Sunday, January 4, 2009


For those interested - Did Presas-Garcia violate Colunga’s privacy rights? I do not know, but I hope the Board will investigate.

Sunday's Special Post on BISD

I want to say the mediated settlement which appears to have been reached between BISD and Hector Gonzales is the way things are suppose to work. BISD was faced with a possible large pay out, and Hector Gonzales was faced with a possible public lynching which would have destroyed his career options. They met at the middle. BISD is basically offering a bridge salary until he finds a new job.

Hector Gonzales had at least a years warning things were getting progressively worse in Special Services. He chose not to act. Whomever is hired as the interim-superintendent must commit to a complete house cleaning of Special Services. If the Board does not demand this of the interim-superintendent, then it will be fair to say the battle with Hector Gonzales was not about his performance but his politics, and that would be sad.

The other issue which plagued the district was a deteriorating situation at the high school level. Part of the failure at the high school level belongs to the Board. The previous Board, and the current Board to date have refused to make use of perhaps the only good part of No Child Left Behind. Under NCLB school districts can hire any teacher who is deemed as highly qualified under NCLB. Under NCLB anyone with a Masters in their teaching field and who has passed the State competency test in their field is deemed highly qualified under NCLB.

A typical science teacher with a teaching certificate maybe took one or two courses which focus in on how to teach their content area. Because many of their courses were in general instruction and classroom management, they took fewer science courses than someone with a BS in biology, for example. Someone with a Masters in biology or math will have at least 10-12 additional courses in biology or math over the typical graduate with a BS in biology or math. The typical graduate with a BS in biology or math will have 4-6 more course in biology or math than the typical biology or math teacher.

How can anyone suggest that someone with a BS in Education with a science specialization is more qualified to teach physics or chemistry than someone with a Masters in physics or chemistry? The Masters candidate will have taken on average 14-18 more courses in their content area, than the education major. In addition to being more qualified in their content area, they have more experience in seeing instruction of physics and chemistry in the real world. There is no comparison in terms of competency when you compare an education major to a candidate with a Masters in their teaching field.

School Boards have broad policy making authority. The BISD Board has the ability to mandate that heretofore all candidates for high school positions must have a Masters in their teaching field. Master’s candidates are a dime a dozen. If the BISD Board is unwilling to make such a mandate then it is fair to say they are not serious about handling the poor TAKS performance at BISD, and it will be time to stop blaming the superintendents past, current, or future.


Anonymous said...

I must take issue with your statement that "Master's candidates are a dime a dozen." When I taught at a high school in BISD, just five (5) of us had master's degrees in our field out of close to 40 in our department. And that was just last year. So requiring all HS teachers to have post-grad degrees would be a serious problem in BISD, perhaps (unfortunately) because advanced academics are not particularly important, even to the teachers. Too many times have I heard other teachers tell their own kids to get a degree at UT-B in teaching; it's easy and you're assured of a job in BISD. Where's the passion for teaching in that situation? It doesn't exist. Teaching is just a means to an end for far too many in BISD.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Especially for administrators!!

Anonymous said...

I agree master's degrees are not a dime a dozen for years 20 or more BISD has had only 14 percent of their teachers had a masters degree in their teaching field. I was one also and retired in 2006. There has to be an incentive to get the masters. Locally they have added $3000 for a masters in a teaching field, they need to bump that up to at least 5000.

BobbyWC said...

Everyone thanks for the comments. On the issue of masters candidates - employment is cyclical. Right now university graduates at all levels cannot find jobs. I am certain in the past there were very few Master's candidates avaliable. that is not the current situation with record unemployment.

here is a compromise. I did probably overstate the idea. BISD must actively recruit Master's candidates and then give priority to the hiring of a Masters candidate, ove an education major.

My greater point in all of this was, does the Board have an obligation to act on these ideas or something similar or face a charge the removal of Gonzales was actually political?

Bobby WC