Boots On the Ground
Texas parents tried to secure an education from a Texas public school. Texas Education Agency Commissioner Neeley responded decisively. She immediately placed, “Boots on the Ground.” In Texas, NO ONE is permitted to educate children in violation of law.
This weeks TEA tragi-comedy plays out at Mumford Independent School district. Mumford, along with its next-door neighbor, Hearne Independent School district, is fighting for students. It seems that the parents of over 200 children have concluded that Mumford is better than Hearne. As a result, they’ve taken steps to assure their children receive the best education possible.
How Dare They!
Why Hearne Students Fled.
Empirical evidence shows that Hearne is academically inferior to Mumford. According to an August 12, 2005 Bryan-College Station Eagle article, Hearn was academically unacceptable at various times between 2001 and 2004. Mumford ratings were Academically Acceptable to Recognized during this same period.
With the release of ratings gauging Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for Texas schools, three of four Hearne campuses failed to make the grade.
Anecdotal evidence is plentiful as well.
Cara Freeman, a 1995 Hearne graduate, recalls discipline problems and academic disarray during her years at Hearne. In addition to Ms. Freeman, others argued that Hearne is dangerous and that the district provides students with a poor quality education.
It’s not just parents concerned about sending students back to Hearne, Mumford Educators were also affected by the injustice. According to an August 13, 2005 Houston Chronicle article, Ralph Reed, a Mumford High School Math Teacher was quoted as saying:
“It turned his stomach to have to send students home.”
Who Opposes Educating Children?
U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice characterized the desire of Hearne’s parents to obtain the best education possible for their children as illegal “White Flight.”
TEA Commissioner Shirley Neeley supported the judge’s ruling with both personnel and cash.
Commissioner Neeley, an elegant and articulate woman, attempted to sugar coat her complicity in usurping parental authority.
It won’t work.
The facts belie her unctuous palliatives. Ralf Reed, a Mumford High Math Teacher, succinctly stated the facts.
According to an August 13, 2005 Houston Chronicle Article, Mr. Reed said:
“Two facts still remain clear: that Mumford is a good school and that Hearne is not. The choice is clear.”
The facts are clear to Mr. Reed, to the 200+ Texas children desperate for an education and to the parents who love them.
Commissioner Neeley disagrees. In direct defiance of Texas parents, she ordered, “Boots On The Ground” to drive Texas families from their preferred public schools.
An August 12, 2005 Eagle article recited parts of Neeley’s letter to Mumford ISD. Within this communication she disclosed who their “Big Brother” would be for the next three years and what he would do to enforce her wishes.
“Mr. Robbins will keep me apprised of conditions at Mumford ISD and the degree of cooperation shown by the board and the administration. It is my sincere hope that the district’s system for transferring students can be implemented in a cooperative manner with the oversight of the conservator.”
Should Mumford ISD defy the TEA and provide a quality education where there is none, Neeley’s myrmidon stands ready to summon the Commissioner’s wrath. Neeley’s velvet glove hides an iron fist.
What White Flight?
Superintendent Pete Bienski of Mumford ISD described the ethnic make-up of Hearne students at his school in an August 12, 2005 Bryan-College Station Eagle Article. Mr. Bienski said:
“More than 210 Hearne students are enrolled in the Mumford school district. Of those, about 110 are Hispanic, more than 60 are White and roughly 40 are Black.”
Despite what the Judge and the Commissioner think, that’s not “White Flight.” That’s, “Rainbow Coalition” flight, i.e. everyone’s leaving, not to diminish diversity, but because of Hearne’s poor reputation.
It’s Not The First Time.
This isn’t the first time Shirley Neeley’s TEA has permitted cronyism to triumph over children. To learn where her loyalties lie, you need only observe who is fined, what they are fined for and who pays the fine.
When almost 50% of Texas schools failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress, Neeley agreed to pay over $440,000 in fines. The failed schools didn’t pay the fines; Neeley negotiated with the feds and then took the money from Texas families.
For an expanded discussion: Click Here.
Later, in order to avoid the need to test a large number of Texas students, Neeley paid another $888,000. Once again, the schools neglecting to test their students weren’t penalized, Neeley simply took the cash from Texas families.
The deal seemed shady to Jack Jennings, Executive Director of the Center on Education Policy. A Title One on-line article dated July 21, 2005 quoted Mr. Jennings as saying:
“Texas seems to have gotten a sweetheart deal. This will allow Texas to take a lot of schools off the watch list. Maybe they felt the fine was worth it.”
Had Commissioner Neeley held her Educrats to accepted standards, Hearne may have been required to permit transfers. If they had, Ms. Freeman, her children and the 200+ other children affected by the Commissioner’s decision would be concentrating on education, rather than litigation.
Who will pay in Mumford?
Neeley’s man is charged with watching Hearne families to assure they march their children lockstep into an inferior school. For this task, he’s paid $60.00/hour. Neeley will not be picking up the tab. Mr. Robbins compensation will be borne by Mumford ISD and Mumford ISD alone.
Texas children can’t afford another TEA commissioner like Shirley Neeley. The next TEA Commissioner must have no ties to Texas Public Education. Our children can’t take another “Good Ole Girl.”
For an expanded discussion, Click Here
Perversions of Purpose.
Denying the children of Hearne the best education available is only the most recent perversion of our schools. Texas families spend over $34.5 Billion dollars a year on education. That’s over $1,500 each for every man woman and child in Texas. Texas schools have so much money and spend with such little accountability that abuse is inevitable. Because of this inane laxity, our public schools regularly victimize Texas children.
Here are 8 recent examples.
Wilmer-Hutchins children endured 40 years of abuse before they were granted relief: Click Here
Plano ISD children saw their faith subverted: Click Here
San Antonio’s homeless children had their educations stolen from them: Click Here
50% of Texas Public School graduates require remediation. Click Here.
Texas Educrats acknowledge that at least 30% of their classroom teachers are incompetent: Click Here
Spurger ISD experiments with alternative life styles: Click Here
Texas schools regularly shirk responsibility for their results. Click Here.
Through inefficiencies, ineffectiveness and ineptitude, Texas public schools inflict billions and billions and billions of dollars per year in unfunded mandates on Texas families. Click Here.
Protect Your Children.
You don’t want your children or your community to undergo the gut-wrenching travesty Mumford is presently enduring. There’s only one way to stop the buffoonery. Parents must assume control of the resources allocated to educate their children. Parents, and only parents, are capable of ascertaining whether their children are learning.
To assure every Texas child achieves the highest educational level possible, they must have access to the best education available. If this is in spite of Texas Courts and in spite of the Texas Education Agency, then so be it.
Parents are the only people with a personal agenda 100% supportive of Texas children. To fully engage the most powerful, the most adamant, and the most tenacious children’s advocates on the planet, we must provide them with “The Power Of The Purse.” That means 100% fully funded fully transferable Texas education vouchers permitting families to select the appropriate public, private or parochial school that best serves their families needs.
Work With Us!
Shouldn’t we keep children in the classrooms and the courts out? Isn’t it time Texas parents were permitted to make the best decisions possible for their children? Isn’t it time to assure that all Texas children have access to a world-class education?
Contact the Governor, your state senator, state representative and your State Board of Education Representative today. Urge them to support Texas children by placing their resources with parents who love them. Urge them to support 100% Fully Funded School Choice in Texas.
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