Saturday, August 09, 2008

NY Times: Texas not providing federally guaranteed education to disabled kids in TYC

"Texas has both a moral and legal obligation to remake a system that is crippling, then writing off, the state’s most vulnerable children," the New York Times editorialized yesterday in reaction to the recent Ombudsman's report (pdf) on carceral education at the Texas Youth Commission, analyzed earlier by Grits here. Noting that "more than 40 percent of the students in custody have been identified as having disabilities that make them eligible for services and protections under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act," the Times opined that:
The State Legislature will need to do at least two things if it hopes to correct these problems. First, it needs to require localities to provide disabled children with the school services they are entitled to under federal law, instead of just dumping them onto streets. Then lawmakers must strengthen the educational programs within the juvenile system itself by hiring better-trained employees and providing stronger central oversight.
The point about holding public schools accountable as well as TYC is a good one. TYC will be rightfully blamed for longstanding failures in education once kids are incarcerated - particularly the fact that, as the Times said, "Children are routinely asked to essentially teach themselves through “self-directed reading” — even though a substantial percentage have limited reading skills." But those kids were already many grade levels behind their peers in school before they got to the Youth Commission. Too often, as the Times put it, school districts are "dumping" their problems rather than beefing up services for disabled or emotionally disturbed kids.

The Dallas News earlier this year reached the same conclusion, editorializing that Texas had "inadvertently constructed a pipeline to youth prison." They argued that:

An increased investment in our schools, especially at the elementary level, can pay huge dividends further down the road because it's in those formative years when things start to go wrong, experts say. An upfront investment in prevention can ultimately reap huge savings – and salvage lives – down the line.

Instead, Texas favors a disciplinary-referral program that targets children – even in pre-kindergarten – to be removed from classrooms for misbehaving. A 2005 Texas A&M study found that the single most important predictor of future involvement with juvenile justice is a history of disciplinary referrals in school.

The Texas system puts certain kids – particularly blacks and Hispanics – on a fast track for disciplinary referrals. Since 2003, Texas school districts have isolated thousands of students in disciplinary referral, including 500 pre-K and kindergarteners, and 2,100 first-graders. Are we setting these kids up for shame, inferior education, failure and a possible life of crime?

So the mechanisms by which kids are functionally ousted from school at increasingly early ages, and for increasingly less serious offenses, had already been identified and been the subject of vocal criticism. The new Ombudsman's report, as the Times rightly points out, builds on that critique to add that disabled and emotionally disturbed kids predominate among those "dumped" by the schools into alternative disciplinary programs and ultimately into the juvenile justice system.

Whether such systemic flaws violate individual kids' federally guaranteed right to education, I don't know, but the Times is right the Ombudsman's report raises the possibility that they could. Certainly TYC isn't meeting those minimum standards, but something tells me that, for the most part, the school district these kids came from weren't doing so, either.

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

It would certainly help if the IDEA monies were actually funnelled into education instead of corrections and other programs.

Anonymous said...

When are people going to understand that every time a legislator passes a bill we increase taxes or increase the deficit? TYC teachers do the best job they can with the materials they are given. So the kid who put a gun to someone's head and took his car is technically disabled and he doesn't get the best education available. Is New York saying they do better?

Anonymous said...

Most TYC teachers are a joke. Their idea of education is work sheets, crossword puzzles and videos.

Anonymous said...

8:16 How many classes have you been able to stay awake in, much less taught? Try to teach a class with no materials. I suspect you are a JCO staff. You're shooting yourself in the foot.

Anonymous said...

The reality at TYC schools is there for anyone who really wants to see. The lie begins with the notion that a school in a TYC facility is just another public high school. Students are enrolled in classes by age - not last grade completed or functional level. Any student 14 years old or older is enrolled in Algebra 1, for instance. The time I taught in TYC, the students always came to Education by dorm, even after it had been prohibited. (Incidentally, the ruse that allowed that situation to continue was approved by CO. So much for centralized control. ) The classes had students ranging in ability from perhaps 3rd grade to 10th grade. All Special Education students remained in class because there was no alternative. Maybe the JCO staff stayed in the room and assisted with behavior, maybe not. Now, just what kind of education do you think can possibly come out of that? Is that the fault of the teachers? TYC's line is basically, just make it appear OK. Give some credits and you've done your job. You want to fix Education at TYC? Put the schools under the local districts, and give them the $ to actually do the job, address the students' needs. Increasing oversight from CO would be nothing but counterproductive. I hope things change, because it could be done.

