Saturday, December 20, 2014


So we just left school and already the results are coming out.  The TEA released the list of the schools, according to the report, worst schools in Texas based on achievement below 50% or around that number.  So while in our last post the mighty board was celebrating by licking their hefty pay raises, our schools continue to fail.  But of course it's not their fault, let's blame it on the Principals and Teachers.
So I am sure Sorum is making his case on how he would improve the schools so that he can get the job, but let's not forget SORUM, YOU CAUSED THIS MESS!  All the way down to your executors- Breed and Company.  The list seems to be one sided as has been for a long time, East Side schools are stuck!  So we can see why Ms. Jackson would not want her daughter to have the Scarlett Letters- WORST SCHOOL IN TEXAS- so she gets to attend Paschal HS.  I wonder if Jackson will consider allowing the children at the East side schools to be bused to the performing schools?  I mean it doesn't matter if they have to ride for an hour or more, they deserve the best just as much as her child but of course since it's not her children, who cares.

Remember this!

Board Members- when will the bleeding stop, when will you understand that the policies for years have not yielded results.  How are you measuring the impact the highly paid consultants are having on student achievement?  How are the SCAs tracking how the standards are being met?  Where is the data?  Why are we not hearing how our children are doing?  Stop listening to garbage at board meetings and ask the real questions.  Do we need to go past 39 schools in the FWISD as low performing for you to open your eyes?  


Thursday, December 18, 2014

FWISD Student's Nightmare Before Christmas!

As we embark on this Christmas Holiday Season we want to let the public know that we are keeping watch on the FWISD and the minions that are destroying the very fabric of the district.

We have good teachers and principals that are looking to go to another district because as they say it " it's crazy."  We don't blame them as bullying and retaliation become rampant and so far the majority of our board has not jumped on the defense for our staff.  We know the "cut throat" tactics of Sorum and Breed have laid all blame on the principals and teachers for all that is wrong with the schools but do not offer any help.  How can they when their pushover ideas have not given results for the past 6 years or longer and yet we expect greatness.  A semester is about done and our children are hurting because of them.

So while our children are deprived of their education, the mighty admin has some fun on the backs of our children.  So sad!

Look below at the connections and scariness of the situation when you still have the old guard meddling in the decisions of the past.  The very people that destroyed and continue to destroy lives.  Interesting!
Unfortunately the needs of our students are not being met and hence the nightmare before christmas rings so true.  We will not rest until the house is cleaned out!

Who will save the day?

Thanks to Dr. Sutherland for speaking how this district is just about the talk.  It all sounds good but no substance behind it!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014


We are here to support the blog by Dr. Sutherland on the bullying occurring to employees on the hands of Sorum and Breed.

 We know of cases that are ongoing and Dr. Sutherland mentions a few examples.  One example is an employee who was demoted upon reporting something that administration did not like and have stressed the employee to the point that they want to give up.  The employee is basically made to settle for measly money but more important the district does what it can to discredit and basically ruin their record.  Interesting the point made by Dr. Sims regarding employees who leave and may want to return and yet there is something placed on their file that does not allow it.  Smells like bullying to us. 
Dr. Sutherland hits it right when administration goes into a school and completely disrupts the processes that a principal may have setup because they don't like it.  But interestingly enough the principals are only following what Sorum and Company have said to do.  So let's see you make a change of programs in the middle of a semester and now want results because you are on the hot seat?  Take Morningside Elementary with millions invested and no major results to see, you have the same administration on board since 2008 and nothing.  But we know that Breed and the current admin are in the same sorority and so they are sisters who continue to harm children's education.  We know that the director in 2008 had hands tied when attempting to correct the wrongs with the principal and Breed shut that down quick. 

But back to bullying, we used to have a cultural diversity training that helped many employees bring out the bad apples in the district, the department dissolved and the employees reassigned, resigned or forced out.  Now you no independent person investigating any incidents of anything.  Take technology money issue, the employee was demoted and moved to another department.  So Sorum and Breed get to move up and get raises and yet are not producing the results.  Tell us what improvements have been made since Johnson came on board and these same individuals were there?  How do you justify their evaluations when the district is sinking?   

