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Walter Manuel

"The La Marque school district’s probationary status is due to the districts 2011 and 2013 testing accountability ratings and the 2012 financial integrity rating, said DeEtta Culbertson, an education agency spokeswoman".

So again this further proves my point that school board president Nakisha Paul and Superintendent Terri Watkins has been lying to everyone about the district now heading in the right direction.

This is exactly why no one wants to be a part of the cover ups and lies that has been going on at the school district and why no one wants to run for the board. It's unfortunate that our students are the one's to lose at the end of the day!

Good job again Christopher printing what we in the public and as taxpayers have a right to know when obviously the board members and district officials feel that we're not entitled to such accurate and truthful information regarding the well-being of our school district nor the quality of our children's education!

Like I've always said, it's ALL about transparency, transparency, transparency....[wink]

ole dad

It's a shame, I grew up in the LaMarque School District. It was good, we learned a lot from good teachers. Then the pursuit of football championships slowly moved to the forefront. Athletes especially first teamers got the scholastic free ride and here we are. School taxes should be spent on teaching not playing sports.

Super Dave

probation, not probabtion! Did it really come out like that in the paper form?

Elizabeth Price

..".must be appoint"...Editing and proofreading skills have not been the forte' of the Daily since the editor was appointed.

Elizabeth Price

Let's go ahead and add more while we are here... "an probationary status."[beam]

Walter Manuel

So many people are calling asking what "Academic Probation" versus "Academic Warning" means, so I'll share it with everyone else.

"Accredited-warned means a district is on notice; accredited-probation means a district has one year to straighten up. The next year they're revoked. Non accredited-revoked is the third status".

What this means for LMISD is that they must get their house in order academically by having received "Met Standard" at a minimum this year for the STAAR and End of Course exam, as well as, show TEA that they are able to remain solvent through the 2015 school year.

I spoke with an educator within the school district who said that there's no way that the district will meet standard this year because of the students lack of progress being made up to this point.

A monitor or conservator watching over the district would certainly show TEA exactly where the problem lies within the district and why the students are doing so poorly. The first thing that they should focus on is the lack of leadership on the school board and work their way on down to the principals, teachers etc, etc.

I'm sure that the monitor or conservator would realize that our educators are simply burned out with all of the roles that they are having to now play including handling discipline problems according to this educator since they have been instructed not to send students to the office, but rather handle the situation themselves.

According to this same educator it would behoove the monitor/conservator to walk onto any campus unannounced to see first hand just how bad the students act in the hallways and the language that they use in order to see just how out of control the district has become.

It's so hard for me to believe that this is the same LMISD that I along with many others attended many years ago when we had pride in not only our education, but of ourselves that we would never even consider conducting ourselves in such a manner for fear of the paddle at school and our parents finishing the job when we got home!

I just don't understand how district officials can honestly say with a straight face, "the district is headed in the right direction"? [sad]

Walter Manuel


That should have been what "Accredited-probation" and "Accredited-warned" mean, not "Academic". I suppose my fingers were moving faster than my brain. [wink]


I'm sure what was meant by "LMISD moving in the right direction" was that under Terri Watkins as the new superintendent, she would get the district moving forward in the right direction. It's going to be a long, hard road to clean up the mess from previous years scores. Miracles don't happen overnight with such scores.

Robert Buckner

I doubt there will be any improvement in the next twelve months either. This board has known for years the district was in dire straits and did nothing to improve the situation. Little gimmicks such as "Good News", renaming campuses as specializing in certain subjects, refusing for years to consolidate campuses, remaing top heavy at the admin level, free pizza to recruit students, along with other programs to "lipstick a pig" to hide the real situation have been total failures. Residents were smart enough to deny them a tax increase a while back knowing it would have been wasted too. Finger pointing at recent administrators and the ISD police were more important to this board than teaching studednts, personal vendettas were the game of the day. Maybe the chicken dinner idea would have kept them solvent at least.

Walter Manuel

You hit the nail on the head Robert.

It seems that a "popularity contest" went extremely wrong for certain board members who thought because they could get the votes to be elected into office they could come in and change the district into what they wanted it to be for not only their friends, but themselves as well. Our children's education and safety was the last thing on their minds then and remains unchanged today.

It's really sad to see the remnants of what's left of LMISD as we once knew it, but we can thank these current school board members andd their supporters. History books will forever display their names and pictures as being the reason for our school districts closure and it rightfully should.

