Use comment tag below to express your opinion.
houstonisdwatch wants to hear from you, especially from HISD insiders.
Bellaire's Salem appears to be headed to Alabama
HISD to lose veteran principal Tim Salem
A big loss for Bellaire's parents and students, Salem maintained a steady
course through the turbulence of HISD leadership changes, Grier's lack
of interest in middle class kids, and pressure to disregard the input of
an active parent community
All is not well in McSwain's dukedom of Lamar High School, even IB program
What has happened at Lamar? A teacher friend of mine seems to be one of the few staying? He told me
that almost 30 teachers have left including counselors, IB program directors, and teachers crucial to getting
students through the IB program. My child is on transfer for 9th grade with the intent of doing IB and now I
understand so many of these teachers have left. Does anyone know why?
by Parent of 9th grader (Jul 24, 2012)
Parent of 9th grader, what more do you know about Lamar?
by HISD parent (Jul 24, 2012)
Historically, Lamar has always had pretty staggering turnover rates. Thirty teachers leaving is by no means
extraordinary for Lamar. Why, you ask? With thirty teachers leaving, you might get more than thirty different
replies, but here are a few possibilities: A) only one person in the building is allowed to have good ideas; B) if
you disagree with that person, you are treated like you hate children, and are told to apply to work at Wal-Mart;
C) dropping any pretense of teaching anything but TAKS objectives, and generally lowering the academic standards;
D) forcing unprepared (and sometimes unwilling) students into AP and IB classes; E) an administrative perspective
that seems to think kids are permanently scarred by consequences; F) treating teachers as easily replaceable
widgets; G) funding a bloated administrative staff to police teacher compliance in burdensome campus directives,
rather than funding teaching positions to reduce class size.
What's different about the upcoming school year, though, is that the turnover seems to be drastically hitting the
usually stable IB program. I'm also very curious why that is happening.
by Reaper (Jul 25, 2012)
Grier's bond proposal, for what it's worth, plans to rebuild Bellaire High School
to provide for 3100 students; there are already 3350 in attendance now
Grier's bond proposal fails to address HISD's declining population, high schools
like Yates and Scarborough which are grossly under-capacity
Read Ericka Mellon's report.
Revised 2012 HISD bond proposal.
Ann Best should have paid HISD for the OJT she received at taxpayers' expense
So Ann Best is leaving us! I hope the on-the-job training she gained while destroying the teacher morale
and ranks within HISD looks good on her resume. Maybe as she goes, she can take the idiots that were
placed in leadershp roles as so-called "effective" principals with her and as a bonus we will throw in Grier! S
he may be a great person, but was way in over her head on this one and glad she finally saw the error of her
ways, Hopefully HISD will now hire someone who really knows what a effective teacher looks like! There was
never ayn need to put people through all the crap that they came up with and that is why HISD now has trouble
getting applicants. How many hoops did Ann have to jump through to get her job in the first place??? Good luck
and good bye! Tell Michelle Rhee hi from all of us you screwed over!
by Mac D (Aug 2, 2012)
$50 for test prep but $0 for professional development?
So we pay teachers a ton to teach test prep over the summer and then expect teachers to show
up as volunteers to help with new teacher training in August? Why would anyone volunteer,
espcially under the methods that some teachers have been forced out? This makes no sense
by Really? (Aug 1, 2012)
After demoralizing and denigrating teachers for three years, Grier's team is
now asking for favors; from Marc:Are you kidding me? As stated by others, why would anyone want to help HISD train the people that are
replacing us! If HISD would have treated many of us fairly then maybe, but at this point HISD I raise the middle
finger back at you as you did to me! And an idea...why don't you just MAKE all your so-called expert CIOs, SIOs,
TDS, and worthless principals and let them train these people that they will in a couple weeks "rip" apart and
tell them they are unqualified to teach! Oh that's right, most of these people CAN'T teach themselves so how
the hell could they help others!?!?! If you don't believe me, ask one of these "new" leaders to show you how
to teach and watch how fast they run away! Their answer, "I will send someone in to help you." What? Listen
fools you are the ones that are supposed to be so great BUT YOU can't show me what YOU want???? HISD
administration is top heavy with the biggest bunch of losers that I have ever seen in this district including
the "Stupidintendent" himself! So again, help you HISD???? Remember YOU said we weren't good enough
to work for you, BUT we are good enough to volunteer to train your newbies!!! Think again....I am on vacation
and you handle it since you know it all!?!?!? LMFAO
by Marc (Aug 1, 2012)
HISD should appreciate the one smart thing Ann Best has done: RESIGNED
Promoted when she never should have been, put in an untenable position by Terry
Grier and unable to perform the basic function of her job - hiring teachers - Ann
Best's resignation is the best news we could hope for with school just four
Never able to divest herself from the Teach for America superiority complex, Ann
Best allowed herself to become the instrument of continual upheavel in HISD,
ruining teacher morale, performing job tasks at a substandard level, and
participating in the termination of veteran teachers so more Teach for
America cronies could be brought on board.
Thank you, Ms. Best, for leaving us. Good luck in your return to TFA.
