Comments

  • While I believe that most teachers are truly trying to do a good job there are circumstances beyond their control that hamper that. This is most evident in the latest test scores from the staar test. Even our brightest kids could not keep up with the state's finest. When our brightest kids cannot stay abreast with the state's brightest then, the school is failing them.

    Are these the students that have fewer discipline problems? Are these the students that are suppose to be willing to learn? Are these the students that supposely have the parental support and the family unit that wants to learn?

    What reasoning will the district give for that failure? I've heard all the excuses I care to hear. Let's hear some possible solutions so that all the students can be served. While most of the focus has been on the problem students there are problems at the top and in the middle. How many good students has VISD lost to the surrounding districts because VISD has not addressed these concerns as well? Since a rat has enough sense to leave a sinking ship you cannot fault those parents who have abandoned VISD for a better education for their kids.

    June 23, 2012 at 4:24 p.m.
  • I don't get it, some say that VISD is in such a good place then why don't they pay all their employees what is fair. I know how the staff work at these schools. And believe me if it continues VISD will continue to loose valuable employees. People who work there for the love of the kids and loyality. I know they have lost one more. Who suffers? The children! But let's pay a superintendent $25,000 to move his belongings. I wonder how many other people try to work and survive on that much money for a year. Like I said someone need to have their heads examined!!!

    June 23, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.
  • Stillthewaywardwind - You are right. I do think it is the responsibility of the teacher to set high expectations and help every child learn. If the teacher is unable to help every child, then I definitely think they should be fired. I don’t believe that a teacher should have another year to get better. In my business, I can’t afford to let one of my employees do a mediocre job. They are costing me money and they are hurting my reputation. As I wrote earlier, I would have to cut them loose. The same is true for VISD. VISD has a black eye because, as a whole, the school district is retaining teachers who are doing a mediocre job. Do I think that parents should be responsible for their child? Absolutely! However, that doesn't mean that a teacher is not responsible for a child's education, as well. How does one account for a student succeeding in one teacher’s classroom and being unsuccessful in another teacher’s classroom? I want my child to be in a classroom where the teacher fights for the kids “who just don’t care”. I want the Principal and everyone else at that school to find out why that kid stopped caring and do everything in their power to help that child learn to care. If only we could pick the kind of life we are born into. I don’t know anyone who would pick parents whom society deems worthless. I think I would choose to have two parents who both earned about $150,000 (or more) a year, who read to me when I was small, who checked my homework every night, who made sure that I lived in a clean house, had clean clothes, and food to eat every day.
    What about comparing VISD with other school districts with a similar student population? What about Harlandale, where the new super came from? Do you think they have exemplary junior highs and high schools because they employ crummy teachers? I doubt it. VISD is doing as well as it is because of the hundreds of exceptional educators it does employ. Imagine the possibilities if all the teachers/educators were exceptional.

    June 23, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.
  • SpeakTheTruth...I'm guessin' you were referring to me even though you kept mentioning yourself. I agree that good teachers are needed over poor ones. I also know that teachers are like employees everywhere -- some are going to be better than others. BUT I also know that even the best teacher cannot MAKE a kid learn if he doesn't want to. The teacher cannot make him do homework or research for a term paper. The parents MUST take responsibility. You said that children of drug dealers go to St. Jo and excell. Gee, do you think that maybe the reason they do well is that regardless of the source of daddy's income, he doesn't want junior wasting the tuition money and he insists that the school work gets done? You're placing too much blame on the backs of the teachers. They can only work with what they have in the classroom. If the kids show up but are disruptive, everyone suffers. This is very unfair to the kids who want to learn but must fight their way through the muck of those who just don't care. If you really want the good students to excell, move out the dregs -- yeah, Vet, there's that word again.

    June 23, 2012 at 1:05 p.m.
  • SpeakTheTruth, Bravo!!! Bravo!!!

    All right Jaklich, 8 days before you are the man. Get all those boxes unpacked and get to work. We don't want to hear you taking a 6 month evaluation period to determine a path forward.

    Has anyone met or talked to the new Principal that is supposed to be going to Patti Welder?

