Friday, August 29, 2014


What is it with Fort Worth upper management and this tantrum epidemic with threats to leave.
Well how can we put it to Sorum?

Board Members we are tired of incompetent people keeping the students and teachers of FWISD hostage to drive their own agenda.  When someone screams that loud and throws a tantrum that means that they have no idea what is going on and will make a scene to get their way.  You are all parents and know what we are talking about.  This is by far the lowest of the low and you above all allow this man to run over students and teachers on something that is against the law.

Rumor has it that Sorum is in the running for superintendent.  We don't know about you teachers but this would be a disgrace and above all a detriment to any moving forward in this district.  We just recycle and think that things will be different.  UEA and ATPE need to oppose Sorum having any glimpse of being the leader of this district when he has not shown any improvement on affecting all students in FWISD.  Some will say well we have the Schools of Choice and that's great but what percentage of students get in?  As Moss said, what about her schools, when will they see a change.  Teachers must speak up to their organization and vote to oust Sorum and Company.  Don't forget that he was in the running at El Paso when Johnson left and he felt the heat for a bit.  He was not hired, so think about that, with all their troubles they didn't think he had it to help them out.  So Sorum wants to become Super to fix the problems he has created?  Remember teachers that we would be fired in an instant if we caused any problems.

Thanks to Dr. Sutherland for speaking up for all of us and telling the truth.  Another rumor is that Robbins and others are coming against her for being outspoken and we are here to let them know that come election time we will remember who stood up for us.  Times are changing board members and we will call you out for sure.  Will you speak up or stay silent?


  1. CIA, hadn't heard about this until now. Can you give context to this report. Was it after he heard someone criticize his magnificent program or did he just hear someone call him the abject failure that he is? Honestly I will leave this district if he is hired as super. I would rather take a cut in pay with a smaller district than have that ignorant bastard lead the district I work for. The worse this district gets, the happier I am that my children have graduated and cannot be harmed by the incredibly inept, selfish, greedy administrators and board members that run this district. It also makes me extremely sad for those students that will have to continue to suffer under them.

  2. If he ends up getting the supt position, I will take my children out of the district! This man is a pathetic human being.

  3. Matthew Avila, District 8August 31, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Despite the fact that this is not a particularly friendly forum to my thoughts on such matters, and weighing in will likely draw a venomous response, I felt it was important to point out that Dr. Sutherland's post regarding Dr. Sorum was patently false...he did not threaten to resign. Folks are entitled to their opinion on his and other administrators and board members conduct, but they should be based in fact.

    With respect to Ann's claim that the short cycle assessments violate the law and the administration's alleged acknowledgement of that fact...that too is a gross misrepresentation. The issue turns on whether the short cycle assessments constitute a "benchmark" test as defined by the statute. Clearly they do not...and this is evident even to me--a lawyer who is not an expert in education law. Again, folks are entitled to their opinion on whether the short cycle assessments are a good idea, but they should be based in fact.

  4. Mr. Avila,I appreciate your concern for the truth but it seems a bit late. You and others on the board have bought into the"truth" that these assessments, however you categorize them, are beneficial to the students. They are not. The truth is we have 6 years of data that show Mr. Sorum's testing doesn't produce the expected results and now you and 7 other board members along with our interim superintendent have doubled down on a bad policy that does not help our students. That's the truth you need to be concerned with. Will it help our students? Six years of data and failed schools that show these tests don't help. They are a distraction from the real teaching that needs to be done. Students have become indifferent to them and they take valuable time away from instruction. If you are really interested in the truth, do your own independent research on this type of testing and I'm confident you will find that it isn't beneficial in the long term. Please do not accept the "truth" from someone whose "truth" is only tainted with self serving information that is designed to benefit only themselves and not the students they are supposed to be helping.

