Archive for June 11th, 2014

This is way overdue. I am talking about naming a school in honor of my former boss Governor Mark White. He had guts and courage. Here is what the Chron E-Board says today:

Not long after he signed the Texas Education Reform Bill in 1984, then-Texas Gov. Mark White came home to attend a meeting of the Houston Federation of Teachers.

“When he walked into the building, the stewards treated him like a rock star,” said then-elementary school teacher Gayle Fallon who today is the union’s president. “He got a standing ovation walking in the door and was mobbed walking out.”

Because he has long been considered one of Texas’ most innovative governors in education policy, a broad-based coalition is petitioning the Houston Independent School District to name a new west Houston elementary school, “Mark White Elementary School.”

HISD trustees on Thursday are expected to vote on the issue. We urge them to suspend the policy that says district schools can only be named after the deceased. The board did this recently in honoring its longtime superintendent Billy Reagan.

Texas public schools were considered abysmal in the early 1980s, when then-attorney general Mark White, a Democrat, was elected governor on a platform that promised to raise teacher salaries and improve schools. He soon appointed a Select Committee on Public Education headed by Dallas billionaire H. Ross Perot.

Working with Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and House Speaker Gib Lewis, White transformed the committee’s recommendations into law. For the first time ever, Texas had statewide testing standards, and students who didn’t make the grades could not participate in sports. There were class-size limits, early versions of pre-K, teacher competency exams and a pay raise for teachers.

Funding the reforms and that pay raise required a tax increase. That hike, coupled with the beginning of our state’s transformation from blue to red, ultimately led to White’s failure to win reelection in 1986.

White, 74, today remains a vociferous advocate for criminal justice and immigration reform and often lobbies on behalf of his top passion, education.

One person who has seen his own name etched on schools, federal buildings and airports, George H.W. Bush, supports the cause on behalf of his old political rival. We give the last word to President Bush:

“White … worked tirelessly to improve our educational system, with great success; and having a Houston school bear his name would be fitting recognition of his contributions.”

Yeah, we paid the price in November of 1986, but we did what we had to do.

In 1986, the ‘Stros won the NL West. Who came in second in the NL West that season?

I was at The Yard last night and was absolutely stunned when I checked twitter and saw that Majority Leader Eric Cantor was getting his arse kicked. #EatingTheirOwn then started trending. All I can say is they will be heading far right in the 2016 GOP Prez Primary.

Ride sharing, Yellow Cab, Uber, and Lyft will supposedly get it settled today over at the City Hall Annex. All bets are on.

Here is what Ken Hoffman of the Chron said yesterday:

“It’s crazy talk, but I’m saying the Astros make the playoffs THIS YEAR.”

I am not going there – yet – but they are playing better than all but three AL clubs if you ask me.

The Reds came in second of course in the NL West in 1986 – 10 games behind the ‘Stros.

The ‘Stros are at home for five. Dallas Keuchel is on the mound tonight. Come on out to The Yard!

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