2009 FBISD Tax Hearing (On YouTube)

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2009 FBISD CONTROVERSIAL TAX HEARING (YES THEY ARE RAISING THEM AGAIN--see petition of over 500 district taxpayers asking for board accountability) --In case anyone missed it they raised the property tax rate again (4th time) in 2010 and more than likely will do so again in 2011 facing another projected 15-20 million dollar budget deficit, according to some media reports. ***NEW*** ..Petition TO STOP THE GSTC (Global Science Museum being planned at the district central office--near $30 million dollar project that superintendent Jenney is pushing): http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopthegcst/ (see update below on this apparently ending this project after 2 years)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

FBN Reports: Poor TAKs Scores At 10 FB County Schools Means Students Can Transfer...

Poor TAKS Performance At 10 Fort Bend Schools Means Students Can Transfer Out

Ten Fort Bend County schools performed so poorly on Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills tests over the past three years that students there can, according to state law, apply to go to school elsewhere.

The schools were identified Wednesday in a list released to Texas school superintendents by the Texas Education Agency. To make the list, 50% or more of each school’s students had to have failed all reading, writing, math, social studies and science TAKS tests in two of the past three years, including 2007, 2006 and 2005...

FBW comment: The majority of these schools are located on the under-represented east end of FBISD.

See: http://www.fortbendnow.com/news/3621/poor-taks-performance-at-10-fort-bend-schools-means-students-can-transfer-out to get the full story

13 comments:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why isn't this that surprising given the lack of concern the current BOT and administration demonstrate towards the east end schools?

kidsfirst said...

I'm tired of seeing this neglect. When is someone going to do something for these families, schools?

Anonymous said...

FBN threaded comments:

Fort Bend ISD officials had no comment on this article.

1 Muckraker - Dec 13, 03:25 PM
“Fort Bend ISD schools included Burton, Jones, Hunters Glen and Ridgemont elementary schools; Missouri City Middle School; and Marshall and Willowridge high schools.”

All east end, under-represented and under-funded FBISD schools….what now? Why not give SMD a chance to improve these schools funding and support. Notice any patterns with regard to the safety survey, performance, etc…improved representation can’t hurt, that’s for sure!

2 Scott E Berrett - Dec 13, 04:22 PM
Where is the federal funding we need to improve these schools?
I guess it is being used to bomb and then rebuild, and bomb and then rebuild again Iraq.

3 Rodrigo Carreon - Dec 13, 05:15 PM
In before 2005 Burton Elem. was a recorgnized and Exemplary preforming school, just like Goodman Elem. for Fresno and Arcola areas. Thence FBISD BOT fired or relocated both both school principles in 2004 and school staffing teachers with new under-experience school staff, that leads to the previous majority FBISD BOT actions and Burtons failure in 2005, 2006-07. Goodman Elem. was without an Administrator for more the six month in 2003 and 2004.

4 theydrewfirstblood - Dec 13, 05:17 PM
Muck —-These campuses are no more underfunded than other public school campuses. I cannot address what the current administration is doing, but I know the district has, in the past, given EXTRA money to the above named campuses. They have the same resources. The same text books, better student/teacher ratio, etc. The problem, in my opinion, has always been poor parent participation and questionable campus leadership.

That being said, perhaps we need to STOP the one size fits all and look at individualized needs for every campus.

Things do not appear to be getting better under the current district leadership structure.

5 anonymous - Dec 13, 05:20 PM
How can you say they are under-funded? I challenge you to prove that! Where are you getting your information?

6 Sienna Educator - Dec 13, 05:59 PM
FYI- In particular to those that were proud of the recent news from Texas monthly- The way that the No Child Left Behind Law is Currently structured eventually all schools in the district will fail to meet standards.

I would like to invite each and every parent from the schools named in this article to transfer to Sienna Crossing Elementary, Commonwealth Elementary, Walker Station Elementary, Brazos Bend and all the other schools that were named on the Texas Monthly List.

7 Muckraker - Dec 13, 07:44 PM
“They have the same resources. The same text books, better student/teacher ratio, etc. “

TDFB,

I agree with your last two statements, but not the above quote. Please provide documentary support. For mine, I will just suggest you walk the campuses as I have done…you will see the difference. Yes teaching/learning is more than buildings and I do agree with smaller more familial schools where parent involvement needs a nudge. I would also support working to attract the more experienced teachers/administrators to those campuses and yes, seeking single – member districts as a means for improving parental/taxpayer/voter involvement. It is, after all, considered a much more direct voting process than the current at large system.

