Twelve Galveston County public school campuses made the state’s Academically Unacceptable list, while two more that made the list in 2011 remain listed as underperforming. 

The Galveston school district had the most schools on the list with six, while all three campuses of the High Island school district made the list.

Hitchcock also had three campuses on the list, while Dickinson and La Marque each had one campus on the list.

The Texas Education Agency released the failing schools list Thursday.

The list from the Texas Education Agency includes 892 schools in 2013, up from 456 the year before.

The Clear Creek, Texas City and Friendswood school districts did not have any campuses on the list.


‘No excuses’

in Galveston

Galveston’s Central Middle School and Weis Middle School, Parker Elementary, Early Childhood University and KIPP Costal Academy made the 2013 list of unacceptable schools. While Weis and Central were consolidated last year, the state still lists the campuses as separate entities.

Ball High school remained on the list from its low rating in 2011, even though this past year Ball High met state standards. While meeting standards, the high school had not made enough improvement in writing, however, according to state records.

Schools remain on the list for up to three years if not enough improvement is shown. 

“There are no excuses in Galveston,” Superintendent Larry Nichols said. “The truth is we have trained our leaders and our students have specific instructional plans, but quite a few of our students were behind and we’ve been catching them up.”

The district has extended its summer programs and introduced a balance literacy program at the middle school this year after implementing the program on the elementary level last year, Nichols said.

“We are not happy about being on the list,” Nichols said. “I wish we were in a better place. We are going to have to work our way off of it.”  


100% unacceptable in High Island

High Island also is working to get off the list after all of its campuses were found to be unacceptable.

“The administration and staff are currently working to help all of our students become successful through various initiatives,” Superintendent Karen Vonderau said. 

“Such as 1:1 technology, Study Island, Education City, small group tutoring, a tutorial period during the school day and benchmark testing.”

Vonderau also said that while all three campuses received an improvement-required rating, the district also received a waiver because it had met yearly progress benchmarks set by the state. Still, less than 50 percent of the students in elementary grades met standards for writing, reading and math, while writing got low marks at the high school and science scores were below par at the middle school.


Been here before

The Hitchcock school district had three campuses on the list, although the rating for the Primary School campuses carries over from two years ago. Given time, Superintendent Barbara Derrick said she expects the state ratings to improve.

The high school failed to meet standards in writing and science, while Stewart Elementary fell short in writing, according to state records.

“Hitchcock has unfortunately been on this list before,” Derrick said. “We are making gains in state accountability, but it will take time to reach the level required.

“We feel we are on the right track and expect to continue to see gains, but know, realistically, it will take time.”


La Marque High back on schools list

In La Marque, the high school remains on the  list after having received an unacceptable rating in 2011. It received yet another in 2013.

The state did not issue ratings in 2012.

La Marque’s issues remain the same; its completion rate does not meet state standards.

Using what it calls its Cohort program, the district is aiming to get that rate up above 75 percent, Assistant Superintendent Joanie Hudson said.

The district launched a weekly program to find dropouts and get them back to campus, she said. It also instituted an alternative education program, called LEAPS, that allows flexible school hours for dropouts earn their diplomas, as well as an in-home tutoring program to work with parents and students, Hudson said.


High scores not enough in Dickinson

Dickinson officials argued that an academically unacceptable rating at Hughes Road may be a bit unfair. The school scored high in all testing and benchmarks two years ago and stayed at that level this past year.

“Hughes Road Elementary far exceeded the required scores in Index 1 and Index 3,” spokeswoman Tammy Dowdy said. 

“In these categories, the schools performance was 27 points and 22 points above the targets. However, in Index 2, which measures progress from 2012 to 2013, the school was only one point below the acceptable standard.

“The school maintained their scores from 2012 to 2013 but did not meet their target because not enough students from third to fourth grade increased their scores by the required number of points.”


Unacceptable Galveston County schools


Galveston ISD

Ball High (continues from 2011)

Central Middle*

Early Childhood University

KIPP Coastal Academy

Parker Elementary

Weis Middle School*


High Island ISD

High Island High School

High Island Elementary

High Island Middle School


Hitchcock ISD

Hitchcock High School

Hitchcock Primary (continues from 2011)

Stewart Elementary


La Marque ISD

La Marque High School

Dickinson ISD

Hughes Road Elementary


* Weis and Central are one campus now, but the state still considers students as from separate campuses for sake of testing.