Anonymous said...

8:50 Do you think the local school districts will do a better job? Will TEA be able to provide better oversight to ensure that these youth get their educational needs met? Doesn't TEA have oversight responsibility over TYC schools also?

Anonymous said...

Texas not providing education,nether did there parents.

Anonymous said...

People keep getting bent out of shape when the NYT writes about TYC. Get used to it. Texas is one of the largest, most politically and economically important states in the union. Of course national media will cover it - it's pointless to get all defensive and provincial every time one of these articles appears. They write about CA, IL, NY, FL, a lot too.

Of course juvenile justice, at its core, is the last refuge for the failures of individual parents, communities, schools, and local agencies. It always has been.

The problem is that those failures have spiraled out of control even as the at-risk population has continued to grow.

Nowhere is this disastrous combination more evident than in the public school system. Study after study has shown the lack of adequate special ed services in systems across the nation, deriving largely from the miserly way those systems are funded.

Then we act surprised when the same public that won't fund the schools is even more resistant to responding to the greater needs of the most despised population of juveniles - those who have committed crimes.

BB

Anonymous said...

I don't see how putting education in TYC under the local school districts will help. The local school districts are the ones who failed these kids in the first place. That is how TYC became a dumping ground for this kids with special needs.

Anonymous said...

This is a repeat of what was said a few days ago, however, I thought whoever wrote it had a lot of merit...
As a veteran teacher I can say one thing about ISD's taking over TYC education. It is, and has always been, the tradition of the ISDs to put the weakest or least experienced teachers in the worst classes or situations. Take a look at most local JDCs and alternative schools. Very rarely will you find your master teachers working there. What you will find is the districts' "problem" teachers. I have thought this to be wrong my entire career. If you think that the ISDs taking over will make a total change for the education in TYC, you better look again--and look closely. The education that is being offered in many of these places is way below par. Many of the ISDs also use self pace curriculum,for instance in summer school--to "catch up the at-risk students". So what is so different. The ISDs failed these students in TYC the first time they went through, so why is it thought that they will be the "cure all" for these students now?
There are some very weak teachers in TYC, but there are more very highly motivated and qualified teachers. One of the biggest problems for TYC education is that once teachers come on, it is almost impossible to dismiss them even if their evaluations are rock bottom, and they have multiple discipline reports.
I do believe that education in TYC does need reform. I do believe that many of the observations in the report were on target, and I am a TYC educator. However, it also states in the report that the education staff is the greatest asset to the education system, and that overall the teachers are genuinely dedicated to what they are doing despite the issues that face them daily that are totally out of their control.
Once again, as has happened in repeatedly over the last year and a half in TYC,the threat is to throw the baby out with the bathwater, instead of washing the baby.

Anonymous said...

Prepare a detailed evaluation of each child. This should be done by someone outside TYC that does not report to anyone at TYC.

Give each child in TYC a personal teacher with the training to needed to meet that child's needs.

If the child's skills improve as documented by an outside evaluation, the teacher did a good job. Give them a raise. If the child does not improve, get rid of the teacher.

Save a lot of money in the long run. For one thing, central office oversight would be dramatically less costly and more effective.

Anonymous said...

Huh? A "personal teacher," so are you saying one student per teacher? TYC currently would like a 10:1 ratio, not a 1:1 ratio. That will never happen! Good idea though and a damn good plan.

Soronel Haetir said...

By the time they reach TYC it's far beyond the point where intervention needs to occur. Some means of parental responsibility needs to be developed.

Perhaps punishing the parents for the sins of the child would motivate closer supervision.

Anonymous said...