8 Cheryl Hill - Dec 13, 08:23 PM
theydrewfirstblood said the following to which I agree.

Citing one of the problems for poor test scores at underperforming schools—- “and questionable campus leadership.”
That my friend is the whole truth of the matter.

“That being said, perhaps we need to STOP the one size fits all and look at individualized needs for every campus.” Amen to stopping the one size fits all concept: starting with Reading Recovery!!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fbisdwatch said...

More-

8 Cheryl Hill - Dec 13, 08:23 PM
theydrewfirstblood said the following to which I agree.

Citing one of the problems for poor test scores at underperforming schools—- “and questionable campus leadership.”
That my friend is the whole truth of the matter.

“That being said, perhaps we need to STOP the one size fits all and look at individualized needs for every campus.” Amen to stopping the one size fits all concept: starting with Reading Recovery!!

9 j williamson - Dec 13, 08:31 PM
Isn’t Marshall one of the newer high schools? What is it missing in terms of facilities?

Aren’t some of the other schools considerably older? Do we need to build new ones in these areas? A new bond issue?

How do you propose attracting experienced teachers to these campuses? I’ve been told in other posts “it’s not about the money.”

And how will SMD increase parent involvement?

10 anon - Dec 13, 10:18 PM
What is amazing is that the school board has voted to fix it by adding 6th grade to these elementaries(except Burton). So adding another TAKS grade level, impossible scheduling conflicts, contraints with space and personnel, and inferior electives will be added to the hard task of bringing up current task scores. Unbelievable.

11 theydrewfirstblood - Dec 14, 12:58 AM
Muck – The difference I see when walking various campuses has nothing to do with resources. I don’t know what kind of documentation you want. As you have often said to others, request the documentation through an open records request. I repeat, the east side campuses have the same textbooks as other schools. They have the required number of computers, science labs, same curriculum. If a campus has computers that don’t work, blame the campus leadership. It is their job to report the problems. If the bathroom plumbing doesn’t work, that’s what the maintenance department is for. If they need/want “extras” so that special/enriched lessons can be taught, the teachers can, for example, apply to the Education Foundation. The Education Foundation which people here enjoy bashing, offers a couple of different types of grants. Ask for the list – east side campuses can/do receive as many grants as the west side – of course, that would require that the teachers apply for the grants. Their hands may be so full just trying to teach, they may not have the time or inclination to fill out the paperwork.

Which brings me to my next post.

12 theydrewfirstblood - Dec 14, 01:03 AM
If TEST SCORES are going to be used to determine whether or not a teacher is effective, will keep his/her job, or receive a bonus, you will NOT get many good teachers to move to low performing schools. In my opinion, it takes a very special type of teacher to CHOOSE to serve in a school with tremendous academic/discipline challenges. Teaching takes more than just a particular intellectual ability, it takes an emotional commitment. If the administration is going to tell a principal that he/she is being moved to a low performing school and has a one year contract which will be renewed IF scores go up, of course, they will jump ship. In an ideal world, this would not be the case, but if you want good teachers at low performing campuses, realistically you must be prepared to reimburse them to meet the challenge. (And yes, I agree that if they are making “bonuses” and fail to increase the knowledge and skills of their students, they need to be replaced with someone who can.) If you want a Principal to leave an “Exemplary” campus for a low performing school, you need to give him/her a three year contract, not a one year contract. Just my humble opinion. Sorry for the long responses.

13 Muckraker - Dec 14, 06:15 AM
“A new bond issue?”

Nice try jw, but most of the schools should have been replaced long ago. If you looked at the last two bond proposals you would see about 2/3rds of the money goes to new school construction and most of that earmarked for newer developments (with the developers charging full value and more on the land, unlike other states). I think if you follow this pattern you will see a clear spending template placing the tax load on the older neighborhoods to build the newer schools in the MP communities.

Many other examples exist, but the east end problem continues…if you continue to do what you’ve done, you will get what you got (see FBNs campus security report and this one for further evidence of neglect on our parts).