    June 23, 2012 at 10:19 a.m.
  • One more thing, fasmom. There are many employers who are willing to give a good recommendation for a sub-par employee just to get rid of them. I will admit that I have been tempted to do just that. However, I don't think that I would be able to live with myself if I lied like that.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:57 a.m.
  • Well fasmom, I couldn't leave you out. Your comment, "Well everyone who has commented needs to take a good look at the job openings for VISD. Again the District has lost ALOT of Teacher's , Principals, Spec Ed Staff etc. VISD treats their Staff like dirt!" made me chuckle.

    One could only hope that all of the people leaving VISD were disgruntled employees. In my opinion, most of these people are leaving because they have family members who have been transferred out-of-town, they have retired, or they themselves have taken a position elsewhere. Some of these job openings are probably for people who have taken other positions within VISD. That is called "hiring from within" and only the best empoyees are targeted for those opportunities.

    In my business, the crummy employees aren't going to leave unless they are fired. They don't recognize their deficiencies. Who else would hire them? They certainly aren't going to get a great recommendation from me.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:42 a.m.
  • CONTINUATION

    I agree with you on one of your statements. "The Super and the Principals and the teachers have the knowledge." I know MOST teachers are ready to impart that knowledge to the students whose lives they impact every day, but there are some who are not. MOST teachers greet their students with a smile every day. MOST teachers will do everything in their power to engage their students with interesting, challenging lessons. MOST teachers will do ANYTHING in their power to help their students become successful. For most educators, THAT is more important than any amount of money.

    The bottom line is that educators made a clear, educated choice to become teachers. Take a few moments to reflect on that decision. If you are not there to help ALL students become successful, productive members of society, then get out now. Leave the work of educating the students to those who are willing to give EVERYTHING for the kids.

    I challenge everyone to think back to the very best teacher(s) they ever had. What qualities made them THE BEST? It is my contention that ALL of the students in VISD deserve only the very best teachers that can be hired.

    As a small business owner here in Victoria, I want to hire only the best employees. I want them to help my business prosper. I want them to have a positive attitude. If I have made a mistake and have someone on my payroll who is not willing to go the extra-mile for our customers, I cut them loose. Victoria educators, the STUDENTS in your schools are your customers. Serve them well, or you need to be cut loose.
    NTINUATION

    June 23, 2012 at 9:12 a.m.
  • Where to begin? Where to begin?

    First of all, welcome to Victoria, Mr. Jaklich. You had me at "there are 612 square miles in Victoria, and we're going to have 612 square miles of excellence." Most of us don't care how much it costs to get you here. Just get here and help our educators train the kids to excel and become the best human beings they can be.

    I agree with Beast Side and jasonbourne. The common denominator is not the kids, it is the educators. Most of the educators in Victoria want "kids to attend, thrive, [and] graduate." However, let's face it folks, some of the educators in Victoria don't give a darn about the kids. Take the comments of stillthewaywardwind, for example. Speak believes that kids who come from less than perfect home-lives are going to experience some type of epiphany that shocks some sense into them and sends them running into our schools begging teachers to help them realize a better life. Really? Speak, the odds of that happening are about as favorable as me winning the lottery next week.

    Again, the common denominator is our educators. It might be hard to believe, but there are children of drug-dealers attending some of the best private schools in our fair city. They can afford the tuition. The educators at these private schools make considerably less money than their counterparts in public school, yet most of the kids are successful. These educators see it as their mission in life to help ALL students realize success.

    Is that same goal too much to ask from our public schools? I don't think so. I have many public-school-educator friends. They tell me that the troubled youth are generally in school every day. Maybe their probation officers are getting them there. Maybe it is the VPD. Maybe their parents don't want them at home. Who knows? Okay Speak, these kids are in school. What now? The ball is in the educator's court.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:10 a.m.
  • Paul,

    I can't speak to your intent, only the apparent effect in perpetuating the myth of overall assessments leading to increased tax collections. I've heard you make comments (live & recorded) of this nature in the past, which is how I knew to search your statements. (No, it wasn't a witch hunt to nail you on something petty.) I know you know how things work, and I'm sure any misleading comment is most likely unintended. I don't have as much confidence in the intent of others around the city/county, though.

    Now, by saying "There's been significant tax increases year after year due to the (property) evaluation side getting corrected as they should be", perhaps you meant something other than what it sounds like, and I'd be happy to give you the benefit of the doubt if you're saying I'm spinning those words. I respect your well-chronicled involvement with city staff during the budgeting process. You're probably more informed in this area than any other council member. I would just ask that you be a myth buster and go even further out of your way to clarify this misconception when the time comes.

    As we discussed before, more emphasis needs to be put on the budgets causing the tax increases so the public can properly understand & scrutinize the process. You have a reputation for getting frustrated by the citizenry being un-/misinformed, and I'm saying it's things like VicAd's statement that lead us there.

    To be thorough, I will repost below what I referred to as your "recanting" (http://bit.ly/O1JkUg):
    "You are correct about my comments. No it does not mean I am attributing tax increases to property assessment increases. No, I do not for one minute think the CAD drives tax collections. If I have not been clear regarding that let me be so now.
    The Victoria CAD is an independent entity responsible for appraising properties as outlined by state law. The city council must make its own decision on what tax rate to set to raise enough revenue to provide for city services. I hope that is clear enough. :^) "

    -B.S. Spotter, Esq.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:55 p.m.
  • The super and the principals and the teachers have the knowledge and will gladly impart it to the kids IF the kids come to school WANTING to learn. THAT is the purview of the parent(s). If the kid doesn't see a family setting that encourages him/her to thirst for something better, it will only happen in very rare instances. If dad is a gang banger/thug/junkie and is around only when mom's welfare check comes in and mom is a junkie/hooker who perhaps doesn't KNOW who the dad is, there is little hope that the kid will go to school and tell the teacher, "Teach me. I WANT to learn. I want to escape my environment."

    Are there exceptions? Of course, but they remain the exception and not the rule. The family is most important in molding the child to accept the knowledge the teacher wants to impart. It is NOT the job of the teacher or principal to raise the kids. THAT is the responsibility of the parents. If they can't or won't then the kid is left behind. We end up reading about them in the newspaper when they do something horrible and we wonder why. The answer is people who had NO business having kids had them anyway. It is a cycle that has been repeating itself for decades and it's getting worse. Some say our children are our future. That's not quite correct. SOME of our children or our future. Many of the kids who are causing problems in the schools today will be causing overcrowding in our prisons tomorrow.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:19 p.m.
  • Agree with JasonBourne here, agree with BSSpotter and applaud Mr. Polasek for coming in and defending his record, no matter who is correct.

    The contract "allows" for $25,000 in moving expenses...he will submit bids and receipts. Nothing uncommon here and should cost under $10K.

    Folks, we need educators who challenge our youth to attend, thrive, graduate and GO ON TO BIG TIME COLLEGES...those graduates will realize a $250K job is fairly common outside of Victoria. That should be our goal...teach our kids to want more than "the mine"!

    June 22, 2012 at 9:41 p.m.
  • Maybe the 25K to move is what Will will charge him.

    June 22, 2012 at 7:16 p.m.
  • Twenty-five grand to move from San Antonio? Good grief! It probably wouldn't cost that much to ship his stuff with Fed Ex. Your tax dollars at work. Sigh.

    June 22, 2012 at 6:23 p.m.
  • BSspotter ... A home in my neighborhood was appraised on the Victoria CAD at $121,000 and within a month sold near the asking price of $188,000. It will be interesting to see what the appraised value will be for 2013.

    June 22, 2012 at 4:47 p.m.
  • Mr. BSSpotter,
    I firmly disagree with you. I have never attempted to mislead anyone while serving in my position on city council. I am fully aware of the two parts of the equation that make up ad valorem tax revenue collected by the city. I feel you are attempting to spin my words into something else. I find your comments very disappointing.

    Paul Polasek

    June 22, 2012 at 4:44 p.m.
  • VicAd: "When factoring in about $4.5 million more in taxes from increased property values, VISD is looking to be in good shape, despite decreased funding from the state. The district plans to keep the same tax rate it's had the past two years, which is $1.3226 per $100 of valuation."

    ONCE AGAIN, the idea that increased property values increase taxes is erroneously floated as truth. Property values should NEVER even enter the discussion until AFTER the budget is set and the tax rate needs to be calculated. Leaving the tax rate flat and hauling in a huge tax increase should be criminal. GOVERNING BODIES INCREASE TAXES -- NOT PROPERTY VALUES!!!