SOURCE: Texas Education Agency

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or

(50) comments

GISD Communications

I would have to say that it's a bit misleading characterizing Ball High as Academically Unacceptable as it met standards this past year, which is a positive thing. It was AU in 2011, but the state keeps records for three years to show where schools have come in those years.

What TJ failed to mention is KIPP Elementary, Parker, and Central/Weis (one school) have seen changes in leadership to tackle these educational issues, in addition to incorporating more effective educational strategies to deal with those students behind in their subject areas. ECU is now a strictly a Pre-K through 4 campus, moving 5th and 6th to Central as a way to be more focused on the elementary curriculum.

We expect gains in proceeding years. Like Superintendent Nichols stated - "No excuses."
-GISD Communications

JD Arnold

Wow GISD, a little quick to jump on the defensive.

Melvin Herrmann

Justjay, I agree. It is nice to see that Santa Fe is not on the list though.

Chris DeVries

I grew up in Galveston, and attended Parker, Weis, Central and Ball - all are now academically unacceptable. I had mostly great teachers and received a wonderful education 25 years ago. It saddens me that those schools have declined so much and that Galveston students apparently don't have the same opportunities that I did back then.

Carlos Ponce

If your child is weak in writing skills you can help the school by asking your child to actually write a letter to grandma, grandpa or some other friend or relative as practice. Too many bad skills are developed by students who text, twitter, or email: short choppy sentences, poor spelling, grammar, no organization to their writings and overuse of abbreviations. (I have also witnessed this on many Galveston Daily News forums.) Ask them to use a pencil and paper in their writiing and insist on good penmanship. Although cursive writing is no longer taught in most public schools their printing skills are also weakened by overuse of technology to communicate.

Carlos Ponce

In addition, encourage your child to read books. You can learn a lot about proper sentence structure, organization of thoughts, grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc. by reading classic literature. And discourage them from turning in reports that are just cut and pasted off the internet.

Ruth Broom

I think this is the number one reason families won't move to Galveston. GISD needs to focus on MAJOR progress!

J. Shaffer

There are two factors that were not even mentioned in this article.

One is the fact that standards were raised between 2011 and 2013. Schools that may have met the standard before can have the same scores and still not meet the new standard.

The other factor is that the state of Texas, having been warned of a shortfall in the budget because of property tax cuts for years, decided the best course of action was to cut four billion dollars from the education budget in 2011. Due to widespread and continued protests, most of that funding was restored, but that money won't be seen until next year.

When the state decides to simultaneously cut spending AND raise standards, should anyone be surprised that schools fail?

Carlos Ponce

More money does not equate with a better education.

Gary Miller

PUB ED is a money machine generating more income by not doing what it's paid to do.
The more it costs the less it does? Doing less is an excuse to demand more money for a promiss of doing better someday.
All those "special" programs to improve performance cost money.
If each school's pay scale was tied to performance rapid improvement might be possible.
Poor performance=lower pay for everyone on the campus?
Unacceptable should be a 50% pay cut.
Good teachers would "out" bad teachers when bad teachers were reducing their income.

Norman Pappous

When you concentrate poverty this is what you will get - parental involvement regardless.

When low income parents have to work two jobs to put food on the table or pay for unforeseen expenses - they have to work longer. They have less time to devote to their kid's education.

GISD has about 70% free/reduced school lunch program. Second only to LaMarque. Until that changes we are going to have to ask more than is likely possible of our parents, educators, and leadership.

Leonce Thierry

LA Morgan does not appear on the list. Isn't LA Morgan the poorest of GISD's elementary schools? Yet they are not on this list.

Norman Pappous

The exception does not prove the rule.

Leonce Thierry

Perhaps a better question, Mr. Pappous, is why are they the exception?

Kevin Lang

It seems to me that if the schools are doing their jobs, the teachers will see that their students are having problems comprehending the lessons and will alert the administration, and together they'd start implementing changes to correct things proactively. Educators should have a pretty good grasp on how the students are doing well before state test scores put it on the front page of the newspaper. If they didn't see it coming, then the educators need some serious remediation. If they did, yet didn't behave proactively, I have to ask why.