Dr. Sutherland, the best way to deal with bullying is having independent counsel look into the cases or have OPS report only to the board and not administration.  The other is for you to ask questions at meetings about cases and the results of such cases of which you have mentioned.  Let the facts come out.  When palazzolo brought his case, the case was talked about in open session and when we all heard the information something did not seem right, that's where Vasquez and you voted against the firing because it sounded fabricated.  Johnson left knowing that the district would go into litigation and here we are almost 1 million and counting.  There are many voices that are silent because they fear retaliation and being bullied.  We need to cut these two out and help save the good people that are still in the FWISD.  You cannot expect results when your employees are being accosted by Sorum and Breed.  Our children are suffering because of the talent we are losing and yet we keep hearing it and watching it unfold.  We need board members to take charge and make FWISD attorneys accountable for the money they spend, 1.5 million is for bullying and ruining the lives of employees. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014



If any of you tuned into the board meeting, there was a lively discussion of sorts about the request for an additional 1.2 million for legal on what was said were the day to day operations.  FWISD attorney Carrillo was looking more for 1.5 million.

We protested heavily and had Dr. Sutherland and Paz who helped table the agenda item because of the many questions we have on what taxpayer dollars are paying for.  The other discussion came when a list of vendor attorneys were presented and voted on it separately because the thought was that the money was being paid out up front.  We hope that administration was being up front about the reason for the request and no money is being transferred unless services are rendered.  But the central issue is why so much money and what is going on that so much money is needed?  What other legal issues are we battling?  We can see consultation but how much does it cost per hour to consult or how is it paid?  These are things that the public needs to know, just like your nutrition label, gives us the facts on what we are buying.

We also know with the lawsuits that are ongoing just the high legal fees being paid to TASB and other attorneys.  We keep coming back to the Risk Management Fund which has a 1,000, 000 limit and of course FWISD is responsible for fees, etc.  Well we know that the agreement ended in 2013 and from all indications no one knows why it was cancelled or who did it.  So at this point FWISD is responsible for everything even though TASB has the case.  They started the Palazzolo case and they need to end it. Regardless we kind of did the math and this is what we figure out to be the cost of that case not counting the other suits.  Also with the board not having anything related to TASB on the agenda for another contract then we assume there is nothing binding except what they started with.

As of October 2, 2014 TASB has spent $911,104 out of the 1 million limit on the contract.  This is on top of the $350,000 FWISD indicated in open record that it had spent on the original battles against Palazzolo.  So with the virtual fund being depleted thus far then we see how a 1.2 million request would basically replenish it.  Plus FWISD paid the $100,000 deductible.  If you add most of it up it comes out to $1.4 million all together so far which would make sense for Carillo to request $1.5 million.

Board members, if you have been briefed or not at least now you see where we are headed with something that could of been handled and settled.  Oh don't forget the $2.4 million settlement judgement won by Palazzolo that is pending.  All the district had to do early on was to settle the case for $300,000 and give Mr. Palazzolo his job back since he won by a jury trial.  Think about how much more would of been saved but there is a hidden agenda by some members to hide the wrongdoings that we will expose at some point.  You can't keep hiding the truth and just as members and admin go to church and preach the truth will save you, then we need you to walk that talk.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


While the FWISD keeps their executive session private, CIA doesn't.

We know that the district is going around requests for information on all fees related to the cases that have been dragging for years.  Recently the district released information regarding fees which to some degree it doesn't make sense.  Now the board will vote on increasing the legal fees to $1.2 Million which can only mean that they are going to fund more frivolous investigations and drag on with Palazzolo and all other suits brought against the district.  We do know outside counsel TASB has been doing some investigations which have not been brought up for discussion even in executive session.  The witch hunt continues under the current regime and we will expose each and everyone of them for their corrupt practices which is Mafia Style.

Board members why keep hiding the legal fees?  Why are you not asking for transparency unless you know and are part of the system you are asked to keep accountable?  What is so pressing we need to spend more money on lawyers?