The poor quality of education at TYC is on a vine on the tree. The root of the issue starts with the lower courts, the previous school system and the child themselves. I am to the belief that legislature needs to take the all of the complaints of the parents and gather those and listen. Legislature, sadly even Whitmire, has been a blostering mess with no action. TYC is no better. 40% need special services but the other 60% have abilities to nurture and you blend that with the flawed errors of the lower court - we are "pipelining our kids to the system." For example: here at the Gainesville Unit a child - lets name Child A. His case was reversed. However, the lower court has an obvious isuse with the parent, whom by the way has continually supported this child, even in academics. The lower court and our facility and more then likely central Austin...kept jerking this kid around...he is on college level (she brings him books), evidenced proved otherwise to the adjudication (his masterfile was blurred with error), he helps the kids that can't read and write (the teacher sleeps) and yet he still sits here. Something is fundamentally wrong with the lower courts way before the child gets into the system. The question no longer should be WHAT IS WRONG WITH TYC but let's look at the root of the issue and work our way up to the vine. If Whitmire wants change....which he doesn't...LOOK AT THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM...so the problem will be fixed. I have spoken to so many kids and reviewed so many files...that other alternatives should have and could have been done to lighten the burden load of TYC and the current issues...but it is painfully obvious that the lower courts played a bitter scorned woman versus serving justice. GET RID OF THE WEED AND THE GRASS WILL GROW.

Anonymous said...

I agree. The lower courts have not served juveniles well in many counties. However, we can't get rid of them. A solution should be to review the juvenile laws or the model of progression that many counties attempt to use. I agree that the lower courts have issues because you do have parents that speak up and the court room is not the place for personal vendettas. Do you have a name of the judge or could you supply me with a name of the youth and I will gladly do some coverage on "flawed system...flawed judges." However, I am following a kid at the Gainesville Unit so I think I am aware of who you are talking about. I agree, his deal was pretty raw and taxpayers and the jury (according to trial transcripts) are the one's that were duped for the personal revenge of that judge. This is ever so often in many juvenile cases. I don't agree that Whitmire doesn't want change...I am to the position that all of this is going way to slow versus how quickly they raped, beat, hinder release and lied.

Anonymous said...

"Whether such systemic flaws violate individual kids' federally guaranteed right to education, I don't know, but the Times is right the Ombudsman's report raises the possibility that they could."

So are we talking about TYC possibly losing federal funding for their apparently already low funding for education?

Also I have many querstions in my mind as to how a person is diagnozed (or labeled) as having "disabilities" and who does the diagnosing and by what standard. Don't see how there could not be serious flaws in that system too.

I guess I am being provincial here but maybe it would be best to stop any and all appearances of education at TYC. Why not provide farming, animal husbandry and other work for the youth, real work, learning real and useful things to keep the TYC running. Try to get out of all federal funding. The feds are the real final criminals in this system, and next to that "the state."

Guess I will show a bit of my old provincial self here. I have heard of one set of homes for foster children with behavioral issues that makes real strides and truly educates and rehabilitates the children. I believe they are called Heartland schools and that they are in either Missouri or Arkansas. They are a Christian school and they as I understand it operate in rural farm type "dorms" or homes, and there is a strong Christian moral and Christian disciplinary system in place.

What hope is there for parents taking responsibility? I would like to see that, but for many reasons, I do not believe that will happen.

I believe socialism and humanism always fails. It ends up the same way that all of our other godless systems fail. You always end up with totalitarian dictatorships and moneyed elites at the top just like our whole USA is become now.

"The state" wants to kill defective children. The state wants to fill up their "public private prisons" to bolster the financial returns of their elites' stock holdings in these private prisons.

The state wants to decide which adults can breed children and then the state wants to take those children under their total care to become some kind of robot in their new world system.

The state will soon stop messing with this "defective seeds" type youth in the TYC.

That is so clearly to me where all of this is leading.

Anonymous said...

The system does not work because the funding for education is channelled, by the Business officers, into corrections (this is both federal and state funding). The further failures prior to this do not work because of other problems, e.g., the courts, the families, the fools and liars in the Lege, etc.

Another failure comes from Central Office and the placement personnel, who regularly channel special needs populations into certain programs. Shero averaged 55-60% Special Education population for its last six years, Crockett also had an overly large percentage of Special needs students (At one time Corsicana had 95% Special needs population) yet the funding was distributed according to general population and the 40% formula. Can you now see where the complaint originates?

Sleeping in class is always a probelm when no one is actively engaged in the process. I cannot justify a teacher sleeping in any class, public school(ISD) or otherwise, it is a failure to supervise and a failure to actively engage the students in the required activities.

Several of us fought the 14 in High School rule and lost. I wish I could blame that loss on an educational professional, but I honestly believe that that war was lost in the corrections division.

One should always realize that the Corrections people have always controlled TYC, even though the statistical information proves that education is the most powerful correctional tool offered to any incarcerated person. Education has always been treated as a step-child in TYC and even if TYC education were turned over to the local ISDs it would still be treated poorly.

Sorry for rambling, but it is quite early here.

Anonymous said...

Education does not run Education and never has and never will. Corrections side of TYC runs Education and always has. That has been the main issue. Non-Educators running a education program. Education wants to do something in education, Corrections has to approve it. Right down to building the school buildings.

There are no support services for TYC education. They hire all these teacher aides and they are suppose to be helping the teachers. Read the job descriptions. They are not helping teachers or kids.(most of them)They sub classes when teachers are out but that is it. Now, on paper it looks like they are helping but they sit in classrooms (sometimes) and sit is what they do. They clean the buildings, but teachers still have to mop and sweep during their planning time, if they have any planning time.
Most do not even like the teachers so they stay as far away from the classroom as they can. But some are paid out of special ed funds.
Jco staff sitting in a classroom could help students with the work assigned also, but that is rarely done,most are to busy visiting talking loud and disrupting instead of helping. Aides are visiting with the staff and handing out those worksheets and puzzles to entertain the kid if they are subbing.
You want to know some of the problems with education this was just a few that hinders the learning and teachers are taking the blame. Another is this, kids have to want to want an education. Today in the NEW TYC , they can sleep, we can not do anything to stop it, they can sit there and do nothing and we can stop the class lesson to deal with this one kid who needs a huddle-up that Corrections wants done in the class-room not in the hallways.
Corrections teaches in training that behavior management comes first and you stop teaching and correct the behavior and the teacher needs to do the correcting not the staff or the caseworker.
Now hows that for teaching kids, you stop teaching to do a Huddle up and time outs and interventions. Class period is over by then. see ya kids, maybe next time I will get to the fractions unit.

Anonymous said...

Some teacher aides make nearly as much as some of the teachers. Depending on when they were hired.

In public school they are paid near to nothing but the public school systems make the work in the classrooms helping teachers and students.

They can come to TYC triple their wages and do 90%less work. CO will not fix this or will the principals.

Anonymous said...

7:53 you hit the nail on it's ughly rusty head! Corrections has no business running Education. Corrections made the determination to send youth to school by dorms instead of content or age appropriateness. Thus the creation of the all levels nightmare in classrooms.It was done to control youth by groups, not to educate them. Education is not a top priority to corrections and never will be!

Anonymous said...

Educating TYC wards, as well as all other kids in detention facilities, is a lot like hurding cats. I wish all you know-it-alls, including the professor who wrote the report, would outline exactly what he would do to educate these kids other than criticize and run his mouth. Also, it has been proved again and again that amount of money spent per kid on his/her education has little to do with positive outcomes.

Reminds me of the old saying that "anything is possible if you're not responsible.

Plato

Anonymous said...

Grits, I have previously mentioned that one of the biggest problems in juvenile justice is the failure of the local school districts and their behavior in sending problem (probably Special Education) students to DAEP's and now JJAEP's rather than trying to solve the problem. As I recall TYC on average received 9th and 10th graders whose educational level on average was in th 5th to 6th grade range. Prior to the reform TYC was meeting the goal of one month of education progress for each month of incarceration, which is something that local school districts did not achieve and would not achieve if local school districts took over TYC education. The talk of education monies being funnelled off to corrections would be nothing compared to local school districts funnelling off education monies for TYC youth to improve local school children's education. That is what happened in local school districts providing education services at halfway houses.

I find the 40% Special Education number rather interesting since when I left it was in the 45 to 48%range. Is the drop a result of fewer Special Ed students being sent to TYC or just that TYC has not been functional enough to obtain Special Ed funding?

Howard A. Hickman

Anonymous said...

One point I would like to make is that just because a kid is in Spec Ed does not mean he can not learn or be successful in life.

Many students are labeled Spec Ed due to the fact that there is a problem that interferes with his education. It may be his behavior issues, he may excel in one subject but have problems in another.
Special Ed is suppose to address the problem area and find ways to correct it or simply make it where he can understand it by modifications to his curriculum.

