Harvin Moore

  • 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

    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

    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

    April 8, 2014

    Some HISD Trustees Frustrated by Dodson Elementary Do-Over

    Two of her fellow trustees took Houston ISD Board President Juliet Stipeche to task at an agenda workshop Monday for her decision to reopen the Dodson Elementary closure case, supposedly settled in a 5-4 vote last month. After thanking trustees Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Wanda Adams for supporting h ... 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

    December 21, 2011

    TCEQ Says No to Millions of Dollars in Tax Breaks for Valero

    ​Area school districts and cities had to be breathing a big sigh of relief today as news came out that the executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said "no" to handing out large tax breaks to Valero that would have made things even worse for cash-strapped government ... 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

    July 14, 2011

    Terry Grier Says Please, Please Mr. Postman

    ​Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier has been busy writing letters, in one responding to state Senator Mario Gallegos, who has questioned whether some people are making money through Apollo 20 who shouldn't be, and a second and more immediate one to counter today's Houston Chronicle banner ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2011

    HISD Gets Millions, Avoids Tax Hike & Harvin Moore Gives the Lege a Bronx Cheer

    Cutting too much doesn't mean there's money in the bank​It doesn't look like there's going to be an increase in taxes after all and Houston ISD just got word that it's been approved for more than $70.6 million in so-called E-Rate Funding which means a lot of kids who've been going without wi-f ... 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

    April 22, 2011

    HISD's Harvin Moore: Nothing 'Heroic' About Gutting Education

    HISDHarvin Moore puts the Lege on blast​Houston ISD trustee Harvin Moore has just issued his third in a series of columns on the Texas education funding crisis, and this time he examines whether all the public funding woes can be laid at the feet of so-called inefficiencies. His column, whic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 21, 2011

    Redrawing Fiefdoms in Ye Olde HISD

    Margaret DowningGene Locke walked HISD trustees through redistricting, Chapter 1​The Hispanic population continues to boom, the Anglo drip-drip-drip away to suburbia continues, there's a small decline among African Americans in Houston ISD and the district's biggest gain percentage wise is in ... 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 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 >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2011

    HISD Trustee Harvin Moore Wants the State to Man Up

    Harvin Moore: Not happy, despite the smile​Houston ISD trustee Harvin Moore has come out guns blazing against the probable hefty cut in state funding for education to local public school districts, saying that legislators aren't honoring their constitutional duty to support education in Texas. ... 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 3, 2011

    Texas Finances in Tatters, State Tells HISD It's "The New Normal"

    Get used to it​Chief Financial Officer Melinda Garrett passed on the new buzz phrase coming out of the state capital at today's Houston ISD workshop session: "The New Normal," which is being used to explain that the current state budget crisis isn't a transitory thing but something that will b ... 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 26, 2011

    HISD Magnet School Discussion Brings Out the Parents, the Passion

    Revolution is brewing...​The message was clear at Lamar High School last night: remove the magnet designation from high performing schools in the district and Houston ISD will not only be destroying dreams and futures, but it will lose a lot of money as its best and brightest go elsewhere. Tr ... 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

    December 16, 2010

    HISD Takes Beginning Steps Towards "Right-Sizing" Schools

    Tough times are ahead for HISD. ​Near the end of today's meeting about "right sizing" schools in Houston, Houston ISD board president Greg Meyers summed up just about everything we know about the proposed changes:"I'm not sure how much clarity has been given at this point," he said. That was after ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2010

    Carol Mims Galloway Says Sending Benji's Academy Students to Another Charter is Just Dumping on Her District

    Photo courtesy HISDCarol Mims Galloway doesn't want to get dumped on​Houston ISD trustee Carol Mims Galloway made it very clear at Thursday's school board meeting that she isn't all that happy with the district riding to the rescue of the kids at the failed charter school, Benji's Academy by putti ... 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 3, 2010

    HISD Lures Teens With Twilight

    Note: School may still suck​Not to be too damned cute about it, but as everyone knows, it isn't only vampires who come out at twilight.The Houston ISD is more than aware that it has a healthy cohort of high school kids who just can't seem to make it to early morning classes. Last year, it tried a ... 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 >>

  • Blogs

    August 16, 2010

    Diana Davila's Vacated HISD Board Seat -- Let the Games Continue!

    Come one, come all​Inviting all comers who live in District VIII of the Houston ISD. Anyone who ever wanted to be a school board member is invited over to Furr High School, 520 Mercury, 77013 at 11 a.m. this Tuesday to pitch themselves and their ideas as to why they'd be the best person to replace ... 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

    June 24, 2010

    No Raises For HISD Employees

    That paycheck ain't changing next year​There won't be any raises for employees of the Houston ISD the next school year.Houston ISD trustees adopted a 2010-11 budget totaling  $1.613 billion Thursday night that Chief Financial Officer Melinda Garrett termed  a "survival" budget, adding th ... More >>

  • 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

    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 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

    Pre-K In Danger, Tax Rolls Down, HISD Looks For The Rabbit In The Hat

    ​Houston ISD's tax rolls look to be down 4.32 percent in the next year, with a loss of almost $5 billion in assessed values for 2011 over 2010. Most of the lost money is coming from lowered commercial property values, with the least decrease among residential property owners.Things could be even w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2010

    HISD's Terry Grier: Agent Provocateur

    Photo by Margaret Downing​Prediction: In a year, Superintendent Terry Grier will either be a celebrated hero, or the scapegoat for pretty much of everything that goes wrong in the Houston Independent School District.As Hair Balls said before, there doesn't seem to be a go-slow switch in Grier's ar ... 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

    September 10, 2009

    Millions & Millions On School Improvements Getting Voted On Today: You Getting Any?

    Photo courtesy HISD​The Houston school board plans to vote later today on $121.5 million in school improvements over and above the projects approved in the 2007 bond election.Because each of the nine trustee districts has exactly the same amount of overcrowding/undercrowding and facilities in need ... More >>

  • News

    December 1, 1994

    The Trial of Joe Russo

    An intimate look at how -- and why -- Houston's high flyer of the '80s was taken apart in court