So we go back to a story the FW Weekly did on what the district paid out other lawsuits and came across what former attorney Bertha Whatley referred to as the TASB Risk Management Fund which is exactly what we have been discussing.  Apparently there the district reimbursed TASB which to us sounds like a deductible type when you have a case and you pay your deductible which in this case you are giving it to yourself but it doesn't cover much of the 1 million and counting that have been spent.  How much does that fund hold?  Where has the money for the Chavez, Duran and others come from?

Dr. Sutherland can you ask the questions for us?  We need to know where our tax dollars are going because if there is a money tree somewhere we would all like to have one so that we never run out of money.  Any fund has to be given funds to operate we cannot see TASB having an unsurmountable amount of money for every district in the state.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Just to keep you updated on everything FWISD and to make sure that we keep everything fresh in our mind.  Remember FWISD likes to keep you waiting and waiting so that eventually you give up and they keep on doing their thing.

Let's start with the board agenda coming up and a few things that have caught our eyes. 

One item is the possible extension of the contract with Linares.  So this means that either the firm can't find a good candidate or they are wanting to make it long enough to where they say let's put Sorum there since he is here already.  Let's keep on fighting folks Sorum is bad medicine.  Board members we are watching.

We thank Dr. Sutherland for pushing for us.  According to her blog the SCAs will be on the agenda for voting so that we can see just how our elected leaders will do.  If they truly take their job seriously they will listen to the teachers, students and parents and not a bureaucrat like Sorum who is trying to prove something that he cannot do.  He cannot lead nor know exactly what is happening in our schools. 

Also Dr. Sutherland is asking where the money for all these legal fees are going.  We know they are hiding plenty.  So they want 1.2 Million for legal fees, what is going on?  Lawyers getting rich on the backs of our students who still lack adequate resources.
Then a little bird has been spreading the news that Former Super Johnson and Linares have been having a few meals together.  They were spotted by a source.  Funny how Johnson brought in Reyna and hung Linares out to dry.  We all know people don't just leave, if Linares really had retired and moved on she would not have taken the job now.  There were fights all along.  Anyway we smell cover up on issues that Johnson created folks.  We hope both enjoyed their dinner and don't celebrate too much yet because we are watching. 

Monday, December 1, 2014


So our teachers are not getting what they need to teach in the classroom even when they are forced to teach to the test.  So how much money are we paying the consultants who can't consult.  Travesty board members that you the simple task of following up on what you say is not even done.

Many of you boast that you are for the schools, teachers, students and here we are one semester over and teachers have to beg for resources.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


We figured the district thought we would forget about these issues after a nice Turkey dinner!

Well we haven't and we won't until we see results.

Let's start with the superintendent search.... the firm of Ray and Associates has been conducting the search and among the items was to meet with the community to hear what they want in a new superintendent.  Resoundingly they want someone who is not a current or former employee, we already went through one and look how it turned out.  The community told them stories about the lack of trust in the administration and board members, workplace bullying, corruption and generational gaps that do not allow the district to move forward.  Ray and Associates is proud of their record in find good candidates because they listen to stakeholders and they have spoken loudly.  Here we have their mission statement:"We will provide our clients with the highest quality services to assist them in hiring leaders who will meet district specific needs and positively impact the education of all students."

This brings us to the issue we have now with the likes of Needham who from what we hear is pushing Sorum to go for Superintendent.  If you recall back when Johnson left, he applied for the El Paso position and got rejected so he stayed as consolation and got a hefty raise.  Needham needs to know loud and clear that the people do not want someone who is currently working in the district.
Johnson brought him and she needs to dance him away.  We need to oppose any inclination of Sorum being a candidate for Superintendent.  The reason the district is where it is it's because he has been involved for more than 5 years and has ruined it.  Every year is something new and teachers are tired of it.

After seeing that picture we all may need a drink, heavy one at that!!!!

Now we move onto the PALAZZOLO CASE
As you may remember the district has stopped discussing at the board meetings anything related to the case.  They did not discuss the appeal made nor any of the decisions made by the court.  The district is wanting to move the case from Wise County to Tarrant County because they have the big whigs ready to squash this case down.  The new hearing is set for December 22 and guess what, the district requested a jury hearing.  They figured that Joe would give up and that it would not come at a time when they are searching for the new super.  Well they are wrong and are doing everything they can to stop this from continuing.  Remember that the district was sued for TOMA violation.  Once again they sent a request for change of venue in the name of the FWISD Board of Trustees who have not voted to make that motion nor anything related to the case.  Utterly incomprehensible that our elected leaders are not taking this seriously and allowing funds to be used without accountability.  There is no insurance that is paying for this, the district is paying for it.  Below are documents that were filed.  Dr. Sutherland we need you to make a point of order to ask when the decision was made to appeal and also how the lawyers are making requests on behalf of the board when no votes have been taken.