  5. I was told on Sunday Aug 24 by Norm Robbins via a phone call that Mr. Sorum was very upset at the criticism of the short cycle assessments and was threatening to resign if the board did not approve them. His comments were echoed in a personal meeting with Dr. Linares on Monday Aug 25, that Mr. Sorum was threatening to resign. Having been informed by the two most senior leaders in our district, I believed the statement to be accurate.

    With respect to the HB 5 violation, attorney Avila is entitled to his opinion. But teachers know the CBAs and forthcoming "Short Cycle Assessments" are designed to prepare students for the STAAR. (FWISD testing documents have typically listed the particular parts of the particular STAAR test to which each question refers)

    Here is the specific HB 5 definition of benchmarks which this statute restricts to two per year :

    (a) In this section,"benchmark assessment instrument" means a district-required assessment instrument designed to prepare students for a corresponding state-administered assessment instrument.

    What is sad about this whole discussion is that FWISD will probably remove the specific references to the TEKS and continue to contend there is no legal violation.

    I suggest staff contact other major districts and report on their plans for complying with this portion of HB 5.

  6. Thanks Ann. The only way to fight the uninformed or those that refuse to become informed is with the facts. It is so terribly sad that 8 out of 9 board members are refusing to look objectively at the facts and instead are following 1 board member who is pushing her own, selfish and counterproductive agenda. Even those who have been on the board for decades, yes decades, are simply doing as they have been told to do by this 1 member rather than standing up for those they represent, the students of the FWISD.

  7. We appreciate the dialogue happening because it is more than we have had in any years we can remember where policy is being debated. Mr. Avila, while this platform may seem against you or in general FWISD, on the contrary we are about making our district better. What we continue to have is a status quo where our input does not matter. We have said for years that tiering students for the purposes of the STAAR tests is counterproductive and year after year we were cast aside. Now Mr. Sorum comes and says that we have done it and it has not gotten us the results we wanted. We knew that a least 4 years if not more, that we were headed the wrong direction. In regards to the SCAs, nothing in the presentation nor in any detail presented indicates the amount of time it will take, remember that we are talking about a test for every subject a student takes. Where are the plans for teachers to see on how it will fit their regular schedule. Please go to the schools and see teacher schedules and tell me where you want this to fit, plus the interventions, plus everything else that the campus requires. Don't take it for granted that everything you are given is the truth because we on the ground know it is not. Why won't you and the board listen? Why is it so hard to get information on time and something that is going to make us better?
    Dr. Sutherland is correct, the SCAs like the benchmarks are designed to prepare students for the STAAR. Now the SCAs are given in three week cycles while the CBAs were given at 6 week or nine week cycles. By changing the name or maneuvering the timeframe does not make it look different. A pig is a pig no matter if you put lipstick on it. As we say in Spanish, 'Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda'.
    The real knowledge of what goes on in the classroom is at the campus level. This requires central admin to go into the schools and observe. Teachers do running records, informal assessments, formative assessments, etc. and know where students are. This seems more like a desperate measure. Listen to your colleague Ms. Moss, who has repeatedly asked year after year when will things be different. We have watched the meetings Dr. Avila and we hear the same rhetoric but yet no evidence. For example, ask Mr. Sorum to give you data form the CBAs and to give you a briefing on how they evaluated the curriculum as he says and then tell us how effective they were. Ask the teachers who many questions were written poorly and/or did not have a correct answer. We can go on and on about this but the harm has been done by your vote. It is easy for many of you on the board to vote for someone else's child because your children are doing well and you are in a position to basically demand it but what about the rest of the FWISD children? Who is their voice? who will speak up for them? What about the services they need like dyslexia, SPED or the like, why aren't systems in place for that? So far the 5 or 6 years of Mr. Sorum have made children fall farther behind and yet we are experimenting once again with them. The district is about 3 to 4 years behind and while the standard for passing is set low, the time will come when you will answer to your decision today. Don't be on the wrong side of history. Thank you for your input, we value it even when we don't agree with you.