DISD Board Meeting Live Blog 2/28/08

Ron Kirk to pitch the bond for the District!

It's 5:38 and we're off. The superintendent's report is first. The topic: the "learning block." Subtopics: "leading and improving instruction" and the "learning walk." Everybody get ready. There will be a quiz in your Tuesday folders!

Ahh, but on tap tonight: pitching the bond package. Are we ready for it? Better yet, is the administration ready to deal with it?

Did we waste bond money in 2002, or did we save so (and spend so well) that we could afford to build schools we hadn't planned for?

It will all, likely, be on tap tonight. But read on...

5:46: We're deep into the committee briefings. And they're brief.

And we're in to resolutions and recognition. Young Dalton, a 4th grader, is speaking now. Very impressive orator. Giving speech on Martin Luther King. Dalton has a great future as a Toastmaster and a public speaker. Very impressive kid!

5:58: Speakers to agenda items. There are 35 speakers registered to speak tonight. Ten of them will speak to agenda items.

Oops. Somebody came to speak on behalf of another speaker. Not allowed!

We're on the third speaker signed up to speak on the bond. So far, however, nobody's mentioned the bond. Maybe we'll get lucky as the night moves on.

Up now is a student from Skyline High School. She's thanking Superintendent Hinojosa for keeping the magnet programs together.

Another student from Skyline talking about working out the overcrowding at Skyline.

Robin Brown: "where are the financial specifics for the bond..." "where is the itemized breakdown on how the bond money will be used..." Now she's asking when the open meetings were regarding the movement of clusters from Skyline to Conrad?

"Is the bond structured for the growth of Skyline and the Dallas area?"

Good questions.

Brown asked for responses to her questions in writing. Anybody want to wager when she gets those?

Gloria Patrick speaking on the bond and on the movement of magnet clusters from Skyline to Conrad. Cleverly couched carrot and stick. She looks forward to working out the problems with Skyline and supporting the May election.

6:13: Jack Lowe announced that all board trustees have completed their training as required by Texas law.

And it's on to the consent agenda.

And Carla Ranger has a "point of order." She wants to pull one of the items. She has a conflict of interest on the consent agenda and wants to abstain from the vote. Kudos to Carla!!

What she pulled: the item related to calling a special bond election in Dallas. Why was that in the consent agenda anyway?

Ranger wants to amend the item to include community input before the May bond election.

Jack Lowe pointed out that there is a plan for a massive communication effort. But not town hall meetings.

Ranger wants to hold town hall meetings to obtain community input.

Ron Price noted that 10 community meetings to answer questions about the bond program. Price pointed out that the District cannot legally promote the bond, and that there is a plan to hold community meetings.

Ranger says she isn't aware of a plan for town hall meeting. "We discussed it at the last meeting," said Price. Ooh! It's Price versus Ranger.

"Meetings in each board member's district are going to take place," said Price. "The staff attends the meeting," Price explained, "[and] answers the questions in communities throughout the city."

"And that plan is already in existence," asked Ranger?

Jack Elrod (Chief counsel for DISD) is trying to answer. "We are concerned about amending the 'call' itself," he said. "As Mr. Price has said, the trustees can hold [town hall meetings]--I don't think we need to amend the call to do that."

The lawyers don't want meetings to be a condition of the election.

Ranger withdraws the motion on assurances that the community meetings are really, really going to happen.

She then brings up another issue: ethics. I think she wants to find a way to write into policy a way to make sure that nobody involved with the bond benefits from the bond.

Ranger wants the audit report before calling the bond election. The discussion on this should be interesting.

Question from Ranger: "Nobody is supposed to receive information on the audit. Has anyone received information about the audit?"

Response from Leigh Ann Ellis: "Are you referring to my quote in the paper?" Ellis noted that she was speculating and hadn't seen any portion or details of the audit.

Elrod and Lowe noted that nobody was to discuss the audit.

Ranger noted that people in her district were opposed to the bond because they were concerned that the District administration wasn't being open with the audit. There was much applause.

[Ed Note: Good question: why is the release of the audit being delayed? Perhaps the audit will be exculpatory. Maybe the findings won't be particularly bad. But the longer it's delayed, the more "conspiracy theories" will arise.]

Price noted that the audit is an "operational audit" and it has "nothing to do with the bond." The question one would likely ask: if the operational audit shows mismanagement, might that mismanagement extend to the "capital improvement side of the district."

On the flip side, if the audit shows operational effectiveness, why wouldn't the District want to produce it?

Price apologized that he was going to have to leave the meeting early to judge a competition. "I think it is the right thing to do when you have to leave early."

With respect to the audit, Price noted: "it won't be as damning as people think it will be."

Ranger: "The management of the District is what is important."

It passes 9-0. We're having a bond election!

6:52: Now we're on to speakers on non-agenda items.

Jerome Garza is asking that a particular speaker be allowed to speak first. Why is he doing this?

Jose Rendon is asking why his mother, Rosita Rendon, was "let go" and replaced with another T.A. after 30 years of service? Rosita apparently passed away after that. Joining Rendon standing is Aimee Bolender of Alliance AFT.

Oh yes! Later in the speakers we'll have the world famous William Hopkins! William, in case you've never heard him, is worth listening to. I can't wait!

But first, Maureen Peters speaking on the CEIs. She's concerned that teachers are told to teach the TAKS but they're judged on the student's knowledge of general curriculum. "They're being fired for following direction."

Nashia Miller speaking on the cell phone policy. She's concerned about her son going to the "academically unacceptable" Conrad? She asks what she needs to do to keep from her son bouncing from school to school.

It's William Hopkins!

He notes he's been coming down here 10 years and "it's the same old thing." Fraud, waste, etc. Hopkins went to jail a few years ago when his son was attacked.

Now Hopkins is attacking Blackburn. Now Hinojosa. Asking why DISD "went and got another school district" (Wilmer Hutchins).

"And Ron Price runs off to go to parties!" Even Carla Ranger laughed!

That was the famous William Hopkins! Always a treat!

Wanda Banks speaking in support of Roosevelt's principal Myrtle Dixon.

She is followed by Mary Tucker speaking in support of Roosevelt's principal Myrtle Dixon. Dixon has been at the center of grade-changing allegations. Other charges have been leveled at Dixon. Read more here.

But the auditorium is filled, tonight, with Dixon's supporters.

There's also a Carla Ranger supporter. "We need more people [like Ranger watching out for] ethics." "I believe people need to have input." "No taxation without representation." "I don't believe in giving you a blank check." "You need vision and insight," he said to the board.