I see Nakisha Paul, Annie Burton and Terry Pettijohn want to make sure that they complete the job of destroying the district so they have chosen to run again for their seat. I applaud Jim Malm for throwing his hat into the ring, however it's a little too late to try and save the district now.

Terri Watkins should have stayed where she was because it looks like she too will soon be out of a job, but then again the pigs get fed and the hogs get slaughtered and perhaps she was simply played by the players?


Carlos Ponce

Question for Missionary Man: I don't live in La Marque but does the problem stem from single member voting districts? I don't know the history of the current school board but gather that La Marque ISD's problems started when they switched from at large positions to single member. In other school districts with single member there is confusion at times as to which precinct one lives in. Voters get dismayed when they can't vote for a neighbor down the street or even across the street. They show up at the polls only to discover that "their" board position is not being voted on that year. Though well intentioned to encourage neighborhood representation on local boards, single member districts have led to stagnation and low voter participation. A board member becomes entrenched and rarely challenged leading to a situation much like La Marque. Is this true of La Marque? Just asking.

Walter Manuel

I forgot to mention that it would behoove our current educators to start looking now at other school districts for employment next year, seeing how the state has already said that the districts current solvency plan doesn't indicate that the district will remain solvent through 2015 and a new plan has been submitted to the state in which heaven only knows what other cuts were necessary in order to satisfy the state with what the district has to work with financially.

Our educators should be in their classrooms teaching our children, not having to worry about monitoring the halls or handling every discipline problem because the school district can't manage their money any better than they have!

Close Westlawn Elementary and move those 84 Renaissance Academy students over to the high school where there's surely 4 empty rooms to house 20 students and there's some immediate savings to the district right there!

This is just one example of the incompetent decisions made by this school board that runs rampant within the district and the reason for our districts continous failure.

Mike Meador

I guess the proposed bond election for new buildings in Dickinson ISD will create some places in elementary/intermediate students having to leave LMISD.

I can't imagine any administrator or teacher whose students have not met state standards getting a job in the consolidated Texas City - Dickinson - Santa Fe ISD.

Hitchcock is on the bubble.....will be waiting to see if they make the criteria for the next year on approval for the state. Could be Hitchcock will be turning students into the new Consolidated District if they don't get their act together.

Walter Manuel

Carlos, your exactly right about single member districts destroying LMISD, but for board members like Shirely Fanuiel who has been on the bosrd for over 20 years, they wouldn't even consider voting to return some districts to At-Large positions because then they wouldn't have a chance in hades of being re-elected.


This does not look good for LMISD, or this community! It is what it is though. There are many good observations posted here and of coarse Mr. Manuel has been on top of the progress being made here for a while now, but Poster "Ole Dad" made a very interesting point,.....when he said this:
"It's a shame, I grew up in the LaMarque School District. It was good, we learned a lot from good teachers. Then the pursuit of football championships slowly moved to the forefront. Athletes especially first teamers got the scholastic free ride and here we are. School taxes should be spent on teaching not playing sports."
BINGO!!! You are correct sir,...and I have barked the same thing for years!! A new culture of standards infiltrated into this community when Hugh Massey wearing his diamond rings and white shoes, showed up here years ago,..leading LM deep into the state football playoffs in 2-3 consecutive seasons, wetting our appetites for what the great Alan Weddell and Bryan Erwin,...later satisfied with multiple STATE FOOTBALL TITLES!
We have been going downhill since then! This very forum use to be overflowing with LMISD football fans bragging and taunting everybody about their football team, relishing and basking in our success on the field of football! Consequently a football cultural monster was born here,.. and it's mentality,..appetite for victories, and influence kept growing and growing out of control. Coaches lost their jobs, simply because they were unable to satisfy the appetite for football victories the monster craved! Well something happened with the passing of time, and the sinking of the boat,... the very results which killed the academic process here ended up causing a backlash which killed the monster which caused the results!
Now because of the flight of students, and teachers,to better conditions, or better opportunities, and diminishing enrollment here,...those considerations have resulted in LMISD not being able to stay on the gridiron with teams we use to demolish almost as an afterthought! Teams like Navasota, and Coldspring! I knew it was coming,...I did not like it, but expected it! The handwriting on the wall was there for all who had eyes to see.
There were students who use to move to LMISD for the academic opportunities,...and just like that, when LMISD was at the top of the food chain,...in football, there were athletes who moved here from other nearby districts, in order to participate on winning football teams!
Many of us were PROUD of that! We rejoiced in it,..but WHAT ARE WE REJOICING IN NOW? Let me be clear,...this has no bearing on Ms. Watkins in my opinion,...because she just got here, and I think she must be applauded for here courage and intestinal fortitude in coming here in the first place. However, it looks to be to little to late.
To be sure, it dam sure is no time to be talking about the Old Lincoln High Eagles, or the Old LaMarque Tigers. That energy would do more good exerted on the LaMarque Cougar students!
It is very alarming to me if it's true that LMISD teachers are being told to not send discipline students to the office where Assistant Principals should be interacting with them! This goes back to what started back in the day of KING FOOTBALL when athletes ran buck-wild down the halls of LMISD with no fear of any discipline from officials or police!
We know, or should know, or better still SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, that without discipline there is chaos, bedlam, and upheaval! In other words there should always be expectations of consequences and repercussions for offenses and rule busting in our schools, homes, community and in society! If not the Word Of God says people will parish, ... they will FALL...without that revelation!!!
( Proverbs 29:18 ).

