Beauty In The World … Dragonfly

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Praying For The Ellis County, TX, K-12 Educators

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When I served as Superintendent of Texas K-12 Public Schools, the night before the first day of school I would go to each school and pray.

Now, as a retired educator and resident of Ellis County, TX, I pledge to pray for all Ellis County ISD’s, Charter and Private schools during the 2017-18 school year.

The pledge is not of significance because of who I am; it matters because of Who hears the prayers.

Blessings to all of you who do so much for the children of Ellis County.

In His Care,
Dr. Jerome Stewart

 

 

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What Every Texas Teacher Should Know About Politicians: Lesson #7 – Politicians Do Not Know How To Fix Schools

What Every TX Educator Should Know About Politicians .jpgGreat teachers make great classrooms.

Great principals and great teachers make great schools.

Great superintendents, great principals, and great teachers make great school districts.

Lesson #7 – Politicians do not know how to fix schools. How long have they been at it in Texas? Let’s be generous and say their efforts date back to 1984 with the passage of HB 72. That’s over 30 years … and they’re still at it.

The proof is in the pudding. Politicians don’t know how to fix schools.

Noting politicians do and say can change reality. Again,

  • great teachers make great classrooms;
  • great principals and great teachers make great schools; and
  • great superintendents, great principals, and great teachers make great districts.

Politicians may not know how to fix our schools, but they could do the most basic of things: support their rhetoric and resources our great teachers and staff.

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This is the final blog in this series.

 

 

 

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What Every Texas Teacher Should Know About Politicians: Lesson #6 – The Allure Of The Out-Of-Power Politician

What Every TX Educator Should Know About Politicians .jpgIt is one thing to promise, it’s another thing to deliver.

The out-of-power politician can promise much, but he/she has no accountability, just rhetoric and symbolic votes.

But rhetoric and symbolic votes can be hypnotic.

A great, present-day example is at the federal level. The Republicans, when they knew that their legislative efforts had no chance of becoming law, unanimously voted several times to repeal Obamacare.

The rhetoric and symbolic votes were powerful, but now that Republicans are in power … nothing.

So, let’s look at Texas teacher salaries when Texas Democrats were firmly in control and more recent with Republicans in control of the state’s political agenda.

In the 60th Texas Legislature (1967), the Senate had 29 Democrats and 2 Republicans. The House consisted of 143 Democrats and 7 Republicans. The governor was a Democrat. Average teacher annual salary in 1969-70 for Texas teachers was, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, was $7,255. The United States average was $8,626.

In 1969-70, the average annual salary for Texas teachers was below the national average.

In 2015-16, with a Republican governor and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, the average annual salary for Texas teachers was $51,758. The national average was $58,064.

In 2015-16, the average annual salary for Texas teachers was below the national average.

I don’t want to make too little of the differences between the major political parties in Texas, however, the allure of the out-of-power politician – Republican or Democrat – may be not all it seems act least for Texas teachers.

 

 

 

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Bugs in Texas

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Assassin bug in a North Texas flower garden (July 17, 2017).

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Beauty In This World: July 4, 2017

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With the Top O’ Texas Tower to the left, fireworks fill the sky over Fair Park, Dallas, TX July 4, 2017.

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What Every Texas Teacher Should Know About Politicians: Lesson #5 – Every Political Decision Has Benefactors

What Every TX Educator Should Know About Politicians .jpgLesson #5 – Every Political Decision Has Benefactors.

The first-and-always benefactor is the politician. A politician will not take a stand that does not benefit him- or herself.

Notice the plural: benefactors.

Someone or some group(s) will benefit, too, and if it is not you or your group, it’s because the person or group(s) that benefit represents to the politician more votes, more money, and/or career advancement.

Teachers: Don’t think “Right, Best, Good, or What’s Best For Students” if a politician’s decision does not go your way. It won’t help; it will only frustrate. Instead, it helps to know that, in all likelihood, you do not represent to the politician more votes, more money, and/or career advancement.

That may not seem right or fair – terms educators live and practice everyday in the classroom – but those two words will only make it all the more difficult to understand politicians.

 

 

 

 

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