Lots of people standing, as has been usual, for speakers defending Skyline High School. Tina Laird, head of the school's SBDM, has them standing.

7:37 - That's the end of the speakers and it's on to individual board member reports.

Jerome Garza is giving the first individual trustee report (which follows speakers to non-agenda items). Garza spoke about activities in his District.

Leigh Ann Ellis next. She read a nice letter from a student.

Carla Ranger is up next. Giving a report on her district as well. Thanking "District Attorney Craig Washington." [Ed Note: It's "Watkins." Just picking a nit, but I bet Craig would be glad we did!]

Side observation: hearing the positive things going on in the DISD, in general, certainly points to the possibility of improvement. I think everyone just argues over how we get there.

Jack Lowe wraps things up by noting that he hears a lot of positive feedback about the direction the DISD is going. He touted the $5M dollars given by the Dell foundation.

"They're pretty smart business people," noted Lowe. "They don't give $5M that they think will be poured on sand."

Ron Kirk is going to apparently be involved in leading the charge for the bond package. "They don't waste money," noted Lowe.

7:50 and it's a wrap. So what do you think?

DISD: Definition "Don't Interfere with School Dictation"

Skyline Par-ent found these and similar statements over and over in nearly every blog posted about DISD:

"the key component here is parent involvement"

"Parental engagement is paramount to the success of student achievement"

"parents to address school issues at DISD board meetings"

"increase district-wide parental support"

"parental recommendations and/or concerns"

"parents who complained enough"

And yet, Skyline Par-ent found this repeated over and over:
"still haven't heard anything from the district"

Can any historian please tell us how does history keep repeating?
Can any civics leader tell us how we are still a democracy?
Can any one of us say we trust the DISD Administration or Board?
What DISD?
You keep saying parents should be involved.
Be careful what you ask for.

[Ed Note: Yes, I think the key is how to become involved. Just attending PTA meetings, sometimes, isn't enough. You need to be a little more active than that.]

How To Become Involved

Sugar are you saying I need to go back to school and become a teacher? Or should I run for that Board position (one of three that are up for re-election)? Who's job should I apply for, pick one of them? I don't mind rolling up my sleeves, and I certainly don't just attend PTA when it comes to my children. If you happen look you may see me in the hallway of one of my children's schools, or even in one of the schools they used to attend. I tend to stay involved with these matters. I've been in the DISD schools since 1982 doing many a thing or two, know many a person or two, have seen a good many leave. At the same time, and with that same energy, I also run a business, full time for the last 21 years, and home, attend church and help out a neighbor if they need it. What I'm saying is, I can't do every thing. Sometimes there is a conflict in my schedule. What I expect is when we put people into positions, they asked to be in, we should expect them to do the job. We must expect accountable behavior, as per the job plan and rules. When we allow public accountability to become dimenished, as it is within DISD, then the officials tend to become dictators, standoff and lacking ethics. I hear alot of complaining but now hands to the fire for answers. If we can't call a round table meeting and expect results then the team in charge needs to be changed.

[Ed Note: I can't get past "sugar" :) ]

BAHS

I am a 2003 graduate of Bryan Adams High School and last May I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and now work in the Bioterrorism Department of Homeland Security. I could not be any prouder than to say I am BA Cougar. Yes, I agree BA was going downhill with Mrs. Ramos but as everyone knows, when you are at one place too long you can become stagnate. However, when she came in to replace Larry Smith, she did a major overhaul of the way things were run at BA. So to discredit her for her whole tenure at BA is wrong.
You want to talk about unacceptable schools, look at Woodrow this yr. It has strong support from its community and alumni yet its low performing. We can not solely place the problems on teachers and administrators. Where are the parents? My mother teaches at Larry Smith Elementary and every year she tells me how there are less and less parents involved in their kids studies.
So Ms. Birdwell, continue on fighting and being the voice of East Dallas. I am a second generation BA alumni and proud to be one. BRYAN ADAMS, HAIL!!!!!

BA Now

I graduated BA before Mrs. Goodsell came but what I have heard from teachers, parents, and others-- is that BA has rebounded and the school is returning to its great heights it enjoyed during the 1980s. Not everyone is perfect yet her idea of "weeding" out the kids that don't belong-- I applaud her. That is something that is lax around the whole district. We have school boundaries for a reason. Basically, follow the rules. If these kids were smart, they would know about the transfer policy. There so willing to say a teacher violated their rights- yet ask them what one of the Bill of Rights are and I bet you they can't answer the question.

For too long has a ghetto mentality run DISD policies and administrations. Congratulations to Mrs. Goodsell for bringing an end to this deteroriation of BA and DISD. As for the teacher that is worried about Mrs. Goodsells' "ethics" you show me any powerful person without flaws! Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little and offend a few to protect the majority.

BA Principal

The principal of BA is a mixed bag of tricks. I sincerely believe she is committed to the school and works very hard. However, I question her integrity and ethics. For example, some of my colleagues she did a wonderful thing when she sent out a mailer to all the students and quickly had staff gather the returned letters and collect the names of students she suspected out of the BA area. She then called an assembly of these students and told them that they had 3 days to bring proof of residency or they were OUT! Some of the students started to cry, thinking they didn't have any rights to challenge the demand. Never did she tell the students to apply for a transfer. She simply kicked kids out in droves. It was very sad. But she wanted the "trash" out as she put it to a fellow colleague.

Next she quickly announced to the staff that she had once dated Superintendent Hinojosa. I believe this to be true, but she used this to intimidate Emilio Castro into submission. Later she was offered his job but wouldn't take it due to the residency rule. So by default Castro got his job back after being demoted back to elementary.

Cindy Goodsell is a smart enough cookie, but she believes herself to be above the law. She locks herself up in her office and dictates what is to be done. That's fine, but I won't work for her.

[Ed Note: All I know is what I can see at B.A. For the first time in years, the school is on an upward trend. For this to be the case, I have to call into question some of the statements you've made here. I'm willing to grant you a difference in perception, but I also want to see B.A. continue its upward trend. No one seems to dispute it is because of Cindy Goodsell at the helm.]

BA be weary!!!

Couldn't agree MORE!!

Ms. Goodsell is NOT as she appears. She plays on both sides of the fence. MANY of the "good clean-up" things that have happened @ BA were slated to happen, thanks to Ms. Ramos!! Ms. Goodsell takes credit for some things that would have happened any way. Moral for teachers & students school spirit is in the dump! A lot of teachers that are gone were NOT fired, but left because they didn't like doing the "grunt" work & letting the Admins. take the glory!!

