Harris County Republican Party reaching out

And choice in education is the wave of the future because it represents a return to some of our most basic American values. Choice in education is no mere abstraction. Like its economic cousin, free enterprise, and its political cousin, democracy, it affords hope and opportunity. – Ronald Reagan, 1989 This past Sunday, Republicans in Harris […]

Texas Education V: Language skill is the basic component of a “Knowledge-Based” Curriculum

I want to thank “Izzy” again for his comments to the last post in this series.  I recommend to those of you who are following this series that you read that comment thread between Izzy and me to help understand in more depth some of what I will be discussing throughout the remainder of this […]

Texas Education IV: A Case Study in the Failure of a Method-Based Curriculum

I want to thank “Izzy,” who is a frequent commentator on the posts here on Big Jolly Politics, for his very creative comment to my last post, because it helped crystalize for me how I need to start this discussion about reforming our curriculum and our classrooms—very carefully. You see, one reason reform efforts over […]

Texas Education III: National Policy is not the Answer to the Problem in our Classrooms

During the Carter Administration, Congress created the Department of Education.  Many conservatives denounced this move as federal usurpation of a power left to state and local governments, and Ronald Reagan advocated abolishing the agency.  His position of antipathy toward federal involvement in public education has been, more or less, the Republican Party’s official position ever […]

Texas Education II: Knowledge needed to be “an effective American Citizen in a global economy”

During the initial installment of this conversation about the future of Texas public education, I focused on the “general diffusion of knowledge” that is the constitutional purpose of our “system of public free schools,” under Article 7, Section 1 of the Texas Constitution.  Consistent with that constitutional purpose, I proposed a 21st Century mission for […]

Texas Education: Revisiting our Foundation

Back in mid-June after the RPT convention in Fort Worth, I wrote a post in which I stated that one of my long-term plans was to help … find a comprehensive answer to the structural and financial problems facing our educational system in our communities and across this state.  I want to start this discussion […]

Schools trim few teachers following Texas state budget cuts, sky not falling just yet

Few teachers actually laid off in Texas. In many cases teachers were re-hired. In at least one case, a district reported having more teachers than it had before the state budget cuts. On a warm Saturday last March before a rally of more than 10,000 people on the south steps of the Texas Capitol, John […]

Texans not very outraged about cuts

That was the message that politicians should have received from the lame attempt at a protest yesterday afternoon in front of Houston’s City Hall. I’ll be generous and guess that there were around 400 “protesters” attending the rally, warning politicians not to cut spending. Of course, you can’t have a protest without a counter protest […]

Houston ISD Tax Dollars At Work: Paying For National Rifle Association Memberships?

Yesterday’s search of Houston ISD’s check register was by vendor names beginning with the letter “N”. The point of highlighting this expenditure is not to emphasize the amount, but to highlight the arrogance and blatant disregard for prioritizing common sense spending of tax dollars by the public sector. From another search of HISD’s check register (click […]