Read Ericka Mellon's report.
Plug for CNN's Schools of Thought
CNN’s Schools of Thought blog covers education from a variety of perspectives that include policies,
practices and people. From pre-kindergarten through college, for parents, teachers, students – and
anyone who has ever been a student - Schools of Thought offers food for thought in the national
conversation on education. It’s edited by Donna Krache, Jamie Gumbrecht and John Martin, with
contributions from CNN journalists and those with an interest in education. You can reach us at
by Share your Stories (Aug 1, 2012)
Apparently, the Dallas ISD media relations department does not control investigations
by the Dallas Morning News; Houston Chronicle might want to investigate how the
Dallas daily does it
Dallas ISD administrator investigated over use of district money for Arlington
Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles hires 19 new administrators
Shirley Ison-Newsome, powerful and feared in DISD
New Superintendent Mike Miles didn’t know everything he should have when he recently promoted
Shirley Ison-Newsome to an assistant superintendent’s post within his inner circle. Now that he has
all the facts, including her involvement in a spending controversy that’s making headlines this week,
he needs to show her the door.
At stake is Miles’ credibility as a reformer who promised to not tolerate business as usual, which in
the case of Ison-Newsome means picking the rules you want to follow and ignoring the others. The
latest example is a March investigation, reported this week by WFAA-TV (Channel 8), into Ison-Newsome’s
authorization of a $1,500 bowling trip as a team-building event for Wilmer-Hutchins elementary staff —
a violation of a district ban on such trips. Her defense? She says she didn’t see the memo and the
trip had been planned months before it went into effect.
Continue reading DISD's teflon administrator
Sad to leave Sam Houston High; currently, SHHS has six vacancies
Sam Houston shows 12 vacancies (according to the numbers quoted in the article above), and it
has not been in the single digits since early spring - if even then. So, I think it is safe to say that people
continue to resign on a daily basis, is it not? And if that is the case, how is this good for the kids when
the same thing happened last year and the year before?
When is someone going to think of the KIDS FIRST?
By Sad to leave Sam
"Ineffective principals" describes many of Grier's principal hires
Some teachers are just Fed Up:
Those of you who think Cisneros at Golfcrest is doing an outstanding job need your heads re-examed
or you really don't know the meaning of "outstanding". One would wonder why AP's don't stay on the
campus with her. Well, it's simple, she has no leadership skills, she likes to have everything her way
( and it's always wrong), she's rude and loves to bully people. She is such a fake in all that she does.
Let's just call it whait is - An INEFFECTIVE PRINCIPAL who has no clue to running a school. It's not the
community, the community has been the same since the last 15 years. So don't try to put her on the
top shelf because everybody knows she is sooooooo ineffective including her colleagues. Tip,tip, the
only one that is trying to uphold her is her counselor at the school who is looking for points (remember
she said it)
by by Fed Up (Jul 26, 2012)
If HISD didn't run off its teachers, it wouldn't be doing last-minute, half-assed
efforts to provide teacher training
Good day, mentors. I hope you are all healthy and happy and enjoying your summer.
I am reaching out for volunteers to help us over the summer. We are expecting a record number of new
teachers for next year and are in need of assistance in planning and executing their summer trainings. If
you can help out, please read through the rest of this email and complete the survey to indicate your
availability. We will host a Volunteer’s meeting on Wednesday, August 1st from 9-11:30 AM at Wheatley
HS followed by a bag stuffing party from 1 – 3:30. (Dress comfortably) If you need additional details, contact
Melanie Evans-Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This year, our team – now comprised of three people (myself, Vanessa and Alison Heath) – have inherited
Induction. Basically that means that we are coordinating what used to be ABRAZO and is now called New
Teacher Academy. We were told to plan for 750 new hires. Well, as of this week, it looks like the district is
hiring 1500 new teachers and the number just keeps going up. (I just saw “Team HISD is now hiring” on the
To accommodate those numbers, we have decided to offer two different New Teacher Academies… one for
beginning teachers and an abbreviated one for experienced teachers. Because we know how much new
teachers struggle with classroom management, we have partnered with the new HISD Effective Teaching
Fellows ACP department. They will be hosting a one-day workshop on classroom management, offered on
three different days. The times below are the event times for participants.
· New Teacher Academy, August 6-9, 2012 (7:45 – 5:30) at Wheatley HS for only beginning teachers
· Abbreviated New Teacher Academy, August 13-14, 2012 (7:45 – 5:30) at Revere MS for teachers new to
HISD but with teaching experience
· Classroom Management Workshop, August 14-16, 2012 (7:45 – 5:30) at Ryan Professional Development
Center for 300 beginning teachers, without any previous teaching experience
In order to prepare for so many people and so many different institutes, we are in desperate need of some
assistance with the logistics. There are a variety of roles and dates. Roles include, but are not limited to:
Registration Table, Prepping signs/classrooms/walls, Materials, Greeting/Directing Participants, Technology,
Facilitating Sessions, Food.
Please review the dates below and then use the Survey Monkey link to indicate your availability.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!