After reading the documents all I can say is FWISD should of hired monkeys to do the work because the rebuttals are horrendous.


FINALLY.. some links related to the last issues we had with the prior bond and also one document of how Hank Johnson brought the GPISD budget down and then left.  As he just did with loss of revenue.  You be the judge.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Dr. Sutherland has decided to run for re-election next year!

Who will be next to announce?

Elections matter folks, we need to change the make up of this board, get your vote ready!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014


So the following people violate board policy and get to keep their jobs plus raises.  So the board of trustees cannot enforce its own policies and makes special considerations for all.  I wonder if any other employee would be treated the same way.  I wonder if teachers did not do their lesson plans or every little thing Sorum wanted if they can ask for board consideration?  How about a raise?

Where is the oversight?  People are fired for dumb reasons and yet their majesties get to stay!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


We needed to come back to this fine moment when an elected representative of the FWISD commented on what kids should do when they ride on the bus to get to school for an hour for the new STEM ACADEMY.  Listen:

So Ms. Jackson whose children don't even attend her own district 2 schools has the audacity to say that every other child should ride the bus as long as it takes.  Of course we know this is in support of Needham where it looks like the STEM will reside in Benbrook.  So does her child ride the bus to Paschal?  Interesting on how the Johnson's aka(Jacksons) see our children and it's not a bother because she doesn't have to get up at 4:30 or 5 AM to get her kids to the bus stop early enough so they can make it to school.  Why aren't East Side schools good enough for you?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Fireworks at the Board Meeting

If you didn't get a chance to see the last board meeting this week, you should!!! It was filled with lots of fireworks and a lot of nonsense from administration.  We will take a few pieces that we think are relevant and the citizens need to know because we know that everything presented looks good.

One thing to mention, can the board find better words to use than " it was a good report"  It seems everything presented by admin is a good report, middle schoolers can put a power point together.  Shows us how out of touch board members are when they cannot critique something intelligently.

Will write something below each portion of video that follows:

There are still problems with the SCAs contrary to what Sorum says.  Time consuming, 1st graders having to bubble, etc. etc.  You can hear some items when Sorum presents.  But Poole here brings the perspective of what teachers are feeling out in the field.  We agree, how about some autonomy for teachers to do what is best for their classroom in collaboration and support from admin.  It's always a top down approach and has been for many years in FWISD.  The SCAs are so fragmented and let's not fool ourselves they are test items that were just broken into three week cycles.  There is nothing different except that 4 questions determine mastery of the standards.  We didn't put Sorum's presentation because it's long and filled with nothing that is going to impact student achievement.  One question the board forgot to ask as we watched this is, within the report where is the data for the standards that were tested and how well did students master them.  We don't need to know passing student rate, we need to know if the students are doing well or not.  No specific data presented just gibberish.  Why do you have all those people sitting there and cannot provide information that we needed to know to see if the SCAs are working and the curriculum.  It was more substance about the giving of the test and what they say are good remarks from staff.  They brought accolades, their data from 11 campuses they visited out of 144.  They didn't even publish which schools they visited, so just giving what data they think makes it look good.  Board comment" that was a good report." blah!

Some uneasiness of the SCAs.  Ms. Paz, you as leadership do have the authority to vote it down not necessarily administrate the SCAs but you adopt policy.  Make a motion that SCAs not be given.

