LA MARQUE — The La Marque school district superintendent will give another public update on the state of the school district and its probation status at a trustee meeting today. 

The school district was assigned a conservator to watch over operations in February after the state put the district on a probationary status for failing to meet academic or financial standards for three consecutive years. 

Last month Superintendent Terri Watkins, who has been on the job just six months, said she is asking for the state for more time to deal with the financial, enrollment and academic challenges facing the district.

The Texas Education Agency appointed Carlos Price, a former La Marque assistant superintendent, as conservator to the district. Price will be in on every decision made by the district,  and he can override decisions made by Watkins or the board if he feels they are not in the best interest of the district, according to the state education agency. 

Price’s appointment was announced in March, but so far he has not received any direction from the state. 

State officials said Wednesday that Price had not yet been given his instructions and was reviewing the district’s record before he would start his job as a conservator. 

“He’ll be introduced after the record review is completed,” said DeEtta Culbertson, a spokeswoman with the state’s education agency. 

A district that’s had their accreditation lowered can request a record review, she said. 

The education agency staff is reviewing the education commissioner’s recommendation lowering the district’s status, she said. 


At a glance

 WHAT: La Marque school district board of trustee meeting.

WHEN: 7 p.m. today.

WHERE: Board Room located at 1727 Bayou Road in La Marque.

 

Contact reporter Christopher Smith Gonzalez at 409-683-5314 or chris.gonzalez@galvnews.com.

Locations

(10) comments

Walter Manuel

"Last month Superintendent Terri Watkins, who has been on the job just six months, said she is asking for the state for more time to deal with the financial, enrollment and academic challenges facing the district".

In other words this is the typical stall tactics that's used by LMISD in order to keep their students and staff engaged when things really are worse then they are being told that they are by district officials.

What purpose does it serve any of us to have Terri Watkins deliver an "update" on the districts accreditation status when TEA is still in the review process?

I suppose Terri Watkins thinks a pep rally is in order even though she herself knows that TEA is unlikely to reverse their decision based on the current and past academic and financial condition of the district?

Didn't we also see the same song and dance routine performed regarding our 2nd solvency plan that looked like it was going to pass the muster with the "updates" given by Ann Dixon and district officials during that review process only to be told that it didn't satisfy TEA's requirements?

It's just the same tired old song being sung by a different singer using an ever so slightly different verse....[yawn]

Walter Manuel

Another point of interest is the fact that May 30th is the last day of school, so any "appeal" request by the district only delays Mr. Price from coming into the district and keeps this incompetent school board in control.

What possible good could come out of sending in a conservator at the end of the school year? ABSOLUTELY NONE!

This horrible cancer has already done enough damage to our students, school district and community development as whole, so the only RIGHT thing to do is finally QUIT FEEDING IT AND PULL THE DANG PLUG!

This has turned out to be nothing more than a game of keeping people in a job, as well as, maintaining self serving people on a school board rather than giving our students the educational opportunity that they rightfully deserve just like every other child in America is given! [angry]

JBG JBG

I can't help but laugh at all this. It seems as though LMISD is pulling out all the stops in trying to survive a state takeover. Something that is not unexpected because North Forest ISD did the very same thing! They fought,..cried ,..kicked,...name called,...gnashed their teeth,...tried every trick in the book,..but in the end the state shut them down.
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I predict the same fate for this "Educational Trap" we have here in LM. I say that because of the masquerade or disguise they are masterfully putting on is a trap parents should beware of. This school district for all practical purposes is almost as "SEGREGATED" as it was in 1962! Far it be from me to lambast, criticize, or excoriate an organization to this magnitude, but somebody should've been standing up in this community years ago and crying out in opposition to the ongoing incompetence, and impropriety displayed by the leadership in our schools. Somebody should have cared enough to vehemently cry out and expose them for what they were doing, the direction they were traveling, and for who they had become,.. "Failures of the educational process in LM!" It turned out, no citizen would stand in the "GAP" nor make up the "HEDGE" ..for the kids here! So the free fall from excellence continued!!
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Having said that, I am extremely glad and super gratified that a remnant of concerned citizens led by Mr. Manuel have made a point of doing it now! I will always except NOW over NEVER! It needed to be done, and it is being done. This is not the first time in this community in which I have witnessed this kind of failure at educating students. It happened years ago here as I mentioned above,...and nothing was done until a small group of citizens decided to stand up against the rest, and said "NO MORE!"
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That group of concerned citizens were fed up and disgusted with the incompetency,..inadequacy, and insufficient facilities their children were being exposed to!!! They were fed up with getting second rate output or second rate productivity for their first rate taxes!
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One of the things the organizers did was to encourage kids to move to another school. They upset the apple cart! They exposed those who were just protecting jobs, for who they were, and for what they were obsessed with! The same thing is happening now in this present day LMISD! The same MONSTER is back, the very same one who caused the problems back in the day has come back to haunt us again!! ( That is a hint ).
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The end results is LMISD has been relegated once again to being a Place of Employment instead of being known first and foremost as a place for obtaining Quality Education!
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I realize, there are jobs at stake here,..but I also realize their are futures at stake here too! The futures of young people who will have to survive and function in an unsympathetic world, and a brutal society which will cut them no favors,..neither grant them no quarter! There won't be massive quotas and affirmative action programs orchestrated to help them either. Therefore the chances for many to ended up in prison or the penal system is real and enhanced without a quality education!
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I know because I had to travel that road,..I had to make up for lost opportunity! I'm like an old western wagon train scout,...who knew the way, because he had already traveled it before! What's happening and nobody can deny it is,... they are shoving students out the door when their time is up over there,..students they know are not ready,.... nor equipped to face what is out there! No problem though,...as long as the pay checks keep rolling in, right?
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Finally, I want to make it clear, that I am not insensitive to the employment factor involved in all this, but it should not take ten years for people to wake up and see they are sailing on a sinking ship, and for them to get on one that is not sinking.