Support requested on the following days:
Tuesday, July 31, 8:30AM - 4:30PM Academy Preparation @ Wheatley HS
Wednesday, August 1, 9:00AM - 11:30AM Academy Preparation @ Wheatley HS (Volunteer meeting)
Wednesday, August 1, 1:00PM - 4:00PM Academy Preparation @ Wheatley HS (Bag Stuffing Party)
Thursday, August 2, 8:30AM - 4:30PM Academy Preparation @ Wheatley HS
Monday, August 6, 7:00AM - 1:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Monday, August 6, 1:00PM - 6:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Tuesday, August 7, 7:00AM - 1:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Tuesday, August 7, 1:00PM - 6:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Wednesday, August 8, 7:00AM - 1:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Wednesday, August 8, 1:00PM - 6:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Thursday, August 9, 7:00AM - 1:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Thursday, August 9, 1:00AM - 6:00PM New Teacher Academy @ Wheatley HS
Monday, August 13, 7:00AM - 1:00PM Experienced New Teacher Academy @ Revere MS
Monday, August 13, 1:00PM - 6:00PM Experienced New Teacher Academy @ Revere MS
Tuesday, August 14, 7:00AM - 1:00PM Experienced New Teacher Academy @ Revere MS
Tuesday, August 14, 1:00PM - 6:00PM Experienced New Teacher Academy @ Revere MS
Tuesday, August 14, 7:00AM - 1:00PM Classroom Management Workshop @ Ryan
Professional Development Center
Wednesday, August 14, 7:00AM - 1:00PM Classroom Management Workshop @
Ryan Professional Development Center
Thursday, August 16, 7:00AM - 1:00PM Classroom Management Workshop @ Ryan
Professional Development Center
Time to Fire Pearson
Tying teacher evaluations to standardized testing is...well...just plain stupid
In June, University of Texas Professor Walter Stroup told a legislative committee about “a glitch
embedded in the DNA of the state exams that, as a result of a statistical method used to assemble
them, suggests they are virtually useless at measuring the effects of classroom instruction,”
according to Morgan Smith of the Texas Tribune/New York Times.
The “design flaw” has something to do with “item response theory.” According to Smith, “Using I.R.T.,
developers select questions based on a model that correlates students’ ability with the probability
that they will get a question right.” You’re probably thinking that this doesn’t make any sense. This is
because it doesn’t make any sense, and it gets worse.
“About 72% of the variance is this test taking ability. Now, it’s been spun to be called college and career
readiness, but it’s essentially test-taking ability,” Stroup testified. And when you attach high-stakes to the
tests—teachers get fired, schools get closed, kids get held back—this creates a perverse incentive to
teach test-taking skills instead of what we send kids to school to learn.
Read Behind Enemy Lines.
HISD's only good news all the time website
Need a job? HISD still has plenty of teaching positions still unfilled - 299 -
including 66 high school vacancies, 52 middle school vacancies, and 165
elementary school vacancies
Expect a 5-4 vote on approval to move forward with November bond election
Maybe the tally will be five in favor, one opposed, and three absenstions. That
assumes, of course, that all board members are present for the vote.
Paula Harris, Larry Marshall, Manuel Rodriguez, Harvin Moore, and
Greg Meyers will support $1.9 billion bond for reasons which have
been discussed on this board.
Perhaps Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Ana Eastman will join the five
or maybe they'll abstain. houstonisdwatch insider sources claim
Grier plans to rent properties scheduled for replacement to
Yes prep at bargain rates.
Grier and his supporters believe the bond will pass in November. A
preliminary survey indicated as much. Support from the Greater
Houston Partnership and Democratic politicians who stand to
reap big financial rewards will push a close election over the
top, or so Grier believes.
What Texas law states is in the purview of the public's right to know...
The secrecy HISD is operating under regarding principal selection, removals, and
promotions is not protected by the 2010 Public Information Act:
What information within a public employee’s personnel file is an open record?
The vast majority of information within a public employee=s personnel file is considered an open
record and accessible to the public. For example, information about a public employee=s job
performance, dismissal, demotion, promotion, resignation, and salary information is generally
considered open.122 Similarly, job-related test scores of public employees or applicants for public
employment are generally treated as open records,123 as are letters of recommendation, and opinions
and recommendations concerning other routine personnel matters.124 However, Attorney General
rulings have required information about an employee=s withholding on a federal tax form to be
withheld, as well as information about an employee=s beneficiary under governmental body life
insurance programs.125 A governmental body may refuse to reveal certain information under the
Apersonnel exception@.126 To make such a determination, the governmental body should consider:
1. whether the information contains highly intimate or embarrassing facts about the
2. whether there is any legitimate public interest in the release of or access to this
Agendas aren't posted yet, but HISD board has three meetings in the next 8 days
Workshop & hearings, agenda review, regular meeting
2012 bond election will be on board's agenda
Did you "dive" into your new curriculum this summer? HISD says you did.