Once again another program change in the middle of the game and bad training from the very people that are being paid extra money, so called consultants.  More teaching to the test as you will see on Fridays, students will be doing STAAR work.  So now they expect teachers to implement after half a day of training and no time to prepare and practice.
See the following teacher comments from a teacher on the Sutherland Blog:

IN THE MEAN TIME THEY EAT LIKE KINGS and we can't afford anything in the classroom
So they can eat and we can't even get a snack with the budget

Avila has no clue what he is talking about.  He forgets that he was elected to the area he represents because he lives in the district.  Wait, he didn't get voted in, the opponent was coerced to drop out.  So technically one vote would have been enough.  What a ridiculous comment.... how can someone not live here and understand how our students live and what we are about.  Living in the castle doesn't help, Avila get out and see the community for once.

You just have to love it!  Money at its best here.. self-interests loud and clear
Mayhem in the FWISD

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Nepotism alive and well at O.D. Wyatt

Seems the Criss family have jobs for all family members:

Linier Criss
Dominque Criss
Meyer Criss
Quinin Criss
Zachary Criss

All family members working at OD Wyatt together. Was this a promise from Walter Dansby or T.A. Sims?

New superintendent needs to know about this continue FWISD way of hiring.

You got a job is related or personal friend of a board member and/or superintendent. You don't even need to be qualified- free job via an affair, a family line, or a cover up. 

Check it out- it is an easy find!

Monday, November 10, 2014


The saga that is FWISD folks....

So it so happens that all this talk about residency lines has a purpose and it all goes to benefitting the ones at the top.  If you are reading this and any other blog call your board member to vote against the proposed residency guidelines, meaning they want to do away with it for anyone.  Dallas, Keller, San Antonio and other districts require their higher ups to live within the district. Yes folks it's ON PURPOSE!

Basically what we have found out is that the residency lines are for the new superintendent which begs to question why the person hired would not live within the district he or she is supposed to be vested in.  As you can see we smell a rat and the rest of them are lining up to also benefit from.
Take Sorum who according to the blog got a nice 4500 sq ft home for less than 300,000 close by the admin building.  On Dr. Sutherland's blog it says that it was bought for .61 a sq ft, interesting!

Then we get to Barbara Griffith and the sweet deals she has gotten with salary and perks.  She gets to ride on a company vehicle and do her second job with other districts.  Nice how we wish we had a company car!

Read below from Dr. Sutherland:
Dansby's budget had $75,000 for a Cadillac Escalade for Barbara to drive around in. Just part of his $21 million in "enhancements" that will drive us toward insolvency. Wait till you see the "new" budget on Tuesday . . . 

Valerie Carrillo, FWISD attorney, is supposedly going to leave but in the mean time has been covering up all of this.  So much for integrity and ruining your career to cover for the corrupt in the district.  Yes folks it's corruption at it's best and it continues.    Go Valerie because they will get you at some point.......

So Board Members-who is lining up your pockets to make all these changes and allow higher ups to embezzle on the backs of the students of FWISD.  You all speak like you have integrity and yet you show each day that you don't.  

Friday, November 7, 2014


While we were distracted from the bond issue and the money problems that seem to arise time after time.. we learned how our fellow educators at METRO, under Trustee Ramos, have discovered through the STAR that their location more than likely would be the new STEM or that it is being considered without any form of communication from the very person that came into office promising something different.  Teachers feel betrayed and once again no communication comes to them, where will they go, what about the students?  The district again offers nothing more.  Didn't Avila just mention at the board meeting that we need to do a better job to get the word out?  Wait first you have to be around long enough to hear it and not be traveling for personal gain.

So Mr. Ramos where are you now?  You have been MIA from Metro, showing up one time, and we hear the you and fellow board members are about kids and yet words mean nothing.  Here is another prime example of a personal agenda set on gaining personal wealth on the back of kids.  Whatever happened to cultural awareness and just basic culture and climate.  There is nothing in the talk that has helped anyone but you, your family and friends around you.
It's ok for other kids to be affected because having a STEM would make it look great but you have yet to talk about the students and teachers who would be affected.  How about showing up at the schools that also need help.  So happens that the school where your children attend gets the majority of everything.  How interesting that they come into the district from private school and now are atop other students who didn't have that opportunity and who are still not reaping the benefits.  How long will you stay? You are an FWISD trustee, not North Side ISD.   

We hear you Metro staff... empty words, empty promises.  Shame on all those who say they are about education and can't even do the basics.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Well Folks, here we are debating the bond project that was the pride of Dansby and everyone who was to benefit... looks like they had no issue with the turf at a million a piece. The biggest difference between this bond and the last one is that people are actually looking into it and asking questions as we are.

