Monthly Archives: July 2010

KPRC ANNOUNCES ANTI-BULLY CAMP IN HOUSTON!


HOW TO PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN IN SCHOOL!

KPRC Local 2 is teaming with the Houston Independent School District, the Anti Defamation League, the Houston Texans, and other community partners for a first of its kind Anti-Bully Boot Camp, Thursday, August 12 through Saturday, August 14, 2010, at the Children’s Museum of Houston.

Students, educators and parents preparing to send their children back to school this fall can take advantage of extra resources at this FREE, three day anti-bullying training session, helping them become “Hallway Heroes,” learning to stand up for themselves and those around them who are victims of bullying.

The sessions will include professional instruction on:

* Recognizing if your child is a bully or the target of a bully

* Understanding your legal rights in protecting your child

* How to train yourself to oversee your child’s computer communication

* What does bullying look like?

* Self esteem as an anti-bullying tool

* Tips for educators

“There’s no place for bullying in our schools,” says KPRC Local 2 Vice President and General Manager Larry Blackerby. “We’re pleased to be a part of this local coalition to provide students, parents and educators with the tools they need to combat this growing epidemic.”

A highlight of the Anti-Bully Boot Camp will be on Saturday when students will have the chance to participate in a Hallway Hero “Rap Off” with local, family friendly rapper, J Xavier. Prior to the Boot Camp students are encouraged to email lyrics or upload videos of themselves performing their anti-bullying own raps, for a chance to have their words included in the first ever Hallway Hero rap song.

On both Thursday and Friday, law enforcement and internet experts will use a mobile public library to teach parents computer skills. This mobile library will be outfitted with 10-12 computer stations for parents to get hands on training.

Beginning Sunday, August 8, KPRC Local 2 will feature a special series of reports on bullying and how it affects students, families and the overall education system. The series will also spotlight efforts by Texas lawmakers to pass a bullying bill and the innovative ways some cash-strapped local school districts are using to combat this growing epidemic.

These stories will air August 8, on Local 2 News at 10, and August 9th – 11th, on Local 2 News at 4. KPRC Local 2 will also be streaming some of the sessions live on Click2Houston.com/anti-bully-boot-camp, August 12th-14th. Click2Houston.com currently has a special Anti-Bullying section under its “Community” tab.

Partnering with KPRC Local 2 for the inaugural Anti-Bully Boot Camp will be the Children’s Museum of Houston, the Anti Defamation League, Foston International, Houston Texans Matt Turk and Andre Davis, the NFL Former Players Association-Houston Chapter 2, Appelbaum Training Institute, the Houston Independent School District, Houston Family Magazine, the Houston Public Library, author Julia Cook, the National Center on Youth Issues, Winstead PC, Toppins Law Firm and KHMX 96.5.

While the Boot Camp sessions are FREE, we strongly recommend that you pre-register for all individual sessions. You can come by the Children’s Museum of Houston, 1500 Binz Street, Saturday, August 7th or Sunday, August 8th, from Noon – 4PM to sign up and get your tickets to individual sessions (you can still come by without signing up, but registering will help with our limited capacity).

THE TEACHERS’ UNION WANTS TO KNOW WHY SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS ARE BEING CUT AT HISD!

FALLON IS DEMANDING ANSWERS FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT!

FOX 26 news first broke on Friday that a long list of Houston Independent School District teachers were being pulled from the special education program. Superintendent Terry Grier said they overstaffed Special Ed by 2300 teachers. Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon fired this letter off to the district. What do you think about special education staffing in the district?

To: Terry and the Board
Rather than argue about this, I just have a few questions:
1. Since all of these teachers are going to remain on payroll what is the projected savings? Is that savings sufficient to offset the disruption caused to principals who already have completed their master schedule as well as the cost in employee morale?
2. How many new teachers were hired in special education for the 2010-11 school year and how much was committed and/or paid in recruitment and critical shortage bonuses to these new hires?
3. While we all understand that ARRA stimulus money is for a 2 year period and stops after 2010-11, that is not the case with the formula money. Formula money is annual. I noticed that you did not address this issue at all in our e-mail. Why have we not used the $35,028,674 in annual special education formula dollars for last school year on our children?
4. Could I have a list of the specific positions absorbed? How many of these positions are self contained classes and how many are resource teachers who serve students in multiple classes?
5. While we may stay within the guidelines for self contained classes, what will be the case load increase for the resource teachers?
6. Over what specific period of time did we lose 5,500 special education students?
7. How many of these 5,500 students required self contained classes and how many required resource assistance?
8. Are the 504’s who are not classified special ed but for whom the district is legally required to provide services included in the total number of special ed students projected for next year?
9. If the district has a surplus of teachers why are we continuing to hire special education teachers externally?
10. What is the projected cost of having 50-60 special ed teachers in a pool with no permanent assignment?
11. How many of the identified special education teachers have any certification that qualifies them to be in a secondary school like the twilight high schools in any area but special education?
12. Since an analysis of staffing needs is supposed to be done annually, when did HISD decide that the district was overstaffed by 200 special education teachers?
13. Why was a hiring freeze not implemented immediately for special education teachers?
14. Why did HISD wait until 2 weeks before school starts back for campus employees before telling principals and teachers about the staffing reduction as opposed to notifying them in May as has been the past practice?
15. Since the amount of time that a resource teacher spends with each child is determined by the case load assigned to her, can you guarantee that the resource teachers will not see a significant increase in their case load due to this reduction?
16. We received numerous complaints last year from regular ed teachers that they were receiving an increased number of mainstreamed students who were totally incapable of functioning either academically or behaviorally in a regular classroom. Teachers described having to modify lessons and lesson plans for 6-10 special education students placed in their classes and excessive time taken away from their other students due to modifications for these students. Will this increase continue as you decrease the number of special education teachers? Also, if there is an increase in the case load of the resource teachers, will the regular ed teacher be required to take even more time away from her other students to modify instruction for the mainstreamed students. What safeguards have you put in place to guarantee that this will not happen?
Please also consider this a TPIA open records request:
Gayle Fallon
Houston Federation of Teachers

THE DANGERS OF POLITICAL BLOGS THAT MISLEAD THE PUBLIC!

APPARENTLY THE INSITE NOW SPEAKS FOR THE ENTIRE BLACK COMMUNITY IN TEXAS!

I did an article about former Houston Mayor Bill White skipping President Barack Obama’s visit to Texas in August.

That blog post was written only by the Insite. However, a blog specifically designed to support Governor Rick Perry totally twisted the story around and made it racial.
The blog headline reads: ‘Black Texans Not Happy With Bill White’…that is totally misleading and the reason why there should be more accountability for bloggers.
It’s a reminder how USDA employee Shirley Sherrod became a victim of a political blog with an obvious agenda.
The post I wrote simply reflected my observation and not that of the entire African American community in Texas.
If you read that article you would be lead to believe Blacks were against the former Houston Mayor. I have absolutely no proof of that.
What the blog shows is how some (political groups) see Blacks as one all encompassing group.
Moreover, it also shows how the words of a reporter who happens to be an African American can be construed as ‘the Black community’ without even determining if in fact it represents the community.
Shame on that blog and the writer who twisted and manipulated the Insite’s words. Readers please beware. Here’s part of that post:

SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2010

Black Texans not happy with Bill White…

African Americans don’t seem that pleased with Bill White running in such a cowardly way away from Obama (link). Excerpt follows…

97.9’s THE BOX MORNING PERSONALITY CELEBRATES THE BIG DAY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO NNETE!




First, forgive the Insite for not getting more pictures at the birthday party of 97.9 The Box morning show personality Nnete. The problem I ran into was free food and being tired. I started my day on Friday at 5am and by the time I made it to the Drake in midtown around 10:30 pm where the big birthday bash occurred I was dog tired. Then the owners of a local catering business gave me free food at the nightspot and I was ready to hit the road. But happy birthday to Nnete on her big day. She was surrounded by family, friends and lots of fans at the Drake!

TRAE THA TRUTH VS. 97.9 THE BOX: IT’S OVER!

THE LEGAL FIGHT IS OFFICIALLY A DRAW!


The Insite has learned the lawsuit that pitted Houston rapper Trae Tha Truth against radio station 97.9 The Box has been dropped.

You may remember it was back in May when Trae filed his suit claiming the Radio One owned company prevented him from making a living with an alleged ban on the rapper and his music.
Radio One’s legal team filed a counter suit to even the legal battle. However, on Thursday both sides simply agreed to drop their lawsuits.
Trae’s attorney Warren Fitzgerald talked with the Insite Saturday night. He confirms both sides agreed to walk away from the legal battle but there was no settlement of record. He says there are a lot of positive things Trae can do and they will refocus their efforts. Fitzgerald did not say specifically why they decided to walk away from the fight. He also said both sides reserved their rights to refile if necessary.
So far the Insite has not been able to contact attorneys for Radio One!
Note: It just so happens this lawsuit was dropped on Thursday which was Trae Day in the city of Houston. The Insite is not quite sure how the rapper is reacting to the news!

BREAKING: CW 39 WILL END THEIR NEWSCAST AS WE KNOW IT!

THEY’RE CALLING IT A TALENTLESS NEWSCAST!

The Insite has learned some tragic news…Sources say the CW television (KIAH-TV) news department may be disappearing. Those who have talked with employees of what use to be WB 39 say all of the on air talent (anchors and reporters) were told they won’t be needed beginning in October. Those sources say management at CW television will take the station to a talentless newscast. I’m told it would be like radio on television but you won’t see those familiar faces like Mia Gradney or Katishia Cosley. I hate to hear this news because the last thing anyone needs in an economy like this is the loss of a job. I will continue to dig to get you more details on this developing story. Good luck to all those over at the CW!