Carlos Ponce

While the gist of what you are saying is true there are circumstances where the student should have passed but did not.
1. I had a few student s who partied all night before a TAKS test. He and his friends were supposed to be "studying" so the parents left them alone. Although not all failed, most did. Do you blame the teacher here?
2. I had a student who hurriedly finished his test. He had to go to work. He failed the test. Do you blame the teacher here?
3. There is an urban myth of a student who randomly selected multiple choice answers and still passed the multiple choice TAKS test. A student wanted to try his luck and picked answers without looking at the questions. Despite being urged by the teacher, counselor and principal he refused to take his time and do the test correctly. After all, he said, I get more chances of re-taking the test. He failed. Do you blame the staff for his poor judgement?
I could go on and on with anecdotes but you see the picture. In a large school with thousands, a few like the ones mentioned would not make a big difference in the overall school perforance. In a small district, even a few make a big difference. Note three of the districts mentioned: High Island -Class 1A, Hitchcock -Class 2A, and La Marque -Class 3A are low populated schools. One student counts more percentage-wise than in a large 5A district.

Kevin Lang

carlosrponce, you've been around education long enough. I fully understand that there's lots of accountability to go around. However, considering that most of these are Elementary and Middle Schools, more accountability falls on the teachers and administrators. Students at these levels are not in position to LEAD their education. They must be LED.

If the majority of the class is like the students you depict, I do recognize that the educators have a tough row to hoe. However, I'd bet that in most of these cases, those students are the exception, not the rule. In that case, what the numbers tell me is that the education for the bulk of the students was pretty much barely adequate, making it more likely that a few bad scores would make the school inadequate.

Kids are pretty competitive by nature. Most of the kids will push themselves toward the level of their leaders. If their leaders are only pushing for mediocrity, you probably won't see many of the kids pushing for much higher.

Yes, the students and parents need to be more accountable for these scores. However, more accountability goes to the educators for not getting more out of the rest of the students.

Carlos Ponce

"Kids are pretty competitive by nature." Very true, but this competitive nature has been quashed by the Liberal Progressives. Everyone is a winner, no one loses. Everyone brings home a trophy. Everyone is on the honor roll. In some communities you have dozens of valedictorians at the end of the school year. This leads to the mediocrity you speak of. My statement on education: Education begins at home. Teachers and administrators do need to foster an atmosphere of excellence, I agree with that. But you can't take the test for them.

Kevin Lang

carlosrponce, if you truly believe that, you're part of the same excuse making system that you claim to oppose. That would make you more a part of the problem than of the solution.

Carlos Ponce

Kevjlang, don't shoot me I'm just the messenger bringing you truth. If you can't accept it , well ..........

Paul Hyatt

You can not educate ones who refuse the education and it is nigh on to impossible to educate them when you can not control them.... Throwing more money at this issue does nothing but raise our taxes for nothing in return.... If you looked at the schools with the highest costs per student you would see that they have the most problems in their schools and the lowest performance.... So giving them more money will give you nothing in return....

Kevin Lang

The fact that similar schools in other districts--even other schools in these districts--are able to teach students and at least meet the minimum standards, and the majority of all schools are at least meeting standards, with many far exceeding the baseline, then I can't buy the "Liberal Progressives are preventing success" argument.

I don't discount that the frequent rules changes within public education don't create challenges, but, hey, every one of us in every industry faces new challenges all the time. Educators generally have more education than the average person, so I would expect them to be able to address and respond to challenges, not go off whining that those "Liberal Progressives" are handcuffing them. If I started sulking and wringing my hands every time someone threw up a road block, rule change, or other challenge, I'd probably be sweeping floors at McDonald's.

I expect educators to be ahead of these changes, and be ahead of the challenges their students present. I think that's what I got out of MY teachers. The complaints about being handcuffed and all, that's what I expect to hear in the welfare lines and long-term unemployment lines. If we're not wanting to buy it from those people, then why should we buy it from educators?

You certainly can't expect students to rise to the challenge if their educators--their leaders--are unwilling to accept challenges.

