Manuel Rodriguez

  • 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 4, 2014

    HISD Trustee's Daughter Talks About "Bully" Principal, But Not Under Her Own Name

    Houston ISD trustee Manuel Rodriguez told us yesterday he wasn't going to take a public position on the much-debated-question in recent months of whether the principal at Patterson Elementary is any good or not. "It's not a board member position to handle administrative or personnel positions," he ... 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

    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

    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 >>

  • News

    November 24, 2011

    Turkeys of the Year 2011

    We combed through an abundance of riches this year to bring you the best of the worst

  • News

    November 17, 2011

    Apology (?) for Anti-Gay Slur

    HISD trustee only kinda sorry for flyer

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2011

    What HISD Trustee Manuel Rodriguez Considers An Apology For An Anti-Gay Flyer

    Sorry, sorta​Houston school board member Manuel Rodriguez barely eeked out a re-election victory this week, despite -- or maybe because -- putting out an anti-gay flyer at the end of the campaign. As we noted: Under reasons to "vote no for my opponent," Rodriguez listed: Program manager of m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 9, 2011

    Mike Laster, Manuel Rodriguez Jr.: One Gay Elected, One Anti-Gay Bigot Re-Elected

    Mike Laster wins a council seat.​There weren't a ton of surprises in last night's elections; Annise Parker's barely escaping a runoff is likely getting the most notice, as it probably sets up a well-financed challenge in 2013. But there were some other things. Houston elected another openly ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2011

    Comment of the Day: Nah, That HISD Board Member's Flyer Wasn't Anti-Gay

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2011

    Manuel Rodriguez, Jr.: HISD Board Member's Anti-Gay Screed

    Manuel Rodriguez, Jr.: Hater​No one really cares much about Houston school-board elections, unfortunately, so incumbent Manuel Rodriguez Jr. was expected to win re-election because he wasn't indicted or anything. The Houston Chronicle endorsed him for re-election. But apparently he was nervo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2011

    Meet HISD Board Candidates -- Even the Ones Who Aren't TV Stars

    Paula Harris is the Law & Order of HISD TV.​If you watch Houston ISD TV, then you know school board President Paula Harris and the First Vice President Manuel Rodriguez. They are everywhere. For just some of the examples: Besides the televised monthly board meetings, Harris was on The Stude ... 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

    July 21, 2011

    HISD: New STAAR Standardized Test Will Completely Change All Curriculum

    HISD gets tested.​Texas public schools are trading the standardized test they currently use, TAKS, for a brand-new test -- one that's much harder. Said Superintendent Terry Grier, "This is probably the biggest thing that's happened in Texas education in a long, long time." This morning, five ... 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 29, 2011

    Grier Calls 1st TAKS Tests for Apollo "Progress, Not Victory"

    Spinning the TAKS results​Superintendent Terry Grier released Houston ISD's first-round state test scores for fifth and eighth graders on Thursday, acknowledging at the start of the press conference that the results for middle school students in the Apollo 20 pilot project were of the most int ... 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 >>

  • News

    February 17, 2011

    Casualties of War

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

  • 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

    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 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

    July 28, 2010

    HISD's E-Rate Report is Out, Some Mysteries Remain

    Tickets, trips, gifts to HISD board members​It's debatable what's more amazing when reading over the Bracewell & Giuliani law firm's report on ethical violations in the so-called E-rate program by Houston ISD employees and their too-tempting IT vendors -- the stuff they can verify or the alleg ... 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 29, 2010

    In HISD There Are No Unsatisfactory Teachers; Surprise: We Live in Lake Woebegone

    Only 3.4 percent of HISD teachers are "below expectations" or "unsatisfactory"​"Of the 11 HISD schools rated 'Academically Unacceptable' by the Texas Education Agency in 2008-9, only two rated any teacher unsatisfactory" in any category of their evaluations. -- Source: HISD Human ResourcesIt was a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 22, 2010

    HISD Turns To Failed Principal For Advice on How to Handle the State Board of Education

    Photo by Margaret DowningLawrence Allen (L) and Greg Meyers​The Houston ISD employees who were asked to draft a resolution asking the State Board of Education to step back from the changes it made recently in the proposed social studies curriculum for public school students, told the Houston s ... 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 9, 2010

    Long, Loud And Raw Houston School Board Meeting Leaves Few Happy

    It wasn't quite like this at last night's HISD board meeting, but it was close​In a lengthy and tumultuous school board meeting Thursday night, trustees voted 8-1 to fire Principal Mable Caleb and five other administrators and teachers from the Key/Kashmere mess, approved another 170 employe ... 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 12, 2010

    Amid Boos, HISD Trustees Adopt New Way to Fire a Teacher

    ​The Boo Birds played the Houston ISD Administration Building last night and it was a standing room only crowd.The school board -- well, seven of them (trustees Manuel Rodriguez and Carol Mims Galloway weren't there) -- stood behind their earlier vote and went 7-0 in a final vote on the propos ... 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

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    April 2, 2009

    HISD Board Still Struggling With Stunning New Concept Of "Television"

    Two years ago, we wrote about how HISD was having trouble with the seemingly simple task of televising their meetings on the cable channel they run.The district had long said their outdated headquarters building couldn't handle the logistics, which sounded shaky enough; after moving into a new build ... More >>