Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Texas schools are under a 2 prongged attack

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    2,189

    Default Texas schools are under a 2 prongged attack

    This is bad, and the threat is coming from within.


    The first attack is coming from the state legislation and Texas Education Agency which is the state governing body of public schools. T.E.A. has been mandated by the state legislation to change the way schools are rated. With the new rating, approximately 90% of Texas schools will get a failing grade. This means that without improving the scores, the state will eventually take over control of the school. For example, there is a high school in Round Rock that is nationally recognized for it's outstanding test scores. Right now this school gets an A+ rating. Under the new rating system, this school will get a C rating due to student absences!!

    The second attack is coming from the Department of Public Safety. The DPS has changed the way school bus drivers are certified. Before, it would take about 30-45 minutes to do the driving portion of the test which also includes doing a pre-trip inspection of the bus in front of the DPS rep. Now, it takes about 3 hours to do the same test because now you have to tell the DPS rep about every part that you check in the pre-trip inspection. That's not so bad, right? Well, the driver now has to know all of the stuff that can go wrong with EVERY part that is being inspected, the signs a part is going bad, and what those signs mean. So basically, if you are not a mechanic, you will fail the test. This was put into effect in October of 2016 and is already causing school bus driver shortages. According to state law, the ONLY students that have to be provided with transportation are special needs students. If these new rules stay in effect, eventually only special needs students will be transported as there won't be enough drivers available to transport all of the students.


    Cliff notes of all of this can be summed up in one sentence and that is this. Unless something is changed, the quality of education is going to sharply fall off in Texas and due to driver shortages it is highly likely in a year or two school districts will only be able to transport special needs students.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Posts
    1,300

    Default

    It sounds to me as if Texas and it's people are being punished for something through obstruction politics.

    Orangetom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Texas,coastal bend area
    Posts
    404

    Default

    the whole system as far as "scores" and school ratings are broken. All that goes on in the schools now is teaching for a damn test , what does the test results mean ? They mean that the school was able to teach their kids to pass a state mandated test , that's it, go ask some questions about things NOT on the test, Very good chance you will get a glazed over look on the student faces.
    As for the "ratings" As with all systems , the schools wil learn to play the game so they continue to get funding . After all ,with the tests, ratings, and about everything else done in the schools now, it is all about the money! (oh yeah ,and SPORTS !)

    Now the bus drivers. That is about keeping the kids safe when riding around in a Big yellow truck with NO seatbelts, on seats designed like they were made for a buggy(as in pulled by a horse) School bus drivers and school districts are now going to be treated like commercial truckers, instead of letting ANYONE that can pass a simple test, drive a vehicle containing very precious cargo, in All types of weather, day and night. I know and have seen drivers that I wouldn't want to be on a road with when they are driving their little personal cars, much less a 40 ft long bus. And if a district can't find qualified drivers, and parents have to, GOD FORBID, take their kids to school then so be it.
    We lived 12 miles one way from town and the schools our kids attended, yes we could of had a bus pick em up out at the ranch, but like I said , I have seen some of these folks drive poorly in a car, they were not going to carry my kids every day. So I took them everyday for 12 years ,and picked them up after school or practices. My kids do the same today with our grandkids.
    I do realize that some don't have the time or desire to have to do this, and after all the busses ARE part of the babysitting service many see the schools as being in the first place. Parents shouldn't be responsible for having to do any more than paying school taxes, kinda like not helping kids with homework, I mean that's the Gov schools job !
    Anyway, Safety of the children riding a Gov school bus, overrides ease of testing as far as I'm concerned, Just my opinion of course.

    Next Monday my oldest daughters kids are moving to a private school, she is tired of the gov school system, and they don't run busses.
    Last edited by jnr0104; 01-10-2017 at 07:59 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Baltimore MD
    Posts
    99

    Default

    When I was a kid in North Carolina back around 1979-1980 the state, in an attempt to cut costs, hired high school students as bus drivers. I kid you not, 16 year old kids were driving the school buses. That didn't last more than two years because of the number of accidents. Some things you just can't lowball.

    We saw that here in Maryland in November, where busing is subcontracted to the lowest bidder, with a horrific accident where a school bus driver without a valid medical certification with a history of seizures had a medical (probably seizure) episode, plowed into some cars, then plowed into a city bus and killed a whole bunch of people (both drivers and passengers on the city bus, no kids were on the school bus yet).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Lake LBJ, Texas
    Posts
    6,443

    Default

    I never understood the bus thing. Yet another entitlement. My elementary school had like 2-3 busses. We rode bikes or walked. I guess it's about getting the kids there for roll call for that fed funding.

    Now schools and testing sucks. Texas schools have sucked since Ross Perot put his touch on it. I'm in the teaching to pass the test sucks corner. I don't know how, but feel we need to get feds out of our schools by defunding and eliminating the cabinet position.
    If I had a dollar for every time I thought about you, I'd think about you more often.


    I dream of a tomorrow where a chicken can cross the road without his motives being questioned.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    2,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jnr0104 View Post
    the whole system as far as "scores" and school ratings are broken. All that goes on in the schools now is teaching for a damn test , what does the test results mean ? They mean that the school was able to teach their kids to pass a state mandated test , that's it, go ask some questions about things NOT on the test, Very good chance you will get a glazed over look on the student faces.
    As for the "ratings" As with all systems , the schools wil learn to play the game so they continue to get funding . After all ,with the tests, ratings, and about everything else done in the schools now, it is all about the money! (oh yeah ,and SPORTS !)