Some change is good, BUT no one should be "lulled" into submission, Goodsell is "climbing her way up!!"

[Ed Note: Wow, this is just opposite from what I've observed at the school! There is more pride, the teachers I've talked to are happier; the parents and students are happier.

Why don't you message me with the names of the teachers who say the "school spirit is in the dump" and we'll check into it. But from everything I can tell, nothing you've said here rings true.]

Hey, Born and Bred

Goodsell is not "climbing her way to the top." She could retire at any time, if she wanted. She was offered the job Emilio Castro has now. They were going to demote him, and then bring her in. She refused, she wanted to stay and continue to bring BAHS out of the hole the previous principal dug!

She actually hurt her career and her chances of future promotion by doing that.

And unless you know what is in the personnel files, some teachers will TELL you they left on their own idea, not always the case.

Are you really trying to say that the previous principal had the money slated for the re-do of the front door bathrooms? Really? Two years ago, when we asked for graffiti to be removed from the bathrooms on our hallway, it took WEEKS to get it done back then.

Remember when the SBDM voted for uniforms, and Ramos refused, because her precious--and so-o-o obedient daughter would have to wear one? Gosh, we can't have that, can we?

Remember when fights broke out nearly every other day?

Morale in that school is low because of the stress we are under witrh AYP 4 status. Yea, you are right. We don't agree with all that she has done, and we may not be crazy about the entire admin staff, but the school is less crowded, cleaner and scores went WAY up in math last year. More people this year are staying. Some will go, and that is normal at any school. Best of luck to them.

So, maybe you need to transfer as well, if you are a teacher. Go on. No problemo. Dallas ISD will be looking for 1,300 teachers this year. We can make it 1,301. Just tell us what you teach at BAHS, and we will add it to the list. If you don't want to be there, don't let the door hit your butt on the way out!

[Ed Note: Yes, Goodsell put herself and her career on the line when she took the job at Bryan Adams. She didn't have to take it, but she did. I think that speaks volumes about her.]

WoW!! Just an observant parent here.

WELL!!! No teacher here, just a "weary" working parent w/kids in 3 different DISD schools & one that already graduated from B.A.; Guess that's why I made a mistake in my spelling of "wary", maybe I was just too tired as I typed (or maybe stupid!) I stumbled onto this website a few weeks ago.....I quietly read/observed for awhile....then thought perhaps it was time to share my observations.
My comments are based on time spent @ B.A over the last 9 or 10 years as a parent, Aunt, & friend to many students & teachers. I observe things happening in & around as a volunteer, parent & PTA member. I'm not a BIG "rabble- rouser" (excuse me if I misspelled the term), MORE of a quiet observer. My perceptions come "personally", by talking & listening (especially to my own child & friends). I attend sporting events, musical/theaterical performances, parent conf., PTA, parent comm. mtngs., etc. Once again.....I observe, I listen. I've seen some good changes....BUT I don't forget the good things that transpired before Goodsell. There is good & bad in everything.....if your TOO busy seeking out only the GOOOD, you may overlook the BAD.....IF your TOO busy seeking out only the BAD, you may overlook the GOOD. (hmmmmm, gives you something to think about)
I don't believe we live @ Walgreens....NOT @ B.A.....Not anywhere! (in case you don't get that....nothings perfect).
I don't know if I'll be posting any comments again, any time soon....I'll probably just go back to quietly observing for a while. I never liked being scolded or reprimanded by teachers when I was in school, for stating my thoughts/opinions....that's how I learned to be a quiet observer....I don't wish to stay here for more reprimands.

Keep your EYES open....keep your EARS open....you might be surprised what you can see, hear, learn....learning doesn't stop when you complete you formal education....you will always learn in the school of life.....just listen.....

BA be weary...huh?

First of all, I don't "get" your subject line. Do you mean BA beware? Or do you mean we're tired? It's April, about to be TAKS time, and so we're all tired...but I don't know if that's what you meant.

Second of all, I've been teaching for quite awhile now - no newbie here. I've never been around a more complaining group of people than teachers. Things at BA are actually looking UP, but apparently that's not good enough for this person. Oh well, I'm sure he or she complained a lot when the previous principal was at BA.

As far as taking credit for things, you know, that's pretty easy for you to say, oh anonymous poster. Cindy Goodsell deserves credit for making a lot of difficult choices, for putting up with more crap from students AND teachers than you would believe, and for getting rid of DEAD WOOD that had been floating around the school for way too long (teachers and students).

If you're wondering how I know, I teach there. Do you? Or are you just yapping about rumors of poor morale - or "moral" as you put it? I really don't see it, but again, teachers are too often complainers. The people I work with are generally very positive, like what they see happening, and actually care a lot about the kids. I'm not drinking the Kool aid, just stating facts here, rather than reporting rumors.

[Ed Note: I think they meant "wary" but, hey, we aim's to please :) ]

GOODsell!

Mrs. Goodsell is as she appears. She caring about the students, staff and the school. Ask any principal that takes over for another and there is much work to be done. What things are you referring to that were already in place to happen? Are you on staff at BA or getting your info second hand? Maybe you should come see for yourself. At the end of her first semester, gangs were gone. Is that something Ramos was going to get rid of? If so it would of already taken place. Uniforms implemented, making a HUGE difference in atmosphere. Cafeteria and bathrooms remodeled with the student's input, outdoor area off the library unused for 50 years, turned into a patio for students. As far as Goodsell moving up, she had a chance to be the Area Superintendent for the East Learning Community and she turned it down because she wanted to continue things she had already put into motion. Therefore they moved Castro back to this area. Personally I think she could do a better job than he, but I'm so glad she's still at BA. Of all the schools my kids have attended, the staff overall is hands down the best I have had the pleasure of supporting. From Custodial staff, Administrators, Office Staff,Teachers, Counselors, there's one thing they all have in common...A smile on their face. In my book, that's Hugh. Did Ramos have that effect? From what little I hear, I don't think so. As for teachers who left last year, maybe they needed to go. When you can't get away with not doing your job because there's accountability, then maybe it's time to go.

[Ed Note: My impression, based on first-hand experience, is that things are looking up at B.A. for the first time in a long time.]