Tyc does not have a full inclusion program where a special ed teacher goes into the classroom to help the students or do they have a content mastery program in all TYC educations facilities. The kid is stuck in a room of Spec Ed kids in basic courses. These courses are suppose to be a fit all. Kids are own their own, because one teacher can sit with each child each day and give them the adaptations that they say they have on the IEP's.
No one is helping the teacher to provide these services. Teacher aides are not available to Special Ed kids or teachers to assist in the classrooms or assist the kids in school. I am sure that 99% of the teachers in TYC would agree.
Tracking of a special ed kid is not taking place like in public school and benchmarks are jokes. There is simply no time for all of this in one day at TYC with all the other duties of the teacher.

Teacher are to teach the Tabe, GED prep and whole class instruction during each class period. They have no planning and prep times , they are taken up by meetings, cleaning their rooms, ARD meetings, staff meetings and pat teams and all other work assigned. There are no times available to study what a kid needs are. Lets not forget the huddle ups for behaviors during the instructional time the kids are in class. Principals will say the time is there and that teachers are getting that prep time, but it is not there only on paper. That short time if you get it, maybe broken down to 15 minutes at lunch and 20 minutes after school. You can not plan in those short spans.

During those so call plan and prep time, your trying to get the Treatment team paper work done to meet the deadline or sending in Special ed paper work someone is asking for, keeping up with who is in your class, now.

Kids schedules change daily in TYC and teachers are dealing with who they have in class and who has a schedule change and then new students coming in and others being taken out with scheduling changes.
We are not meeting the expectations of the Special Ed kid or any other kid in TYC. Until they stop this crazy behavior in TYC Education will never be doing what it is suppose to be doing and that is Teaching kids as the principals and superintendents preach.

Not to lay the blame on everyone but the teacher, but this is why the report was the way it was. Do we need public school teaching our kids, probably not, but we do need some public school ways as far as teachers and aides go in TYC. Mainly let Teacher Teach and aides that are hired helping teachers and everyone else stay the hell out of Education. I guess that was kind of harsh statement. So lets put it this way, look at just teaching kids be the job and hire others to do all the rest. Put in content mastery rooms, put Special ed teachers in regular ed classrooms to assist kids things like that will make a lot of difference in the education of a child.

Anonymous said...

Plato

If you would pay attention, your blog posts wouldn't seem so foolish everytime. The professor made more than 70 specific recommendations. Have you considered thinking before "running your mouth"?

WeaselWrangler said...

"Texas has both a moral and legal obligation to remake a system that is crippling, then writing off, the state’s most vulnerable children,"

I nearly spewed coffee on my keyboard with this one. The first and easiest pick on this is "Let NY get their act together, and then we'll listen".

Let's begin with a caveat: I do not and will not refer to TYC adjudicated youth as "children", they are "students".

Does the TYC system "cripple" them? To the extent that they are not allowed to roam freely and engage in the criminal activities that eventually brought them here, yes. Yeah, I know....some still break the law while incarcerated, but for the most part, it is small potatos compared to their "free world" activities. IMO, for many of our students this is the first time they have faced the notion that their behaviors are in fact not consistant with society as a whole, and they should consider a change.
Education does what it can in this matter. We deal with unbelievable behavior issues daily (the list is huge...I will decline to go into detail as a favor to this blogsite). We do what we can with the academics. Many of us are faced with multiple subject, reading levels, ages, and students with low or no motivation. We present our lesson(s) in as many ways possible, using different modalities in an effort to teach. We locate and use subject-relevant texbooks that are written at appropriate reading levels. We even have the Kurzweil program, which will read the book to them. It is difficult, but not impossible to "direct teach", and many of us do just that. At some point during the process, a student is expected to work on their own..it is referred to as "independent study". Are these students "crippled" by our efforts?
Yes, in the same way a starving person refuses food because they don't want to go through the effort of chewing and swallowing.
As to "writing off" the student: I do not take joy in the idea that any student of mine does not "make it" and ends up in the adult system or worse. Any teachers I know feel the same way. The hard truth is this: WE CANNOT FORCE A STUDENT TO CHANGE. We give them tools to affect a change, and they are charged with applying these skills to improve their future. Day after day, each and every teacher in TYC observes their students and looks for improvement. We actively seek success and realistically deal with failure.
As to the notion of "vulnerable"...they are in the extent that the students rely on us for a variety of things that the parents provide (or should have) such as the basics of food, shelter, and medical attention. It's a daunting task, and deserves serious effort, but that is a whole 'nuther post. I have had students that entered our system basically illiterate, and left with academic/vocational skills, most with a GED. And let's face it..a GED spends as well as a diploma for most of them. The adjudicated student as victim in this editorial has merit in some limited circumstances, but for most, it just doesn't wash.
In summation, the state has a moral and legal obligation to support our efforts...if a remake is in the offering, then I pray and hope it is useful.
On a personal note, I have been following GFB since TYC became infamous. Scott, Bill, Howard, Plato, Old Salty..your comments while not always agreed with, have been appreciated by me. I hope to add to the discussion(s) and stay with the subject(s)of the relavent post.

