Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

January 6, 2008

Special privileges for Bible classes

Filed under: education, Religious Right, Separation of Church and State — texased @ 10:13 pm
Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » Special privileges for Bible classes
MySA.com: Metro | State

Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee the bill’s author, said that if 15 or more students express interest in the Bible as Literature course, districts must offer it.

“A lot of schools don’t know they can have the course, and this bill notifies them that the Supreme Court ruled school districts can offer it,” Chisum said. “School districts should know they can offer the course because it better prepares students for college literature and history classes.”

So why do students have this right for only one class? Why shouldn’t they be able to petition for calculus, Greek, Shakespeare, or microbiology? Surely they help better prepare students for college work as well? Why is the public school system giving special preference to a specific course?

Complete post at my new website www.texasedspectator.com.

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January 5, 2008

Top Websites on Homeschooling Legality in Texas

Filed under: Homeschooling, Texas — texased @ 7:54 pm
 This is on my new website www.texasedspectator.com.
Texas Ed Spectator
These websites are provide you with information on the legal aspects of homeschooling. They list relevant education code, legislation, and court cases as well as the basic steps to start homeschooling in Texas (how to withdraw your child from public school.) Many other websites present this information as well but those listed here have proved themselves reliable and enduring. If you come across information at other websites that seems inconsistent or contradicts information from the websites below, I suggest you go with the information from the websites below.

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January 3, 2008

Who knew that privilege was such a disadvantage?

Filed under: college admissions, education, race — texased @ 4:26 pm
Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » Who knew that privilege was such a disadvantage?
I’ve seen this book, “Acing the College Application,” around and just the little skimming I’ve done standing in the book aisle has convinced me that it’s a superficial treatment of the college application process. This review of Naomi Schaefer Riley’s seems to confirm it.

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January 1, 2008

January 2nd is the deadline to file for SBOE primaries

Filed under: evolution, Terri Leo, Texas State Board of Education — texased @ 10:09 pm
Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » January 2nd is deadline to file for SBOE primaries
Seven positions are up for election in 2008 for the Texas State Board of Education. This is the board that used to support the teaching of evolution but for some reason, TEA no longer makes that statement. Three of the uncontested seats are Republican, one currently held by Terri Leo, a supporter of teaching “the weaknesses of evolution.”

December 31, 2007

So what do you do with $35 billion dollars?

Filed under: college costs, Higher Education — texased @ 2:13 pm
Very interesting article on Harvard’s new accessibility to the middle class. Families making less than $120,000 won’t pay any tuition. The author, Steven Roy Goodman, argues that by providing additional aid, Harvard and others with generous endowments, are hoping to head off legislation by Congress that would mandate schools to spend 5% of it’s endowment as required by other private foundations.
Goodman reports that Harvard claims the tuition initiative could cost it $22 million a year. However, if it heads off the Congressional mandate, the school saves $245 million dollars a year for the endowment.
Complete post is at my new site www.texasedspectator.com

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December 28, 2007

Legislative Support for Higher Education

Filed under: Higher Education — texased @ 10:08 am
Texas Ed Spectator » Blog Archive » Legislative Support for Higher Education
Last spring, the legislature passed a law that restricts public college students in Texas to drop only a maximum of six classes as an undergraduate. The idea was that this will help students graduate faster.

I see it as the perfect example of what passes for legislative support for higher education in Texas

Complete post is at my new site www.texasedspectator.com.

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December 27, 2007

Texas SBOE does not support teaching of evolution

Filed under: Don McLeroy, evolution, Texas State Board of Education — texased @ 11:19 am
Texas Ed Spectator » Texas SBOE does not support teaching of evolution
In case you haven’t heard, the Texas Education Agency has fired the agency’s director of science, Christine Castillo Comer, for forwarding an email about a talk on evolution. It also looks like the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is seriously considering approving a program that offers a Masters Degree in Creation Science. And if you don’t think our State Board of Education lead by Creationist Advocate, Dr. Don McLeroy, is getting ready to push for eliminating the teaching of evolution from the state’s biology textbooks, consider the following:

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December 6, 2007

West Campus Wonderland

Filed under: education, San Antonio — texased @ 6:12 pm

The story till now: South San ISD wants to shut down low performing, low enrollment school. Parents protest and attempt to get a court injunction which is denied. The school district retaliates by suing the parents for court costs. The parents’ lawyer, David Van Os, has a press conference and reads a blog posting supposedly by the school district’s attorney.

Fake Blog Post Riles West Campus Community – Yahoo! News

The blog posting — littered with grammatical and spelling errors — read:

“Save West Campus has cause alot of inconvience for the community … ,so when the district files a lawsuit against the parents of Save West Campus,each of them individualy,that’s the only way to recover the legal fee’s the taxpayers had to pay,so if they claim they have no money,we will file to seize their property,assets & have thier wages garnish,when we win the lawsuit. And hope this will put all this to and end.”

Now is anyone actually surprised that the school district’s attorney said that he did not write the post or have anything to do with it? So what are the possibilities here?

  • Someone, presumably on the parent side, planted the post. Does the person really think lawyers write like and is that a reflection of the education quality provided by South San Antonio?

  • David Van Os actually writes like that which is why he thought it was the real thing? If true, that would explain why they lost their injunction.

  • The school district planted the post knowing that David Van Os would jump on it before verifying it’s authenticity. What does that say about Van Os’ reputation? What does that say about the administration’s respect for the parents?

It’s a sorry situation when the district sues the parents who were pursuing their right to be heard in court. It’s a sorry situation when the parents go to court to solve their problems when there was a school board election that occurred at the same time. It’s a sorry situation when you can’t figure out who to feel sorry for.

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December 5, 2007

NISD Oympic Natatorium

Filed under: education — texased @ 7:56 pm

Will someone please explain to me how this improves education in Northside?

MySA.com: Metro | State

Acknowledging that some projects offered partial funding would not be able to move forward, the group agreed — this time in an almost evenly divided vote — to move any money that might be freed up first to fully fund the Olympic natatorium proposed by Northside Independent School District, which received $7 million of the $10 million it sought;

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November 27, 2007

West Campus High School should stay open because?

Filed under: education — texased @ 4:57 pm

This seems to embody so much of what is wrong with public education.

MySA.com: KENS 5: Education

Attorney David Van Os, who is representing Save West Campus, the group formed to protest the closure, argued that district officials failed to specify on the Oct. 23 meeting agenda that trustees could take formal action to close the school.

Let’s see, the school is Academically Unacceptable and has low enrollment. How do you figure that, aren’t smaller schools supposed to generate better academic results? The school board voted do to do the fiscally responsible thing and shut the school down. Now the parents have gone to court to prevent it from happening.

How many of these parents voted in the last school board election? How many went storming to the school board when the high school was rated “academically unacceptable?” Are these the parents that advocates for privatizing the school system are talking about? Acting in their self interest would result in a better education for their children?

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