DISD Watcher

I too, question some of your comments. I will assume you are a teacher at another school, probably not in this area. I am a very involved parent of a student at Bryan Adams and in the school at various times, several days a week. Obviously you are getting some of your information second hand. Maybe you should come see for yourself. Under the past administration this school went DOWN. There is nothing but positive things that are coming out of BA and it will continue to grow. Many left when the school started going down, to go to magnets and slowly this area is regaining the trust of neighborhood again. I too agree with another who said principals should not be allowed to have their children at the same school they are at. It creates alot of problems and probably Vicki Mitchell could of done something sooner, before Ramos 2nd child graduated. My children have done transfers for the past 10 years and last year was the first time they have gone to their neighborhood school and couldn't be happier. The staff, due in part to Mrs. Goodsell, is hands down the best staff from custodial to teachers to office staff of the 4 schools we have attended since Kindergarten. Mrs. Goodsell is in the classrooms, the hallways and yes the door has to be shut at times to get work done, but the school wouldn't be where it is now if it was for her. Thank you Mrs Goodsell. You are a Blessing.

Small Is Beautiful at BA

From a teachers standpoint, I would be thrilled with what Cynthia Goodsell has done there. I understand the number of periods are down, which is good in my opinion because the teachers have more time perhaps at school to get things done and more time at home for family. Also by reducing kids numbers who do not live in the BA zone means smaller classroom size and perhaps higher test scores? I know she sits in the classrooms and watches class participation. We do not have to deal with favoritism of a principal's kids, she has none there, which I believe no principal should ever be allowed to admisitrate in the same school his/her kids attend, ever.

If I was a student, I would know the code of conduct bar has been raised probably to one of the highest levels seen there in twenty years meaning regular mopping of bloodbaths from the hallways is probably few and far in between. I am sure Goodsell had some undertaking in standard dress code which is sorely needed in all DISD schools. I would know that respect is expected from both the students and the faculty.

I have heard scores have improved dramatically and I mean dramatically HIGH. From a taxpayer living in the school zone, the property looks better, I drove by the whole perimeter yesterday. Who knows, our trustee for our area is in the landscaping business, I would hope she could donate some time to tell us what is needed there to improve the campus. I know the school plans to have some function to let neighbors know the school is a learning environment again. We need this support bacause we have been a "black-eye" and rightly so from both Dallas Morning News reporters and Allen Gwinn has injected hours of his time and thoughts into this mess as well as Robert T. Hill. I would hate to see where we would have been if these two sources were not such good bird-dogs, but we have a huge mess in progress involving a large school district who has wasted millions of our dollars with a smile on their face, in my opinion. Remember the sex in the classroom? Hill made CNN Headline News for that one under Rex Cole, who again may have started out as a good principal, but was an alley cat in the end if you ask me. I never could get Cole to sit down in the same room as me to discuss issues at Hill and I had some with him. At least Hexter has remained a constant average to above school who seems to stay out of the negative media stories and the campus is always clean. I would like to say I am going to do my part for Bryan Adams and call on a good friend to come in next year, give his $8000 hour speech for free if he agree's to BA teachers that survived the cut because I feel they were sorely abused for years into situations that were not teacher friendly environments and I also would like to help facilitate huge corporate sponsorship for the kids next year because this is what it is all about, Dallas KIDS! Let's give Dallas kids the creativity to sustain a normal life, not what my kid graduated in 2006 with, the inability to get the answer correctly what 25+7 equals, took him three times to guess an answer. He will not be able to keep up in society unless he learns a skill, because he was offered a poor Bryan Adams education and I was involved, believe me I was involved with the administration and all I can say for the past administration, get as far away as possible, your motives were selfish in my opinion.

If you want to talk gossip, I've got lots about Ramo's, but her personal life is not my concern, her business on my money in DISD will be debated and those pop up with any principal no matter how well Cynthia Goodsell is percieved or not. I also know Emilio Castro, he was my daughters Principal and ran a top flight school at Greiner where teachers were teaching and kids were happy and learning. He is considered a good friend by me, but that is plain nonsense your comments about how he in manipulated around, just plain garbage and you know it. Emilio could benefit from better communication, but look at the crowd on Ross he has to work with, the chief and nine trustee's. I just hope he stands on his values and not give into the Good Ole Boy's system.

Emelio Castro

Mr. Castro has not been good for Area 8, Area 10, East Learning Center.... Whatever they want to call it this year. He pits his principals against each other and does not facilitate a learning environment among the schools. If you mean "never available to speak to" and learning not to "humiliating people in front of their peers in an unprofessional manner" then it's true that he could definitely benefit from communication. When they moved him for that brief time there was a sigh of relief. When he was brought back, there was disappointment. He did not spend enough time being a teacher or even a principal before being promoted. It is evident in the favoritism and conduct we have witnessed in his handling of many issues. I think he was fast tracked through management too quickly which is probably why we see many of the problems with some administrators in DISD now.

[Ed Note: We've heard many stories like this related to Mr. Castro. However, I'm a skeptic by nature. I'd like to see a bit more substantiation on some of these things. I certainly am not denying that these things don't exist, I would just like to talk to some folks face-to-face. Somebody email me (private message me) and let's get a group together--keeping in mind that I'm going to get his side to these things too.]

Can't Fail Student Who Passes TAKS

Heard from a teacher at Spence today that her principal informed them that they could not fail a student in their courses if the student passed the Reading TAKS. I am guessing that they should just show movies the rest of the year since TAKS is more important than academic rigor.

[Ed Note: Come again? This is not my understanding.]

Grade Placement Committee

That information is false. If an 8th student passes both the reading and math portions of TAKS, the Grade Placement Committee can make a recommendation to either pass or fail the student according to the factors presented. The Grade Placement Committee guidelines are on the TEA website.

[Ed Note: That sounds a bit more plausible.]

TAKS rewards

Yep, been done at other schools in other years. As a motivation to get the kids to pass TAKS, you reward them by automatically passing them for the six weeks or semester.

Trouble is, the kid thinks he passed the test, so he shuts down. Stops doing work. But in high school, we have ACPs! and our CEI is based on them!

Recommendation to Spence teachers: Get it in writing. Ask the principal if this is not falsifying grades, as the kid did not actually EARN the grade. He just passed a test.

Remember, if there is an investigation later, the teacher gets the knife for "falsifying" grades.

Castro .......Values ??

You have got to be kidding! It was at Greiner or Sunset, I was told, he never was in the classroom and never looked at the teachers planners. There is a big can of worms when you look into his background. Many around the district are willing to tell stories. He's not doing much for the schools in his areas. It's alot of hot air, tell you what you want to hear, but listen to what he does say, then call him on it, then his tune changes. At Greiner, he spent 85,000 with his P-card in 5 months. Check out his other purchases. He was, I believe the 89th spender out of the Top 100 in the district. What were his consequences ?? With dealing with him concerning Hill Middle School, I was faced with lies and inconsistencies. Don't be fooled with his smile and somewhat charm. I was not going to give up. That's the district way, to wear you down, put you off. I still say the district needs more Area Sups for less # of schools, so they can do their jobs better. Don't listen to what the principals say, look at the schools, ask the teachers. Are they smiling ?? Don't please one, at the expenses of others, say and do what's right. Always remember there are policies there for a reason.