The special interests talk about quality schools, but support the status quo. Schools are symbols in our neighborhoods, perhaps the first thing people look at when shopping for a home. Can they take pride in one that’s in poor condition? Yes, many more issues too need to be addressed, but neighborhood schools are important (so how about a fairer distribution of the bonds for older subdivisions shouldering the tax burden?).

14 Muckraker - Dec 14, 06:19 AM
“If you want a Principal to leave an “Exemplary” campus for a low performing school, you need to give him/her a three year contract, not a one year contract. Just my humble opinion. Sorry for the long responses.”

I agree on this, but see my other post on how the bond monies are broken down to refute your earlier claim on disparity in financing.

You don’t even need to go FOIA it. This material was sent to our homes and can be easily googled.

15 TexasRose - Dec 14, 06:39 AM
Hey They Drew~
JMHO to fact: WE are listening! =-)

Yes, the “challenge” may be right before our eyes…. “Questionable campus leadership”

My kids are in LCISD, whom actually has a wonderful 6th grade concept that works! Our 1999 bond monies proved to be the successful pro-stance forward! As a parent who is extremely educationally/community involved—I am here to say it works! To that I am so very curious: why would FBISD choose to overlook their neighbors— LCISD

Did you know a child in 6th grade is slowly maturing? Speak about challenges, wow! Their hormones are just beginning to be confusing. Our 1999 bond monies addressed this fact to our advantage…their own separate campus! I assure you, it is not all about TAKS scores!

My wish is for FBISD to reconsider this challenge to mixing-it-all-up. I assure you, the teenager transitional years to 6th grade does not have to be a challenge. Indeed they deserve their own “space.”

16 Tk - Dec 14, 06:54 AM
Those schools are Title 1 schools…they get A LOT more money than non title schools do.

17 Muckraker - Dec 14, 07:47 AM
What does the federal title programs have to do with building and supporting older neighborhood schools? The bond distribution for ’03 and the one just voted in supports the earlier notion and claims. Title funds are restricted to specific uses. Why the red herring? Let’s not get bogged down in fact quagmire, debating traps, double binds and circular arguments once again…

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

and...

17 Muckraker - Dec 14, 07:47 AM
What does the federal title programs have to do with building and supporting older neighborhood schools? The bond distribution for ’03 and the one just voted in supports the earlier notion and claims. Title funds are restricted to specific uses. Why the red herring? Let’s not get bogged down in fact quagmire, debating traps, double binds and circular arguments once again…

18 Rodrigo Carreon - Dec 14, 08:08 AM
During the past three years, upto half of FBISD schools have been recieving one or two new Administrators to replace the previous ones, happening during FBISD BOT meetings, naming the new principles and Assistant(Admin.). Only concern is for what reasons new administrators had been hired. Reasons for relocating Administrators leadership, fired, walking off the job, under preforming leadering, and more?

19 Jimmy Kilpatrick - Dec 14, 08:09 AM
I promise you one thing there is more healthy discussions going on here than at the administration building. This is an outcry and if Jenney was a real leader he would hold open forums conducted by independent organization so parents, teachers and the taxpayers could ask the hard questions needing to answered.

No amount of money will turn these schools around. If so cite an example. Gates is pouring millions in, the feds have spend billions over the last ten years and nothing is improving. My suggestion is to bring in KIPP folks in to take over. They are starting 40 schools in Houston ISD alone. The success they have shown has helped them raise over 100 million dollars so far.

Regarding LCISD: Love to see the data: My kids are in LCISD, whom actually has a wonderful 6th grade concept that works!

20 intheknow - Dec 14, 08:27 AM
Open campus enrollment — that is the ability for a parent to register a student at the campus of their choice. Rather than the tortured IDT process FBISD has contorted itself around.

Competition in the market place. Real Magnet programs at all grade levels.

Once you have a system that doesn’t concentrate all of the poorest performing students and all of the low income students (not necessarily the same) at a few schools it’s easier to get teachers to move for positive reasons (a special program, a unique opportunity, etc. ) Forced bussing doesn’t work — but voluntary movement for positive opportunities does.

It’s what FBISD should have had for years. Looks like it’s slowly going to be forced to finally do some of this.

21 TexasRose - Dec 14, 09:07 AM
I was only a cheerleader, what’s a Title 1? Is it sports related and tied into the student enrollment?

