Anna Eastman

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2014

    Houston ISD Trustees Once Again Approve Class Size Waivers, But Promise to Think About it a Whole Lot More in the Next Year. Really.

    Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones threw down a gauntlet Thursday night saying that Houston ISD continues to increase its class-waiver requests -- exceeding the state set maximum of the number of kids who should be in an elementary class and she wants it to stop. Superintendent Terry Grier, bringing th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2014

    Bathroom Battles: Scaremongering Abounds about Transgender Public Restroom Usage

    In March 2013, Alexis Hollada, better known by her stage name, Doomstress Alexis, is on her way back from Austin with her drummer, Raymond Matthews, in tow. The pair have just rocked a gig during SXSW with their doom metal act, Project Armageddon, and now just want to get back to Houston after picki ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2014

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

    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 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2014

    HISD Magnets Get One More Week to Plead Their Case, Teachers to Get a New Set of Evaluation Rules

    Members of the Houston ISD community upset about proposed changes in funding for magnet programs throughout the district will have one more week to marshal their persuasive skills and move trustees away from the changes proposed by Superintendent Terry Grier. Board President Juliet Stipeche on Mon ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2014

    HISD Trustees Kiss Dodson Elementary Goodbye and Will Never Speak of It Again

    The lineup of guest speakers ready to once again argue before the Houston ISD school board that Dodson Elementary should be saved never got their chance Thursday night. In an unexpected move, Houston ISD trustee Harvin Moore made a motion that "the item be tabled indefinitely." As people throughou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2014

    Audience Erupts in "Fire Terry Grier" Chant, as HISD School Board Closes Dobson, Saves Jones (Sort Of)

    Amid chants of "Fire Terry Grier," Houston ISD school board members and their superintendent retreated into a back room Thursday night while HISD police officers formed a protective barrier in the front of the room after audience members began shouting in protest about two proposed school closings. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 28, 2014

    HISD School Closings: Would You Feel Better If They Called Them Repurposings?

    Today's 9th, 10th and 11th grade students at Jones High School could be allowed to finish out their high school careers at the school targeted for closure, if trustees adopt one of several options tossed around in a lengthy Houston ISD board workshop Thursday. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    HISD Board Votes to Continue Eliminating Teacher Jobs Through RIFs While HFT President Says Process is Being Abused

    It used to be that RIF had a good connotation - standing for the much appreciated nationwide program Reading is Fundamental. But starting in 2011, RIF has meant nothing but a pink slip to Houston ISD teachers. That's the year the district started its Reduction in Force process that unlike the more ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2012

    HISD's Grier Scores a Semi-Win in Contract Extension, Three Trustees Search for Their Cojones

    Three abstentions? Really? You're voting on extending the contract of the man who works for you and you opt out? Decide not to have an opinion? Decide not to share your opinion? Certainly it's unlike any job review in the real world. Last night, as expected, five members of the Houston ISD school b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2012

    Mike Lunceford Elected Prez of HISD School Board, Love Boat-Style

    It was a veritable love fest on Thursday night as Michael Lunceford was elected the new president of the Houston ISD school board, nominated by the two trustees who had reportedly been in the running for the position themselves. Greg Meyers nominated and Anna Eastman seconded. The board normally li ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2011

    Was Larry Marshall's Campaign Treasurer Doing His Laundry?

    Laundry day​A local construction company taken off the list of approved contractors for the Houston ISD has alleged in federal court that a rival company funneled kickback money to trustee Larry Marshall through his campaign treasurer in return for his support of that firm's work with the dist ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2011

    HISD Trustees Say Power to the Principals

    A "permanent" disagreement​In a 5-3 vote, Houston ISD trustees passed an amended motion Thursday night to return $18.5 million to principals for the 2011-12 school year with no strings attached -- but with an extra designation that the return of the money would be "permanent." Trustee Anna Ea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2011

