Gayle Fallon

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2014

    Citing 'War on Teachers,' Houston Educators Vow to Back Ogg in DA's Race

    Claiming incumbent Devon Anderson has helped launch a "war on teachers," representatives from five Houston-area teacher groups vowed to back Kim Ogg for District Attorney at a news conference Tuesday. At issue is a supposed agreement between the Harris County District Attorney's Office and Superint ... 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

    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

    January 27, 2014

    Dewhurst Thinks Teachers Have It Just Great in Texas, Except When He Didn't

    Teachers are use to working long hours, attending parent teacher conferences, and sometimes sacrificing their personal lives to teach. They don't earn millions of dollars each year like basketball players or actors but the passion they have for education and making a difference is what drives them t ... More >>

  • 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 >>

  • News

    November 3, 2011

    Bottom Lines

    It took years for Veronica Bass to figure out she was overpaying her union dues. Getting her money back looks like it may take just as long.

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2011

    HISD's Final Vote Closes Four Schools, Changes Teacher Evaluations

    Bad news for four schools.​ "We're here for Stevenson," said the man standing outside the Hattie Mae White building Thursday night. He and his wife had worked to save the elementary during Superintendent Abe Saavedra's reign, but they weren't feeling so lucky tonight. The hard times the Hous ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    It's 'Big Girl, Big Boy Time,' HISD's Paula Harris Says

    HISDPaula Harris gets tough with fellow board members.​In a lengthy and sometimes tense board meeting that brought Houston ISD trustee Juliet Stipeche to tears, trustee Carol Mims Galloway to call for a tax increase and announce that all was not hunky dory with the board, and board President P ... More >>

  • News

    April 14, 2011


    HISD students see vocational programs discarded, along with some of their dreams.

  • 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

    January 14, 2011

    HISD Reinstates Asst. Principal at Wheatley High

    Will Terry Grier be sporting one of these?​In an amazing turnaround, Houston ISD has reinstated Sandra Walker as the assistant principal at Wheatley High School. HISD spokesman Jason Spencer said a letter from HISD Chief High School Officer Aaron Spence went out to Wheatley parents today sayi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Bad Teachers Consigned to the Flames in Fiery Manifesto Signed by Terry Grier

    Terry Grier goes national ​In a story already online and due to come out in the Sunday print edition of the Washington Post, our own Terry Grier joins other superintendents in blaming teachers (well, the bad ones) for the poor state of our schools and children.He also pushes charters and endorses ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2010

    HISD Trustees Go For Guinness World Record in the Long-Winded Meetings Category

    HISD: Lots of talk, no action​If Houston ISD trustees really want to fulfill their promise of transparency, they need to start getting to the point a lot quicker in their meetings -- so that when they have something important to debate, more people are still there to hear it.Last night's meeting w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2010

    HISD Says Get the Facts and We Did -- From HISD!

    Hair Balls has obtained copies of a power point presentation given to principals of the Houston Independent School District in June that appears to bear out earlier reports that principals were being asked to cover a shortage of $19 million in federal funds. In a slide entitled "Title 1, Part A;" i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2010

    Unions Take to the Barricades For Old Teachers

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Both the local AFL-CIO chapter and the Houston Federation of Teachers are urging a huge turnout at Thursday night's Houston ISD board meeting to protest planned layoffs of teachers and other district employees in an attempt to stop what one union leader calls "this insane ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2010

    Debate Over HISD's Plan To Fire Teachers Goes National

    Houston school superintendent Terry Grier's plan to fire teachers whom he deems unacceptable got some national news time Sunday.ABC News looked at the issue in a piece titled -- wait for it -- "Houston, We Have A School Problem." (Fresh!!)It was a pretty straightforward look at things, with Grier ... More >>

  • 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 >>

  • 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 >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2010

    New HISD Board President Greg Meyers On Data And Messing With People's Kids And Taxes

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Greg Meyers, the new president of the Houston Independent School District, believes that data, unclouded by emotion, will lead the urban district to the next higher level of teacher performance.The day after a draconian day at the office Thursday that began at 10 a.m. wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2010

    Local Teachers' Union President Calls "Bullshit" On The HISD Superintendent, The New York Times And The Washington Post

