Tag Archives: HISD

Alma A. Allen, Texas State Representative seeks HISD top job

Texas District 131 Representative Alma Allen
Texas District 131 Representative Alma Allen

Within the 150-member assembly of the Texas House of Representatives is a woman by the name of Alma Allen.

Currently serving as the state’s Representative of District 131, Allen has put on quite a résumé. But elected to one of the governmental jobs in the Lone Star State is just another destination to her tirelessly life journey.

Growing up in Livingston, Texas, Allen wanted to make a difference as a young girl, and education became an essential part of that difference.

“(I believe) education is the key,” Allen said.

Allen, 77, would eventually excel in elementary all the way up to college. She initially picked Prairie View A&M (PVAMU) as one of those universities which helped minorities like herself until she ultimately chose Texas Southern University (TSU).

“TSU gave me the background to put me as an educator,” Allen said.

She would soon have Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees under her belt.

“Having a degree has put me at a difference in quality of my life,” said Allen soundly.

One of Allen’s dear friends, Wilma Jordan, says that her love for people, her love for children is what makes her stand out from everyone.

“She will go out of her way, saying, ‘If you need help, I’ll help you do it’,” Jordan said.

Allen then goes after her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction along with a certificate in administration and supervision, which she received from the University of Houston. As an alumna, Allen worked at the Houston Independent School District (HISD) before working as an adjunct professor for PVAMU, then for TSU. Afterwards, she got elected to the State Board of Education in 1992.

Current PVAMU professor William Parker, who is also a former colleague of Allen, knows the type of professional and person that she is.

“She holds all her colleagues, professors, and students to a standard of excellence,” Parker said.

“As long as she has a tone vision of education, she makes an impact in the community. She is known as an educator of Texas, and in the country”

Later, Allen would land at the Texas House of Representatives having being reelected for two-year terms since 2004 while viewing Houston as a condition of betterment.

“There’s always a lot to improve and I want to be a part of it,” Allen said.

A woman of integrity like herself has considered another opportunity once her Democratic Representative days finish, for she will be a candidate for superintendent of HISD. Her son, Laurence Allen, Jr., sees the character in her mother that impacts the people.

“She motivates other people to get involved. I am so proud of her,” Laurence said.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, she plans to improve morale and the focus on finances and stability as one of her top priorities.

“The big challenge is to make people feel wanted and needed,” Allen said in the newspaper.

Allen will take this task head-on, if elected, once her term as State Representative ends in 2018.

A date for the choosing of the permanent superintendent has yet to be determined.

Protest against H.I.S.D. School Board’s plan for a warehouse school at Jack Yates

national black united front

For More Information Contact: NBUF (713) 962-0284 or nbufhouston@gmail.com

“Calling All Jack Yates Lions & Supporters”:
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

@ 5:30 P.M.
Address: 3703 Sampson St.

Houston, Tx. 77004

Your presence is URGENTLY requested to RALLY

SPEAK OUT in support of a First Class,

New Jack Yates Sr. High School.

Protest against H.I.S.D. School Board’s plan for a warehouse school.

Trustee Paula Harris is scheduled to conduct a formal meeting at 6:30 P.M. (same day and
location) to discuss the District’s future plans for Jack Yates Sr. High School.

**NOTE: Wear your Crimson & Gold! Let’s make our voices heard: Our children and Community are depending on us!!

HISD threatens to shutdown Jones High School, community wants Superintendent Terry Grier out

Concerned parents and leaders in the African American community came out to protest the proposed closure of Jones High School and four other predominately African American schools in Houston Independent School District.

Kofi Taharka, leader of the National Black United Front- Houston, held a microphone and led the rally in a chant saying they were fired up and they wanted Terry Grier, Superintendent of HISD out.
“Are willing to put our money on the line for tis, are we willing to go to the School Board meeting on Thursday,“ Tahaarka asked the crowd? The answer was yes, every time.

The African American community in Houston is facing more closures or “repurposing” of community based schools in highly dense areas of Blacks. Jones High School has been in the hot seat prior to this decision and has a momentary reprieve but the issue is now back before the School Board on whether to keep Jones High as is or whether to close or repurpose the school.