Walter Manuel

Amen Mr.JBG! Very well said sir!

TEA needs someone to come in and run the district leaving this incompetent school board powerless and essentially nonessential because of their past actions being the reason the district is on its final breath and leg.

It's awefully funny how there's no comment from the district seeing how they have a consultant for everything else in the district in order to tell them how to do their jobs.

If certain board members would have just allowed Mr. Burley to do his job, they wouldn't have to be hiding from the media or public and perhaps we wouldn't be in the shape that we're in today.

A pure example of people getting exactly what they asked for!


Island Bred

So sad to read this today but it's no surprise. Wish they would just send I a state person and get it over with. This drags on longer than a bad marriage in my opinion.

Robert Buckner

Margurite, my thought exactly. This has drug on forever.

Gary Miller

When the TEA appoints a conservator it should be MR. Burley. That would identify for voters where the problem is at LM ISD. The TEA needs to tell LM voters the board is the problem. Appointing Burley conservator would make that clear.
If Burley's recomendations had been followed most of the problems would have been solved already.
The Board dismissed him and his sugestions for political purposes.

Island Bred

I would think TEA would send one of their own. I don't think they would pick someone from around here. I sure hope the hell not anyway. Conservertorship means - outside party to me. Burley didn't make any points with me when he sold his integrity by peddling the tax increase on the ISD robocall system. He's not any better than the rest at this point. Doesn't matter thos TEA isn't gonna save this ISD's butt for another year - if even then...............

Paul Hyatt

One has to wonder why the LMISD board or someone from the administration has not said one word to defend themselves from what TEA has said and stated what their problems are....

Walter Manuel

Paul, the reason that no one from the district is saying anything about the school district appears to be because they have to have someone tell them how to respond appropriately. It seems history might be repeating itself in that they have to be coached from a consultant and rehearse what they are suppose to say before they say it.

I can assure you that if there was any "good news" coming out of the district they would certainly have been calling the GDN themselves! [wink]

Lamb Chop

If they would cut ALL athletic programs and concentrate on academics, students might get a better education, students would graduate instead of dropping out, etc.
A lot of $ is spent on athletics and for what? Lets make sure students get a good education and have skills to help them find a job. What is the actual number of students vs drop outs per year? How many of these former students receive public assistance? I know a number of LM residents who are 2nd,3rd and 4th generation welfare recipients. This is a blight on all of us. We need good academics and training programs to show students there is a better way to live. Cut the day care, special bus, etc., for pregnant students/new moms with babies. Education is a privilege, not a baby sitting service! Let's work together to make our district an example of good things, not the laughing stock of Galv Co.

Cougar Tino

susieque, you couldn't be more wrong. Athletics accounts for less than 2% of LMISD's budget. A third of LMHS students participate in athletics. Go take the tour and see what Coach Jackson has to deal with. He has very little media equipment to prepare teams for competition. The weight room is in terrible shape. The board cut their stipends. He had to solicit corporate donations just to feed kids after events. He's lost coaches but can't attract new ones. Athletics is the whipping boy but it's not the problem.

The real problem is little parental and community involvement. I dealt with that last spring and summer. There was a recent workshop for an upcoming state exam where only 6 parents bothered to attend. That has nothing to do with economics and welfare money. That's just plain sorry.

If you still think athletics is the problem, then I challenge you to get off your chair and go over there and see for yourself.

Joseph Cantu

Cougartino is on the mark "The real problem is little parental and community involvement." Until the community involves themselves with the schools for the betterment of our children, the status qou will stay the same. This is the challenge.

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