GISD Communications

@kevjlang That's why leadership changes were made long before these scores came out - administration knew where problem areas were and made moves to rectify them months before the results were released.

@bogeyman Ball High is not Unacceptable - it was in 2011. They have met standards under new, rigorous standards in 2013 according to state officials and many believe it's making great strides under the new leadership of Principal Pillar. Also, Central and Weis are the same school, both at Central, only Central is Grades 7 and 8, and Weis is Grades 5 and 6.

@JustJay, the early bird gets the worm!
-GISD Communications


None of this is a surprise. Constant reconfiguring of the schools is just shifting the tag unacceptable from one campus to another. One might recall that the west end school used to fair well.
What happened to Gretta Oppe's school? Does it have another name these days? I think most school districts need to quit wasting money on programs that guarantee they will make all the kids pass and revisit the way some of us were educated back in the 50's, 60's,70's and 80's. !

E.J Petree

Oh my, the number of unacceptable schools is terribly disappointing. GISD has failed in the last 10 years to make and sustain any real improvement. This is no time for excuses Mr. Communications Man.

Instruction will need to be very targeted and specific. I'm not sure a balance literacy approach will get the job done.

I said this many years ago and I want to repeat it again. GISD has many students and parents who do not value education. So sorry this continues.

Carlos Ponce

Mr. Communications Man is just doing his job-putting a positive spin on a bad situation. Kind of reminds me of Jay Carney and Baghdad Bob. I wonder if other school districts GISD's size have a similar position.

Miss Priss

Years ago Galveston ISD and LaMarque had the top school districts .... Way ahead of the other school districts.

Carlos Ponce

La Marque had at one time one of the best school districts in the state. How sad to witness its downfall. I know some will be upset about what I have to write but here it goes. La Marque's downfall came when they went with single member school board positions instead of positions at-large. Although well intentioned, the single member districts created confusion: When can I vote, why can't I vote for my neighbor down the street, what precinct do I live in? As a result, board members become entrenched in that position for as long as they want so little progress is made.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 9:26 am on Sat, Jan 11, 2014 and
Response to npappous posted at 10:25 am on Sat, Jan 11, 2014:

I happen to concur the most with these 2 posters in regard to the need to 1. encourage writing/reading, and 2. the consideration of the lack of parental involvement. Ponce is correct in that schools nowadays are very likely not making writing and long-term reading priorities. In fact, I have heard many elementary-type parents and educators say that cursive writing is going by the wayside. With more exposure to text messaging, writing on word processors/computers, there seems to be a much less emphasis on writing in cursive on paper. That is a shame. There is nothing like old-fashioned scribing of thoughts on paper in letter writing, journaling, et cetera, et cetera.

Pappus' notation of lack of parental involvement is a succinct point. How many times as island neighbors/residents do you and I witness our "in family way" moms/dads going off to two (maybe 3) jobs. Latchkey children coming home unsupervised. Very likely coming home late on weekday evenings because no one knows they're coming home late. They very likely did not make use of their schools PM tutorials. I, for one, know of the leaps and bounds dedicated teachers go to try to BE THERE for their students. The sad fact is our value system in this country has been going to hell in a handbasket. BTW- it is not a liberal nor conservative thing. It's a family value thing. If you are a grown-up (regardless of your socio-economic status, regardless of religion or politics)...a parent who is there for your child, and you encourage child to find something to care about in this world, that behavior will transfer to the child. He/she will want to find something about school to flourish in.

Schools in themselves can only go so far with their $, resources, time, and extra help opportunities (SAT preps, tutoring). The rest depends on the family unit at home.

Leonce Thierry

GISD's LA Morgan Elementary School is not on this list. From many sources, their student body seems to come from the poorest section of Galveston with greater than 90 percent of their students on federally-funded free or reduced meals. If LA Morgan is considered the exception to the rule, then perhaps their approach to education should be the rule. They seem to be getting it done the right way.