    Even Paul Polasek recanted (http://bit.ly/O1JkUg) his own misleading statement (http://bit.ly/JdXw9X):
    "There's been significant tax increases year after year due to the (property) evaluation side getting corrected as they should be."

    Publishing such information is simply lying to the public, especially after the countless times me & others have pointed it out. Unless the Advocate can prove the governing bodies are unable to lower the tax rate as property values increase, I'll continue to call out these LIES. Making statements like "$4.5 million more in taxes from increased property values" is irresponsible, shameful propaganda. Placing the onus of tax increases on our elected officials is half the accountability equation. If they insist on increasing taxes, they should be measured against the successes that should come with it. Stripping out the responsibility for increased tax collections strips the voters of important indicators. Please cease this harmful misinformation campaign immediately!!

    June 22, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.
  • SOCCER FIGHT...

    April 6, 2012…..Three Victoria East soccer players hospitalized Thursday evening after their win over San Antonio Harlandale have been released from the hospital.

    April 5, 2012…….
    According to Harlandale ISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich, administrators will meet early Tuesday morning to review the situation and issue necessary disciplinary action. "This is not the type of district we are and this will be handled accordingly," Jaklich said. "We are going to do the right thing, and we apologize to the Victoria community.

    June 22, 2012 at 3:03 p.m.
  • It's always pretty easy to shoot holes in somones job or duties until you start doing that job.

    I have to imagine that position carries a little more responsibility than just wining and dining other Superintendents.

    Teachers deal with students and pain in the rear AP's, AP's deal with both and pain in the rear Principals, Principals deal with all three and the high and mighty Superintendents, and Superintendents get to eat a piece of all that fun stuff.

    Look around at our city. Patti Welder in my opinion is the school needing most attention. I've heard they are getting a new Principal. Our attendance is a borderline disaster, our quality of students is weak at best grade wise. We need a little boost.

    For some of you here whining, I have to imagine that there are still personnel working their tails off for a reason other than a pay check. If you are a teacher and your primary goal in life is to line your own pockets with cash, you may be in the wrong line of business. Some of you may scoff, but there are more important things than money.

    So we got us a new Super and the first thing he hears is a bunch of whining about his salary and moving expenses. I'm going to bet he didn't get there by sitting on his fat A$$ waiting for the next handout.

    All right Jaklich, we've shown you the money, now show us some results.

    June 22, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.
  • This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:51 p.m.
  • "Just the other day board president Tami Keeling was quoted as saying this years budget was going to be lean and mean. "

    I imagine Ms. Keeling meant lean and mean for the teachers...you know...the ones who really do the work.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:45 p.m.
  • In response to ronbridges comment, visd needs to spend $25,000 to train the rude people at the maintenance office. One fella there is very rude and needs work on his people skills.

    June 22, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.
  • My wife worked for VISD for 6 years and for the last 3 never got a raise. The lunch rooms are all under staffed, the employees work like snakes. They are treated like dogs! She is now working where she makes more after 2 weeks than after 6 years of loyal service. VISD needs to have their heads examined for paying one employee $237,000 plus $25,000 moving expense. You people are a joke!!

    June 22, 2012 at 1:03 p.m.
  • 25,000 for moving expenses what is he moving his trailor house to victoria?

    June 22, 2012 at 1:01 p.m.
  • Just the other day board president Tami Keeling was quoted as saying this years budget was going to be lean and mean. Giving someone a $25,000 moving expense for two hours away is being mean with my taxes

    June 22, 2012 at 12:23 p.m.
  • This is way to much of a salary and $25,000 for moving expenses is an enormous amount just coming from San Antonio. I hope he's ready for the challenge and can turn this District around and get the discipline problems under control. Now if he would just bring his Special Ed Director things will really look more promising!

    June 22, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
  • Fine with the pay increase, but I have never seen a $25,000 moving allowance besides major corporate CEO's. Is this a misprint?

    June 22, 2012 at 9:48 a.m.
  • just WOW !

    June 22, 2012 at 8:51 a.m.
  • WOW!! Great news...now if we can only get parents and (work with me) KIDS to buy into the crazy concept that learning is better than being STUPID, we can make this school district special!!

    The opportunities are here...GRAB THEM!!!

    Oh, and hustle back on defense!! :)

    June 21, 2012 at 11:23 p.m.