Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

September 292014     

Good morning!  At last week’s monthly meeting the members of our Board and I signed the Declaration of Respect indicating our enthusiastic support of this program that reminds us to work to create a safe learning environment for all students.  Adapted from an anti-bullying initiative, the Declaration of Respect holds us accountable to:

  • Be identified as a caring adult who pledges to help bullied students.
  • Listen carefully to ALL students who seek help and act on their behalf to put an immediate stop to bullying.
  • Work with other caring adults to create a safe learning environment for ALL students in the Northside ISD.

I would encourage you to participate in the Declaration and to urge students to join with fidelity.  We strive to create an environment where all of our students feel comfortable.  The district-wide signing day is October 10.

Along the lines of teaching important skills that go beyond the TEKS, Sara Steele, the principal’s secretary at Taft HS, sent me the following:

This says well what I hope all NISD students are getting in their time with us.  If all of our students walk the stage at graduation with these skills or mindset what an amazing gift we will have given them.  Feel free to use this in your classroom.

I thought you might be interested in an article that ran in the Longview, Texas newspaper.  It is written by Thomas Ratliff, a State Board member.  In the article, Ratliff points out that “traditional” public schools outperformed charter schools both with regard to academic and financial performance.  

On the topic of financial accountability, Ratliff states, “…charters were supposed to live out the claim that “government should run like a business” and show the “government schools” how to operate more efficiently. Clearly this isn’t happening with any degree of success.” 

He goes on to ask several questions that I think we should hold state lawmakers and local officials accountable for answering including:  Why is the conversation about public education dominated by charters?  Why are we so excited to bring more charters to Texas and San Antonio?  Why are we spending public money to encourage competition when charter schools were never intended to compete with neighborhood schools and, now that they are, generally underperform “traditional” public schools?  Finally, where is the outrage over poor charter performance from those who rarely miss an opportunity to criticize public schools?  The bottom line is this – more choices do not necessarily mean better choices.  The entire article can be found at:  http://www.news-journal.com/opinion/forum/ratliff-let-s-make-good-choices-on-charter-schools/article_ab484cf5-b6a0-5644-a5c8-14db916663fa.html

Lastly, Governor Rick Perry has proclaimed October 8 as Texas Education Human Resources Day to recognize the contribution these important people make in school systems.  I know that our Human Resources staff works hard to ensure that our schools and departments are staffed with high quality employees and that those employees have a good environment in which to work.  Thanks very much to Assistant Superintendent Patty Hill and all of the folks in NISD’s HR department – you are the key in our goal of hiring the best and brightest in every job role.      

    Have a great week!