Now we come to the construction of schools and other projects that apparently will not be built as desired and all of a sudden we have costs that are higher than was expected .

The STAR posted an article on the recent meeting of our board and administration on what they were going to do with the projects.  As we read on it, we sort of got two stories going.  Our board members like Avila and the CIP Chief state that the cost of the construction has risen since the bond and that's what you have to deal with.  I don't recall in the last bond ever debating these issues I wonder what was different because those were more difficult times.  In the article they mention that the issue is the labor shortage which is increasing costs, so which is it?  If you need workers to reduce the cost there are plenty of people looking for work that are hands on labor.  Something doesn't feel right about all of this and I am sure that due to the closeness with AECOM and now Mr. Avila who has a construction in the family background, I am sure feels he has the lead on this.

What also doesn't sound quite right is why they are having to reduce classrooms to save on costs when I would of hoped that they did the right surveying to make sure that what was needed at each school was taken into account.  So now you don't need extra classrooms then if this was to go ahead without changes what would you have done with the extra classrooms?  Why don't you have the right numbers when it comes to student population increase?  Sounds to me that the construction issue is not everything that is being told to the public.  Yes we do face an industry like any other that will have costs rise but then we hold the purse on that because we can find a company that will do a good job at a lower cost.  We are not talking about chum change when it comes to the projects, these are in the millions so I am sure that there is not one company that will say no I won't do it and let the money go.

So we took to the internet and found a report by the state comptroller that shows construction of schools within our state.  Houston built nicely at a lower cost and they are way bigger than us.  We echo Moss' (yes I know) message, show the bids, show everything before you vote because we need to see what we are getting.  Most of those reductions do come on the East Side, what are the reasons there?  Don't hide it FWISD!  
Don't settle for what Avila says basically, we just have to deal with it and that's it.  No, we are responsible for the people's money and it is our duty to do everything to get it done right and at a good cost.
Read for yourself.  P.S. The star makes you pay to read the article but we have it here.
The link to the Comptroller's Report is below the article.


Saturday, November 1, 2014


As we continue to investigate where the district gets coverage for all the fees and other expenses from litigation it boils down to a FUND.  You may ask what fund and why are we not hearing about this from the very people who do know what it is.

If you recall in previous posts we mentioned that some board members had indicated that the district had coverage for the appeal of the Palazzolo case and frankly made it seem for any suit.  We didn't think anything more because it seemed logical that insurance or a liability coverage seems normal to have in any business, etc.  So our citizens requested information on payouts from this fund or "thing" and we thought we had posted this but we will the response from the district.

It so happens that the district is Self-Insured, it is paying for everything in any litigation.  You can read what it has paid out in fees to the same attorneys who have been running the show and how there is no malpractice coverage of anything.  The agreement made with TASB is an inter-local agreement that just says they would use them as the agency to provide the services.

The other information we have been able to get is that the district at some point setup this self-insured fund because it is a way to save money when you can put money aside and invest the money for it to grow.  We have, correct us if we are wrong, not heard of this money ever being reported in the budget.  How much is this fund worth?  Who is taking care of it and what audits have been done to account for every penny spent?  Either the board knew, at least the long serving ones do, or they were not told as well.  So almost 5 years of Palazzolo and you do the math on the cost of just keeping it going and now the damages awarded.  We can't see even if there was coverage how it would keep paying and paying or would they say each time they appealed within the same case they would get another liability pay off.  As you can see it is very confusing and that is just the tactic used to keep the public from ever asking or even knowing what is going on.

This then brings us to the 40 million question or even the bond issue.  Why are the numbers suddenly not adding up?  Is there money flowing from one account to cover the FUND that we don't know about?  Hank Johnson resigns, central admin is a crazed ant pile that is panicking because they don't know who will be the new boss and what that person will do.

All we want to know is where is the money?  The district needs to fess up and tell the truth.  Too many lies and unknowns that do make us wonder what unethical things they are doing and getting away with.  Let's stop the traveling and get to work on what truly is impacting the district and our kids future.  So far all we see is selfishness on people using the district as ground for future endeavors.
More to come

Friday, October 31, 2014


Many of you have or will be going to trick or treat......