"Vacationing students might still be jumping into swimming pools at community centers and water parks
right now, but thousands of HISD teachers are taking another type of dive this summer, as they delve deeply
into the district’s new curriculum during a series of intensive summer training sessions designed to give
them a head start on the upcoming school year.
Nearly 3,000 teachers will be taking a closer look at the new curriculum over the next few weeks during one
of two Curriculum and Assessment Institutes, while another 1,000 teachers will participate in an Everyday
excELLence Institute, targeted to instructors of English Language Learners."
Continue reading HISD's P.R.
Extrapolate the meaning of iheardarumor's comment to Grier's modus operandi
I have been hearing buzzings that some principals are being replaced and HISD is NOT posting them up
on the job website. Notice how he hasn't announced any of the new principals yet. Another thing is I see
retired principals that still have their email saying they are the current principal of that school and no
other person is listed as the principal of that school. So take heed people...maybe some of these stinker
dogs of principals may not come back yet...Only problem is..Who are they going to replace them with?
by iheardarumor (Jul 28, 2012)
(Editor: Last year Grier was getting beaten up in the Houston Chronicle about the chaotic
principal changes in HISD. Even the trustees began to question him. Several high profile
principals left for KIPP (then came crawling back to Grier.) So his solution is to clamp down on
Will misrepresenting the truth on a job application have any
penalties in HISD, even for relatives of Larry Marshall??
Where is Christian Winn?
Unless someone has a tip, we won't know until school starts.
houstonisdwatch blogger's warning to prospective Elrod new hires:
1. If you to do absolutely nothing to help students.
2. If you want to be miserable all day until 3:15.
3. If you want to be told 500 million directives that does not make any sense-and none will get done
in the end because it will change 4 hours later.
4. If you want to watch 4 academic coaches do absolutely nothing to earn 60,000 plus dollars per year.
5. If you want to experience the feel of working for the worse principal within the South.
6. If you want to work at a school that should be condemed by the department of health.
7. If you want to sit in faculty meetings listening to a principal go on and on about her mother sayings and
having to hear about her son 33 years old still living at home. (I would not tell anyone that)
8. If you want a principal that lies, lies, lies
9. If you want a principal that hates black women and hispanic males-but simply adores black males (
Get your groove back girl)
10. If you want your job threatened on a regular.
Yippie, 15 teachers left. How many will leave this school year? Bets are some won't make it through
the year-just like last year!!!
by Ten Reasons to Choose Elrod (Jul 28, 2012)
(Editor: The description presented here is the opinion of an houstonisdwatch blogger).
How many new staff members will Pin Oak have
when school opens?
Report of teachers bailing from Pin Oak, assistant principal signing on with charter school
FYI: Pin Oak, and HISD, just lost an assistant principal to the southwest charter school group.
She joins 15 other teachers who left the school this year.
by FYI (Jul 27, 2012)
Toxic climate perception hinders Grier's efforts to recruit experienced staff
Maybe, just maybe HISD should stop treating all their teachers/employees like crap and running them
off for no apparent reason! Think about how much talent this district has lost in the past few years
through their own stupidity? AND if one day those same teachers decided to get together and open
private/charter schools HISD would be in deep trouble because the only thing they have going for them
presently is that there are still a some great teachers left in the district BUT they to will one day be ran
off by some deranged, unqualifed, ignorant, arrogant person masquerading as a leader! Oh well, they
have made their bed, now they have to lie in it!!! When did the crazies take over the asylum once know
as Houston ISD??????
by LMFAO....hehehehehe (Jul 27, 2012)
And no plans to "Refer a friend"
The email that was sent out-Refer A Friend to HISD is a joke. I would not refer my worse enemy to this
punishment. I would not want my friends to end up in schools run by principals like Bellard. This principal
had to get teachers from other hemispheres and states to work. Oh well, when will HISD get a clue? This
woman is not effective at all. Working with HISD leaders is like herding cats. Blackshear and Elrod-which
minority school will be next?
by Refer A Friend (Jul 28, 2012)
Lovett principal's position still open?
from HISD Jobs:
17350 Principal, Elementary 7/24/2012 Until job is filled Performance
Contract Lovett Elementary Z 12 $68,000.00 $79,250.00
Add to the list Lovett Elementary's principal is not returning either. Job posting was dated 7/24
on the HISD jobs list - not much time to find a quality person before school starts...
by Really (Jul 27, 2012)
JP Harris is also looking for a principal
14731 Principal, Elementary 6/29/2012 Until job is filled Performance Contract Main
Administration Complex J R Harris Elementary Z 12 $68,000.00 $79,250.00
Then if the HISD job website is accurate Bellard is returning to Elrod, Cisneros is
returning to Golfcrest, and Farinas will be back at Gregory-Lincoln.
HISD has posted just one generic open principals position:
201112-26 Principal - Campus Leadership Pipeline (District Wide) 9/2/2011 Until job is filled Performance
Contract Main Administration Complex Recruitment and Selection 1 12 $68,000 $108,500
At least Westco has not been accused of overcharging taxpayers like Galvin Walker
has in billing Beaumont ISD - Texas Watchdog report
Summit Builders, in charge of Furr High School and Jackson Middle School construction
projects, experienced extensive delays in San Antonio - Texas Watchdog Report
HISD's current check registry shows no funds allocated to Summit Builders
Grier's history with Bond S during his tenure as San Diego Unified's superintendent
should provide stern warning to HISD trustees
"We just had this four years ago," said Chris Cate, the vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers
Association. "We're coming back again. That's something that we don't typically see from districts around
In 1998, voters approved Proposition MM, a $1.51 billion bond for school facility modernization and construction.
In 2008, Proposition S was passed, allowing $2.1 billion in bonds to be issued to finance repairs, construction
and equipping campuses.
"When I see pictures of moldy walls and falling ceilings and bad plumbing, I wonder what did you do with Prop. S,"
David Page, a district parent and volunteer, told the board.
Read complete report by 10News.com
In San Diego, bond money designated for school upgrades went to IPADS instead; Bond money
was used to build a charter school, infuriating the local tax payers' association
In planning to rebuild HISD high schools, what is Grier going to do with the current facilities?
Rent them cheap to Yes Prep??
Yes Prep growth plans
No hiring in HISD this week? Number of teacher vacancies hasn't changed in a week.
HISD's treatment of Associate Teachers: Egregious example of
how Grier has transformed HISD into a toxic workplace for teachers and their associates
From Longtime Associate Teacher NO MORE:
OH! The things Associate Teachers could tell everyone! The stories we could tell! Maybe we can write a
tell-all book and recoup some of the money we get shorted all the time!
1) The Associate Teacher have to BUY their own ID badges! And travel to the Chimney Rock Tech office to
get them. Many subs admired mine, but didn't have a good way to get to that part of town.
2) Why this should scare parents to no end. This means that unidentified strangers can come on campus
and "pretend" to be a sub teacher, no ID badge, no one asking them.....except there's a few (and far between)
school staff who ask to see ID. I always showed mine (yes, I bought one---I pride myself on being professional)
and thanked the staff for "protecting our children".
3)There are just a few islands of sanity in HISD, and the Associate Teachers will congregate there (want to know
what's going on in HISD? Don't listen to Jason Spencer, he's clueless...ask a sub!). And subs will ask other subs
where they are...which makes me wonder what happens in the schools with crazy administrators. Do they ever get subs?)
4) BTW, Associate Teachers are basically "no-where employees". We "belong" to the campus for the day, which allows
Central Office to disown us. And supposedly, those administrators are our "supervisors". Who has 20-30 supervisors?
That's what would happen if a sub actually goes to every campus that needs them. How ridiculous is that? Once upon a
time, there was a new guy in HR who thought he would actually listen to the concerns of the Associate Teachers. And
we had quite a few: safety conditions, constantly being shorted pay/not paid at all. Then he figured out the Central Office
culture and stopped returning our phone calls and emails? Guess it saved his job, but wonder how he slep at night knowing
that the lack of dialogue was causing good subs to give up and move on.
5)So you have unattached, unsupervised people wandering around HISD campuses? Everyone should get down and
kiss the ground that that @Substitute Teacher $12.75/hr walks on. It is only by his/her personal integrity/professionalism
that an "effective teacher" is placed in any classroom in HISD. There's no HISD policy or even attempt to care about to
even find out who is in the classroom whether that person is there for 1 day or months (and my suspicion is that there
are more long term subs than HISD is willing to let on....I think they get hidden by bureaucratic Central Office maneuvers.
It would take actual footwork to go to each and every school to find out what the truth is, and far be it from Central Office
to actually do some hard work and walk around!
BTW, one school, when I showed up, had THIRTEEN regular daily subs. They liked me and as much as I liked them, I
couldn't see becoming number FOURTEEN! How does Central Office not know there's a problem there?
And I would have people express admiration and wonder how I put up with students as a sub. I had to let them know
that students are nothing compared to some administrations around HISD and definitely don't hold a candle to the
actions of Central Office. After all, my students would never keep me from being paid for months on end---that's
something only administration has the nerve to do!
BTW-I was a sub for 10 years with 5 Star ratings from teachers (yes, they can rank their subs on the AESOP system)
and yet, I was never offered any sort of raise and when I left, I'm sure the take was "well, there's more warm bodies
where she came from"....just as well---most businesses are much more appreciative of hard work and employees
that are versatile enough to handle any situation thrown at them. Time to find an employer who puts their money
where their mouth is.
by Longtime Associate Teacher NO MORE (Jul 25, 2012)
Old Bastian ES left to vandals before being razed
You can add the old Bastian ES building off Cullen to the list of properties that was left to the vandals
for a few years before HISD finally leveled it! And what about the old Frost ES building on Selinsky?
How long will that be allowed to sit empty and vandalized? Why does Paula Harris hate the southside
so much that it is known as the "armpit" of HISD????? She is truly a disgrace to her district and should
be ashamed of herself for what she has done in allowing it to happen on her watch! I guess getting
contracts for her family and friends ranks higher on her list then the children she alleges to care about!?!
by Old Bastian (Jul 24, 2012)
houstonisdwatch blogger Virgen de Guadalupe:
Is there a contact phone number or a different website to share information?
by Virgen de Guadalupe (Jul 24, 2012)
(Editor: Yes. Email to Editor@houstonisdwatch.com or email@example.com
Vendetta by School Improvement Officer Anastasia Lindo against West Briar principal?