    Most HISD Trustees Say Give the Money Back to the Schools Now

    Disagreements about money and how to spend it.​A majority of Houston ISD trustees meeting Monday afternoon said they want $18.5 million -- the amount of money they initially overcut from their budget -- to go back to the district's schools this fall with no restrictions on how principals shoul ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2011

    Anna Eastman: HISD Board May Be Losing the Public Trust

    Anna Eastman calls for an audit.​Acknowledging that "the public trust that we've had is really waning" and that "there's an appearance of impropriety," Houston ISD board trustee Anna Eastman said today she believes the district should have "a third party to audit our bidding and procurement pr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2011

    HISD Trustees Pass Budget, Listen as Larry Says He's Not a Mooch, Anna Says She's Not a Basher and Paula Says I'm No Judas

    Truth or Dare at HISD.​Trustee Larry Marshall denied any conflicts of interest in his trip to Costa Rica no matter what the Houston Chronicle says. Anna Eastman said she isn't a "teacher basher" even though she knows some people think she is. And Board President Paula Harris saluted her friend ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 10, 2011

    HISD Students and Parents Won't Have to Learn New Bus Times This Fall

    Proposed schedule change goes boom​In what had to be something of a surprise to the Houston ISD administration, school board trustees in a 4-3 vote Thursday night turned down a plan that would have standardized and changed start and stop times at the district's schools two months from now. Su ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2011

    At HISD, Where Teachers Are Worth Their Weight in Buses

    HISD school buses: Available for hire​At the same time as the Houston ISD administration has proposed consolidating its bus routes to save an anticipated $1.2 million in transportation costs, it also wants to enter into a contract with KIPP and Yes Prep to transport their charter school studen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 19, 2011

    Finances: No. 1 Cause of Marital Discord and HISD Trustee Testiness

    HISD board starts sounding like the Bickersons​Husbands and wives play this game all the time. They're short of money and need to put themselves on a stricter budget. They agree they can get by with the worldly goods they already have until better times. Resolute and united, they pause for a s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2011

    HISD Trustees Prove They Can Go Hours Without Peeing

    Margaret DowningTrustee Michael Lunceford and Superintendent Terry Grier wade through another marathon budget meeting​Houston ISD board members resolutely stayed anchored at the board room table for hours Monday, picking through programs, considering projections (What if there's a 3.3 percent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2011

    Between Passing Standards and State Funding, HISD Remains in Free Fall

    Margaret DowningHISD Chief Financial Officer Melinda Garrett warns there's no tax increase -- yet.​It wasn't just the budget numbers that remain in free fall as Houston ISD trustees discovered at today's agenda workshop. Next fall, board members and Superintendent Terry Grier's administration ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 24, 2011

    HISD Trustees Ask For More Data Before They Make Tough Decisions

    HISD could use some of 50 Cent's cash.​It was another lengthy trek through the budget for Houston ISD trustees this morning as board members considered good news - the shortfall from the state may be several million dollars less than first thought (but still a lot) - and not so great: employee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 22, 2011

    HISD: Will Apollo 20 Become Apollo 60?

    Senator Rodney Ellis​Under a bill proposed by Texas Senator Rodney Ellis, the Houston ISD could open up its Apollo 20 program for low-performing schools to some 60 campuses or about 20 percent of all the district's schools, extending school days and school years beyond what's called for by the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2011

    HISD Cuts Millions, May Not Be Enough

    Margaret DowningBig, skeptical crowd at HISD budget-cuts meeting​Last night was an elected official's nightmare. Not only did Houston ISD trustees vote to significantly reduce funding for the district's kids and schools, to clear the way to cut hundreds of teachers' jobs, and to potentially cl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2011

    It's Nut-Cutting Time at HISD

    The axman cometh​There was no talk of raising taxes as Houston ISD trustees reviewed a list of proposed reductions to the district's budget next year and prepared to approve the first step in a notification process calling for fewer teachers by fall 2011. Cuts to schools alone came in at $65 m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 4, 2011

