May 4 Newsmakers: Lawsuits, community protests & fight against illiteracy

By Khambrel Marshall - Meteorologist, 'Newsmakers' Host

HOUSTON - The evaluation of teachers in Houston ISD is fair and should be based on how well a teachers' students perform. That was the response of Dr. Terry Grier, Superintendent of HISD, to a lawsuit filed by teachers saying the HISD methodology is grossly flawed. It is one of many areas covered in this week's "Houston Newsmakers" with Khambrel Marshall.

Also on the agenda, why the Texas Education Agency is doing an academic review of many of the district's low-performing schools, the quarter of a million dollar cost to change the mascot names at four HISD schools, the tremendous pushback from parents and community residents to the attempt to close five HISD schools and the HISD efforts to fight the growing problem of illiteracy in our community.

Also on this week's program: Neil Bush, the co-chair of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and its efforts fight what it has determined is a crisis in Houston.

"The statistics are alarming for every age sector showing that people aren't reaching their full potential and it affects us all," said Bush.

He says the Houston Foundation is different from that of the national foundation started by his mother and former first lady in that the money raised in Houston will stay in Houston to take on the problem that is unique to this city.

-Only 11% of Houston children attend a head start or pre-kindergarten program.
-60% of Houston area kindergartners entered school with poor reading readiness skills.
-30 million words -- the number of words affluent children have heard compared to those who live in poverty.
-70 million dollars -- the amount spent by community colleges to get high school graduates up to speed after finishing high school with deficient academic skills.

It is a very informative half hour! Watch "Houston Newsmakers" with Khambrel Marshall Sunday at 10 a.m., right after "Meet the Press" with David Gregory.

More Information:
•Terry Grier, Ed.D., HISD Superintendent of Schools, 713-556-6000,
•Neil Bush, Co-Chair Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, 713-276-3073

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