“This is ridiculous; Terry Grier and HISD are not properly assessing the schools. This community is rebuilding and to close the school without allowing the growth makes no sense. This is not about education,” said Assata Richards, a member of the Houston Housing Authority and a graduate of Jones.

Parent and former students alike have expressed that HISD is not thoughtful of the students and community’s well- being and education.

“If they close the school, they kill the community, it’s that simple,” said Vice President of Houston’s Super Neighborhoods, Tomaro Bell.

With many school closures, residents are worried about the feeder path from elementary to middle to high school and the interruptive flow it will have to close down schools such as Dodson Elementary which was also another sore spot for parents.

Dodson, Henderson, Port Houston Elementary, Fleming Middle and Jones High School are all on the chopping block for Thursday’s School Board meeting. Community member are asked to come out and support their community schools at the Hattie Mae White Educational Center at 4400 West 18th St. Houston, TX 77092 and protest the closure at the School Board meeting Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Kofi Taharka, Minister Robert Muhammad and community members rally to save Jones High.
Kofi Taharka, Minister Robert Muhammad and community members rally to save Jones High.

School closures are attributed to low enrollment, high transfers out, high budget cost per student and changing demographics.
View www.houstonsun.com to see remarks from Minister Robert Muhammad on the state of African American schools in Houston and the leadership in HISD.

HISD welcome new Marine Corps ROTC STEM program

Myra Griffin
The Houston Sun

Two new campuses will open as a STEM program centralized in Marine Corps training. The U.S, Marine Corps committed $1 million in investments to the programs to span over five years. The funding will provide instructors, curriculum, supplies and all uniform components. This will be the very first Marine JROTC program in HISD and serve as a model for other schools and districts.

The program starts with the 6th grade and has the span of six years which can give students the chance to be in the program through middle until the completion of high school.

The benefits for the students will be character building, self- discipline, leadership, organizational skills, physical fitness, mentoring and scholarship opportunities. They will earn JRTOC program course credit that can replace P.E. credit. Children will have organized community service projects as well as local, regional and national competitions.

“The MCJROTC program of instruction is designed to emphasize leadership education and leadership development. Basic training in leadership tenets, physical fitness and health, drill and ceremonies and military organization are taught as part of the Cadet’s orientation. Cadets are expected to develop certain positive attitudes, values and leadership qualities from the instruction and leadership provided by the Senior Marine Instructor and Marine Instructor,” according to the MCJROTC curriculum.

The students will have four instructors, Major Stoval, Senior Marine Instructor, and First Sergeant Lett, Master Sergeant Russell and Gunnery Sergeant Green as Marine Instructors.

Physical Education Marine style will be a major part of the program. It will be “boot camp” style where they will cross train with cardiovascular workouts and weight training.

Uniforms and the pride it takes to be able to wear them is 20 percent of the cadet’s grade. Students have to show up on time, with their uniforms on properly. If the student is not in uniform they will receive a zero for uniform inspection. The cadets wear their uniforms four days out of the week, Monday – Thursday and it is extremely important that their behavior is proper in order not to disrespect the uniform and what it represents.

When cadets are not in uniform they will receive dress code inspections to make sure they wear their personal clothing appropriately as well.

“Cadets will be inspected from head to toe and will be evaluated for proper wearing of the uniform, haircuts, cleanliness, attitude, military bearing, proper responses to questions from the Inspecting Officer,” according to the uniform inspections guidelines.

The MCJROTC is an academic program and fits in with the Energize STEM Academy Inc. Enrollment in the program doesn’t mean the students have enter into the service once they graduate but they must adopt the Marine Corps standards of discipline, appearance and training while in the program.

The program is nationally recognized and has received accreditation by The Commission on International and Trans- Regional Accreditation. The campuses will be located at 9220 Jutland Street 77033 and 6201 Bissonnet 77081. For more information the Corporate Office number is 713-773-3600.

Changes for HISD

School is almost back in session and there are many changes that will take effect this year in Houston Independent School District (HISD).

James D. Ryan Middle School will be re-purposed as the Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan and the previous students of Ryan will now attend Cullen Middle School. The standards for graduation and testing will change as well, while the students of North Forest will become new students of HISD.

