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  1. Im so excited… my niece (age 30) in Orlando on her way to the Birthing Center…. this will be the FIRST “grand” among my sisters and me …

  2. really.

    HISD may fire teachers over test scores

    Teachers in Houston ISD could lose their jobs for failing to improve student test scores under a controversial proposal slated for a school board vote Thursday.

    HISD Superintendent Terry Grier’s plan to tie teachers’ job evaluations to their students’ progress on standardized tests would put Houston among a small but growing number of school districts pushing to make it easier to oust ineffective teachers.

    The more aggressive approach coincides with President Barack Obama’s call for increased teacher accountability. His administration’s $4.35 billion education grant competition, Race to the Top, excludes states that prohibit linking student test data to teachers’ evaluations.

    “I cannot imagine a parent in Houston or anywhere else that would want their child in a teacher’s classroom who had a long history of not being able to help a student learn at a significant level,” Grier said.

    The two largest teacher associations in HISD oppose the plan. Houston Federation of Teachers President Gayle Fallon said she is considering challenging its legality.

    HISD already uses a statistical analysis of student test scores to decide which teachers get performance bonuses. That same complex formula now would be used to highlight ineffective teachers.

    The so-called value-added method measures whether a teacher’s students scored better or worse than expected on standardized tests. The formula, developed by North Carolina statistician William Sanders, projects how each child should score based on that child’s past performance. Teachers whose students significantly exceed expectations are deemed the most effective.

  3. ….  I planted a hardy variety of date palm in the yard several years ago just because they are the most regal when they mature. (it won’t fruit at this location) it’s almost as tall as I am now.  I come home carting my little baby treasure in a pot and my husband is not impressed, like, you bought it, you plant it.

    Of course, our property is ancient riverbed so it’s clay soil loaded with potato to grapefruit sized river rocks.  The rock- to- soil ratio/density varies by location.  I know this because we have had to replace fenceposts. The original fenceposts are located between the rocks.  Trust the wisdom of the ancient decisions on location.  I am pretty sure the old barn is about 50 feet to the east of the original plan because it looks like they tried excavating a pad out and hit boulders too large to move. The front yard appeared to be topsoil.  I had to sit on the ground with a tire iron for about 3 days prying rocks out one by one, in between wetting it with a hose, to get the hole big enough to get the root ball in.  I’m looking at all the other trees in the yard and wondering if the previous owners used dynamite or hand grenades.  I’m wondering if they just laid sod down on top of the yard area decades ago to fool people.  And I’m wondering if date palms can grow in rocks. So far, yes.

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