Anonymous said...

There was a reason education was tied into resocialization... motivation to progress in educational work...

True this wasn't perfect but it was something!

Anonymous said...

Amen and Amen.

Anonymous said...

WeaselWrangler you have got to be joking. The children in TYC may have been adjudicated...but lets be real...they were convicted and all the youths there are not guilty nor does the punishment met the crime. TYC has failed. And for you people attempting to cover up by pointing a finger at the youth.....the teachers are there to teach. TYC opened their doors to "rehabilitate" so stop whinning and giving an excuse of we can't make them change....then change careers. The adults there do not function with respect towards the children, the kids get contraband from the youth, hell even had sex with them....so if the examples are not being taught...what else would you like them to do? The report is full of facts and since TYC opened their doors that even encompassed the education....then do it. You asked for the job, you got it....then do it. I know its not easy to teach some of these kids and I know many are tired of the inconsistency, the agency changes, the unknowing....but if you are...don't you think the kids are as well....I mean, face it...you get to go home...they are still growing and with the attitudes presented here...I see why they are not rehabilitated and the agency is horrible. Just maybe if they take away from central office and gave more to the units...then they would have a fighting chance. Both you and worker.

Anonymous said...

1:13 - I read the report and recommendations. My suggestion is that TYC contract with the good professor then turn him loose on the TYC programs statewide. Implement all his recommendations, spend a lot more money, then go back and determine the results in a year or two. I imagine what you'd find is TYC is now compliant with federal law but results will be roughly the same as they are now. JMO.

Plato

Gritsforbreakfast said...

So Plato, you're saying using self-paced reading for functionally illiterate kids - the current method - works just as well as actually complying with federal education standards? Somehow I seriously doubt that.

Anonymous said...

7:08:
I personally don't know any students who are or were adjudicated that wasn't guilty. You and others however, may have cases you can quote so I will concede that point to you.
As to "covering up"..I don't know of any teachers on my campus that engage in that activity. If a few teachers in the system have "covered up", your blanket indictment of all TYC teachers or other staff is a non-sequitur argument.
As to the statement about "adults". Any adult who takes advantage of an adjudicated student and this charge is found to be true, is not a functioning adult. They should be fired immediately and brought up on corresponding legal charges in accordance to the laws of the state.
You're dead on about me asking for the job..hell, I campaigned for it. I show up each day on time and do what I am expected to do, and I do it without whining and with pride. Yes, I get to go home each day, that is the right of a law-abiding citizen.
You're correct about the presence of inconsistency. It is a point of consternation for many. While most attempt to maintain consistency, some exploit the breach. IMO, if someone could actually implement some logical and workable solutions, we might be further along in this, our own "resocialization".
My original post was in reply to the NYT editorial. Since they have the 1st amendment right to print it, I have the same and equal right to refute it and that should not be construed as "whining". My hopes and goals are to provide intellectual honesty with opposing viewpoints and engage in posted conversations that will lead to enlightenment.
Regards, WeaselWrangler

Anonymous said...

What? Functionally illiterate? What does that mean? Functionally illiterate because they are illiterate or simply don't want to read? The percentage of those who are "functionally illiterate" because of the latter is significantly higher than the former.

That being said, Teachers, like all other staff in TYC, have to step up and make it work. Now is the time.


What percentage is that grits?

Anonymous said...

Functionally illiterate Grits... to what standard is functional. Many of TYC's kids have LD's, low IQ's, ED, and many reasons why they have difficulty learning.

Many of these youth are much better off learning vocational skills and few will go to college. Many of these kids make more progress in TYC than they ever did in their ISD's

Despite this, they deserve the best opportunity TYC can give them...but don't be surprised if TYC is turning out Rocket Scientists...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, last line should have been NOT turning out rocket scientists

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Re: functionally illiterate

By that I meant what 10:27 wrote, "Many of TYC's kids have LD's, low IQ's, ED, and many reasons why they have difficulty learning."