Walter Manuel

"The futures of young people who will have to survive and function in an unsympathetic world, and a brutal society which will cut them no favors,..neither grant them no quarter"!

Mr. JBG, a parent recently admitted that even though their child is failing in school the district will probably pass the child just so that their numbers don't get worse than they already are. Your comment is exactly what will happen to this child and others once they've completed the 12th grade and are pushed out the door into a world that won't stand idle even for one second waiting for them to finally catch up with the rest of the world.

Since no one on the school board or in administration for that matter has a child of their own attending our school district and their education is affected by all of this, I suppose it really doesn't matter?

At this point so long as we keep supplying the money that affords all of them their paychecks, they'll keep doing what they have to do in order to look good to TEA!

Lastly Mr. JBG, I know that you'll appreciate what Galatians 5:16-18 tells us:

"16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[a] you want".

An example of this is like trying to provide care for two different trees.... how do you expect an old "barren" tree to produce fruit in the same manner that you are wanting to neglect providing the proper nourishment required for a new "fruitful" tree without having to walk in the Spirit?

I promise that real soon the truth shall set them all free!

Walter Manuel

Mr. JBG, I hope that you realized that I was referencing those over at the school district and not you when I posted,,,,

"An example of this is like trying to provide care for two different trees.... how do you expect an old "barren" tree to produce fruit in the same manner that you are wanting to neglect by "NOT" providing the proper nourishment required in order for a new "fruitful" tree "to produce" without having to walk in the Spirit? [wink]

JBG JBG

Mr. Manuel,
Oh no sir! I knew exactly where you were going with it. You're doing an outstanding job on this thing,..holding it together so something positive can happen one way or the other for these kids! This is 2014, not 1914 like some of these people think. There is a spirit of money in all this mostly because there exists a SPIRIT OF SELFISHNESS established here at the root of the problem!
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Children should be considered our most precious resource,..but it is obvious to me, many around these parts consider "money" to be their most prized possession. It is apparently so, because it seems not many people cares about the fact that the students in LMISD are systematically being SOLD down the river of mediocrity, and it ought not to be so! I laugh when somebody pops up and point to an exceptional LMISD student who beats the odds and somehow comes out smelling like a rose. See, they don't mention those fifty-five to that one who did not make it!
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There is simply to much at stake here,..for LMISD to be as bad as it is, and all you can hear from most of the citizens is SILENCE! The assumption that fifteen years from now it will be better! These kids need to be able to see something now,..they need to be able to visualize something or somebody successful NOW ..who can give them confidence, and hope, along with a first rate educational opportunity, and that is NOT happening. TCISD students can see it!!! FWISD students can see it SFISD students can see it, DISD students can see, it too! SO WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
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Proverbs 13:12
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"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true, there is life and joy." These kids need to see success,...be a part of something that works,...competes,...and which can provide them with the necessary intangibles needed for them to compete against anybody,..locally, nationally, or internationally!
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Are they getting that now? No,..not even close!! So I say to Mr. Price,...to the TEA, and/or the State which governs such activities,...it is time to do something! It is time to give these kids and this community some relief. Don't shy away from making the tough decisions which you know in your hearts,...must be made!
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It is time to put LMISD down and lay it right next to others such as North Forest ISD in the "Cemetery Of Those Who Could Not Cut It."

Walter Manuel

Amen Mr. JBG!

Our children are obviously teaching our students that half of something is better than nothing. Well thats never been a part of my rearing by my family and so I won't stand by and watch our kids have to settle for the measley crumbs that district officials want to give them!

I've made a promise to myself that I'm not going anywhere anytime soon until each child in this district is on a path to educational success whether it's here in LMISD or some where else!

rah

the problem did not occur overnight; it will not go away overnight.

lmisd & tcisd will not merge. don't even think that for a minute. maybe Mainland prep could whip LMISD into shape. I hear that W. Green does not put up with any funny business [tongue]

Walter Manuel

Dangit! That was supposed to be "our children are being taught that half of something is better than nothing".

I suppose that I really shouldn't try typing on my iphone where it's not very easy to proof read before hitting the submit button!

JBG JBG

Rah,
It is not necessary for LMISD to merge with TCISD,.if they close this district down,...there are other alternatives for these kids to receive a quality education. TCISD is not the only place that can take place. Anyway I think TEA will have a lot of input in where these kids will end up if those circumstances transpire here,...just as they did when HISD took over North Forest ISD.

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