    Now the bus drivers. That is about keeping the kids safe when riding around in a Big yellow truck with NO seatbelts, on seats designed like they were made for a buggy(as in pulled by a horse) School bus drivers and school districts are now going to be treated like commercial truckers, instead of letting ANYONE that can pass a simple test, drive a vehicle containing very precious cargo, in All types of weather, day and night. I know and have seen drivers that I wouldn't want to be on a road with when they are driving their little personal cars, much less a 40 ft long bus. And if a district can't find qualified drivers, and parents have to, GOD FORBID, take their kids to school then so be it.
    We lived 12 miles one way from town and the schools our kids attended, yes we could of had a bus pick em up out at the ranch, but like I said , I have seen some of these folks drive poorly in a car, they were not going to carry my kids every day. So I took them everyday for 12 years ,and picked them up after school or practices. My kids do the same today with our grandkids.
    I do realize that some don't have the time or desire to have to do this, and after all the busses ARE part of the babysitting service many see the schools as being in the first place. Parents shouldn't be responsible for having to do any more than paying school taxes, kinda like not helping kids with homework, I mean that's the Gov schools job !
    Anyway, Safety of the children riding a Gov school bus, overrides ease of testing as far as I'm concerned, Just my opinion of course.

    Next Monday my oldest daughters kids are moving to a private school, she is tired of the gov school system, and they don't run busses.


    I agree with you on almost everything you posted. I am a school bus driver and there are 2 drivers that I work with that I would not trust to transport my own kids. Being a bus driver is a VERY difficult job. I routinely have 60 kids on my bus and my back is facing them 95% of the time. I have been cussed out by parents (for stopping in front of their house to drop their kids off), cussed out by kids, punched by kids, kicked by kids, yelled at by kids, threatened by kids, and spit on by kids. It is a lot more dangerous than what most people think. The area that bus drivers need to be held to a higher standard is in their driving and student management skills, not on being a mechanic.

    For example, the old pre-trip and driving test at the DPS office used to take 30-45 minutes. Now the same test takes 3 hours, and the driving portion of the test did not get longer. With the old test, drivers needed to recognize if a tire had a problem. Now, the driver needs to explain what the problem is, what caused it, and what needs to be done to fix it. So if a tire is cupped, the driver now needs to explain why it is cupped (worn out shocks or bad alignment), and what needs to be done to fix it. Knowing what the problem is and how to fix it is not a skill that a bus driver needs to posses in order to keep kids safe. All a bus driver needs to know is that there is a problem and to report it to the mechanic.

    I was talking to my transportation coordinator(the main guy over the transportation department) yesterday and he told me that earlier he had a conversation with a transportation coordinator in Keller. She told my boss that she had an employee fail the test because he was too thorough!!

    So the new test does not make kids any safer. If it was better training on how to actually drive a 40' long 8' wide bus on streets that are not designed for such a large vehicle then I am all for that. If anything, the new test puts kids at a higher risk and here is why. With the test being harder to pass, there will be fewer bus drivers to replace the ones that are leaving. This is going to lead to buses having more kids on them which is going to make student management harder and increase the odds of the driver being distracted.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    2,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KINGCHIP View Post
    I never understood the bus thing. Yet another entitlement. My elementary school had like 2-3 busses. We rode bikes or walked. I guess it's about getting the kids there for roll call for that fed funding.

    Now schools and testing sucks. Texas schools have sucked since Ross Perot put his touch on it. I'm in the teaching to pass the test sucks corner. I don't know how, but feel we need to get feds out of our schools by defunding and eliminating the cabinet position.

    I agree. My route takes me within a couple of blocks of 3 of our 5 schools. I have 5 high school students, 6 elementary students, and 6 pre-k or kindergarten students that typically ride my bus and they all live less than 4 city blocks away from their school and there is no major road they need to cross to get to their school. I can understand the pre-k and k students riding my bus because they are so young, but the rest have no excuse as to why they don't walk to school.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Lake LBJ, Texas
    Posts
    6,443

    Default

    I understand on a pre-trip inspection where a driver should be able to determine if a bus is safe to operate, but that's about it. If a belt is loose these days, it's probably a bad tensioner as opposed to a bad belt. Same with slack adjusters. A driver should maybe have a travel tolerance on them. Been a long time since I did a PTI, but I'm thinking 2" is stuck in my brain, maybe way off. Gauges should be mandatory with known tolerances on each dial. Other than that, if tires are close to proper inflation, they should be good to go. Then as far as conduct, buses should be a privilege. Break the rules, you walk. Simple as that. I could never be a bus driver.
    If I had a dollar for every time I thought about you, I'd think about you more often.


    I dream of a tomorrow where a chicken can cross the road without his motives being questioned.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sweet Tennessee
    Posts
    1,367

    Default

    Without buses there would be a lot of kids that would miss school. My home is roughly 15 miles from the schools it's a 30 to 45 minute drive, the school system simply wouldn't exist as is today without buses.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    2,189

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by flock6 View Post
    Without buses there would be a lot of kids that would miss school. My home is roughly 15 miles from the schools it's a 30 to 45 minute drive, the school system simply wouldn't exist as is today without buses.

    I agree. There is a rather large number of families who's parents can not take their kids to school without taking time off of work. If all parents had to take their own kids to school and pick them up in the afternoon then that would have a direct effect on our economy in a negative way. Our schools start at about 8 am and end at about 3:30 pm. If parents had to take their kids and pick them up from school then this would mean that they could only work a 7 hour workday at most.

    Then again, now that I think about it, this could be another way for the government to disincentives the family unit. What better way to discourage working and the family unit than to force parents to drop their own kids off and to pick them up from school every day.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •