key Middle School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912079.pdf Academically Acceptable
Ryan Middle School: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/static/tables/c101912066.pdf Academically Unacceptable
HISD cites discrepancies in score reports from earlier TEA report; Official announcement of scores on hold
Houston ISD received an acceptable ranking in the annual accountability ratings released Friday afternoon by the Texas Education Agency. A district spokesman said there is a discrepancy between figures published today and what the district was provided earlier, so an official response to HISD’s performance is on hold.
Read rest of article: www.yourhoustonnews.com/bellaire/news/article_a958ae6d-d291-5924-ac01-c5e53f93bbaf.html
Grier's leadership works against real progress for HISD
What have two years of Grier's leadership done to, for, and against HISD?
Jason Spencer trots out "3-year plan" excuse but Houston Chronicle reporter Ericka Mellon doesn't cut him slack in www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7675996.html
PAULA HARRIS & MANUEL RODRIGUEZ NEED TO EXPLAIN TO TAXPAYERS HOW THEIR UNEQUIVOCAL SUPPORT OF GRIER IS MAKING HISD BETTER
Ms. Harris Mr. Rodriguez: Please explain your voting records to the citizens of District IV & III respectively
Two years of Grier: 9% of HISD campuses are rated "Unacceptable" from eight to 25
HISD saw its scores remain mostly flat this year. The district's passing rate in math rose two points to 83 percent, while writing dropped two points to 91 percent
With salaries and perks well over $400,000, Grier cannot excuse himself by claiming HISD's situation mirrors other disricts in Texas. He claimed to be an agent of change when he was hired, a leader for a lifetime. He's an agent of change, for sure, remapping HISD from Progress Highway to the Road to Ruin.
What does HISD have that these recognized districts do not?
Katy, Pasadena, Conroe, Alief, Klein, Clear Creek, Humble, Lamar Consolidated, Galena Park and Pearland earned "recognized" status.
A) Teachers who were not harassed the entire year with practice TAKS, benchmark TAKS, excessive meetings about TAKS?
B) Time-tested systemic approach to improving student test scores?
C) Fewer students who brought very low scores on previous TAKS exams?
D) Higher teacher morale because teachers are more appreciated there?
E) Central office staffs & administrators who work with teachers and schools, not against them?
F) Administrators who earned their jobs as opposed to administrators threatening to leave and given promotions to stay?
You decide. Use comment tag at bottom of page to tell us what you think.
Attention Grier & his five trustees supporters: Employee morale does make a difference
When Paula Harris talks about appeasing teachers with a one-year TNTP delay, Harvin Moore is worried too many "experienced teachers" will avoid furloughs, Manuel Rodriguez continues to vote "Yes" to motions and policies that are antithetical to student growth and demoralizes teachers, Larry Marshall wants to bring back England's King Charles I and the notion of the Divine Right Superintendents, and Greg Meyers actually votes against the wishes of his constituents and 100% with Grie, HISD has much more than just problems with student test scores.
Comments from houstonisdwatch.com readers: Gayle Fallon sets the record straight
All of the rhetoric I see on this site is very interesting and most of it may or may not be true. The missing piece is that none of it appears in the mainstream media as the general feelings of the community. Until this information appears as the lead story on one of the local TV stations or on the front page of the Chronicle, it's really not that credible. I suggest that you try harder to get your website out there for more people to see.
by BoardWatcher (Jul 31, 2011)
Maybe they can't kick Grier's behind out the door, BUT they , the board, can surely limit the amount of further destruction he can bring down on this district by NOT backing any proposals he puts forth and block the spending of funds that need their approval! If they take away many of the powers they are currently giving him he would than take his miserable self packing and leave ASAP and so would all the educrats he has hired on as so-called reformers which have not proven that they deserve the salaries they are taking home for the results we are getting in return!?!?
by marc (Jul 30, 2011)
Editor's note; Grier might be able to contest changes in his duties and obligations as an abridgement of clause 2.1. 2.1 forbids official reassignment of Grier without Grier's written permission. Defining or limiting duties would be an interesting tack for the board to tae.
Fallon states that Grier's contract has a "super majority" clause. Meaning, we are stuck with TG unless it's almost unanimous to can his ass? Editor, can you confirm?
by Paladin (Jul 30, 2011)
Editor's note: Ms Fallon is probably speaking about Unilateral Termination or termination without good cause. Grier's contract states the following:
"5.7 Unilateral Termination. In the event the Board, by an affirmative vote of at least two-thirds (6 of 9) of the full membership of the Board, unilaterally decides to terminate this Contract without good cause or in lieu of nonrenewal, the Superintendent will receive one year of his current annual base salary and the value of his annual benefits as set out in Sections 3.1 and 3.4 through 3.11 of this Contract. It is understood and agreed that in the event of unilateral termination by the Board, the Superintendent will receive only the payments specified in this Section plus, subject to District policy, the amounts due for vacation leave and personal and
sick leave pursuant to Sections 3.9 and 3.10 herein. Notice of such termination and the procedure for termination will be in compliance with Section 5.5 herein. It is further understood and agreed that the payments provided above will be in full satisfaction of the District from all claims under this Contract. It is agreed that in the event of unilateral termination by the Board the Superintendent will have no duty to mitigate damages."
Grier could also be terminated by mutual agreement, termination for cause by the district, termination by the superintendent, and termination for disability. According to his contract, only unilateral termination by the board requires six votes. If five of nine school board members want to terminate Grier, he will likely use termination by mutual agreement or termination by superintendent to ensure he maximizes payoffs before leaving HISD. In the past, Grier has chosen not to work with divided school boards.
WOW....remember back when Grier and his board brought out all the hoopla and big fanfare stating that they "stole" one of their own back from KIPP??? Now it looks as if the school she took over Gregory-Lincoln is "unacceptable"! Hmmmm I bet it was all those bad, bad teachers and it couldn't be anything this woman did to get this rating!??! Spin this one Terry!!!
by marc (Jul 30, 2011)
You idiots have a very active imagination regarding union politics. The union will do endorsements the way it always does. We will screen all candidates at the Harris County AFL-CIO and then the screening committee wil vote a recommendation that will go to the Harris CountybLabor Council at their August meeting. Until then there are no endorsements and will be no endorsements. Get you imagination in check.
by gayle fallon (Jul 29, 2011)
eddude...many of us are also in "the game" and have been in HISD for quite a few years now! We were here in the trenches fighting for our schools and students to get where we are today and NOW in waltzes Greir and everything we worked hard to acheive is being destroyed before our very eyes and "hell with all of us" if we dare question Grier and his motives!?! Most of the "new" hires are his cronies and many haven't a clue as to what is needed to succeed in an HISD classroom because they are all educratic reformers from all over the country coming here to "rip" this district apart and as you stated you will need to help put the pieces back together again once Grier and this board is finished!! Just hope and pray that there is something and someone around to help you and all the "newbies" put whatever is left back together since they are replacing experienced staff who are being driven out daily for no other reason than they cost the district too much money!?! So many of us are not disgruntled as you stated, we are down right "pissed off" and fed up at the devastation taking place within HISD and won't be satisfied until Grier,a few board members, and many of these new overpaid and unqualified educrats are gone!! And yes many of us will be around to pick up the pieces unless we too get "Grier ended" and ousted by this overzealous bunch of fools who may have read a book somewhere on "how to educate children" and now they think they have "all the answers" all the while they ARE NOT the ones in the classrooms teaching the kids daily! Many left the classrooms because they couldn't hack it, but now want to tell others how to do it! All I can say is "WOW"!! Some may refer to them as leaders, but great leaders know how to treat those doing "all the work" and know when to get and stay the heck out of their way!!! So until HISD recruits the RIGHT leaders to run this district and get rid of those they now have, there is only one direction for this district and that is down, down,dooowwwnnnn!?!?!? See you at the bottom if you don't run with the rest to their next "unsuspecting" victims!?!?!?
by marc (Jul 29, 2011)
What's next? Blaming teachers for HISD's TAKS performance? Students and teachers are victims of an out-of-control approach to multiple choice test preparation
Texas taxpayers should be glad the Texas Projection Measure was not used in these score calculations and that special ed. scores were. A much more honest assessment of district progress is the result. Most likely critics will blame HISD teachers for the district's test decline but those critics will be wrong. Non campus district officials over-rehearsed students by administering too many multiple choice tests and benchmarks, oftentimes with no relation to TAKS objectives or curriculum, too often. HISD teachers at the secondary level had little time to teach after March and no input into benchmark exam composition or scheduling. No doubt there would have been decline in HISD with higher standards but the depth and extent of the decline was orchestrated by HISD's leadership. Grier's mantra has been no excuses; no excuses are acceptable for Grier's underachieving performance.
DallasNews highlights changes in standards from 2009-2010 to 2010-11
Dropping the projection measure was the biggest change in the accountability system this year, but there were other, lesser factors. The standard for a school to be rated “acceptable” was raised by 5 percentage points in both math and science, and more scores for special education students were included. Schools also now must have a certain percent of students scoring at the higher “commended” level to be “recognized” or “exemplary.”
Texas reports significant drops in school accountability ratings statewide: www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20110729-texas-reports-significant-drops-in-school-accountability-ratings-statewide-.ece
Congratulations to Sharpstown, Lee and Key Middle for making improvements but overall Apollo is an expensive morass
The Houston Chronicle sums it up succintly and dispassionately when it comes to Grier's Apollo project: The real question here is whether the district has the cash & capital to sustain this experiment...you weigh in
TEA ratings: HISD still acceptable; 25 campuses aren't
from chron.com: blog.chron.com/schoolzone/2011/07/unacceptable-schools-grow-fivefold/
TEA website with school ratings: ritter.tea.state.tx.us/perfreport/account/2011/index.html
houstonisdwatch.com readers criticize tone of website and over-emphasis on Grier's political motives
As a new person to the district, I am increasingly sympathetic to your cause here. There are some strange doings at HMW, and I have an interesting perspective on it since I'm in the building.
That said, here's a little advice. Sharpen up and stay on point. Some of the comments/commentary veer wildly into the hyperbolic and even childish name-calling. I undertand the emotion of it all, but you don't do yourself a lot of favors by getting so overheated that you distract from the core message. Having been an activist and AFT official in the past, I totally get the need to rally the troops and use rhetoric to inspire action. But you lose credibility when you use the same kind of character assassination and exaggerated techniques of the radical right and the "reformers" who you so hate. Stay above that kind of fray, and save the punches for when you can land them directly and with devastating force. When you fire all your guns at once and just spray invective, you dilute the message and distract from the mission.
Also, I can't seem to find any information at all about this site. Who's behind it? Who are the main writers/webmasters? Who finances it? Is it all disgruntled employees, or are there any willing to step out from the curtain and be public? Again, I am on your "side," but it worries me when all the comments are anonymous and the players are in the shadows. Those of us on the "inside" have to be careful to preserve careers so we can be around to pick up the pieces when the inevitable occurs. But if you're on the "outside" throwing rocks without direct skin in the game, then at least step up and go public.Just my two cents...
Keep it up, but get serious. We all want a tough campaign. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by wallowing in the tactics of the right.
by eddude (Jul 29, 2011)
(Editor's note: I respect your views and thank you for checking into this website. What have Progressives won lately?)
I think you are vastly overstating Grier's political reasons for delaying the Student Performance portion of the new Appraisal system.
Granted, the blame they placed on STAAR is complete bullhockey.
This is being delayed only because they haven't had time to figure out how it works, especially for non-tested subjects. I have no doubts that they are just as committed as ever to using student performance data to judge and rank teachers.
by Neep (Jul 29, 2011)
Manuel Rodriguez's Campaign Finance Report for July 2011
Manuel Rodriguez's July 2011 campain finance report & strange apology issued to supporters
Check out Mr. Rodriguez's July 2011 campaign finance report: www.houstonisd.org/HISDConnectEnglish/Home/Board%20of%20Education/Reports%20and%20Disclosures/Finance%20Reports/July,%202011%20MR.pdf
Which vendors on the list will contribute to Manuel Rodriguez's campaign? Which vendors are currently receiving HISD contracts and planning to contribute to Manuel Rodriguez's campaign?
One the support & totals page Linda Lopez, Manuel Rodriquez's campaign treasurer, lists $1700 in political contributions verified by the attached pages. She lists & 885 in expenditures and a total of $1076. The correct total is $815 unless there was $261 in his coffers to start July.
Paco Joe's campaign kickoff & meet & greet for Manuel Rodriguez with the names of 60 so-called supporters
Trustee Rodriguez held a fund-raiser on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 at Paco Joe's on the Gulf Freeway. Sixty supporters are listed on the invitation but only one supporter
Manuel Rodriguez's campain kick-off invitation: Manuel-Rodriguez-fund-raiser.png
donated to Rodriguez's campain - Virginia McClendon. Is that possible? Are there reporting errors or accounting errors? Is something else going on here?
The Bizarre Apology
Prior to the campaign kickoff event, Rodriguez since this email out containing an apology for using old campaign contributor cards. Compare the names on the invitation to the names of individuals Rodriguez felt the need to apologize to:
Original Message -----
> From: Manuel rodriguez <mailto:email@example.com>
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com>
> Sent: Saturday, July 16, 2011 12:18 PM
> Subject: Public Apology
> Carl, I hope you are doing Well, and enjoying the Rain.
