Norm Uhl

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2011

    HISD Spokesperson Norm Uhl Fired

    Norm Uhl will no longer be spinning HISD.​Winner of Best Flack in last year's Best of Houston® issue, Houston school district spokesman Norm Uhl is now out of a job. He was fired by the district. We gave the award to Uhl, a former KHOU reporter, because he seemed willing to battle what had ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 8, 2011

    Obama's Desperate Commencement-Speech Offer: At Least One HISD School Takes Him Up On It

    Official Whote House photoAnyone want a speaker? Anyone?​A news item today, gleefully highlighted by the Drudge Report, noted an internal Obama administration memo bemoaning the lack of offers from high schools for the president to give the commencement speech. We're thinking this probably fa ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 1, 2011

    HISD Cancels All Soccer Games This Week

    Snowmageddon cometh​Get ready for snickers from the Midwest and Northeast, if they possibly get this news through the tons of ice and snow they're buried under: HISD is canceling all soccer games for the rest of the week. Soccer is the only outdoor sport going on now, and afternoon temps migh ... 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

    August 5, 2010

    HISD & No Child Left Behind: Still Not There, But Making Progress, District Says

    Some being left behind​Another week, another bunch of statistics and reports on public school district performance.Today it's a report on how districts are doing in making progress towards a 2014 deadline to meet standards in the No Child Left Behind Act.For two years, the Houston school district ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 15, 2010

    Lee High School Is Sinking!!

    Photo courtesy wikipedia Lee High School: Bricks started falling from the facade​Lee High School is almost 50 years old, and it doesn't seem to be aging well.In fact, it's sinking.Worse, the two distinct parts of the building are sinking at different rates."The building has been declared sa ... More >>

  • News

    July 1, 2010

    Book 'em, Danno

    Constables go after HISD students' unreturned books

  • Blogs

    June 23, 2010

    Crime Sweep Or Courtesy Visit: Uniformed Deputy Constables Go After Missing Textbooks

    The long arm of the law is coming for you​Irma Alvarez was at work on Thursday, June 17 when her cousin called her to say a uniformed officer was at the door, demanding the return of the textbooks Alvarez's son still had after the end of the school year. Alvarez had received notice by mail that p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 7, 2010

    HISD's Maintenance Department: Where's the Can Do?

    HISD's maintenance department needs some fixing up​Houston ISD's maintenance department, officially known as the Construction and Facility Services Department suffers from low morale, a lack of any kind of plan, and hasn't had an appraisal review for more than two years. Some "interim managers" h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 25, 2010

    Terry Grier's Breakfast in the Classroom - Food For All or an Enormous High Caloric Dump Site?

    Holly Gologhtly wouldn't throw out the food HISD does​As Breakfast in the Classroom spreads across the breadth and width of the Houston ISD, Superintendent Terry Grier has announced he's been getting some "push back" from parents and educators who aren't embracing the plan.Critics -- most from som ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 18, 2010

    Mario Gallegos Continues His Anti-Terry Grier Letter Writing Campaign

    Gallegos is writing, but he's not hearing back from Grier​State Senator Mario Gallegos has continued to dictate letters since calling for Houston ISD superintendent Terry Grier to leave in an earlier letter, saying Grier was going to ruin the lives of students here.In his latest set of letters -- ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2010

    Fire At LyondellBasel Plant Won't Affect HISD

    Few details are available on the blaze right now​There's a smoky fire at the LyondellBasel plant southeast of town, and most educational experts that learning shouldn't take place next to a smoky fire at a chemical plant.As many as eight HISD schools could be affected by fumes, depending on which ... More >>

  • News

    May 6, 2010

    Semi-Comeback for the Tower Theater

    Plus: Rites of Bellaire - It's not hazing, it's fun

  • Blogs

    April 28, 2010

    High School Girls Wrapped In Plastic And Slathered In Whipped Cream & Chocolate: Just Fine With HISD

    Welcome to the Bellaire High volleyball team!​Here's what you need to bring if you go to the annual Bellaire High School girls' freshmen volleyball team sleepover: Whipped cream, chocolate pudding, a plastic tarp and plenty of Saran Wrap. No, you sick bastard, not for any immoral purposes, bu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2010

    Of All The Middle Schools For A Stabbing, You Wouldn't Expect Pershing

    ​Pershing Middle School is not exactly in one of the Houston school district's most rugged areas -- it's near West U, for crying out loud. But Pershing was the location for a relatively rare middle-school stabbing between two students today.Before school this morning, in the schoolyard, we had two ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 11, 2010

    Seven-Year-Old Nabbed For Weed At HISD School

    ​You knew something like this was gonna happen as soon as Obama was elected: There is a drug epidemic among seven-year-olds. You have to define an epidemic as "one kid," but still, that seems like one kid more than we would have guessed would be picked up for weed possession at an HISD school ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 12, 2010