    HISD: Terry Grier -- Budget Crisis Detailed, 25 Magnets Proposed To Be Slashed

    Terry Grier proposed some controversial changes to HISD last night.​The Houston school district suggested sweeping changes to nearly every detail of its infrastructure last night in light of the budget crisis it faces, from cutting down the number of crossing guards that lead children to schoo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 24, 2011

    Higher Taxes, Fewer Teachers: HISD Readies Itself for a Tough Sell

    Margaret DowningTerry Grier and the board face tough financial decisions​Higher taxes, a sweeping change in bus times, a cut in the number of police officers in the schools and an end to special school adjustments that for the noted T.H. Rogers elementary and middle school alone would mean a l ... More >>

  • News

    February 17, 2011

    Casualties of War

    Parents who bought into the TAKS hype dealt blow at HISD meeting.

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2011

    Apollo 20 Picks Up 11 Elementaries, But Not Without a Fight

    Board reluctantly endorses Grier's plan​It took three sets of votes, but in the end Houston ISD trustees in a 5-4 vote gave Superintendent Terry Grier the go-ahead on his proposal to expand the Apollo 20 program to 11 elementary schools next year. The debate was long, with passionate argument ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 7, 2011

    CEP About to Shrink to One Campus, If HISD Trustees Say A-OK

    Terry Grier is calling for a less expensive CEP contract​ Updated: With comments from board agenda meeting at end of story. Community Education Partners will shutter its Ferndale campus as a result of an amended contract calling for it to receive $1.8 million less a year from the Houston IS ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2011

    Apollo 20 Pluses and Minuses at Mid-Year

    Photo by Margaret DowningApollo 20 in action at Ryan Middle School​During Saturday's tutoring session for 6th to 8th graders at Ryan Middle School, students were first asked to fill out a multiplication grid table going from 1 times 1 on up. Claudia J. "Coach" Sylvester told them it was "not c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2011

    Paula Harris Is New HISD Board President

    Photo courtesy HISDPaula Harris, elected unanimously​As expected, Paula Harris has been elected the new president of the Houston school district's board of directors. The unanimous vote came early in a meeting that's still going on. Harris, who works in the oil industry, replaces Greg Meyers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 11, 2011

    HISD Trustees Wrestle With Their Magnet Report

    A lot of questions about the future of HISD's magnet program​In a three-hour session Monday devoted to a review of a just-released report on what should be done about magnet schools in the Houston ISD, trustees discussed changing how kids are picked for magnet schools by next fall (Superintend ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2010

    HISD's Apollo 20 Bonuses: Parents' Group Claims "Incredible Win"

    Apollo 20 program catching some grief​As we reported yesterday, a group called HISD Parent Visionaries was asking people to lobby school board members to insure that principal bonuses in Superintendent Terry Grier's showcase Apollo 20 program would not be paid out of general funds that should ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2010

    HISD's Anna Eastman: You Say Banana, I Say Waste

    Waiting on the man​Right in the middle of a lovely quick review of how many more breakfasts the Houston ISD is serving in its ever-expanding First Class Breakfast program, trustee Anna Eastman brought up the subject of waste at Monday's board agenda review. That perennial bugaboo - one that h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2010

    HISD To Consider All-Girls School

    An all-girls' school for HISD?​The Houston school district is considering a school limited only to girls, a district spokesman says. A public meeting Monday night will discuss the possibility, Norm Uhl said. The district already has an all-boys charter school, but an organization called The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2010

    Terry Grier Cries Oops!

    Terry Grier: Math is hard​Several months ago, Houston ISD superintendent Terry Grier delivered dread news to an aghast school board: HISD was short by $37 million (actually it was originally set at $39 million for a couple days) in its bond fund projects money. Almost immediately, some people ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2010

    HISD Puts Magnets Under the Microscope

    Terry Grier stirs up a hornet's nest​Houston ISD may move to a lottery-only system in applications to any of its 113 magnet school programs. "We're allowing principals to decide who gets in and who doesn't. We accuse some of our charters of skimming. Well frankly, we're doing some of the same thi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 2, 2010