> Please send this out far and wide to as many readers who read your articles everyday.........We are only Human, but sometimes expected to do Superhuman feats!
> I am human, and today proved that I too. can err, for this I am Sorry.
> To all who attended LULAC 4967 Menudo & Chorizo Breakfast and to the following individuals I sincerely Apologize for a mistake that happened because I was in a hurry and did not double check this morning when some of my old Campaign Literature was distributed that had endorsements by several current and past Office Holders.
> I have not sought any endorsements from any Organization or Elected Official for this 2011 Campaign. I have not been actively campaigning and only at the beginning of this month have started to plan for my first campaign fundraiser in almost two years.
> The mistake occurred when accidentally, instead of getting the new campaign literature from the NEW Box of cards.........old push cards were taken from an old box that was on the same table. My mistake was not checking the cards before they were distributed as they are similar yet different.
> Again, MI Culpa, in a big way and my utmost sincere Apology to the following.
> Those individuals as listed are:
> State Senator Mario Gallegos
> Former State Rep. Rick Noriega
> State Rep. Garnet Coleman
> Rep. Joe Moreno (Deceased)
> Former City Council Gordon Quan
> Former City Council and current
> State Rep. Carol Alvarado
> Constable Victor Trevino
> Former HISD - Trustees
> Mrs. Esther Campos
> Mrs. Olga Gallegos
> Harris County AFL/CIO
> HOUSTON FEDERATION of TEACHERS
> Again, my sincere heartfelt Apologies
> for this mistake I take full responsibility for not checking.
> Manuel Rodriguez, Jr.
You draw the conclusion. Manuel Rodriguez has had to apologize to these individuals because:
A. They told him the would contribute but didn't want to be identified
B. Manuel Rodriguez assumed they were going to contribute but they are not
C. They found out their names were printed on Rodriguez's campaign kickoff invite and demanded he remove them because they do not support Rodriguez anymore.
Also, check out the heavy hitters on the apology list including Mario Gallegos, his mother Olga Gallegos, Rick Noriega, Garnett Coleman, and labor unions.
Do you think Trustee Gallegos is having a smooth reelection effort so far?
HFT must help send a strong message by backing viable opponents to Harris and Rodriguez. If the candidate who will emerge in the District III race supports firing Grier and respects in word and deed all the stakeholders in HISD is backed by the Latino politicians from that part of time, more the better.
The Devil is tempting the Houston Federation of Teachers to back off in District IV and District III elections. Gayle Fallon must say "NO"
Terry Grier is running scared so he called Gayle Fallon with a sweet deal to delay for one year this:
Paula Harris is also running scared despite her big fancy campaign kick off at swanky Tony's restaurant in Montrose
Manuel Rodriguez is running even more scared than Harris. He has a well connected political opponent whose name the public will hear soon.
So Harris took Rodriguez by the hand and went to the palace on W. 18th St. to tell Grier what he already knew: If one of us loses, you ass is grass so come up with something. Grier called his adversary Fallon and offered to hold back on TNTP if HFT would hold back on fielding candidates to beat Rodriguez and Harris.
What Grier forgot to factor in is this: There is so much antipathy directed at him and Paula Harris in the district at large and so much squabbling among the Latino power brokers in the city HFT's power and influence is a part, a potent part, of the forces lining up to throw Harris & Rodriguez out of office to trigger Grier's termination.
IT'S KARMA, BABY, AND HARRIS, RODRIGUEZ, AND GRIER HAVE KARMA THAT IS SO BAD ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS GLANCE AT A CEMETARY MARKER AND THE DEAD WAKE UP.
Guess who is watching over all of this pulling the strings on the puppets? Big Daddy Gallegos: Gallegos wants Grier Outta Here!