[Ed Note: Keep in mind that there were people who spent large amounts on their procurement cards that were, from the District's standpoint, "legitimate charges." Whether or not the public would approve (i.e. exotic art furniture and paintings, buying gourmet meals for staff, etc.) is another thing. But as long as there wasn't theft involved, he could have charged $850,000 and there wouldn't be anything the District could have done about it.]

Castro

I can tell you where Castros values are. He is working on his Ph.D thru the University of Texas that is being paid for by we the taxpayers. There are several on this same path. I understand Dr. Hinojosa received his PHD the same way, at the taxpayers expense. Please! Please! I hope I can be so fortunate to have my higher education paid for by so many.

[Ed Note: If you have a problem with this, then you really need to work on changing the policy. This is one of the benefits of working for a school district. Many private companies and schools offer similar benefits. The philosophy is that if employees further their education, they will be of greater benefit to the organization. I'm not sure I disagree.]

Taxpayers and Castro's PhD

Correct me if wrong, but I believe anybody in DISD (a title one district) can get their college paid for.... that is have their loans forgiven by the federal government. It is called the "loan forgiveness program" which requires any DISD employee to simply work for the district for at least 5 years and then each subsequent year chunks of the loan are removed.

Loan Forgiveness

This is not entirely true. The campus must be Title I (not the district), and the educator must be in a classroom teacher in a high-needs area.

Please refer to the following link:

http://www.tgslc.org/pdf/teacher_loan.pdf

Castro's PhD

I'd like to know if his classes are at night or if it's on DISD time?

Castro's classes

He goes at night, and that is a fact, since there are a few other DISD people in the classes with him. It is all after school hours.

[Ed Note: As I say, I have no problem with "education benefits" for DISD personnel. I know there are some who disagree with this position.]

Missed Inside Track Meetings

Shirley Ison-Newsome, the Executive Director of the Southeast Learning Community, didn't make the last two Inside Track Meetings. Dr. Castro is not the only one who doesn't show up when they should.

Why so obsessed?

Just curious. Why are you so interested in Castro's PhD?

If you want to know, my understanding is that it's at Texas A&M-Commerce (not the University of Texas as another person posted). I also believe all of his classes are at 4:30 pm or later.

What does any of this prove???

Castro's classes

I am interested, in when his classes are.

If he has classes in Commerce at 4:30 then that cuts his day job short. Maybe that has something to do with getting back with me last year on Hill's principal. He asked for policy violations and I gave him 12. I didn't hear from him for 5 months, till I insisted on some answers. Maybe he was taking classes then, too.

I agree with other bloggers that there are WAY TOO MANY bad principals in the District. First of all, the district needs some logic in watching the schools better. If he hasn't been to, but one, Inside Tracks, how can he know what's going on in the schools. I have some district Inside Tracks, that for which a concern about Hill was brought up and ignored, while the Inside Tracks Rep was not only hand picked by the principal, but the same question answered was the opposite from the districts.

I feel sorry for the teachers who are here for the right reasons and have no voice. My husband says..When the ship's going down, you look to the captain. Sure were alot of captain's replaced last year. And 72 Low-Performing schools. Parents still don't know their rights as parents and get put off by principals, who are out for themselves. Last year Castro had 40 schools, this year half of that. It's still too many. Need to watch more of what's going on in the schools. And yes I am disappointed in the leadership for the East Learning Community. Our Area Sup has gone from Elem. to Middle school to High School to Area Sup. way to fast. Our area also had 3 Area Sup's in the past 4 years. How can they know enough about what's going on in the schools if they keep changing Area Sup. Makes no sense to me. No Continuity. Then demoted principals keep their salaries. That makes no sense. Screw up, we'll give you less work and you keep the same pay. I agree with other bloggers, it's all about power and not about the kids. Why give bonus, they aren't for the right reasons, they'll for whatever they want. It's sad to see so many of my children's friends move, to avoid bad principals that are ALLOWED to run the schools and their community down. They usually don't live in their school's community. If they did they would get an earful.

Castro Missed Inside Track

Mr. Castro sure must have a busy schedule working on that degree. He was only able to make it to one Inside Track Meeting this year.

[Ed Note: Uh-oh. Does anyone else (besides everyone who reads this blog) know this?]

I have an issue with this

I have an issue with this because it's not across the board. These perks are given for certain people on fast paced programs but you have 1000's of employee's who are not considered professionals but support employees and the district must feel that they wouldn't benefit by helping those people get bachelor degrees to further their career.

Course most of those support employee's are minority, and doing jobs that need to be done (plumbing, maintenance, etc)

If We Ever See the Audit

Allen-

You are being very dismissive of taxpayers' complaints about Pcard expenditures. IF we ever see an audit, we will find out how much money will have to be repaid by taxpayers to cover the audacious behavior of people like Castro. There are guidelines for Title I and TEA guidelines for spending taxpayers' monies. It is very apparent from looking at those who even bothered with keeping receipts that there were policies broken, and Castro, as an example, violated spending policies. This money will be repaid out of our collective pockets, and it had no impact on his career. The man was promoted annually for several years with no classroom experience at the secondary level, and about three years experience at the elementary.

To get the full impact, go to the DISD web site and look for yourself at the comments on the depositions. Even though Coggins's office was not as familiar with federal and state guidelines as someone who works full-time with grant monies, what they did uncover would have been reasons for termination in a district who top administrators had ANY integrity. Instead, Hinojosa chose to ignore this very egregious behavior unless the person in question admitted criminal conduct or just chose to resign.

There is no way Castro had the time to develop instructional or managerial competence in the time he was garnering yearly promotions into schools where he had no background. Aside from that, the Pcard expenditures should have been grounds for termination. What kind of administrator can you expect with the Pcard record he left???

[Ed Note: I'll say it again. I have a problem with the P-Card investigation. I have a problem with how it was conducted, and how much we spent on it. I have a problem scapegoating a lower level administrator.

I think you'll see the audit, and I think you'll see it before the bond election or we'll point out how it is being restricted and delayed--and I bet you the Dallas Morning News will too.]

Hey -"DISD WATCHER"

Hmmm, news to people at BA that she "dated" Hinojosa way back when. You would think that a connection like that would help the science department there get paper towels. Oh, but wait, Woodrow was running out of toilet paper, so I guess it doesn't matter who you dated then (BA) or who you date NOW (Woodrow's principal). DISD did not budget enough money for paper products this year, so there you go.