    The $700K Gap At H. P. Carter In HISD

    Carter Career Center: An impressive-looking building​There's a three-story school in Houston ISD, named H.P. Carter Career Center, that houses just 54 students and costs $2.86 million a year to run, Superintendent Terry Grier said at a board workshop meeting this morning. Break it down and that' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 26, 2010

    HISD Magnet Schools to Get the Once Over, Trustees Decide

    Magnets, you are officially under review​Houston ISD trustees decided to bravely step into the middle of a whole pile of poop passion today when they voted 7-0 to authorize the administration to hire an outside firm to do an audit of the district's magnet school system.The discussion began with a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2010

    HISD Trustees Decide to Trust District VIII Voters, Call For Election

    Trustees want you to get out there and vote for somebody.​State Representative Armando Walle appeared before the Houston ISD school board today to argue that rather than an appointment, the trustees should vote for a called election this November to fill Diana Davila's unexpired term. "We don't ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2010

    Principal Bertie Simmons Gets Her School Fixed Up (a Little), Furr Forum Hosts Trustee Candidates

    You, too, can be an HISD board member. Maybe​A spiffed-up Furr High School played host to the District VIII school board candidates forum at mid-day today, as community members and some trustees got a chance to assess who might be a good choice to replace Diana Davila.Some of the Furr High School ... More >>

  • News

    June 24, 2010

    What Happened?

    HISD head, councilmember get crosswise.

  • Blogs

    June 17, 2010

    Only 15 Percent Of HISD 9th-Graders End Up With A College Degree

    No college degree for 85 percent of HISD 9th-graders?​About 15 percent of Houston Independent School District ninth graders will get a college degree.That stark news was delivered at the board of trustees early morning workshop today to the six board members in attendance (Anna Eastman, Diana Davi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2010

    HISD Renews CEP, Few Questions Asked

    Approved​Houston school board  trustees voted 6-1Thursday to renew HISD's contract with Community Education Partners. The roughly $14 million contract with the Nashville-based alternative schooling program for at-risk students had received harsh criticism from the League of United Latin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2010

    Terry Grier Vs. Melissa Noriega: What Happened?

    Photo by Margaret DowningThe rumors are overheated, but Noriega says something happened​Rumors are flying about some type of altercation between Houston school superintendent Terry Grier and city councilmember Melissa Noriega.One version of the tale making the rounds is that Noriega was driving in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 20, 2010

    Terry Grier Can't Find A Workable Alternative to CEP

    Photo by Margaret DowningCEP survives another day, even under Grier​There will be trims. There will be millions of dollars in savings. There will be new initiatives and new monitoring, but the bottom line is: Community Education Partners will continue to operate its two alternative schools in Hou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2010

    HISD Trustees Give Grier a History Lesson

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Sounding a bit like a past-the-honeymoon-stage couple whose partners are starting to feel misunderstood and underappreciated, Superintendent Terry Grier and the Houston ISD trustees got through Thursday's board workshop with a patina of camaraderie, occasionally interrupt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2010

    Pop Tarts Buh Bye (Yes!) But What About Those Jews and Muslim Kids Who Don't Eat Pork?

    ​Pop Tarts are exiting the Houston ISD breakfast program. As Hair Balls detailed a month ago, union leader Orell Fitzsimmons attacked the district's use of Pop Tarts and other surgary, processed foods in its breakfast program at a board meeting -- and apparently made some headway.This morning, fo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2010

    HISD's Very Own Blackboard Jungle

    ​Fondren Middle School is "a blackboard jungle. The efforts that are required there are Herculean...The kids at Fondren have to learn how to come to school and where the school is located."Trustee Larry Marshall, not known for mincing words when he considers something unacceptable (famous Larr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    Divisive or Not, HISD Board Approves New Way to Target Failing Teachers

    ​This is the tale of two teachers. Each of them inherit fifth-graders who test out at the start of the school year, on average, at third grade, fifth month. The kids are from the same neighborhood. They have identical demographics: roughly the same number come from single-parent homes, live in ... More >>

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