GISD overall is a no school some district. The program that LA Morgan allows their kids to come from all over the district as the other schools do. The neighborhood that LA Morgan is situated in is one where the greatest amount of poverty is. I taught at La Morgan when it was a 'fine arts academy' Back then it was the school district's hope that student's outside the attendance zone would come in a raise the scores. That did not quite happen. So the Fine Arts portion was dropped. Prior to that time the school district was served with a court order stating that LA Morgan needed to be more racially diverse. That is what we were told when I taught there.

When Cleveland was in the makeup of things she started this deal that allowed students to go to whatever school they wanted. Basically, unless you went to Austin it spread the kids out. Many people felt that the west end schools were better. Many kids in other parts of the city decided to head west. Also, many of the teachers that were originally at Weis had been transferred all over the district. Weis is not the same. The teachers are different so. Three things decide the test scores- the leadership of the school, the teachers ( although they are not responsible for the kids who did not learn from their previous teacher), and the parents to make sure that their kid is taken care of : fed, clothed,loved, bahaves in class, studies, and is ready to learn. With these ingredients all working together the child will be successful.


* GISD is a zone less school district. The parent can pick where the kid goes.
Correction to the first sentence above

Dorothy Holt are spot on! Education does begin and end at home. There are 4 teachers in my family and your posts echo exactly what they would say. State mandated tests seem to be the most important item on the various school districts' agenda rather than letting the teachers teach. But it all comes down to the parent(s). If they don't give a rat's behind then neither will their child. Pretty simple concept.

Kevin Lang

I agree with most of what you write. I don't agree, however, with the defeatist statement that if the parents don't care, the kids won't either. If the parents don't care, the teachers and fellow students have to work harder at getting the kids to care. But, I don't buy the notion that you can't get the kids to care any more than their parents do.

The art of teaching is very much an art of dealing with reality. Reality doesn't just deal kids that sit perfectly straight with perfect attention and comprehension.

Let's not make excuses for why the kids aren't learning. Let's do something about it. It might not always be easy, but few rewarding things do come easy.

Lars Faltskog

Response to carlosrponce posted at 11:56 am on Sat, Jan 11, 2014:

Mr. Ponce - just curious. When you had those students who finished in a hurry and/or they conspicuously answered questions at random, I am of the hopes that you asked the child to go back and go over his/her work again. A test proctor can refuse to take a document if such irregularity occurs.

I knew a young woman who taught science (and with that had to give some TAKS tests). She refused to take the book and answer forms, and while she did so she informed her principal (or whoever was test monitoring). The only good thing she told me was that when she proctored teacher competency tests or SAT tests, she said she didn't need to be so "hard-nosed" because the students were taking that on their own free will, with no teacher being accounted for.

Again, we need to stop blaming the teachers, but I do think many teachers can practice good common sense and not put their careers/positions in harms way when it comes to these lamebrained tests.

Kevin Lang

If the fault lies with the teachers, then we need to address their deficiencies. If it lies with the administrators, we need to address it there. If it's the students and their families, then we need to take action there. If it's the legislators, we need to take action there. Wherever the fault lies, is where we need to take action. No one gets a free ride, and no one gets all of the blame. Ultimately, though, with each of these test failures, we have a student that failed to learn what the teacher was teaching. So, most of the corrective action is going to be taken across those two people.


A teacher cannot be blamed for the years the kid did not learn before stepping into their classroom. That is simply not fair. Remember education is sequential. If the foundation is not set the kid is going to have years of problems. If the kids has problems in the middle there will be problems near the end. A kid cannot be expected to multiply when they are still using their fingers and toes to count. And there all ALOT of kids who COUNT WITH THEIR FINGERS....even in the FIFTH GRADE and above. This is so sad. Many of these same kids do not have the multiplication tables memorized....I guess they do not have enough body parts to handle that function

Kevin Lang

I'm not trying to lay the blame only on the teacher during the term the kid failed the test. Certainly, if the student started the year behind and was unable to catch up, there's a certain amount of blame that goes to the teacher that had him before, and also on the administrators that let him pass even though he underacheived. However, if the student went through the year without progressing at all, then some of that may very well lie with that year's teacher, too. Just because last year's teacher fumbled the ball, that's no excuse for this year's teacher to do the same.