    HISD Rejects Another New Source of Revenue, For Now

    Photo courtesy HISD​Is the Houston ISD Police Department about to expand its drug interdiction efforts to include the seizure of teachers' and students' cars and trucks? No, HISD has no plans for that, a laughing district spokesman Norm Uhl said this morning. Last night the board approved two m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2010

    More Personnel Moves In HISD's TAKS-Cheating Investigation

    ​There's been more fallout from the Houston school district's investigation into whether a principal at Key Middle School may have improperly tampered with TAKS scores and then tried to cover it up.HISD spokesman Norm Uhl tells Hair Balls six district employees have been reassigned since the Thurs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 10, 2009

    All Is Not Sweetness And Light At Reagan High School -- UPDATED

    ​Further discussions of what organizers are calling "systemic illegal referrals of students to CEP/alternative disciplinary education on the basis of forged government documents" at Reagan High School will be just one of hot-button agenda items tonight at a suddenly called meeting of "over 100 ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2009

    One More (Depressing) Statistic On That Very Controversial "Stay In School" Presidential Speech

    ​The Houston school district provided some anecdotal evidence of how many parents ordered their kids not to watch President Obama's speech on education (Westside represent!!), but we wondered if there was a little more info to be gleaned.The district put up on its website a link to a form that cou ... 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

    September 8, 2009

    How Many Brave HISD Parents Refused To Let Their Kids's Brains Be Rotted By Obama? Not Many

    ​HISD is releasing some scattered statistics on how many parents sent in "opt-out" forms so their children could remain God-fearing Americans instead of becoming Communist by listening to a president tell them to stay in school.District spokesman Norm Uhl  says no survey of the district's 300 ... 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

    June 24, 2009

    Learn Valuable Skills At Home!! Through HISD!!!

    HISD is expanding its at-home learning program, whereby kids from across the state (mostly home-schoolers) can get a tuition-free educational curriculum monitored by a certified teacher via computer and phone.The district partners with the Texas Connections Academy to offer the program, which is the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2009

    Saavedra Tells HISD When His Last Day Will Be, By E-Mail

    Turns out, Houston ISD superintendent Abe Saavedra sent out an e-mail to district administrators last Friday, giving them his last day news. HISD spokesman Norm Uhl found out about it Friday afternoon and planned to release the news today, "but the Bellaire Examiner got a tip and scooped me. G ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 4, 2009

    Travis Elementary -- A/K/A Swine Flu Central -- Reopens

    Travis Elementary's swine-flu heyday came just as the topic was losing its national cachet, but the school made the most of it -- closing completely after days of frantic parents keeping their kids home, leaving the school a ghost town.At first HISD said a weekend scrub-down would be enough to set t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 22, 2009

    School's Out For Summer: Travis Elementary Closes For Rest of School Year

    Photo courtesy of WikipediaTravis Elementary, the school where one kid after another was coming down with or thinking he was coming down with swine flu, was supposed to open next Tuesday to finish out the year in some sort of style. That's not going to happen now, Norm Uhl, spokesman for the Houst ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2009

    Travis Elementary: Flu Central (For Kids, Not Teachers)

    Even more kids are out at Travis Elementary today, HISD spokesman Norm Uhl tells Hair Balls -- of the 712 registered, 378 stayed home today. Another dozen felt sick at school, went to the clinic and were sent home.Oddly, teachers don't seem to be affected: Only two are out sick. (Another two are hom ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2009

    Travis Elementary Gets Hit With A Wave Of...Something

    The hallways are pretty empty today at Travis Elementary near the Woodland Heights. Of the 712 students there, 242 are out sick.It can't be a Senior Skip Day, so what is up, HISD?"Twenty-six additional students at Travis were sent home sick today bringing the total to 242," spokesman Norm Uhl tells ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 4, 2009

    Harvard Elementary Kids, Get Your Butts Back To School

    Another HISD school has declared total victory in the battle against swine flu (No political correctness here, pork industry!!). Harvard Elementary in the Heights, one of the first district schools to close down, will reopen tomorrow.The city's health department has given the OK for the move, HISD s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2009

    Swine Flu Closes Three HISD Schools, Episcopal High -- And All Of Fort Worth ISD (UPDATED)

    HISD has announced two schools have closed until further notice because of possible -- but not confirmed -- cases of swine flu.Harvard Elementary and Hamilton Middle School, both in the Heights, are the schools."Late last night the City of Houston Health Department informed HISD Superintendent Abela ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 30, 2009

    Swine Flu 1, Lyons Elementary 0

    HISD is working on its first swine flu evacuation, which started with about an hour left of TAKS testing. The students at Lyons Elementary will have to take the whole thing over again, according to district spokesman Norm Uhl. The infected child that caused the evacuation wasn't at school today, but ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 13, 2009

    The Texas Fitnessgram Idea May Not Be As Awe-Inspiring As Our Governor Would Have Us Think

    Photo by mikebairdEarlier this week, Governor Rick Perry called a press conference to announce the results of last spring's statewide Fitnessgram assessment of Texas public-school students. According to a press release, the results were based on six tests "taken by more then two million students in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 20, 2009