I wish to correct an oops..not that anyone’s counting, but 1999 was actually the year our Jr. was “Recognized”. Off the top of my head, our bond must have passed in 1997! Let’s face it - LCISD is on it’s toes! I’m just so happy the bond passed! It can be a challenge ya know?

22 Rick L - Dec 14, 09:27 AM
This problem begins at home. Throw all the money and people you want at these schools, but until parents, and then the community as a whole get together and convince these kids there is a value in education, the teachers and administrators are fighting a losing battle.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

visit this site if you'd like to help:

http://www.thecouncilofeldersinc.com

fbisdwatch said...

More:

17 Muckraker - Dec 14, 07:47 AM
What does the federal title programs have to do with building and supporting older neighborhood schools? The bond distribution for ’03 and the one just voted in supports the earlier notion and claims. Title funds are restricted to specific uses. Why the red herring? Let’s not get bogged down in fact quagmire, debating traps, double binds and circular arguments once again…

18 Rodrigo Carreon - Dec 14, 08:08 AM
During the past three years, upto half of FBISD schools have been recieving one or two new Administrators to replace the previous ones, happening during FBISD BOT meetings, naming the new principles and Assistant(Admin.). Only concern is for what reasons new administrators had been hired. Reasons for relocating Administrators leadership, fired, walking off the job, under preforming leadering, and more?

19 Jimmy Kilpatrick - Dec 14, 08:09 AM
I promise you one thing there is more healthy discussions going on here than at the administration building. This is an outcry and if Jenney was a real leader he would hold open forums conducted by independent organization so parents, teachers and the taxpayers could ask the hard questions needing to answered.

No amount of money will turn these schools around. If so cite an example. Gates is pouring millions in, the feds have spend billions over the last ten years and nothing is improving. My suggestion is to bring in KIPP folks in to take over. They are starting 40 schools in Houston ISD alone. The success they have shown has helped them raise over 100 million dollars so far.

Regarding LCISD: Love to see the data: My kids are in LCISD, whom actually has a wonderful 6th grade concept that works!

20 intheknow - Dec 14, 08:27 AM
Open campus enrollment — that is the ability for a parent to register a student at the campus of their choice. Rather than the tortured IDT process FBISD has contorted itself around.

Competition in the market place. Real Magnet programs at all grade levels.

Once you have a system that doesn’t concentrate all of the poorest performing students and all of the low income students (not necessarily the same) at a few schools it’s easier to get teachers to move for positive reasons (a special program, a unique opportunity, etc. ) Forced bussing doesn’t work — but voluntary movement for positive opportunities does.

It’s what FBISD should have had for years. Looks like it’s slowly going to be forced to finally do some of this.

21 TexasRose - Dec 14, 09:07 AM
I was only a cheerleader, what’s a Title 1? Is it sports related and tied into the student enrollment?

I wish to correct an oops..not that anyone’s counting, but 1999 was actually the year our Jr. was “Recognized”. Off the top of my head, our bond must have passed in 1997! Let’s face it - LCISD is on it’s toes! I’m just so happy the bond passed! It can be a challenge ya know?

22 Rick L - Dec 14, 09:27 AM
This problem begins at home. Throw all the money and people you want at these schools, but until parents, and then the community as a whole get together and convince these kids there is a value in education, the teachers and administrators are fighting a losing battle.

23 Muckraker - Dec 14, 10:06 AM
“My suggestion is to bring in KIPP folks in to take over. They are starting 40 schools in Houston ISD alone. “

Jim,

Whether or not you use KIPP data or the Eagle Rock, East Harlem examples, these support schools of scale (a completely different paradigm not necessarily more expensive models).

I also agree with your statement about open dialogue with reference to our current admin/BOT,

“This is an outcry and if Jenney was a real leader he would hold open forums conducted by independent organization so parents, teachers and the taxpayers could ask the hard questions needing to answered.”

This apparently doesn’t seem to be the case given recent rulings by them to reduce access to open forums.

ITK, and a few others offer value added suggestions to this dialogue too, but Jim is right. Nothing can be accomplished without an open discussion.

Thanks BD for having these forums open, because we ALL know they are monitored by many of the “insiders”...