Lars Faltskog

Response to DottyOA posted at 11:38 pm on Sun, Jan 12, 2014:

You know, one thing that irks me is if I happen to be out late and it's a weeknight, sometimes I'll see an alleged parent with a school-aged child (or two/three) "in tow", as they are shopping at the late night WalMart. It makes me wonder why these children aren't in bed getting a good night's sleep to prepare for the next school day.

I wouldn't be surprised if these mommies/daddies are the kind of folks who let their child be absent b/c it's to "inconvenient" to take them to school on a certain day. Or, perhaps they're the type of parents who keep their child "on vacation" and sashay on back to the school 3 or 4 days after school has officially resumed.

Or, they take their child to an extended vacation to the Bermuda, Barbados, Mexico, Canada, or Timbuktu, and return with child after LABOR DAY.

Walter Manuel

Carlosrponce you are absolutely right when you say single member districts is what has been LMISD's demise and in my opinion what is destroying it today!

Single member districts does absolutely NOTHING to reflect the true representation of everyone in the district and it certainly allows for some board members to sit comfortably for many years in their seats because of their popularity within their district whether their doing a good job or not?

LMISD needs at least 2 At-Large positions out of 7 in order to offset the other single member districts and only then we'd have better representation overall. As long as these current school board members are sitting on the board we can all expect more and more students to continue leaving our district year after year for other thriving school districts.

It seems that it's perfectly OK with these board members that they are part of the reason why stuidents are leaving at the rate that they are because their focus is obviously is to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different result while saving their own friends jobs at the expense of our children's educations.

In my, as well as, many other peoples' opinion that I have spoken with over the course of some time, this current school board has been the worst board that LMISD has ever witnessed in it's history and it shows with each passing day.

The only way to break this cycle of destruction is for these board members to vote to create several At-Large districts, but that would mean reducing total control away from their current friends who are sitting board members and the inability to further fulfill their own personal agendas and they know it.


Do not forget the atmosphere of Galveston, Hitchcock, La Marque, and Dickinson. How do you think Clear Lake got so big???
Not to be racist this was once called white flight which happened in Houston. People move to the suburbs where the housing and the schools are newer and the inner city schools suffer.

Leon Lion

Why do the school districts that are unacceptable not communicate with the successful school districts in the area to see what they are doing versus themselves? What can the excuses be? I'm sure the other administrators and school boards would not turn them down. As mentioned in these comments elsewhere, you can't spend enough money to overcome bad parenting, children that just don't care, bad administration, and bad teachers just looking for a paycheck. Unfortunately the bar has been lowered to try and overcome the afore mentioned problems and has set off the proverbial snowball rolling down hill. It's the problems that need to be corrected, not just the lowing of the education standards to make up for not being able to educate the students. Sad, sad state of affairs with no end in sight.

Walter Manuel

The true test of just how well school districts are doing will be shown this year with the STAAR and End of Course test scores when each student will now be put into individual subgroups unlike last year when all good performing students was able to carry the weight of the underperforming students because of the new testing roll out system.

I'm sure the test scores will be even worse this year for many school districts who just barely made the benchmarks last year because of the new change in grouping students separately and we'll be having this same discussion this same time again next year.

Lars Faltskog

Response to kevjlang posted at 9:58 am on Mon, Jan 13, 2014:

Well, Kev. I think of the numerous reports that say, for instance, that the breakdown of the family eventually portends to the root cause of many familial ills. And, not going to school is just one of the pitalls. Unfortunately, the families have even worse crises going on than one of their child's truancies. For instance, single family/mother-led homes yields the statistical result that these single-mothers experience a double risk for depression. Also, twice as likely to be in financial hardship.

That is why I tend to wholeheartedly agree with the folks who say family is an extreme factor in childrens' well-being (school related or not). I think it's extremely important that there is a FATHER, and even more so, someone in a child's life who is there for him/her, someone who gives a "flip" about something.

A lot of times, it's "monkey see, monkey do". If you have a poor parent, then very likely you'll be a poor human being as well. Yes, there are a few stories of a child overcoming his/her dreadful home life to become somebody. Unfortunately, those tales are few and far between.

