LA MARQUE — When students return to high school next month, they will be welcomed by a new principal and a new concept in how the campus is managed.

La Marque High School Principal Andre Credit, whose hiring was approved by school trustees Thursday, is doing away with assistant principals and replacing them with deans. Credit worked in the Houston school district before joining La Marque.

“We changed the title of certain positions to more effectively utilize positions and because this model lends itself to better fit House Bill 5 requirements,” La Marque Superintendent Terri Watkins said. 

Approved by the Texas Legislature in 2013, House Bill 5 reduced testing requirements for public high school students and changed graduation requirements. It also offers students lanes of education geared toward their chosen career or advanced education path.

Under Credit’s plan, principal positions will be revamped into dean positions, with a structure allowing for a dean of academic services, dean of instruction and dean of student services. 

Trustees approved the switch.

Superintendent Terri Watkins said the adjustment allowed for the district to attract individuals for these roles with proper experience. This includes backgrounds in counseling and scheduling students. 

Credit said that by changing positions from counselors or assistant principals, duties will move from strictly managerial and disciplinary to having an academic focus for students.  

The new approach comes in an effort for La Marque to rebuild and restore its academic standing. 

The school district risks having its accreditation revoked after three straight years where academic or financial performance did not meet minimum state standards.

Some of the academic issues have been at the high school.

Dana Jones will be the associate dean of academic services; La’Rohanda Washington is the dean of instruction, and Carnell White Jr. will be dean of student services and assistant principal.

Credit said the system will provide better services to students. He worked as dean of instruction at La Porte High School and was the dean of instruction for Frank Black Middle School in Houston. 

“When you’re dealing with a small district with smaller resources than a big one, you have to be creative in how you give students those resources,” Credit said. 

“I believe that with the deans, services will be given to the students in a way that when they leave, they will have a plan and an ability to start a career.”

With a new principal and set of deans, Credit thinks La Marque High School will make big strides this school year. 

“My number one goal is to rebuild and restore the pride in the high school from the community and rebuild the trust that Galveston County has lost in La Marque High School,” he said. “I want the community to know that our doors are open, that there is learning going on and that our students are just as intelligent and capable. ”

Watkins noted that the change requires no extra spending. 

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(14) comments

Harry Allen

Is this the same Andre Credit who was accused of putting a student in a "choke hold" a few years ago and who was convicted of misdemeanor theft twice in the 1990s?
Hmmm...If you don't believe me read this story below from the KTRK ABC-13 website...

***************************************************************************************
June 5, 2008 6:26:12 PM PDT
By Kevin Quinn

"Accused Choke Hold Principal Has Record"

HOUSTON -- We've learned an associate principal, who was accused of putting a student in a choke hold during a food fight at the school, has a criminal record. Andre Credit was convicted of misdemeanor theft twice. The convictions happened in 1995, then in 1996. That was well before he got the job at Bush High School. At the time he was 20 and 21 years old. He's now 32. Each time he was given a year of probation. For the '96 conviction he was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
He worked at HISD before Fort Bend ISD hired him a year ago despite those convictions.

The district tells us:

"It is not a practice of the district to hire employees with felony convictions, and the district evaluates misdemeanor convictions on a case by case basis prior to employment."

Credit was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated assault. A student says credit put him in a choke hold and slammed him to the ground following a food fight where the student threw a plastic bottle.

Today the Fort Bend Employee Federation called for a more thorough investigation of what happened after some of its members questioned whether eyewitnesses collaborated in giving statements.

This teacher was willing to defend Credit if we granted her anonymity.

"We do what we can to discipline and keep control," the teacher told us. "But [I] feel very strongly about what happened in the cafeteria involving Mr. Credit was orchestrated."

That teacher says the student was bragging in school the next day about planning to sue the school district. Something he told us as well.

Credit has not responded to repeated attempts to get his side of this story.

We should note that Fort Bend ISD police insist they conducted a textbook investigation, interviewing student and teacher eyewitnesses separately after the incident.

rah

"There are always three sides to the story- his, mine and the truth, I thought a story had 2 sides.
Read article below:

http://abc13.com/archive/6190518/

rah

Wow! When I taught in Cypress Fairbanks in the 80's-90's we had Deans there. You mean that concept is just now making it to the south side of Houston. Must have gotten held up somewhere.

To Mr. Do Right= How many people have the name Andre Credit? Who can be an associate principal at the age of 21 or 22. To receive that type of certification one must have 3 years of teaching. Or does Houston not require certification?