As for the assembly to verify addresses, more power to her. Sorry, but ALL schools should do that every 90 days. EVERY single one of them. In fact, why isn't that policy? Skyline had over 100 Mesquite kids. Or would that upset too many "championship" basketball teams and football teams? (And yes, DISD kids sneak in over there, but I am concerned with MY DISD tax dollars. Mesquite can clean its own house.) How can a bond issue build schools where they "need to be" if we don't really know where the kids ARE?

And again, not sure if you are actually in BA's hallways, but Goodsell is not locked up in her office. If anything, she's out of the building too much, because as with all principals, DISD calls them to meeting after meeting after meeting. When she is in the building, she has to get caught up with AYP 4/5 crud, meet with APs, parents, and what else. Yes, you have to make an appt to see her, but at least you can SEE her. Under the Old Regime, nope, not unless you were in the "inner circle."

Best compliment of BA heard this year came from a parent: "Hey, it doesn't smell anymore when you walk in the door." That says it all. She cleaned the place up, in more ways than one.

Students Charged $2 to Park

The way BA charged students $2 dollars a day BECAUSE they had no drivers license to legally drive and/or no insurance to cover damages to others in the neighborhood? Is this stagnant or just pure greed and arrogance? Where did the money go, I never could get DISD to show records, so I feel it was pocketed to someone, maybe? I know for fact itemized tickets were not given to students, so where does the fault land with? I even found out that the parking lot gentleman did not turn in the daily cash he collected as he should have. I totally disagree that a principal making 104K should have had better sense, so being on the job too long may be your excuse, but the kids graduating from BA in 2004-2006 were simply cheated from a fair education when the academics were sliding over the cliff.

[Ed Note: It's important to note that things are different now.]

Get Over Ramos

I'm a little confused why "Area4Enforcer" is so hung up about things as they were under Karen Ramos. She did great for her first few years and, yeah, things slid a little bit, but that can be said for many principals at many schools.

Anyway, get over it. While you're over, get a life!

[Ed Note: I don't think the question is so much about what she did in her "early years" as it is what she did in her "later years." I know, even with the controversy, she had her die-hard supporters. Does that about sum it up?]

Get over Ramos???

I have a life because I had a Principal in 1980 who cared about his kids when I graduated and I have a nice life and a job you would love to have which is to help people make money in this horrible economic recession which is just starting it's wings, so hang on tight.

Look, I had a child graduate in the 2006 UNACCEPTABLE YEAR at Bryan Adams and I was in years before asking where is any homework for him? "Oh, we are a non homework school" from one of the assistant principals. My child along with all the others deserved better and I paid my taxes to DISD on time, so business is business, either pass or fail, yet this school failed in many areas so badly I had teachers calling me at home telling me of all the scandals going on up there on the ADULTS. Nobody caught on to the parking scam except me at BA in the Ramos administration and even when Brett Shipp showed up with camera in hand, they still pushed two weeks beyond that until eventually when the public saw this on Channel 8, the deal had to be shut down.
Funny thing like with many of DISD sad stories, no guilt or no apologies. Think about the headlines if one of those "unlicensed" kids had an accident and killed someone on Milmar Street, can you imagine the headlines?

End result, we in the current deepening economic woes, cannot afford to reward failing administrators like we did here in my opinion. The principal at Hill got demoted when the house fell apart there, why not with Ramos and we ask where our money goes? I am going to keep asking till I get answers from DISD.

Anyway, our neighborhood is buzzing and smiling over the changes at BA since the start of the 2006-2007 year, so at least we are getting some happy kids coming out of BA again from the miserable last 20 years or so when Bryan Adams was one of the top's in Dallas back then. I am very encouraged with the current principal, Cynthia Goodsell, if she is allowed to stay there, our area kids can thrive. She has weeded through the teachers, firing them from DISD so they cannot go to another DISD school and bringing in ones who are qualified and want positive result's. BA has a clean house now! If you curse at staff or Cynthia, out you go as a student and that is the way it should be.

With teachers like Diane Birdwell who have stood out to me, I want to support the teachers who stand their own ground. I bet Diane has a smile on her face with new administration in BA.

When DISD get's rid of the "GOOD OLE BOY" system, then I will stay in the background, otherwise I want to keep focused on why DISD thinks they can get away with the wasteful habits they seem to be proud of.

BRYAN ADAMS, where LEARNING comes first!

To Area4Enforcer

Okay, you have convinced me. You DO have a life. Now don't break your arm patting yourself on the back about the job you do, and please don't assume I'd love your job. It just might be that many of us on this blog also have jobs that help people and probably do it for a lot less than the salary you probably pull in. And love what we're doing.

In a recent post, you said there are less than a handful of teachers DISD ought to keep. That told me everything I need to know about you. People who have such a low opinion of teachers ought to try doing the job we do for just one 8-hour day. They might find it's a little tougher than expected.

As far as your posts about BA, I am very familiar, intimately familiar, with the school. I taught under Karen Ramos and am still teaching there today. I had a lot of respect for Ramos and I hate to see her being trashed here on the site, especially since you're not willing to put YOUR NAME on this site as you sling mud around.

As for Cindy Goodsell, many of us continue to be impressed by her and glad she came aboard, but please don't think it's all sweetness and light. I do NOT see the school spirit I saw just three or four years ago. There may be pride coming back, but I don't see it. I think it's something that may take years to bring back, not something you can take a wand and wave and poof, it's back. But, all in all, the school is in a better place than it was. I think a big reason for that is decreased numbers. We are down to about 1,600 students and that makes things so much more manageable. I also think that more people are buying into the system. We definitely got rid of some slug buckets (students AND teachers) who needed to go.

But, still, I think you ought to put YOUR name on any website in which you're trashing the former principal. You are hiding behind the cloak of anonymity, which of course I am, too, but you don't see me trashing anyone on here.

[Ed Note: See, I like it when we actually get somewhere in the discussions!]

BA feels like a college campus

WOW,WOW,WOW, I sure hope the BA alumni and current parents go and see how BA feels now. Go mingle with the staff, some of who were in the old regime and many who have asked to come on board to be in a NOW, winning school, a school where LEARNING is on all sides.

