Renu Khator: Media "Misled" on UH Housing Plan

Categories: Education

Senator Whitmire was totally not LOLing.
Toward the end of a thorough ass-chewing via text with Senator John Whitmire over a student housing proposal, UH President Renu Khator did what public officials who screw up have done from time immemorial: she blamed the messenger.

You see, according to Khator's text, the media "misled" people by reporting that the proposal was "a done deal." Maybe the media can be forgiven for interpreting the words "UH Freshmen Will Be Required to Live on Campus Beginning Fall 2015" on an August 15 press release as somehow suggesting that UH freshmen will be required to live on campus beginning in the fall of 2015. We'd link to that press release, but it's no longer on UH's site.

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Accused Atherton Elementary Teachers Want an Apology From Grier; TEA Reviews HISD's Investigation

Categories: Education

One teacher has been back at her job since March. Another is ready to settle with Houston ISD for a year's salary and her promise that she will never apply to work for HISD again, according to her attorney Larry Watts.

But the third and fourth teachers originally accused of helping students cheat on tests at Atherton Elementary are more concerned about their good names than money, according to Watts, who, borrowing a line from The Merchant of Venice ("Who steals my purse steals trash ... but he that filches from me my good name ... makes me poor indeed"), vowed Tuesday to continue battling on their behalf and to wrest an apology from HISD Superintendent Terry Grier.

"We want [Grier] to tell the state that we didn't do anything; that your evidence is not good," Wattts said.

"Sherri Jackson has returned to Atherton, Veronica Davis is settling and Reuel Sosa and Jennifer Sterling are fighting it," Watts said. "They don't want money. All it would take is for Grier to admit he was wrong. There was no evidence."

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University of Houston Nixes Mandatory Campus Housing Plan From Agenda UPDATED

Categories: Education

We actually lived in a Wal-Mart our freshman year.
Updated at the end of this post are some more comments from Sen. Whitmire.

University of Houston officials have suspended their plan requiring freshmen to live on campus after some blowback from Texas Senator John Whitmire.

University officials pulled the proposal from a Board of Regents meeting agenda this week after Whitmire voiced his concern Monday to UH Chancellor and President Renu Khator, the Chron reports.

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Katy ISD Superintendent Calls Anti-Stadium Signs "Bullying at Its Worst"

Categories: Education

Courtesy Michael Franks
School bond elections don't exactly see the type of white-knuckle politics currently plaguing Gov. Rick Perry (you can read about that here, in case you missed it). Still, things got pretty tense before the Katy ISD Board of Trustees' unanimous vote Monday night to put a $748 million bond package on November's ballot.

No matter how you look at it, Keith Carmichael accepted a pretty tough gig when he agreed to chair the district's bond committee, which worked for months to craft the multi-million dollar package the Katy ISD board approved last night. The district says it's fast outgrowing its current facilities, particularly in light the 3,000 additional students expected to join the district each year.

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College Station Named Sixth Most Affordable College Town in America

Categories: Education

aggies oct 2.jpg
Cheap and awesome.
Fortunes sure have a way of changing. Just a few years ago, Texas A&M had a brutally awful football team in the Big 12 with their rivals, University of Texas, a team that was competing for titles seemingly every year. The Aggies were constantly playing second fiddle to their Austin adversaries. Then, things changed. A&M got Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Manziel. They made a move to the SEC where, despite the belief they would struggle, they flourished. Now, UT is mired in mediocrity, their beloved coach Mack Brown forced to retire and even the university president is being sent packing.

Well, here's one more thing to heap on the pile. College Station was just named the sixth most affordable college town in America by Take that T-Sips!

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UT President Bill Powers Won't Resign Until June 2015, But His Departure Will Probably Suck

Categories: Education

Getty Images
Bill Powers's resignation will be effective June 2, 2014

UT Austin's beloved president submitted his resignation for June 2015 last Wednesday
afternoon, after being presented with an ultimatum to resign or be fired by the university's chancellor, Francisco Cigarroa.

As the university's Burnt Orange Nation reports:

The [Board of Regents] has been on a crusade to oust Powers for almost three years. It's leader is Rick Perry-appointee Wallace Hall, whose efforts to pin Powers down in an admission scandal have resulted in potential illegal activity and are grounds for impeachment.

Perry has publicly praised Hall for his valiant efforts in 'uncovering the truth.'

If there is evidence that Powers was involved in a scandal, it still hasn't been leaked to the media. Admissions director Kedra Ishop stepped down at the end of June, just days before the investigation was launched, to accept a position at Michigan -- which she described as a promotion.

This "admissions scandal" consists of allegations against Powers for supposedly admitting under-qualified students into the school because of their political connections according to Breitbart, who originally broke the story.

But more important than these politics, surely, is the effect Powers's resignation will have on the people the university is meant to serve -- namely, its students.

Hair Balls interviewed Houston-area Longhorns to get their input, and there seems to be a consensus among them: Powers is clearly an asset to the university, and students love him.

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Municipal Courts Offering Alcohol, Tobacco Education Programs

Categories: Courts, Education

Photo by SuperFantastic

Hey rebel teenagers in trouble with the law, have a minor in possession of alcohol, minor in possession of tobacco, or public intoxication charge you have to deal with? Look no further than the City of Houston Municipal Courts Department to help you.

The Municipal Courts Department is now offering alcohol education programs for minors, and Texas Tobacco Awareness Program education to minors via the Juvenile Case Manager Program. The courses will satisfy judgments that require alcohol or tobacco education for lawbreakers hit with minor in possession of alcohol, tobacco or public intoxication charges handed out in any state court.

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Inmate Moms Learn How to be Moms (and Use Computers) in Harris County Jail

Categories: Education

Harris County Sheriff's Office
Soon-to-be mothers are given the tools to success for raising their children.

In May, female inmates at the Harris County Jail spent four hours a day, five days a week learning how to use programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and the basics of web design.

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia partnered with The Mexican Institute of Greater Houston to offer inmates a five-week computer literacy course as part of a larger program called Mentoring Moms. Mentoring Moms, which started in November, is the first program at Harris County Jail that deals exclusively with women and parenting.

"The program hopes to make these moms productive members of society," said Christina Garza of the Harris County Sheriff's Office, "and keep them away from the life of crime that got them into the jail in the first place."

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Rice Professor Will Study People Displaced by Houston's Residential Developments

Photo by Norm Lanier

It doesn't take a lot of looking around to see new construction all over the place in Houston. A Rice sociologist wants to find out who is being affected by Houston's rapid residential development.

Led by sociology professor Steven Murdock, the former head of the U.S. Census Bureau, Rice will begin a three-year study examining the impacts of recent urban development in Houston's metropolitan area.

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HISD Votes to Shake Up Magnet School Funding, Although Some Ask Where It Got Its Numbers

Categories: Education

Houston ISD Live TV
Parent Sana Ahmedani with her son speaks against the magnet funding changes at last night's meeting

In the end, all the cute kids and impassioned adults in turns eloquent and stumbling as they rushed their way through speeches compressed to one-minute increments, came to nothing last night when the Houston ISD school board voted to go along with Superintendent Terry Grier's reallocation of funding for the district's magnet program.

Hurt most, of course, will be T.H. Rogers whose special blend of vanguard, deaf and multiply-impaired kids won the district so much national recognition over the years. It will lose $925,000 from its budget over three years in a phased-in adjustment.

The school fielded several public speakers Thursday night, as did Kolter Elementary and some of the other schools who will see their funds diminish over the next few years, while other schools' magnet programs receive more money.

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