• Blogs

    June 14, 2012

    CEP Readies for a Contract Extension, More Kids from HISD

    When Terry Grier came in as the new superintendent of Houston ISD in September 2009, many critics of the alternative schools operated by Community Education Partners were encouraged when he started questioning why the district was farming out some of its kids. At board workshops, Grier made it clea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 9, 2011

    Actually, HISD Already Did Spend General Funds on Apollo 20

    Previous statements are inoperative​Friends of Hair Balls have been besieging us in the last couple of days, insisting that Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier misspoke when he testified before a Senate Committee on Education that the district has never used general funds to finance Apollo ... 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 11, 2011

    CEP and Robert Kimball Settle Lawsuit

    Settled but confidential​We'll never know if Community Education Partners would have been able to prove its contention in court that its chief critic, civic activist Robert Kimball, really was responsible for damaging its business in the Houston ISD and elsewhere in the state. That's because ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2010

    CEP Doubles Down on Critic Robert Kimball, Sues For $9 Million

    CEP ups the legal ante against a critic​Civic activist and former Sharpstown High vice principal Robert Kimball is responsible for Houston ISD reducing the amount it pays Community Education Partners, the private company that operates two alternative schools in Houston, and therefore should be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 12, 2010

    CEP Exits Philly And Fort Myers, But Houston ISD Still Loves It

    CEP: Turns out it's NOT always sunny in Philadelphia​While Houston ISD -- after some close inspection -- decided to renew its multi-million dollar (albeit somewhat lowered) contract with Community Education Partners, school boards in Philadelphia and Fort Myers, Florida were not so enthralled with ... 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 10, 2010

    ACLU Can't Get Terry Grier To Listen To Its Complaints Against CEP

    Big vote tonight​The Houston Independent School District's board is expected to vote later today to renew its contract with a controversial company that handles students with disciplinary problems. The ACLU of Texas isn't too happy about that.The ACLU wrote a letter to HISD superintendent Terry Gr ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2010

    CEP Paid For The Glowing Report HISD Used To Review It

    You get what you pay for?​Houston's League of United Latin Americans chapter is slamming a glowing evaluation of the two Community Education Partners schools conducted by two A&M professors.The professors' report, which according to an HISD spokesperson was financed by CEP, found tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2010

    Aggie Prof Gives CEP a Big Wet Kiss

    To CEP, with love​Dr. Roger D. Goddard of Texas A&M has completed his much-delayed investigation of Community Education Partners, the controversial private firm that operates two alternative schools packed with Houston ISD kids, and given it a glowing endorsement.The report, obtained by ... 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 2, 2010

    HISD Trustee Manuel Rodriguez Sends Out Letter Defending CEP

    ​Houston ISD board member Manuel Rodriguez has sent out "an open letter to the Taxpayers of HISD" in which he defends the private firm Community Education Partners' operation of its two alternative schools in Houston.HISD Superintendent Terry Grier has proposed ending the contract with CEP, saying ... More >>

  • News

    March 18, 2010

    Hair Balls: $10K Down The Drain

    Plus: HISD May Say Good-bye to CEP

  • Blogs

    February 17, 2010

    Teachers Will Have To Re-Apply For Their Jobs At HISD Schools Seeking Extended-Year Schedules

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier is pitching extending the school year to his principals, waiting to see who is going to sign up for the cause. Because the one thing he wants to stress to everyone, he said (taking the pre-emptive action approach) is that it will not ... More >>

  • News

    December 31, 2009

    Computer Driven

    The new HISD credit recovery program matches students with a software program and a coach to get them fast-tracked to graduation.

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2009

    HISD Head Says CEP Will Grant Contract Extension, Giving Him Time To Study Whether To Renew It

    ​Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier told Hair Balls today that he has a verbal agreement from the leaders of Community Education Partners that they will extend their contract renewal deadline until March 1, 2010.Grier wants a more thorough review of CEP, the private firm that operates two ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    Dueling LULAC Press Conferences Over CEP, HISD's Alternative School For Troubled Students

    Photos by Margaret DowningMary Almendarez, first vice president for LULAC Council 402, leads off the press conference Monday, in support of terminating the Houston ISD's contract with Community Education Partners.​It was one of those great, if little noticed moments in Houston history, as separate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2009

    New HISD Superintendent May Be Ready to Cancel CEP Contract - Updated

    ​New Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier is reportedly ready to cancel the school district's contract with CEP (Community Education Partners), the private company that operates two controversial alternative schools in Houston.And on Monday, a local chapter of LULAC will hold a pre ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 27, 2009

    CEP Critic Can't Get The Suit Against Him Dismissed

    ​Robert Kimball, the former Houston ISD educator, who has spoken long, loudly -- and not positively -- about the two alternative schools operated in Houston by the for-profit Community Education Partners (where HISD parks its kids it deems bad), had every hope that Tuesday would see an end t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2009

    HISD Takes Back Some Of Its Objection To A Critic's Numbers

    Last week when Hair Balls reported that LULAC (the League of United Latin American Citizens) had sent letters to the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts saying it should investigate Houston ISD for the amount of money it spends on two private alternative schools, we w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 31, 2009