HISD Exodus has information on the situation at West Briar Middle School.
27 teachers have quit (to date)
2011 appointment of new principal a fix (friend of Grier’s)
2011 dismissal of former principal Ohl a fix (vendetta from SIO Lindo)
... and much more.
Update: HISD Elementary School Chief Sam Sarabia has responded to houstonisdwatch.
ELROD PARENTS AND COMMUNITY: CALL OR EMAIL MR. SARABIA
"I want to assure you, and most importantly, the concerned parents of Elrod that we do take their concerns
seriously and are their partners in the education of their children.
I welcome any parents to personally share their concerns with me, the district’s parent liaisons and the SIO
(in this case, Dr. Steven Gutierrez) who I have Cc’ed on this email."
Samuel D. Sarabia
Elementary Chief School Officer
San Diego Unified School District has stopped using the problematic Haberman
Questionnaire, so why is HISD still using it?
Grier's failed agendas just follow him were ever he goes. Isn't it a conflict of intrest to use the haberman
teacher and admin testing and he benifits fron the contracts ?............ San Diego Unified is planning to reverse
changes to its central offices that were made by former Superintendent Terry Grier, returning to a system
that looks a lot like what it HISD had before.
Now there's another sign the era of Grier is over in San Diego Unified: The school district will no longer be using
a controversial interview tool that Grier introduced to choose principals.
Grier had touted the Haberman interviews as a way to measure would-be-principals' values. We wrote about it
nearly two years ago when Grier introduced it:
The interview is modeled on the teachings of University of Wisconsin Milwaukee professor Martin Haberman,
who studies disadvantaged students and the educators who help them best. Principals applying for new jobs
were interviewed as well. San Diego Unified signed a $23,000 contract with the Haberman Educational Foundation
to train staffers in the interview process, which includes problem-solving scenarios and is meant to reveal the
applicants' core values. Two people ask open-ended questions during a tape-recorded interview and score the
No more. The Haberman interviews will no longer be used in San Diego Unified. Jeannie Steeg, executive director
of the union that represents principals and other school managers, said her group lodged complaints about the
interview method and how it was being used to judge principals.
"Supposedly it looks for one's values," Steeg said. "But to me, the interview for an administrative position has
to really focus in on the position and the responsibility and duties. You can value certain things, but if you can't
demonstrate that value, you could score high but may not know a darn thing about running a school."
-- EMILY ALPERT ISN'T THAT WHAT WE FACE HERE (PRINCIPALS NOT KNOWNG WHAT TO DO AND USING THEIR
INEXPERIENCED VALUES TO MAKE DECISIONS) MAKES ONE GO HMMMMMMMMM
by TIRED????? (Jul 23, 2012)
Associate teacher comments on HISD, pay structure
I agree that associate teachers are underpaid and may I add under valued. With the new 2% raise the
associate teachers at the low end of the pay scale will be paid $7.41 per hour. At the high end of the
pay scale, the long term subs who work many unpaid hours planning and grading will be paid $14.53
As a retired HISD teacher certified and degreed, I will get paid $12.75 per hour. I am not a babysitter or
just a " warm body in the room". I am a teacher! I put just as much effort into teaching when I substitute
as I did when I was a classroom teacher. I like subbing and I have have a lot to share with the children,
but I'm looking for a job in which the pay is more commiserate with the amount of work that I do.
It is not an easy to face the unknown everyday , figure out lesson plans, familiarize yourself with the rules,
and establish some kind of working relationship with 25 to 100 students. Bluntly, some classroom situations
are so abusive few associate teachers would be willing to return to them for any amount of money. The associate
teachers that I come in contact with take teaching just as seriously as I do.
Yes, I've heard rumors of the sub who fell asleep while the kids played on the playground for hours and of the sub
who took trips to the parking lot to drink alcohol. HISD, pay us what we are worth and you can be more selective
about who you hire. Pay us what we are worth and there won't be so many days when schools can't get subs
and classes have to be split up.
I have heard of subbing described as a paid /volunteer job. Most of us can't afford to be volunteers. Subs don't have
anyone to stand up for them, but if the children's interests were being addressed the subs would be receiving
by substitute teacher $12.75 per hour (Jul 24, 2012)
Don't expect new principal names to be released anytime soon
You can bet that Grier is not releasing assignments for new principals because he knows that we
will all start looking into who they are, where they came from, and who they are connected to within
the walls of HISD!
by Marc (Jul 22, 2012)
HISD board continues to approve addtional, non-bond funds to correct/
complete work approved in 2007 bond election
Thomas Jefferson ES - $150,000 Adjustment in parking arrangement necessitated
by City of Houston improvements
James P. Henderson ES - $300,000 Additional unforeseen conditions for the mechancial,
electrical, and plumbing system upgrades
(Looks like hosting Grier and the Broad committee in May is paying off for Herlinda
Lamar Fleming MS - $300,000 Additional unanticipated requirements for items such as
existing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system, fire alarm system,
Jamie Davila ES - work approved by 2007 bond election not yet started but already
over cost estimates; Board approves an additional $50,000
Grady MS - Already slated for $12 million in improvements, Grady will use $440,00
for demolition work and pre-engineering for new gymnasium.