HFT CANNOT LET GRIER'S LAST MINUTE OFFER TO DELAY TNTP DISTRACT THEM FROM DEFEATING HARRIS AND RODRIGUEZ
HISD TEACHERS WILL NOT TOLERATE FOUR MORE YEARS OF THIS
Dues-paying HFT members must let Gayle Fallon know they appreciate the common sense delay in TNTP teacher assessment implementation but there's no deal to be made with Grier. There are many more reasons than TNTP to see both Harris and Rodriguez lose their positions as HISD trustees and the associated contacts their titles bring. Harris' connections sent HISD employees to the unemployment line with Nicole West ready and waiting to provide whatever services HISD was paying for. Dedicated drop-out specialists were let-go when the West machine decided they were experts in drop-out remediation. HISD custodial staff lost overtime when Harris-approved Grier flunky Issa Dadoush was hired to lower custodial staff morale. While Harris was helping her friends get rich, poorly paid HISD cafeteria workers saw their hours reduced before the start of the 2009-10 school year. Paula Harris has done nothing to help the poorest paid HISD employees, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc., in her lust to spread financial opportunities around to her many, many friends. Paula Harris and her affliates are doing harm to HISD. They are political opportunists of the worst kind because instead of putting kids first, they always put themselves first. Now Paula Harris is trolling for Manuel Rodriguez who is in deep trouble. We are about to see the most superficial black/brown love fest in HISD's history. Two desperate trustees, both unfit to serve, buddying up to get in the last life boat to leave Grier's Titanic- HISD. If push comes to shove, Harris would throw Rodriguez overboard in a New York minute. So HFT must do what they were planning to do. Work hard to defeat Harris and Rodriguez who are both anti-parent, anti-child, anti-teacher, and anti-HISD, or at least an HISD that puts kids first and respects all of its stakeholders, not just the ones who can line friends' pockets with greenbacks.
PAULA HARRIS & MANUEL RODRIGUEZ ARE UNFIT TO SERVE AND HFT KNOWS IT. YOUR MEMBERSHIP DEMANDS NO DEALS WITH THE DEVIL TO SIT OUT THIS ELECTION. PERIOD.
houstonisdwatch.com has said all along Grier never puts kids first. Never. He was willing to disrupt the entire 2011-12 school year to implement the TNTP teacher assessment plan. Nothing else mattered to him. His chaotic revolving teacher removals and reinstatements have taken away from students the very teachers they bonded with. Grier has made HISD a virtual multiple choice prison for students. His tactics make HISD a laboratory for students treated like rats and teachers acting as lab keepers. He doesn't even like middle class kids. Grier sees students from impoverished background as an opportunity to self-aggrandizement. Grier is the worst kind of educator. He is dismissive of student needs and interests. If you are a parent, Grier is exactly the kind of school administrator who is never there when your kids need him. He's poison in the HISD system. His antics today demonstrate again just how worthless and completely self-serving he is.
Nothing can be allowed to impede the termination of Grier and the defeat of Manuel Rodriguez and Paula Harris, two of his chief enablers on what is often a dysfunctional group of HISD trustees. Let's do it for the kids in HISD who deserve so much more.
Black media recognizes the kind of trustees like Paula Harris who enable superintendents to destroy school districts
Mr. Love's anaylsis was featured as a lead story on Firedoglake.com at this link: houstonisdwatch.bandzoogle.com/files/Stand-for-Children-Co-founder-describes-Illinois-take-down-of-teachers-and-their-unions-YouTube.flv
BlackCommentator.com also features Mr. Love's analysis: www.blackcommentator.com/437/437_col_school_reform_share.html
Grier's decision to delay TNTP implementation is one he should have made months ago; now it's just craven politicsRead chronicle take on direction change: blog.chron.com/schoolzone/2011/07/hisd-considering-delay-in-new-teacher-evaluation/
Palace on W. 18th Street springs a terrible leak today: Somehow the truth escaped despite the $10 million P.R. department
HISD TO PUT ANTI-TEACHER TNTP EVALUATION PLANS ON HOLD; TREMENDOUS WASTE OF TAX PAYERS DOLLARS; PHILANTROPHIC COMMUNITY SAID TO BE REELING - WHY DID GREIR SUDDENLY HAVE A CHANGE OF HEART?
Will President Obama and Ed. Sec. Arne Duncan phone Grier to express their "extreme disappointment?"
What's really at stake?
houstonisdwatch.com along with its many readers opposed the head-first implementation of The New Teacher Projects punitive teacher assessment plan. HFT has been opposed to the hurky-jerky implementation as well. We all knew that value-added assessment was coming in some form or fashion. NYC schools will be doing a slow-implementation/trial run this upcoming school year and LA Unifed Schools also approved implementation.
HISD was seen by both corporate sponsors and the high level million dollar donors as a paragon of dedication to student achievement. Grier wouldn't tolerate discussion. He brow-beat seven school board members into supporting TNTP. He's spent a million dollars and more on implementation of the plan even advertising for staff in Craigslist.