For such kids, self-paced reading is a joke, as is anyone who defends that pedagogical method as appropriate for this population.

Anonymous said...

The world is over populated! It is time to thin the herd. The social misfits breed like rabbits which is causing a global mass of low functioning humans. The low functioning humans should be eliminated before they create a more massive strain on functional society. If you choose to be an uneducated non-producing person then you should be eliminated from society so as not to be a drain and spawn more of you kind. There will be a need for a few of the low functioning people to use for basic labor where education or sound mental ability is not required. Numerous “New World Order” supporters have predicted there is a need for an eighty percent reduction in world population. We need to stop focusing on helping low functioning sub-humans and start working with the people who will be tomorrow’s leaders and productive citizens in the New World Order.

Anonymous said...

Hitler, is that you? Have you resurrected from the dead to eliminate low functioning humans this time? There will sure be a lot of folks in THAT concentration camp!

Sorry 12:01...I couldn't resist saying that because I can't believe what you just said.

I doubt if another Holocaust is going to fix the plight of TYC!!!

Surely you were joking...if not, don't tell me. I really don't want to know! OMG the things that people come up w/ here is sometimes so surreal!

Anonymous said...

Will share an experience of mine with a TYC student who was in the Gainsville unit. This happened 35 years ago when I was a Texas Rehabilitation Commission counselor stationed within the Univ. of Texas Medical Branch outpatient clinic facilities in Galveston. The young black man's counselor was at another Galveston office and I was facilitating the "client's" experience where he was going for some kind of mental health treament at the outpatient clinics. I was instructed by the counselor on the case to write out a paper for a certain amount of money sort of as a per diem for the patient's bus ticket and food. The young man was observed on each successive visit to be wearing brand new clothes each visit. We started looking into the matter and saw he would change the handwritten numbers I had put on his per diem paper to a higher amount and then take the paper over to another office at the hospital and cash it for that amount. A form of check forgery. Now this person seemed sort of low average IQ but he was bright enough to work the system and get himself lots of money before we caught on to his scam. I was amazed that this about 13 year old had such a criminal mind. He did this from the beginning of his care. He probably worked it so the doctor would give him more frequent appointments so he could get more cash more frequently. He probably stole about $600 extra from the state.

I just post this to paint a slightly different picture of "the kids", the "children" at the TYC. Some of them are sophisticated died in the wool little criminals. They are always working an angle and they are pretty darn smart about it even when they appear of be of borderline IQ.

I still say rural farm setting and vocational ag/farm training to make the unit depend on the students for its own support including selling produce and animal products in a store to public. Basic reading, writing and arithmetic rammed down their throats by various means including direct instruction and TV and computer and real work in real classes. Somehow "adults" employed in TYC need to be monitored. Crooks and criminal behavior, including behavior perpetrated on the students, need to be exposed and ousted and prosecuted. Laggard teachers who sleep in class need to be written up, have their work record permanently ruined, and fired.

Anonymous said...

12:01 is just expressing the logical outplay of the scenario at TYC. I also expressed it in a previous post.

What is all the surprise and mild outrage at someone stating the obvious truth.

We are well down the road to socialism. It is a totalitarian new world order system. The situation at TYC will fester and "point to the obvious solution", kill off in various ways nonfunctioning humans, as defined by the state, and prevent the breeding of poor, low-grade human stock.

!2:01 posting may or may not have been that person's actual viewpoint. It could have just been purposely shocking to wake up some people who post here.

I say wake-up people. What this person posted is fact now. That is socialism and we are well down that road right now.

"This resembles George Bernard Shaw's summation in his Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, that under socialism you need permission to live, and if you didn't live well you'd be executed (in a kindly manner). And so today, in most policy areas we proceed on the basis of a manufactured premise handed down from on-high so that the end appears to justify the means. As O'Brien explains to Winston, 'Truth' is defined by the Party:


You must get rid of those nineteenth-century ideas about the laws of Nature. We make the laws of Nature'. -1984, Part 3, Chapter 3"

A part of my proposal for a rural, support yourselves, form of TYC units is the idea that he who will not work will not eat. The individual's food and the "society's" food depends on each "student farmer" contributing real work so that they will not have to miss meals, so that they can afford to have a heated and cooled building, so that they can have proper clothing, that is, so that they can work to live.