24 Elizabeth - Dec 14, 10:21 AM
.
Rick L, I worked at a Title 1 & Title 3 school, and it wasn’t that the parents didn’t understand/stress the value of education, it was that for the most part they felt alienated from the education system. Many of them didn’t know how to help, even when they weren’t working 12 hours a day (which many were.)

We need to stop assuming that poor and minority parents don’t understand/stress the value of education — just because you feel hopeless about something doesn’t mean you don’t think it’s important.
.

intheknow, open enrollment is a band-aide on a gaping wound. If the problem really was that administrators at under-performing schools just aren’t motivated enough, then okay. But we know that isn’t the problem… And pulling kids out just reduces their funding even more.

To those of you who think there is plenty of money in the schools, I challenge you to go visit one for a couple of days. Ask the teacher how much of her salary has to go directly back into the classroom because even at Title 1 schools, not all needs are provided for. Ask how much more support staff is really needed. I promise, it’s shocking.

25 j williamson - Dec 14, 11:22 AM
Muck,
You demand documentation from others, why don’t you give some.

Tell me the facility differences between Marshall and Elkins High Schools. That should be simple.

26 j williamson - Dec 14, 12:03 PM
Rick L-
Nice try, but most this site clearly believe that it’s not the parent’s fault. I’ve tried this argument, but have been consistently shot down.

You have to remember, it’s always someone or something else’s fault (e.g., our teachers aren’t as good, our schools are not as nice).

Evidently the parents are doing as good as it’s going to get.

27 Elizabeth - Dec 14, 01:45 PM
j williamson, I think it’s ironic that you’re crticizing parents for not taking responsibility, when in fact what you’re doing by blaming them is denying our society’s responsibility.

Hmm.

28 sgr - Dec 14, 02:54 PM
Washington DC spends more money per child (and has for many years) than any school district in the nation. And they have some of the (if not the) worse performing schools in the nation. Once you fund beyond basic “safety and hygiene” needs in these schools, there is almost NO correlation between how much money you spend and the results you get. This isn’t Jenney’s fault. (And believe me, I’m no fan.) It’s not even the teachers’ or administrators’ fault. These schools are all primarily filled with socioeconomically challenged households. There was a time when education was seen a the way out of poverty. Now, ignorance and disrespect for educators and authority are practically celebrated by a large number of this group. I don’t pretend to know what the answer is, but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking the cause of the problem is a lack of money or effort from FBISD.

29 Muckraker - Dec 14, 03:19 PM
Actually I provided the support based on the inordinate amount (approx. 2/3rds of last 2 bond elections) that was proposed to new development areas jw. It is up to you to disprove or discredit that claim, which you haven’t done. Support 2 was having walked the halls and been on the campuses of many east-side (non-new development campuses). Neither have you even tried to refute. You see I did serve on a district-wide committee for several years that gave me some access. Another supporting sample would be recent land purchases in new subdivisions versus older ones along with the fact that TX does not require set-a-sides on lands in these developments, which compounds this constant disparity in spending for the new latest and greatest, on the backs of the established communities (that trend is supported by the article above given the list of schools on it). You have only included what is called an outlier (or exception) that does not support the trend or your argument.

The original claim made in #13 and 7 (as well as numerous other threads) remains supported.

Elizabeth,

I do believe it is possible to “scale” the schools and actually save money and improve education (see earlier samples given). I do agree though that the current paradigm is approaching the untenable. I would like to see a greater emphasis placed on buy-in by the special interests who only continue the current equation (status quo as previously mentioned).

30 Muckraker - Dec 14, 03:28 PM
“Evidently the parents are doing as good as it’s going to get.”

What I have read jw, is people, and the research, generally support that changing family pattern and accept it for what it is. Several suggestions, like scaled down schools, SMD and many others attempt to help (since we can’t simply mandate a return to the pre 70s families). You seem to be conveniently ignoring these.

I remember a prof some years back when we brought your arguments to his attention and his answer was,“ok, so what are you gonna do now that you have identified the root cause?”. None of the grad students had a singular answer, just as their is none now. You are only identifying the problem and restating in most of your threads…..what now? What’s the saying, put up, or? Most school improvement research is based on this root cause (trying to answer the “so what” question of improving parental involvement).

Join a VIP program at one of the identified schools, support the mentoring programs (like the council of elders) or any of the literacy programs at those schools (and don’t throw it back at me I have been and am still involved with some of these)...