Kevin Lang

I'm not disputing that a bad family system isn't likely to pose problems. However, the school system can't drop a father into a family that doesn't have one, nor can it make the parents care if they're unable or unwilling to do so. The schools have to work with what they have, and they must figure out how to make lemonade. We don't have the option to say that, well, Johnny's a latch-key kid, and his parents keep taking turns in prison. He's a lost cause. Let's just put him in a seat at the back of the class everyday and just hope for the best.

These teachers and administrators are supposed to be smart people. It's too bad that they can't count on getting top-notch students that practically teach themselves. Maybe they can't be expected to turn Johnny into a Rhode's Scholar. Maybe they can't even get him qualified for COM. However, they should still be trying to make sure he's qualified for life after high school.

Lars Faltskog

Response to sverige1 posted at 1:27 pm on Mon, Jan 13, 2014:

Very true, it is the job of school officials to work with what they have. However, my stance involves the need to "track" the students by the time they are ending 8th grade. By then, most school officials would have a handle on the type of road the child is going. It's insane to push the ivy-league college concept on the schools. It's disheartening to see schools with "Vanderbilt", "Stanford" and "Harvard" banners, when most kids in Texas aren't going anywhere Southern Cal or Cambridge, Mass.

I think what irks me the most is that for some reason, schools cannot attract useful on-the-job apprentice type trainers for HVAC, cosmetology, nurse assistants, or welding. Many times, I've heard of a school having such a career-treck type teacher be there a couple of months, get bored (or get offered somewhere else for more $)...and they quit. Texas needs much more emphasis on vocational school training. A child who is 18 is kind of late, IMHO, in suddenly discovering that she wants to be a manicurist. After all, when we were little, we wanted to be a mechanic, like Daddy, or a beautician, like our Aunt Opal.

These families on the brink of further dysfunction are yielding little ones sitting at school desks who need more than we're giving them, with just boring plane geometry, English grammar, and American Indian history classes. It's way out of their realm of thinking.

Kevin Lang

I definitely agree that one-size-fits-all is a terrible approach. Kids on a college prep track should be held to a different standard than those on a vocational track. Someone learning to be a welder probably doesn't need to demonstrate competency in advanced algebra and pre-calculus. However, he should be able to balance a checking account, be able to read the newspaper, have some cognizance of how our government works, and be able to speak clearly and coherently. In many cases, our schools are failing to achieve that even with the college-bound kids.

Lars Faltskog

My post below really is in response to kevjlang posted at 1:54 pm on Mon, Jan 13, 2014:

Lars Faltskog

Response to rah posted at 1:23 am on Wed, Jan 15, 2014:

The suburbs aren't as wonderful and pristine as seemingly assumed. The burbs have more disposible $ for drug trade to change hands easier. Crime is a target in the burbs, b/c the crimnals think the citizenry there is more vulnerable and have more to steal (better cars, jewelry, etc.).

Affluent, suburban parents often are at long hours of work and/or on out-of-town business trips. That leaves the latchkey children with no supervision and the daytime burglars an opportunity to find their openings. Surburban teachers are at a quandry when they are encountering children who have had things given to them on a silver platter. They often don't know the meaning of hard work. So, as we can see, the perception of suburbia having lovely, green-lawned school buildings with children resplendent of bright, shining faces is a false illusion.

Lars Faltskog

Response to rah posted at 1:20 am on Wed, Jan 15, 2014:

In reality, the sighting of individual counting on his/her fingers does not indicate his/her mastery or non-mastery of mathematical component. There simply exist folks who are tactile in nature - that is, without something physical occuring (i.e. moving lips, counting on fingers), the processing of the information in the brain to compute will not occur.

Yours truly still must count on fingers to do math equations, and I went throught the system, finally passed Algebra 2 and did adequately in "Math/Spirit&Use for Non-Majors" in college.

The problem many face in the educational field isn't the "want" and desire to excel - after all, there are special ed programs and 504 designations to counter folks who want to learn, but can't use the common methodologies or class atmospheres. The problem lies more in an erroneous mentality that life is not suppose to consist of challenges to the brain or time required to persevere. Instant gratification is constantly sought (and nowadays through video games, devices that make it "easy").

I still say we are doing a disservice to constantly rely on the internets, the iPODS and such for main learning devices. We need to go back to flash cards, paper and pencil, note-taking and the like.

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