I met just about every administration staff member, some teachers and the silence walking the halls, cafeteria and basically the main building, a huge change. Cynthia peeks in open doors of classrooms as we walk the halls or having at least 15 interruptions by staff needing Ms. Goodsell's input, she has confidence that was never here before. Ms. Goodsell, I can see does not like to bask in sun for the credit, instead she takes pride into how the students and staff have adapted to strict changes. It was a pleasure to see and feel the confidence now instilled at BA. I can honestly say this staff experience change exceeds a small community college feel, the change is that noticeable from the slave camp of the previous administration where faculty was distant. Even the custodians who never get credit, a pleasure to chat with now. Looks as if everyone is feeling better and even the kids act decent again.

The principals office consists of new carpet, new desks and she even had the smarts to turn her desk with her back to solid wall so as she told me she could spot potential trouble on the courtyard. All of the assistant principals desks are in centralized in one area which was sorely needed.

Population is down from 2600 to 1900 students "qualified" to attend BA and which lowers Ms. Goodsell's salary by 10K per year. Go figure? No greed here folks! One less classroom period per day, classroom size, 20 students on average. A clean smelling school, happy faculty all at a reduced principal salary, LOL, this is beyond what I ever expected from my visit. One of the junior principals said on a scale of 1 to 10 how BA feels now ncompared to 2006, 150!!! Another faculty memebr told me the "smell" has changed in the school in many ways. I challenge anyone to give me a better higher campus in DISD to visit than this one, I'll check it out. I asked members from the old regime how they feel now and everyone told me the motivation is so stunning with faculty and invigorating, even the former name of the principal was never mentioned by staff that she was missed. With the ideas I fielded from faculty, this BA train has much more steam ahead in planning to generate healthy minds for the DALLAS KIDS! I would go so far to say this is well above a DISD property in terms of leadership.

Why can we not replace most of the board and do the same on Ross? We need an experienced chief who can shoulder these changes or else Hinajosa needs to pull his weight off the chair and do something.

I even met the new football coach, athletic staff all seem to set to uphold strong values. I would not be suprised to see a winning season for the first year of football there in a long time.

The spirit is HIGH from the staff, next I would like to visit with some of the students to get their perspective. Until next time, Go Bryan Adams, a wake up call for downtown to get their act together.

Woodrow Feels Like A University Campus

Come to Woodrow, Area4Enforcer. You will see there what is lacking at BA. School spirit, strong AP program, theatre arts plays and musicals, strong parental involvement, supportive administrative staff, community and local business support, a caring and nurturing faculty, an active SBDM and PTA (meetings run for two or more hours, twice a month), and a uniform school. Woodrow students wear uniforms!

AND they have camera's now!

AND they have camera's now!

[Ed Note: I think the District is working towards security cameras at all schools. Unfortunately, they won't release video of any security-related events because such might be protected by FERPA.]

Quit Bragging About Your Principal

Even though you think you understand DISD, your comments about your principal at BA indicate you still don't get the big picture.

DON'T BRAG ABOUT YOUR PRINCIPAL IF YOU WISH TO KEEP HER!!!

Keep all the good things you are seeing at your school totally under the radar. Be invisible to the Coach whose entire day revolves around how to get those stats up so he gets to advance or get his bonus or his next, bigger, better job.

With the way you are going on about this principal, she will next find herself at one of the many low-performing schools in DISD. She will be used to put out fires at so many different schools that her head will start spinning.

If you wish to keep her and your school growing in a productive way, keep a low-key hum going to the Coach that she is doing a lousy job, that she doesn't listen to parents, and that there are many financial scams going on at your school. Just whisper these things in the general direction of the Coach.

Keep this hum going, and she will be yours for eternity.

$15,000 Bonus for 5,000 Students?

Isn't lying, why this district is in trouble now. I'm proud of this principal and what's she's done. It's my son's 2nd year and he had a choice of going to BA or BL (Bishop Lynch). Ask him if he has any regrets. He doesn't. If you were here at the beginning of last year and see it now, you would be excited. She needs to bottle and sell what she's done, so the others can follow suit. My kids have 6 more years here and I pray she'll be there at least that long. One person wrote they'll snatch her up for the district. Look at Skyline. Leslie Williams, one year at Skyline, Principal of the Year, then they moved him up to Area Superintendent ?? Was that really a wise choice ?? Look at how he's handled Roosevelt.

Oh, by the way, can anyone enlighten us about a possible $15,000 bonus Mr. Williams may have gotten for getting Skyline's population to 5,000 students ?? Easy come, easy go, but leave the school in a bigger mess. As I've said before...It's Mess Up and Move Up in this district. Every man for themselves. I do hear wonderful things about the new principal. Kudos to you. Good Principals make happy students, parents and staff. It has to be a partnership.

Goodsell Good for BA

I cannot wait to go and visit next week, BA. I have heard frist hand that scores have gone up dramatically and that respect from students towards staff and teachers and likewise back in return, has returned. I believe kids are born no differently in the world than during my time in the 60's. I do not disagree that parent involvement is low now, but what a delight to call a school, with a bright enthusiastic voice gleaming, thank you for calling BA, where learning comes first. Nice!

When I speak of Bryan Adams, it is from 2002-2006 under a different principal other than Cynthia Goodsell. It is my understanding that under policy, when an UNACCEPTABLE rating is connected to a principal, that principal is shipped off to another one and in this case she recieved a PAY INCREASE which in "Good Ole Boy" system and terms at work on Ross Avenue, means effort well deserved, you are a keeper. In my business world she could not have hit the door hard enough to get out. Reality is taxpayers and parents get screwed and this is why DISD remains a national "black-eye" in the media world in my opinion.

The Dallas Morning News has done us all a huge favor in bringing accounting issues forward to the public that would have never been known about, including Allen Gwinn, editor of this website, Dallas.org. Now I will support BA for the upcoming year of 2008-2009 and beyond as long as we have the same chief in charge. Let's keep our fingers crossed for everyone's sake at BA she gets to stay on board and fully gets all the credit she deserves to bring plans all together as I cannot imagine the mess Ms. Goodsell had to change. I believe the teachers must be thrilled to be going in an upward direction for a change.

[Ed Note: I'm humbled. Thanks for the compliment!]

YEA GOODSELL IS A GOOD

YEA GOODSELL IS A GOOD PRINCIPAL FOR BRYAN ADAMS BUT ONE THING SHE COULD WORK ON IS GETTING A BETTER ADMINISTRATION TEAM.. HAVE ANY OF YOU ALL TALKED TO MS TWYMON THAT PRINCIPAL IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TALK TO.. IVE SEEN HER SCREAM AT TEACHERS FOR MISTAKES THAT SHE HAS DONE.. IN HER POINT OF VIEW SHE IS NEVER WRONG AND NO ONE ELSES OPINION COUNT BESIDES GOODSELL... NO WONDER RAMOS NEVER ACCEPTED HER TO HER ADMINISTRATION.. AS FAR AS IM CONCERNED SHE CAN GO BACK TO WOODROW

Bond Vote

So the word is that teachers or other employees of DISD can't speak out for or against the bond between now and the vote. I'm waiting on a little clarification on whether I could speak out, without mentioning that I'm a teacher. From the memo I read an employee can only provide facts.

I have lots of facts I can provide on how the last bond was handled, or for that matter is still being handled. I would encourage everyone to talk to a teacher who worked through the last bond "improvements" in their school. Visit your neighborhood school and ask to see what your money did last time. Ask how the work was handled, how efficient the communication between the bond folk, DISD, and the school was. Ask if there was damage or theft of school property and how or if that has been resolved. Ask about bond work done that is still incomplete, about workmanship that required lawsuits, or jobs completed that are safety hazards. Ask about projects that were originally in the proposal that mysteriously had money shifted from them well into the bond process.

Ask for the facts!

Ask yourself if we can afford to have our bond handled like the P-Cards, like the DISD "no pass, no play solution, like Skyline, like A. Maceo Smith, like the travel stipends, like the "delayering", like CEI's......the list goes on.

I want to believe. I know there is need. I also know, in fact, that I must trust those who will administer a bond I vote for.

[Ed Note: That last part is key. My issue has always been: "we need the money but are they ready to manage it?" I don't know what I'm going to do here.]

2002 Bond Doesn't Add Up

OK we need some info. We can no longer find info on the disd website as to how many of the NEW 20 schools In the 2002 were replacement schools. Meaning how many schools were shut down or torn down during this bond activity. The district still has over 1,000 portable classrooms in use today and is still touting that the 2002 bond program added over 1,500 New classrooms to the district. There IS a difference between NEW and Replacement classrooms. With the 2008 Bond program only adding about 537 additional classrooms to the district for about the same money I am really curious to know what is up.

Audit

I'd like to see someone get ahold of the work contracts for all the improvements that were supposed to be made and go visit the facilities to see what improvements, if any, were actually made to those buildings from the last bond election. I'd really like to see that before this one hits the voting booth. Just remember you heard it here first.

I'm going to drag out my crystal ball and predict what the audit will find. I'm guessing that about 10% of the improvements were made. Of that, probably at least half of those are "substandard". The other 90% were never touched, but the district still got billed. That certainly seems to be the on-going (two or three decades) pattern with maintenance and service contracts in DISD, so it's not like you really need a crystal ball.

Dell didn't pour $5M on sand, they slid the ever-corrupt DISD management $5M of equipment that they can steal. I'd also like to see an audit that shows where those machines are actually installed - student facilities or some staffers house. Again, I'm going to whip out my handy crystal ball and tell you what I think it will find. I'm guessing that they're probably sitting on a desk in some staffers houses - a desk that was probably purchased with a district procurement card.

And they call me a pirate for downloading MP3's.....

2 cents,

RC

No input, No bond.

DISD has always had a local reputation for either being the most inept governmental entity, or the most uncaring. Now, it is both. You want taxpayers to approve millions of dollars in bonds, but you don't want input on how the money should be spent?

Now, is that uncaring or incompetent? Or is it both--or as one friend put it, "No dear, they are just plain evil. They want to destroy DISD, so they do it from the inside working outwards...."

Well, maybe not evil, my friend, but a rarely used word comes to mind here: OLIGARCHY. Look it up. Remember history class?

And Ron Kirk as the front man? Uh, what? What does he know about teaching, building, or any of that?

As long as DISD thinks Puerto Rico is a foreign country, we are all screwed.

Torn

As a mother of DISD students, I want to support a bond issue for improved schools. I love my kid's teachers, principals and schools and think my kids are getting a great education. As a former DISD teacher, I cringe at the thought of throwing money into the cesspool of mismanagement that I have witnessed. How are you going to vote?

[Ed Note: Don't know yet...]

Employees Voting AGAINST Bond

I can tell you right now that hundreds of DISD employees who are eligible to vote in Dallas are themselves probably going to vote AGAINST it. They have a variety of resons. Mainly, they are tired of nothing but the "Road to Broad" which does them absolutely no good whatsoever! They have been working in bad conditions before, they can wait until new management arrives.....

Don't feel guilty. Support or don't support, but use your vote to send a message.

[Ed Note: I'm leaning toward the "send a message" position.]

Bond BaBaBa Bond

If we keep looking back we're going to get hit by the other truck coming. FYI when I was in high school I ditched out for two solid weeks on speech class and I have never (ever) thought of standing up to speak before now. I only hope that my stumbling does not distract from my message. I hope that as a double tax payer (double in that I own a home in Dallas, city and county, and own a business (twenty two years in Dallas city and county) that we, the citizens, who pay into getting our children a better environment to learn in can accomplish this in peace and social harmony.
Our kids are watching how the individuals who have asked for this task handle themselves. Who ever said it last night about the distrust, they got that just right. Tax payers do not trust the Administration or Board of DISD and those folks need to humble themselves and make sure they earn our respect back properly. Open, honest and fair to the core. Lets hold them to have advance notice printed, posted and notified and with reminders about those promised public meetings on the bond proposed spending ideas. I feel for Skyline, but if you drive through Dallas like I do, I know there are some schools that have conditions worse than Skyline, some worse than my dog house. Lets make sure they do the right thing with our money. There are people working on the past issues, it is a pendulum. The thing is every group can't focus on both future and past, let's see that taxpayer and citizens form united efforts for handling each (future and past). That way both ends of the pendulum get watched and acted upon without letting the funds get misused or wasted. We must focus and unite.

Contrary to popular belief,

Contrary to popular belief, at least after reading here and Dallas News Blog, there are some good things going on at DISD. I hope that no one forgets that.

So Nashia Miller was

So Nashia Miller was speaking about the cell phone policy...what did she have to say about that long standing policy?

[Ed Note: Nothing. It was a speech about the quality of Conrad.]

Retailers love Myrtle Jean

Are you sure those Myrtle Jean supporters aren't all the local retailers showing their appreciation for her past efforts in increasing their sales?

I'd like to know how much Title I and grant money is going to have to be paid back by taxpayers on behalf of Myrtle Jean and her colleagues in crime.

Isn't that the reason the audit is being held up? Who would support a bond issue if that perks up to the top of the audit?

[Ed Note: Again, we don't know whether the audit is going to be critical of the administration at all? There's a lot of speculation.

Retailers?]