"No evidence of malicious intent" regarding Westco contracts
From Texas Watchdog:
"...Texas Watchdog reported last week that HISD Inspector General Robert Moore issued a report
earlier this month, three months after he promised it.
That report concluded that some documents remained missing and that district officials
could improve their methods of tracking, filing, archiving and accessing public records.
Moore found “no evidence of malicious intent” with respect to the missing documents.
Texas Watchdog reported in August that Southwest Wholesale Nursery won a contract
despite its bid being nearly twice as high as the lowest bidder on the project and higher
than seven other firms that bid on the job. The difference between the low bid and Southwest
Wholesale's bid was about $205,000. That would pay the annual salaries of about 4.5 teachers
on the lowest rung of HISD's teacher pay scale..."
Read Mike Cronin's complete report.
2012 HISD bond boondoggle
Sure, the proposed rebuilding of HISD facilities in the 2012 bond is
just for the kids.
Wasn't the 2002 bond just for the kids, too? What about the 2007
bond? Weren't HISD students in need of immediate upgrades then
just like now?
Please take the stated urgency, even in situations where you have
first hand knowlege, with a grain of salt. HISD is still approving funds
for the 2002 bond as well as the 2007.
In HISD's bond lexicon, immediate means maybe within 10 years or
more. Just getting around to voting on funding is a first step, not
Daily E.S. - 2002 bond
Greg Meyers requested $250,000 for additional parking at Ray K. Daily
Elementary School, a 2002 bond project.Daily opened for the
2007-08 school year.
Blanche-Kelso Bruce E.S. - 2002 bond
The 2002 bondapproved a replacement school for Blanche-Kelso
Bruce E.S. Blanche was supposed to be torn down and the property
Not until February 2010 did the district approve demolition of the
school after vandals had done a number on the facility.
Associate teacher pay makes a mockery of HISD's claim to put an
effective teacher in every classroom
If you child attends an HISD school, the chances are good at some point during
the year he or she will be taught by an associate teacher. This individual
will be expected to follow the teacher of record's lesson plan, maintain
classroom decorum and, if testing, provide a safe and secure testing
HISD does not require certification or even a four-year degree for the
associate, or substitute teacher.
In fact, the individual attempting to stand and deliver the daily lesson may
be a minimum wage employee earning the standard $7.25 an hour.
Just to put in perspective how ridiculously low HISD's baseline associate
teacher pay is consider these salary quotes:
*If you fly Southwest Airlines through Hobby Airport you have probably
shopped at Hudson News. Hudson News is the exclusive book/magazine
provider at HOU, and it pays its beginning employees $8.25 an hour.
*Ultra Plumbing, a well-known, trusted plumbing company in Northwest
Houston pays canvasers, individuals hired to place door hangers on
door knobs, $10 an hour.
*The Black Walnut Cafe, a popular quick casual restaurant in Rice Village
is advertising for help at its Memorial Drive location. Its advertisement
lists wage potential of $15 an hour.
Even if the associate teacher working with your child is degreed, that
individual's pay will max out at $11.75 per hour.
HISD teaching vacancy update: As of Tuesday, July 24, 2012, the district has
336 open positions advertised
It's unlikely we'll find out much about Linda Bellard's interview for Elrod &
hiring process but questions have been asked
From Done with ineffective leadership
Who is responsible for hiring Linda Bellard? Can someone please let us know the answer to this because
none of the parents that we know of sat on this hiring committee. This woman doesn't have a clue.
by Done with ineffective leadership (Jul 17, 2012)
(Editor: houstonisdwatch has submitted a Texas Open Records request for all emails between Sam
Sarabia and Linda Bellard).
Does a school culture like this concern Sam Sarabia?
Bellard's culture at Elrod compared to gang warfare by Elrodo:
There is a culture of bullying at the school. Yes it was created by entire admin team. We all know that there
is stress but people should not be humiliated, yelled at, or cursed. The climate is like something you would
see from the Bloods and the Crips. Just total disrespect toward staff members. The nurse was right you
have to straighten out the top before you can fix the bottom. Apparently there is a pattern. The nurse is telling
the truth. She has courage. Her name was probably trashed for speaking out-which is what happens with the
principal. Teachers have gone to her about the problem and it has been totally ignored. Really sad situation.
Please pray for the teachers, staff members. They struggle.
by Elrodo (Jul 2, 2012)
From Elrod PTO Member:
The issues that we face are horrible. Our kids come home telling us that their teacher was called to the
office and came back in tears is unacceptable. Kids saying teachers are screaming at teachers. Basically
bullying is being taught and modeled.Too many tears at Elrod. Kids fighting. Other schools have sent out
Stanford scores we haven't got the ones from the previous year let alone this year. No counselor at all.