    Austin ISD Decides Not to Get On Board The CEP Gravy Train -- At Least For Now

    Last night the Austin school board squelched, at least for now, any consideration of a partnership with Community Education Partners, the Nashville-based, for-profit operator of alternative schools that has two facilities in Houston. CEP would have operated an alternative center for students in the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 30, 2009

    Austin School District Plans To Board The CEP Train To Nowhere

    It looks like Austin ISD is ready to take the Houston ISD route and dump some of its troubled kids into the hands of Community Education Partners, the for-profit operator of alternative schools throughout the country. CEP operates two facilities here in Houston and as we've noted before, seems to be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2009

    CEP Gets More Criticism, And One Critic Wins A Victory

    Robert Kimball, whose criticism of the privately run school where HISD sends its troubled students was so stinging (or effective) that the school is suing to shut him up, won a round in court today.Community Education Partners is suing Kimball because he's been making clear he believes CEP is a "dro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2009

    The Decision Is In: HISD Embraces CEP Once Again

    The Houston Independent School District Administration is recommending to the board that the district sign an almost $19.3 million contract with Community Education Partners, the private company that operates two alternative schools here.Despite years of criticism of the operations at the Ferndale a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 9, 2009

    HISD Explores its Alternatives With CEP

    Next week's Houston Independent School District Board meeting coincides with its self-imposed January 15 deadline for whether it will continue to fork over $17 million a year to the private Community Education Partners for its two alternative schools here. CEP and HISD agreed to a contract extension ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 9, 2008

    Selling Kids to HISD

    And all this time we thought HISD Abe Saavedra’s outreach to dropouts was just in the kids’ best interest. Turns out, it can be a money maker as well – or at least that’s the pitch made in a July 31, 2008 letter to the superintendent from a local attorney speaking on behalf of the private al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2008

    HISD Decides Not To Decide About CEP

    HISD faced a tough decision on whether to renew its $18 million annual contract with Community Education Partners, the outfit some critics have accused of warehousing troubled students instead of helping them. The school district had a deadline of August 15 to notify CEP whether they planned to ren ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2008
  • News

    July 3, 2008
  • Blogs

    May 8, 2008

    Community Education Partners -- Why It’s No Better for Atlanta Than It’s Been for Houston

    The Houston Press has dedicated a lot of time and space to looking at Community Education Partners. Recently, the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program in New York City went into Atlanta, decided the CEP there was pretty much worthless and filed suit charging it with not educatin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 20, 2008
  • News

    October 5, 2006

    Opt In, Opt Out

    HISD continues to send students to CEP. Whether they go there, stay there or return successfully to their home school is anyone's guess.

  • News

    August 24, 2006

    $50K Between Friends

    A donation stirs things up at LULAC

  • News

    February 17, 2005

    Mind Reading

    Is Yvette Lacobie really a terrorist? Did legislators really mean to kick kids out for a butter knife? Is zero tolerance really stupid? (No, maybe and yes.)

  • News

    March 6, 2003

    A Paige from the Past?

    A lawsuit accuses HISD's former chief and a trustee of influence-peddling

  • News

    February 27, 2003

    PISD Plans to Quit CEP

    The district will follow Dallas in preparing to end contract alternative education

  • News

    August 22, 2002

    Johnnie and Dilbert

    Plus: Taking ExCEPtion

  • News

    July 25, 2002

    Falun Follow-up

    Plus: Porn Priorities?, House Woes, Sit on It

  • News

    June 27, 2002

    Million-Dollar Babies

    Some CEP students have been locked in for years

  • News

    December 20, 2001

    Unfunding a Mandate

    By falling behind in reports on educating kids, Harris County may lose hundreds of thousands in state grants. Or more.

  • News

    November 8, 2001

    Backing Off

    HISD cuts $2 million from CEP's lucrative deal and adds more controls.

  • News

    October 25, 2001

    Hail to the Chiefs

    Rod Paige searches for the perfect image, and CEP wiggles in even closer to the power source -- wherever it can find it

  • News

    August 23, 2001

    Letting Go

    HISD settles with parents over CEP punishments

  • News

    May 31, 2001

    Learning How to Survive (at) CEP

    HISD and a paid trustee get entangled in the spreading empire of a private firm touting safe alternative schools for troubled kids. So why are some students and parents so scared?

  • News

    May 3, 2001


    Davy and Mike, ExCEPtion to the Rule, Heat's On

  • News

    October 12, 2000


    Investigate CEP, Santa Fe's Shame, Politics Makes Strange...

  • News

    October 5, 2000

    Learning Curve

    Ungraded exams. Suspect scores. Departing teachers and lawsuits. Is this alternative school really passing the test on its highly touted educational claims?

  • News

    May 18, 2000

    The Pershing Eight

    Children get burned by HISD over a gun-shaped lighter

  • News

    April 6, 2000

    Making (Up) the Grade

    This HISD program teaches a big lesson: Don't question what the district touts