But today the news is out. Grier is reconsidering. Does he look even more like a jackass now after stating publicly HISD would not deviate from TNTP implementation? What few conversations he conducts with parents often were about TNTP and HISD's dedication to equity in achievement. What's Bill Gates thinking about HISD today? John Arnold, how could he be pleased by today's announcement? All the groups that claim to be non-profits who have networked with the district - what are they thinking about Grier and HISD.
The really big question has nothing to do with TNTP as an education tool. The really big question is what motivated Grier to make this sudden decision.
To those regular readers of houstonisdwatch.com you probably are thinking what I have been thinking for the past hour. Politics. Plain and simple politics. Grier's ass is on the line this fall. If Paula Harris and/or Manuel Rodriguez lose in their upcoming elections Grier is history. He will be terminated on a 5-4 vote.
Grier has been through this boondoggle before many times. Look back at previous HISD school board elections. The strongest opposition opponent has come from HFT. Is Grier engaging in a quid pro quo here that is so vast it threatens the national reputation of HISD?
You decide why this startling news to delay the implementation is announced on Thursday, July 28, 2011, a vacation day for many in the HISD community. You decide why Grier suddenly changed his mind with the Sept. 7 deadline looming in his face. Sept. 7 is the date by which opposition candidates need to declare.
You decide if it is pedagogy or the realization that his hasty plan was doomed to fail that motivated Grier to put HISD's status in jeopardy. That Grier is a horrible financial manager and throws taxpayers' dollars away is already fact. Today we see another example of contracts given to TNTP staffers who will essentially hang out for the year.
As you judge these events, include this tidbit: Manuel Rodriguez has an opposition candidate. No, it has not been announced in the local media but he has one. This candidate is pulling Rodriguez's support away. This candidate is close enough to Rodriguez to know all of his contractor buddies. Manuel Rodriguez's opposition in 2011 is the real deal. And Grier knows it too.
The TNTP plan should never have been an option. Looking at the inevitability of value-added assessment, especially now that NYC schools will begin a slow implementation of it and Los Angeles Unified School District is also going to use value added assessment, it was bound to come to HISD. Grier wanted to run through people to make it happen this coming school year...that is until this week......
Comments from houstonisdwatch.com readers:
Erase to the top!
"Race to the Top"? Maybe we should start calling it "Erase to the Top". The ones who don't get caught cheating will be the winners!
by Education Grrrrl (Jul 28, 2011
Specialed I am sure you are more familiar with NCLB then you think. But here it is in a brief summary. No Child Left Behind was enacted by G.W. Bush in 2001. Its gaols are as follows......1)Effective teachers and principals for all students and communities which is defined by each state. 2)Accelerate progress and close the achievement gaps throught improved accountability through standardized tests designed by each state. 3)Move beyond the status quo to effective school improvement and student options. Transfer from poor schools to better ones. 4)Develop fair and accurate assessments of students progess with high standards for every student! 5)Ensure H.S. prepare students for college and the workplace. 6)Drive progress through reliable and accurate data!! 7) Improve parental involvement and empowerment. Each state is required to establish a standardized test which is given annually to every student in grades 3-8 and H.S., to measure reading and math progression. If results and improvements are not met from yr. to yr., sanctions can and will be assessed assessed against the school. After 2nd year with no progress, school labeled "in need of improvement" and funding can be cut and kids can transfer to better schools. Third through fifth years, entire staff and cirriculum replaced and kids can transfer out. Sixth year school can be closed! No Child Left Behind supports a standards-based reform which is based on the belief that setting high standards and establishing measurable goals can improve individual outcomes in education. It requires states to develop assessments in basic skills to be given to all students in certain grades with standards set by each individual state. NOW for Race to the Top....in a brief "nutshell" Obama came up with this plan to have each state draw up a plan to improve on or make changes to their NCLB plans. Every state had to submit their plans and compete with each other for a certain amount of money which in the end was awarded to about eleven states in total!?! The plans had to show how each state would AGAIN develop new testing and programs to ensure improvement in individual student progression and results through the effectiveness of their teachers and principals. So hope this gives you a little more insight into these two bills and you can google them for further reading!!
by marc (Jul 28, 2011)
BTW....I went online and summarized the two bills. I am NOT an expert on this and anyone else please feel free to add or correct me at any time! :0)
by marc (Jul 28, 2011)
Link to previous pages: 7/28/2011 Grier sells out TNTP to save his job
Lusterless career of Terry Grier 6/10/2011
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