31 TexasRose - Dec 14, 03:58 PM
Jimmy ~

“Regarding LCISD: Love to see the data: my kids are in LCISD whom actually has a wonderful concept that works!”

Spot on Jimmy! What data do you want to see? I have oodles & oodles—collecting dust. Plus! If you wish for more current, you may wish to pull up their website or attend a Board meeting! I have been known to frequent frequent my presence a time or two….especially prior to our bond last year!! Yeahh we passed overwhelmingly did ya notice =-)

Ahh Tk & Muckie ~ this “title transfer” thingy was a ruse to red herring?

32 j williamson - Dec 14, 04:13 PM
I never said the socio-economic plight of these students didn’t play a role. But I will always believe that the role of parents is the key.

I’ve asked what I as a “have” can do to help and all I’ve been told is to volunteer at an under-performing school.

That’s tough for me to do, because like some others I work 10-12 hours a week. And I mentor two children at my child’s middle school.

SGR-Very well stated.

33 Anonymous - Dec 14, 04:23 PM
SRG You are absolutely correct! I’ve worked in all types of schools. The low performing schools mentioned in this article are all Title I schools. As such they receive anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 more than other schools. The typical elementary school budget is less than $100,000 – so we’re talking about twice as much money. In addition, these schools have several additional personnel, such as “reading and math specialists,” social workers, Title I specialists, and parent education coordinators – just to name a few. In addition, most of the school have received grants that allow for smaller class sizes.

The research is clear – the single most important factor in student success is parent involvement. And, while some parents may be involved, the vast majority of low income parents are not. Not only are they not involved, they do not support the teachers and administrators. Many of these children are being raised by single parents or relatives. This is definitely a cultural problem. Until we quit blaming everyone else and start holding people responsible (parents), things are not going to change and the vicious cycle will continue.

34 Elizabeth - Dec 14, 04:47 PM
sgr; when was the last time you voiced that last opinion to someone who actually worked in a school?

Money spent poorly is less effective than money spent wisely. There is a HUGE correlation between the adult:student ratio, for example.

35 Muckraker - Dec 14, 05:06 PM
“You demand documentation from others, why don’t you give some.”

It has been given in post #13. When are you going to respond/refute?

36 anonymous - Dec 14, 05:09 PM
Let’s see? You have a child, you either teach the child certain values or you don’t. Values are not determined by your pocket book, but by what you want to instill in that child. Either a parent teaches a child to value education, hard work, truth telling, loyalty, dedication, perservance, or any number of values that are needed to be successful or not. Money does not determine what you put into the mind of your child, but working hard, living at peace with your neighbors, being faithful to your spouse and keeping your word says a lot to your child. Honoring your parents and living a Godly life also say a lot.

A child’s value system is set by 5 or 6. So teahcers have a hard row to hoe if parents get their child to school late or take them out for a two week vacation, or tell their child that no body talks to you in a harsh tone? How many parents take the side of their child even though they know they are wrong? How many parents believe their child no matter what they say? Just check out the schools and see what is going on!
How many parents lie to the school district about big things and little things to help their child?

I would say parents play a big role in the problem.

37 Teacher - Dec 14, 05:13 PM
I can tell you first hand why Fort Bend ISD schools are failing and will continue to do so. If you do not think this problem will hit the west end schools you are sadly mistaken. Simply put, a schools district most valuable asset is its teachers. Unfortunately Fort Bend ISD just does not value its teachers any longer.

Until teachers in Fort Bend ISD are valued, the teacher flight to Katy and Lamar will continue. Only a few short years ago teachers from Lamar and Katy would be transferring to Fort Bend ISD, now the transfers are in the other direction.

I truly hope some of the board members are reading this. It does not cost any additional funding to realize that the teachers are a school districts most valuable asset, and to treat them accordingly.

38 Muckraker - Dec 14, 05:19 PM
“The research is clear – the single most important factor in student success is parent involvement. And, while some parents may be involved, the vast majority of low income parents are not. Not only are they not involved, they do not support the teachers and administrators. Many of these children are being raised by single parents or relatives. This is definitely a cultural problem.”

You continue to fail to answer the important part of the constant repetitive post (which is based on several decades of research, ’70s to the present). So you identified one of the major root causes…so what? What now? Move onto the potential solutions as many have.

