Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Monday, February 28, 2011
How awesome is this??!!!
Austin, TX - A Texas school district superintendent sent an open letter to Texas legislators pleading for help by tailoring it after the famous William Barret Travis letter right before the fall of the Alamo.
John Kuhn, superintendent of Perrin-Whitt Consolidated Independent School District, sent the letter in regards to Gov. Perry's possible billion dollar budget cuts to public school funding.
Here is the text of his (Alamo letter) :
I am besieged, by a hundred or more of the Legislators under Rick Perry. I have sustained a continual Bombardment of increased high-stakes testing and accountability-related bureaucracy and a cannonade of gross underfunding for 10 years at least and have lost several good men and women. The ruling party has demanded another round of pay cuts and furloughs, while the schoolhouse be put to the sword and our children’s lunch money be taken in order to keep taxes low for big business. I am answering the demand with a (figurative) cannon shot, and the Texas flag still waves proudly from our flagpole. I shall never surrender the fight for the children of Perrin.
Then, I call on you my legislators in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy of public schools is declaring that spending on a shiny new high-stakes testing system is “non-negotiable”; that in essence, we must save the test but not the teachers. The enemy of public schools is saying that Texas lawmakers won’t raise 1 penny in taxes in order to save our schools.
If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and fight for the kids in these classrooms like an educator who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his community. Make education a priority!
With all due respect and urgency,
Below is the text of William Travis Barret's famous Alamo letter:
Fellow citizens and compatriots;
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual Bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country. Victory or Death.
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
I urge you to plug in and follow what is going on in Austin. As always we would never influence you on how to vote, or what to support, we just want to encourage you to educate yourselves, know what is out there and form your own opinions.
The easiest way to follow and track the progress of bills is to visit Texas Legislature Online at www.capitol.state.tx.us. This is the official site of the Texas Legislature and allows you to set up your own account and track the bills that interest you. You can even set it up so that you are notified by email when a bill has had a change in status. To keep your finger on the pulse of the legislative session minute by minute, I recommend www.quorumreport.com. A portion of this site is avalable only to subscribers, but there is enough free content to let you know what is the current "buzz" of the day. Another good place to check out is www.backmic.com. Here you can vote on how you feel about specific bills and even leave comments about them.
Now more than ever it is important that those of us in the profession have an understanding about what our public schools are facing and be able to explain it to those who may ask. Don't be afraid to communicate with your elected officials. They are faced with a daunting task this session so remember to do it in a professional, respectful way. Establishing good relationships between those of us in education and our elected officials is essential to doing what is right for our kids.
Monday, November 15, 2010
It's that "thankful" time of year again! The one where I find myself counting my blessings a little more often. And, in this tough economic time, I've found myself time and time again being thankful for having a job when so many we know are out of work. But, when I think about being an educator, simply having a job and a paycheck doesn't really seem to sum up just how thankful I am for the role Texas public schools have played in my life. As a second generation teacher, public schools were providing for me long before I even knew what school was! I am thankful for the 12 years I spent in Texas public schools receiving an education that has served me well in college and beyond. I am thankful for the awesome Texas public school teachers that went above and beyond for me as a student in the classroom and as a fellow teacher. And now, I am thankful to that same public school system and it's educators for providing my children with the same quality education and positive school experience. I am proud and THANKFUL to the public schools of Texas.
Monday, May 24, 2010
The grant involved every 5th grader and was titled “What if the Underground Railroad had GPS?” This was the culmination of an in depth study on the Underground Railroad. The students used GPS devices to find geo-caches that had been hidden at locations all over school property. The students worked together in small groups to follow the Underground Railroad to freedom. Each location had information leading them to the next location, a journaling topic and obstacles that had to be overcome. It integrated social studies, science, language arts, math, music….100% cross curricular.
The final location, where the students made it to freedom? The school flagpole of course! Waiting for them there was Harriet Tubman. A school staff member, dressed in period costume, met the students and led them to freedom. Goosebumps!! Those students didn’t just learn about the Underground Railroad, they experienced it. Truly innovative teaching at its very best.
Not only was I speechless over the lesson and its execution, but I was amazed at what great ambassadors the staff were for their school.
When I arrived I was greeted in the front office by the school secretary and the principal, who both welcomed me. One of the fifth grade teachers came and escorted me down to the fifth grade classrooms so she could show me the work the students had done in preparation for the activity. She then directed me out to the playground where they were searching for the geo-caches. Every teacher I encountered was so excited, appreciative and full of great things to say about their students and their campus.
I love opportunities that enable me to see first hand that critics of public schools are dead wrong! As a member of this awesome profession, I feel it’s my honor and my duty to share these achievements with everyone I encounter…my family, my friends, at church, on the soccer fields, in line at the grocery store. It’s high time those of us with formal connections to public schools be vocal about the success we witness.
As this school year comes to an end, let’s take moment to celebrate all the strengths and achievements that 2009-2010 has brought to the children of Texas.