Paula David

It said the misdemeanor thefts happened when he was 20-21.

He was an associate principal when he was 32 (and put the kid in a choke hold).

Robert Buckner

Who will be the Dean of gimmicks and applying lipstick to pigs? This is as hokey as naming schools academies and signs promoting "Good News". Will there be a dean of pizza parties? Dean Papa John?

Mike Meador

Who were the other applicants for this job? What was the number of those who applied? You mean this was the only person who could qualify for this position? If I were a taxpaying resident of LaMarque, I'd like to know which trustees voted Mr. Credit into this job, and on what basis did use to give him the job.
Being a former educator, I know there are many administrators/teachers who get a glowing job recommendation just to get rid of the person to another district.

MissionaryMan
Walter Manuel

Wow!

So now that LM High Schools students are doing so poorly academically we need to lower the standards for which they are required to graduate, so it appears that we have to change the system for which they must meet academic excellence, but we're also lowering the standards and job titles for our hiring practices so that we can legally hire "thugs" in order to get someone to come to LM.

This is just a down right shame and just goes to prove that TEA needs to send in monitors this year in order to replace these incompetent school board members!

Who in the hell would send their child to any school district that has a school board as incompetent as LMISD and a school system that has to lower their standards as such to give a diploma to a child just for showing up even if that means that when they graduate, it's not worth the piece of paper for which it's written on?

I've heard it all now.... "Dean of this, Associate Dean of that," same lipstick being applied on the same pathetic dying pig in order to make it look healthier than it is!

These losers never cease to amaze me! [scared]

rah

Most of the schools in the area are bringing back Vocational education because in these fields they did not have the number of applicants they once had and also,those with some knowledge of the field. When I was in school vocational department was rather large. Not everyone goes to college. College is NOT for everyone. On the flip side those that are not currently going to college are mainly working minimum wage jobs ( if they are working at all and not one the WIC/Lonestar system) and one live off of a minimum wage job. If you doubt what I am saying I suggest you look at GISD, TCISD, DISD, and other surrounding school districts to see if they have starting adding vocational classes to their line up.

At least someone somewhere is realizing that we need people in the vocational fields.

Using the Dean of whatever is not a new SYSTEM. It is more or less and change in titles. Our Dean of Instruction handled parents who wanted know info about the curriculum. We had parents who came a questioned what was being taught. And yes, we teach what the school tells us to teach; however, Texas schools are too involved in teaching to the test. IMO that needs to stop. I cannot think of any TAKS factory or TAKS Industrial Plants around the area so the students need to know more than TAKS.

George Croix

Same board, with the same attitude, and the same agenda.
More of the Earl Scheib business model...

Will the 'deans' be any more empowered than the A.P.'s were to go to some people's homes and force them to give a darn about their kids and make them do homework and make them have manners and make them show up for school ready to learn?

Sonic puts a cherry on top of all their milk shakes....it's still a milk shake, not a sundae...

MissionaryMan
Walter Manuel

All anyone has to do is look at LMISD's 2013-2014 STAAR test scores on TEA's website or ask for a copy from the district and you will see that the high school is NOT the only school performing poorly in the district.

The writing is already on the wall as we're seeing being demonstrated by these recent changes to the LM High School in order to beg students to return. What parents don't understand is the injustice that THEY and ONLY THEY are doing to THEIR OWN child's education by buying into this "new system" in order that these people can have a paycheck!

At the end of the day, I don't want to hear how bad LMISD is from any parent that can financially afford to send their child to another school district, yet THEY choose to cheat their child out of receiving an excellent education elsewhere simply by keeping them educationally trapped in an ALREADY PROVEN academically UNDERPERFORMING and UNACCEPTABLE school district! [thumbdown]

rah

D I S C I P L I N E has a major role in why things are not the way they should be. Another is wasteful spending. When I taught in LMISD ions ago they were highest paying school district around. Union Carbide is now DOW. Now, where is all the money going?

Mike Meador

Tried to find the EOC results on the TEA website.....could you point how to find them?

Leonard T. Payne

What a dumb-ass school board.

MissionaryMan
Walter Manuel

Good morning Cougargator.

You can find any districts STAAR test results by going to TEA's website and looking on the right side of the page under the "How Do I..." column and then click on "Find District level STAAR results".

There everyone can also compare previous years results to this years to see whether or not districts are moving in the right direction or not?

I hope this helps....[wink]

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