    The Drug Sweeps Are Ending At HISD (For One Reason Or Another)

    The Houston school district is coming under heavy fire for its "no-tolerance" drug-dog searches of school parking lots, mostly because they nabbed a popular West U teacher who is very likely to be proven innocent.West U residents, when they get up in arms, tend to get results. HISD superintendent Ab ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2009

    HISD's Drug-Sniffing Dog Ends Its Slump

    It's been a tough time for HISD's drug-sniffing dog (today's name: Cocainey).Even though he's been out every school day since December 11 -- district spokesman Norm Uhl tells Hair Balls more than a third of HISD's parking lots have been searched in that time -- he's been coming up empty.Today, thoug ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 19, 2008

    HISD Teachers Now Have The Cleanest Cars In The World, Apparently

    Even though our noble effort to get the drug-addled teaching corps of HISD free detailing at Bubbles Car Wash ultimately failed, it appears the need for clean ultimately got through.HISD spokesman Norm Uhl reports that Cracky the drug-sniffing dog (our name for him this week) has searched 58 school ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 12, 2008

    Today's HISD Honor Roll: 14 Campuses Searched, No Drug Arrests

    It's no longer news when an HISD teacher or employee gets nabbed by Druggy, the drug-sniffing dog. (At least that's we call him.)Which means it is news when no one gets arrested. And that's what happened today.Fourteen campuses searched, no arrests.That means a) Druggy has a stuffy nose; b) Even tho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 5, 2008

    Riding To The Rescue Of HISD's Pot-Smoking Image

    The bad news: Another Houston teacher has been busted for pot.The good news: Let's look at the media alert from interim spokesman Norm Uhl -- Based on an anonymous tip, HISD PD's K-9 unit searched the parking lot at Woodson MS. One teacher has been arrested for possession of marijuana. I am on my wa ... More >>

  • News

    December 4, 2008

    Drug Education

    HISD has the world's busiest sniffer dog

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2008

    Breaking News: No HISD Teachers Or Staffers Arrested For Drugs Today

    We were baffled.Here it was, pushing hard towards 3 p.m., and no one had yet been arrested on an HISD campus for drugs. That didn't seem right, so we e-mailed district spokesman Norm Uhl.Incredibly enough, he reported back that it was, indeed, true:

  • Blogs

    November 24, 2008

    HISD: Home Of The World's Busiest Drug-Sniffing Dog

    Houston school officials want to be very clear -- the latest employees arrested for drugs were not teachers at a northwest side charter school.Their desire to make the point clear is understandable, given that so many teachers and staffers have been nabbed for pot lately.So let's emphasize -- the tw ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2008

    More HISD Middle-School Staffers Nabbed For Pot

    What is it with HISD teachers and pot these days? A month ago, a middle-school assistant principal gets nabbed for growing dope in his home. Now, a pair of teachers at Williams Middle School (Northwest side represent!) are making friends in county due to a meddling tipster and a drug-sniffing dog.

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2008

    Cinderella Time At Mount Carmel High

    Mount Carmel High School looked like it was about to close earlier this year. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston could no longer afford to keep it open after 52 years. The Houston school district came in and agreed to partner with Mount Carmel as a charter school and the doors stayed open. Only ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2008

    Still Hiring – the Houston School District

    The Houston Independent School District has another information session planned for Monday, October 27 to talk about the alternative certification path for a teaching career. All you need is a bachelor’s degree and an interest in teaching. According to Interim Press Secretary Norm Uhl, the progra ... 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

    September 23, 2008

    Some HISD Campuses Operating On Generators

    Most of Houston's schools opened today -- 120 campuses -- but not all of them are in tip-top shape. Three schools are operating on generator power, HISD says -- Harvard Elementary in the Heights, Kashmere High on the northeast side of town and Westbury High on the southwest side. "We managed to se ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2008

    No Bus Left Behind

    Remember that image after Hurricane Katrina of all those New Orleans school buses underwater? Kudos to the Houston Independent School District for taking steps to prevent that from happening here. "HISD’s Transportation Department parked all of our buses on high ground in tight formations, w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 11, 2008

    HISD Closed Tomorrow

    Word has just come down -- HISD is closed tomorrow. Spokesman Norm Uhl says tonight's board meeting will go on as scheduled, though. Some things are just too important to stop. Update: And some things aren't. Except for a pro forma vote on a bond matter, the board meeting has been put off until S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2008

    HISD Cancels Games, Trips This Weekend

    Hurricane Ike has claimed his first Houston-area victims -- high-school football fans. HISD is canceling all athletic events and field trips this weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday). In addition, any games requiring teams to travel outside of Harris County tomorrow night are canceled. "The decis ... More >>

  • News

    April 30, 1998

    The Mean Spirit of Texas?

    Two veteran TV news reporters accuse Channel 11 of age discrimination

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