In our case FWISD likes to trick as much as they can and blind you so that you have no idea what is going on.  We know not everything is negative but when we see and hear our administration and board members just not quite understand what's before them... it truly is scary!

Sad that when we saw this it reminded us of the one person who has completely caused the many problems in governance at FWISD.  We will leave you to think about it for a bit on who it reminds you of and if you don't get the answer right then you have missed out on the mess that has been FWISD.  

are they praying it all goes away?  Check out Jackson :)

At our last school board meeting we heard the wonderful things that our two traveled board members brought back from cultural awareness sessions learned in Minneapolis.  We completely see that it is important, we have heard many times and all the accolades that it receives but we have not seen it put into practice.  Yet again we are using taxpayer money for one or two individuals to get information and it is not trickled down in any way.  

Mr. Ramos seems to be on a celebrity tour with all of the culture topics and gaining lots of connections for when, as we have been told, will create his own consulting style of business to do trainings on it.  So it's nice to see that we are paying for his future.  Then at the board meeting we came into the issue with Washington Heights that apparently is almost $3 million over budget.  There is consternation that what was floated to the residents is not what will be given because they have to redesign it to lower cost. There was mention that it should be about equity and we agree but at whose cost or sacrifice?  It seems that this one has gotten more attention, in the paper, and other areas for one particular area.  If you watch the discussion there seems to be a big disconnect from all parts.  

Dr. Avila mentioned that "we need to do a better job of communicating."  How interesting that this is exactly what we have asked for, communication and transparency and we have yet to get it.  Most importantly we need integrity and honesty about what is happening.  A little chuckle came when he mentioned us, not directly, that there is information out there and the district needs to do a better job what we would say containing it.  Well thanks for the accolade, our vision is to get the information out to the public.

We hear comments about great presentations but that is not going to get us where we need to be.  In all more talk and less action.  Oh and there was also a mention about oversight which almost caused us to faint.  Maybe just maybe the board finally understands one of their biggest roles is oversight on what occurs in the district.  

SCAs continue to haunt our teachers who see this as more and more work and no specifics.  We shall see what Sorum conjures up at the next meeting.  In the mean time the SCAs walk like a benchmark, written like a benchmark, and quack like a benchmark!

We also have heard and are waiting for confirmation that the district is down $39 million or close to 40 million that was not accounted for.  We are not sure if this has been discussed at the board meeting but we know from the people on the ground that a committee or task force is being assembled to help out.  It will consist of administrators which will be taken off campus for this and away from the campus where they are needed to monitor instruction.  So the pretty picture painted about reserves was always a fluke.  Then Sutherland mentioned it on her blog regarding an adjustment made that was an oversight and now we don't have as many reserves in case there is a budget shortfall.  



Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Have you ever been in a situation where the person who is talking or is trying to impress you speaks with big vocabulary words and it all sounds good....

But they have no idea what they are doing because they themselves don't know either.

So we come to FWISD and highly paid attorneys who have fed much garbage to the board, that even with a lawyer on the board, have no clue what they do.

Attached is the form released by FWISD regarding the insurance they claim is going to pay for the appeal and perhaps for the Dansby Defamation Suit.

We are not lawyers by any means but just read the sections at the end of Page 2 into Page 3 regarding what it may not cover.  Are we reading it right that the appeal and Dansby would not be covered based on the interpretation of the wording?  Also there is no mention of appeal coverage, it just says a claim made and does not cover damages.

So either the lawyers can't tell the board the truth and the board doesn't ask because they have no clue.

Any lawyers out there that can help us out?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dr. Ann Sutherland, District 6, has filed TEA Complaint over SCAs

Welcomed news that Dr. Sutherland has filed a complaint with TEA regarding the legality of the SCAs.  While some may think this is something to do about nothing, let's just say that this goes to the hardcore of the classroom.  Allowing teachers and administrators on campus to do what is best for students.  District mandated tests are not allowed but twice a year, the law is clear.  Just because you break them down does not mean that they are any different.  Look at the format they are written in, test style and they are meant to prepare for the STAAR test.