New beginnings for Third Ward

Upon the closure of historical James D. Ryan Middle School many community member of Third Ward were outraged and bewildered by the shutting down of such a pivotal school that is a known feeder into Jack Yates Senior HIgh. Ryan’s students will now be bussed or transported 4 miles to Cullen Middle School where they will fill a school that too had the same issue of low attendance. Before the closure of Ryan the student population had fallen to 263. HISD school board cited that low attendance and financial mismanagement led to the closing of Ryan. By consolidating the two middle schools it will at least save Cullen from the threat of closure as well.
Baylor College of Medicine takes over old Ryan

The doors of Ryan will not close verbatim as Baylor College of Medicine will take over the campus and form a magnet school for health and science.

“In association with Baylor College of Medicine, the Baylor College of Medicine Academy (BCMA) at Ryan will provide a rigorous curriculum founded on project-based, hands-on learning to 6th–8th grade students. Students will have the opportunity to earn high school credits, explore pathways in health and biomedical science, and become ready for challenging high school academic programs,” according to the Baylor College of Medicine Academy at Ryan.

Students will have rigorous curriculum, hands on learning, project based learning with 21st century health science and computer labs. The curriculum will have courses such as bioengineering, neuroscience and Latin as a foreign language. The academy is designed to prepare students for careers in medicine, dentistry, allied health professions, biomedical sciences, pharmacy and biomedical engineering. BCMA is the feeder school for Debakey High School for Health Professionals.
What about North Forest?

The students that made up North Forest ISD will now be a part of the student body of HISD. This will be a historical moment when the predominately African American school district will have to surrender to HISD’s custody. North Forest ISD was annexed into HISD on July 1, 2013 after a battle that even drew down support and legal action from Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The civil rights case did not hold up and now the name of the district will change but the school buildings will remain and the children will stay inside their community.

The changes the children will see once school starts will mostly be new principals and the reassignment of school buildings. The principals will be, Dr. Kimberly Agnew-Borders, Fonwood Early Childhood Center, Tammie Daily, Shadydale Elementary, Maggie Gardea, B.C. Elmore Elementary, Hilarion Martinez, Thurgood Marshall Elementary, Mike Walker, Hilliard Elementary, Rick Fernandez, Forest Brook Middle School, Pam Farinas, North Forest High School.

The changes in the usage of the buildings will be Fonwood Elementary becoming an Early Childhood Center, Thurgood Marshall Early Childhood Center will be an elementary school, Elmore Middle School will be an elementary school, Elmore Middle students will be zoned to Forest Brook and Key Middle Schools, Lakewood students will be zoned to Hilliard and Elmore Elementary Schools and Lakewood Elementary will be closed.
Changes to testing in HISD

HISD students should call and thank their State Representative Alma Allen for working on the House Bill 5 that reduced the number of test from 15 to 5 as well as the graduation criteria.
Graduation Plans

Starting this year students will have a new foundation plan that only requires 22 credits for graduation. Students will need four English Language Arts, three Math and three Science, three Social Studies, two Foreign Language, one Fine Art, one Physical Education and five Electives.

Some schools offer different programs and for students to graduate with a distinguished recognition on their diploma they must have an endorsement from one of the following five programs, STEM, Business and Industry, Public Services, Arts and Humanities and Multidisciplinary Studies.

The full criteria for students to graduate distinguished are all requirements met on the foundation program, an endorsement and an Algebra II credit. Students who achieve the distinguished recognition will be eligible for college admissions under the Top 10 percent automatic admissions provision.

The state testing requirements have been reduced from 15 to 5 tests a year. Students will only have to take English Arts I &II, Algebra I, Biology and US History.

The students aren’t the only ones who will be graded as the schools will be evaluated on their Academic Performance, Financial Performance and Community and Student Engagement. Schools are required to have at least three additional indicators of academic performance as determined by the Commissioner of Education, which may include, percentage of students graduating with endorsements or distinguished level of performance, number of students earning college credit and number of students earning workforce certificates.

“This allows local communities to engage in the accountability process by requiring districts to set goals and evaluate performance locally in addition to state ratings,” said State Representative Alma Allen.

The students and parents of HISD as well as the old North Forest have many changes ahead of them this school year. The school district and the state of Texas have made adjustments with the hopes of better educational opportunities for the every growing Houston Independent School District. School starts August 26, 2013.