Having seen elementary budgets I would have to say you are way under on the annual operating expenses. Additionally, you are again using the federal “red herring” arguments (with the advent of SPED most public schools draw quite a few federal dollars). Not many in here are saying more money is needed, just a major paradigm shift that recognizes the root causes and addresses them.

39 j williamson - Dec 14, 05:30 PM
In earlier post, I meant 10-12 hours a day (6 days a week). Sorry, but I don’t have the time to mentor at another school—plenty busy at my child’s. Guess this is terribly selfish of me.

Muck-I don’t dispute that bond money has been spent primarily in new developments where there is need for schools that don’t exist.

But I don’t buy into the agrument that eastside schools have fewer text books, computers, teachers, specialists, etc. Do you have data showing a higher student:teacher ratio at eastside schools?

And you still haven’t explained the facility differences between Marshall and Elkins. I have spent significant time in both and there aren’t any significant facility differences that I can tell. Please edcucate me.

Ok, I’m convinced that changing the family situation on the eastside is not going to change. At least not in the next few years.

I would also argue you are not going to get a change to SMD in the next three years. So what happens to the eastide children? What can change in time to “rescue” those currently in middle school?

40 acemac - Dec 14, 05:30 PM
Muckrakr, contrary to your assertion, your #13 posts contains little to no documentation.

“If you looked at the last two bond proposals you would see about 2/3rds of the money goes to new school construction and most of that earmarked for newer developments” – so you say. But you don’t document it by giving us any numbers to convince us that you actually looked at the documents yourself, yet that’s the sort of thing you demand from everyone else.

Also, my response to your quote above about 2/3 of the bond spending going to new schools in new developments would be “duh”.

What else is a district supposed to do? There are thousands of new residents living in those communities now, and no schools there. Thus, that’s where it makes sense to build new schools, no?

What do you think would happen to the district if it did not build new schools near the new centers of population? They are, as i think you know, required by law to provide an education to all the students within their district’s boundaries.

Your solution seems to consist largely of the idea that building smaller schools would improve education and cost less money. Unfortunately, at least the economics behind that theory is incorrect. You still have to have schools to serve the same amount of new kids. Building four new small schools instead of two new large schools probably will cost more money. Not less.

41 j williamson - Dec 14, 05:50 PM
Muck-
Give me an estimate on when you think it’s reasonble to think SMD can be implemented in FBISD? Next year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?

How do you plan to push for its implementation?

How long do think it will take to implement your smaller, familial schools? Next year, 3 years, 5 years, 10 years?

Does FBISD need more money than it currently takes in? Or is it simply a matter of reallocating the current funds?

42 Muckraker - Dec 14, 06:08 PM
“What else is a district supposed to do? There are thousands of new residents living in those communities now, and no schools there. Thus, that’s where it makes sense to build new schools, no?”

Your making a guess and smaller schools are supported in the literature for improving achievement and direct representation is one way to achieve improved buy-in from the community (few even know who their BOT rep is currently, nothing more alienating).

As for the special interests involvement, it is clearly not for the best interests of the children, but as in the famous dominos ad a few months back, more could be done to locate the schools near population centers on less expensive land if the spec. ints. refuse to sell the land at costs, thus saving us all more in taxes. In one community, because of poor planning we debated this very topic. Homes /land was over-platted with the neighborhood doing the predictable thing and running to the BOT (lead by a company insider) to demand an emergency school be built. The land was then sold at $3k more per acre than the market value (which was originally purchased at ag. prices). We all paid for that one with more to come budgeted in the last bond for this type of land purchases (quite a problem if your asking my opinion).

KISD, not too long ago, actually did get some land for one of their elems close to agr. costs when they negotiated using nearby land as an option (we’ve discussed this issue in here many times before. See: http://www.fortbendnow.com/opinion/2087).

So yes, we do have some ways to cut costs within the current paradigm, but does the BOT/admins have the political fortitude to do this? I sincerely doubt it, but challenge them to try anyway (as I’ve said and documented before others have done it)...

jw,

You better ask the insiders on those, remember we are only discussing it here and I’m not an “insider”...if you want my personal vision then e-mail me.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

This is just a continuation of the long-term neglect of east end schools. Don't hold your breath for help.