Teachers have been taught to assess what they teach and they can assess after they teach a unit or however their curriculum is setup.

Thank you Dr. Sutherland for continuing the fight and we are behind you.  Keep us updated on the outcome.

We ask the rest of the board to speak up.  Mr. Ramos, where is the transparency you speak of? What is says to us is that you don't care about the entire FWISD staff but just your own recognition and use of the district for a personal agenda. Well known what your aspirations are and it's sad that you would use our children to advance your agenda.
 The rest of the board well we know they have no clue what is going on so we will leave it.

Friday, October 10, 2014



Refuting Rhonda Crass’ Legal Opinion

I think this is bad law and full of specious arguments. Crass hangs herself in her own opinion.  She says:

“When courts construe statutes, their primary goal is to discern the intent of the legislature "from the plain meaning of the words .hosen." State v. Shumake, 199 S.W.3d 279, 284 (Tex. 2006) (addressing statutory concstruction). Statutes and rules are interpreted as a whole rather than their isolated provisions.”

I totally agree with this statement. Legislative intent is the key to interpreting any statute and in this case, HB5 was intended to reduce the number of tests students had to take. (All tests)

Crass then goes on to quote the author of the bill:

“Representative Mike Villarreal, who authored the amendment to HB 5 that included Section 39.0263, issued a press release after the amendment was adopted explaining that the amendment “allows schools to continue to prepare students for tests but prevents the excessive use of practice tests that is all too common in Texas schools today.” (Italics provided)
Her interpretation of the word “prepare” is questionable:

“. . . the legislature intended the word “prepare” to address the practice of simulating the administration of the STAAR test that is often accomplished by simulating the time constraints and testing situations that often consumes a great amount what would otherwise be instruction time.”

I haven’t read the bill but I question whether it gives this definition to the word. I doubt prepare means only this simulation of test situations. I think the intent was indeed to (again, from the Crass opinion):

“The SCAs administered by the District as well as any type of evaluation instrument used by a classroom teacher could arguably “prepare students for a corresponding state-administered assessment instrument”, it is not likely that a challenge would be successful. Because the SCAs are short in nature, are for the purpose of measuring what mastery of the TEKS has taken place and what remediation is needed to ensure the mastery of the TEKS rather than to simulate testing conditions which provide a one time snapshot of a student’s mastery of the material presented, the overly broad argument that SCAs are benchmark assessments does not appear to be a valid reason for discontinuing SCAs at the District.”

I would argue that the SCAs are exactly what she describes above (in italics), and a challenge to an independent entity should be successful.


The District sought an opinion on the SCAs to justify their right to require them.  As always they refer to the technical aspect of anything done because it justifies in their mind that they are doing the right thing for kids.  Instead of working with teachers or seeking advice from those that are working with children, they allow a legal opinion to proceed with what amounts to nothing in regards to improving instruction.

So we took a trip out to the field and looked at the SCAs and gathered input from administrators.   We came across a copy of the SCAs and could not believe how weak they are and look put together at the last minute.  I would ask the Board members to ask Sorum for a review of them and to specify what they are supposed to measure.  We were told that the SCAs are just something to give and that the district is not truly focused on them.  Sorum says they are not to be used for accountability.  Some tests took longer than a class period and then no time to meet to discuss results or time to plan.

In looking at the first grade test, come on, if the children don't know how to read and it's an oral test, how would they know what to bubble or know how to bubble.  Bubbling a test is not just something you throw at children.  If teachers have to bubble for students they need time to do it and for sure it won't take just one day.  These are things that administration does not take into consideration because it's easy for them to give a command and everyone is supposed to jump.

Back to the legal opinion, basically because no legal challenge has occurred, the district will make the pitch that they are legal.  The opinion states that it is a gray area and does fall under district mandated assessments.  The length of time may be an issue because the district can say it takes only the class period but they are not going to tell you if that actually occurred because they are not monitoring.  Remember that the district only says what will fall under legal not what is actually happening in the classrooms.

The fifth grade reading test had 3 questions, yes 3 questions that were supposed to measure student learning.  Tell us the research on that one Sorum!!

See for yourselves



 1st grade

 2nd Grade Writing