    ​ Caught on her cell phone today, Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, said that many people are distorting what Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a Tuesday eight-page speech about overhauling teacher evaluations.The speech wa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2010

    Fast-Tracking Ch-ch-ch-anges at HISD

    Photo by Margaret Downing​David Bowie could have been singing in the background as HISD Superintendent Terry Grier demonstrated this morning why he's gained a reputation as a top administrator who doesn't wait around long before trying to institute changes.He reiterated at a Tuesday morning media ... 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

    August 20, 2009

    HISD About To Hire Its Superintendent, And Some Critics Emerge

    ​We have word from HISD spokesman Norm Uhl that the district might officially name the new superintendent at 2 o'clock. If the choice is Terry Grier, as it's been reported, some people are already unhappy. (Update: It is.) "I'm very disappointed in the board," State Sen. Mario Gallegos, who serves ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2008

    At HISD, The Human Resources Department Is Now The "Department Of Human Talent" Department

    The HISD board is having perhaps the most boring workshop ever this morning -- talking about Human Resources.Thank God Houston Chronicle education writer Ericka Mellon is there to blog it.She reports a momentous change in HISD policy: The Human Resources Department will henceforth be known as the De ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2008
  • Blogs

    November 29, 2007

    Gayle Fallon Named to Competitiveness Council, Whatever That Means

    Governor Rick Perry announced some additions to his Competitiveness Council today, including Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. Never heard of the Competitiveness Council? Yeah, neither had we. Seems it's a group of " industry leaders, public and higher education offici ... More >>

  • News

    March 3, 2005

    Padding the School Policies?

    A lawsuit accuses HISD insurance consultants of conning the district

  • 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

    May 1, 2003

    Money to Spin

    Budget woes don't affect HISD's PR department

  • News

    October 10, 2002

    Certifiably Crazy?

    Unbending state and HISD policies are pushing away a much-praised teacher

  • News

    April 25, 2002

    Anatomy of an Attempted Whitewash

    A popular HISD principal gets eased out the back door -- almost

  • 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 31, 2001

    Moving Out of State

    A "Learning How to Survive (at) CEP" sidebar

  • News

    May 17, 2001

    HISD's $2 Million Man

    A shadowy California consultant rakes in school district cash

  • News

    February 15, 2001

    Changing of the HISD Guard

    Positions open as top Paige deputies depart on the Northbound Train

  • News

    February 1, 2001


    Shining Example, KTRU Blues, Not So Nice

  • News

    September 28, 2000

    Going Public

    Everybody knows that HISD is supposed to be second-rate. So why are private school kids defecting back to the district that nobody wanted?

  • News

    May 18, 2000
  • News

    April 20, 2000

    School's Out Forever

    "Unschoolers" like Holly Furgason don't believe in public education. They don't even believe in teachers. They believe in the ability of their children to teach themselves. Will the law catch up with them?

  • News

    April 6, 2000

    Making (Up) the Grade

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

  • News

    May 20, 1999

    Lifting Principals, Spilling Guts

    More adventures in HISD's wacky world of staff training

  • News

    February 25, 1999

    The Fix Is In

    Are educators cheating on TAAS? Is anyone going to stop them?

  • News

    January 21, 1999
  • News

    May 21, 1998

    (Pay)checks and (Im)balances

    Fat starting salaries! Hefty raises! HISD says its administrators deserve them.

  • News

    April 2, 1998

    Power to the Principal

    At Madison High, Principal Warner Ervin's word is law. Teachers say that's the problem.

  • News

    December 26, 1996
  • News

    August 31, 1995

    Gayle Force

    A vigorous advocate for teachers and the bane of HISD administrators, confrontational union boss Gayle Fallon wields a growing power over the direction of Houston's public schools

  • News

    January 19, 1995

    The Curriculum Question

    Businessman John Privett thought he had a solution to the problems of some of Houston's troubled schools. The parents wanted to try it. The teachers wanted to try it. But HISD administrators said no.

  • News

    July 7, 1994

    Anatomy of an Intervention

    HISD has a plan for reforming problem schools. But when it reached Bastian Elementary, not everything went smoothly.

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