United HC

Letters – Parent blasts Brooks for inaction

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To the Editor:
I have recently been reading the various “Letters to the Editor” written on Ms. Brooks” behalf and just this morning, attended the “Blue Ribbon” ceremony over at the Lockhart Junior High School. From a parent”s perspective, I can”t possibly say in 500 words or less how much I disagree with the glorification of Ms. Brooks” contribution to the “No Child L

eft Behind” program.
Granted, I am not acquainted with every contribution that Ms. Brooks has made on behalf of education and the students at the Junior High, but I AM well acquainted with the issue that affected 75 accelerated kids at that campus last year.
Where was everybody?
Is anybody aware that due to an amendment by the State Board of Education, to graduation requirements, 75 kids lost science credit for a class they had been enrolled in all year? I didn”t see Ms. Brooks get out her “No Child Left Behind” banner and head up to the offices of the State Board of Education demanding that these kids get grandfathered and receive the science credit that they had already earned? That job was left to a parent. That parent spent an entire year on the eye-opening and very time consuming quest to grandfather these kids.
Ms. Brooks, expressed sincere concern for the situation, and was genuinely disappointed that they had been caught mid-stream, but she took no significant steps to advocate for her students. I have been reading a lot lately about her level of excellence in making sure no kids fall through the cracks, raising the bar, 100 percent success all the time, no excuses… but in my opinion, when a show of effort really counted, I did not find Ms. Brooks to be our “go to” girl. The School Board couldn”t be counted on for action when it really counted either, as they took no action on behalf of these students even after a formal request was made, asking them to send someone to future SBOE meetings to give public testimony on this issue Today, Mayor Jimmy Bertram gave a key to the city to Ms. Brooks, because of her efforts in making the Junior High a Blue Ribbon School and leaving no child behind. I wonder how the 75 students who are now over at the Freshman Campus, who coincidentally were not even invited to take part in the Blue Ribbon ceremony today, feel about that.
In spite of the apathy of Ms. Brooks and our School Board, on Nov. 16, 2007, the State Board of Education, grandfathered all eighth grade students in the State of Texas with regard to this amendment, and it wasn”t Ms. Brooks or our School Board that accomplished that. Significant contributions in the way of, phone calls, research and sitting endless hours while I gave public testimony, were made by Janie Wright, John Henk, Georgie Gomillion, John Manning, his wife, Sallie, and Ken Mercer, our State Board of Education District representative.
THESE are our “go to” guys!
Deborah J. Matteson
Dale

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