Crisis. Good teachers leaving. Many positions people just getting a check. Walking around dictators.
Telling parents they not welcomed. Kids getting lost at dismissal. Fighting on streets. No after school
stuff. Thing not equal and right.
by Elrod PTO Member (Jul 2, 2012)
HOUSTONISDWATCH FILES COMPLAINT WITH TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL
HISD FAILS TO RESPOND TO OPEN RECORDS REQUESTS MADE 35 DAYS AGO
On June 7, 2012, houstonisdwatch submitted Texas Public Information Act requests
for the following items:
Mary Cisneros: Her administrative assignment record in HISD, including campuses at
which she served as an assistant principal, principal, and staff positions she may have
held as a central office administrator, and salaries at these assignment.
Documentation concerning her assignment to Golfcrest, including interview committee
notes, interview committee names, and corresponding recommendations and
endorsements for that position.
Grievances filed against Ms. Cisneros by staff members she supervised at Cisneros
and any other schools where she served as an administrator. Includes all complaints
made to HISD's E.E.O. office and the disposition of those complaints.
Any and all complaints, tipr, or reports sent to the HISD's Inspector General's office
regarding or mentioning Mary Cisneros.
*Any reports taken or findings by the HISD police department during her tenure as
*All expenses for reimbursement submitted by Cisneros while at Golfcrest.
*Records of all PROCARD purchases by Cisneros at Golfcrest.
Please provide me with the estimate of costs before making copies for me.
Please redact any information that has been determined by the Texas Attorney General
to be private and confidential.
Please release all other items.
The exact wording from this request was used on June 7, 2012, with the exception of name
and school changes, in Texas Open Records Act requests for Linda Bellard at Elrod and
Pam Farinas at Gregory-Lincoln.
Additonally, information provided by HISD on May 25, 2012, in response to houstonisdwatch's
Texas Open Records Act request about Xochitl Rodriguez-Davila, promoted to the position
of School Improvement Officer for Apollo Schools, was incomplete.
On Thursday, July 19, 2012, Tracey Scales, a speaker representing Kashmere High School
parents, addressed the board. She requested the immediate removal of the new guy (not
finding his name) who replaced Paul Hardin who was replaced by Jeremy Beard.
Ms. Scales made her request after U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee addressed
the board at its June 14, 2012, meeting asking for Grier and the trustees to allow the
Kashmere community to input in the selection of Mr. Hardin's successor (Mr. Beard
was just a temp).
Numerous bloggers have made detailed, striking statements about the unfit principal
at Elrod, Linda Bellard, on houstonisdwatch. Bloggers have been persident over
the course of the past few months asking HISD to make a change.
houstonisdwatch sent letters to Sam Sarabia, HISD's Elementary Schools Officer and
Mike Lunceford, HISD board president whose district includes Elrod.
Mr. Sarabia has failed to respond. Whether he is under orders from Grier to ignore the
Elrod community is irrelevant. He has a professional obligation to respond to houston-
isdwatch and, most importantly, to the Elrod community.
Likewise, complaints have been written about Mary Cisneros, Golfcrest principal, and
Pam Farnias, Gregory-Lincoln principal.
All of these complaints have been ignored by the Grier administration. The arrogance,
instransigence, hubris, and implied message of "F**k you" is being sent to the HISD
community loud and clear.
These principals were selected by virtue of administrative fiat, assigned by Grier
who is using the powers granted to him by his contract.
That image represents Grier's attitude and practice toward the communities of HISD. The trustees,
other than Julie Stipeche who questioned wording in a July 19, 2012, board item that would
have enhanced Grier's grip on power. (Check section entitled "Authority of Superintendent," are
either enabling Grier in what many believe are quid pro quo situations or feeling powerless to
HISD Media Relations keeps principal changes out of the news
You and I know HISD is busy making principal changes this summer. Unlike last summer,
news of these changes is not making the Houston Chroncile and TV news. No doubt
Grier has issued a gag order.
houstonisdwatch has submitted a Texas Open Records request for the names of
principals new to their campuses in 2012-13 and their previous assignments.
Again, the arrogance of HISD to assume communities have no interest or, more
importantly, no right to know is congruent with Terry Grier's general disregard
for the communities he was hired to serve.
Editor, I would like to know if it is a unanimous decision among school board members that the past President
of the board should continue to have her BF awarded more contracts. Is there any member who does not agree
with this decision? In this continuation of "my BF gets the con$rac$s how is this impacting other companies who
have placed bids and will never see the light of day doing business w/HISD because of this sickening cronyism.
This no different then relatives or family friends being awarded schools to run when clearly these folks are inept
and have no business in education, let alone being head administrator. Thank-you.
by B.E. (Jul 21, 2012)
(Editor: passed by the board with no dissenters)
Link to previous pages.
Link to AEIS reports, Open Records reports, and more: just updated!
Use comment tag to express your opinion. houstonisdwatch
wants to hear from you, especially from HISD insiders.