I am NOT advocating overly working or slaving children. But those "kids" can certainly spend three or four hours of day in real, self and community sustaining work and the same in the classroom.

Industriousness and self directed self supporting behavior within the group setting offer the best possible chance for these individuals. Those qualities and experiences are most translatable to functioning at a law abiding citizen in the real world.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"self directed self supporting behavior within the group setting"

This is like suggesting students practice individualism while conforming.

To the guy who want TYCers in a "rural farm setting" - is that because there are so many good paying rural farm jobs out there you want to prepare them for?

This string has mightily degraded. What anything in the Times article or this post had to do with "socialism" or the "New World Order" is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

"This is like suggesting students practice individualism while conforming.

To the guy who want TYCers in a "rural farm setting" - is that because there are so many good paying rural farm jobs out there you want to prepare them for?

This string has mightily degraded. What anything in the Times article or this post had to do with "socialism" or the "New World Order" is beyond me. "

No, this thread has not degraded. This thread has upgraded to speaking truth. The Times article has a whole lot to do with socialism and dialectical materialism and the the Hegelian dialectic.
Problem
Reaction
Solution

The "problem" is most like created by the social engineers who have been running the U.S. Department of Education for over half a century.

The "reaction" of people like those who have posted in this thread gets full play in many venues. The "louder" the reaction, the sooner the predetermined "solution" can kick it. In fact, people will be begging for the "solution".

Of course the solution is eliminate those misfits or, better yet, never allow them to come into existence.

Grits, maybe ask yourself why you get a bit testy when the reality of socialism becomes a natural subject of discussion in this thread.

It is possible to live in society as a self directed individual. Many libertarians claim to do this. It is probably a matter of degree, but it is not, as you suggest, a matter of either or. This is closely related to instilling a conscience in an individual. (I realize this is not possible with some who are sociopaths and psychopaths )

No, I do not think there are a lot of good paying rural farm jobs out there, but I am suggesting that they could at least keep themselves alive with their skills and not have to resort to criminal behavior.

Even if good paying jobs for GED or less educated applicants existed in the USA, which they increasingly do not, TYC has never maximized a "student's" chance for a "good paying job" and it never will.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

The "socialism" claims and conspiracy theories about the Department of Education are simply delusional. Sorry 7:40, but that's just "speaking truth."

/"Let me upgrade U" - Beyonce Knowles

Anonymous said...

WeaselWrangler you are correct about the first amendement right but you are grossly mistaken about the youth. And just for the record, "law abidding" can also mean you haven't been caught. I'm all for intellectual conversation, and you absolutely have the right to voice your opinion to any article...but don't you think its better to cover the bigger picture verus your defense on how much you love your job, and how much you show up on time and how much you want the position since the agency is a "team" and it takes a team effort and they was evidence of foul play and gross negligence towards the big picture of youth in TYC and therefore as a team..."accept and move on". I understand it does feel like a pin prick when one attempts to do their job and does it with pride but some other team members blurr the picture wiht foul play. I understand. I love the kids, it was and remains a calling. However, the calling is now bitter since the obvious is failing. So, let's agree....1) there are innocent kids incarcerated. Let's just use the example...if there are innocent adults and adults get more rights then youth...then I assure you...there are innocent youth inside TYC 2) and with item 1 I assure you by coverage that TYC has failed (even recently) regarding item 1 and therefore if you get innocent youth and TYC failing to attend to that matter because they fear everything in making a decision since they are under investigation then it is more logically to concede that a youth incarcerated, enduring hell (which can be proven) will not only NOT get quality care, NOT get quality treatment NOT get quality education NOT get quality PAT reviews, and will eventually have to cave to something false to simply get to the truth or get to freedom and therefore justice wasn't served except in the point that after all that hell that kids like that endure...all the youths and legislature that handled this kids file...FAILED and the education those types are kids are taught...well, let's say they came in scholastically able, they proved themselves scholastically able, TYC failed and forged a retake of Tabe testing...when they haven't been in any classes except the occassional vocational and central office gave one version of events, the youth gave another and the parents recorded another...so you see WeaselWrangler...you may want to refocus and wrangler the true wrangler. Its not a personal attack but the "team" we are on....does NOT advantage these kids and the article was right ON target and as a staff, parent and "team" I would be less of a person if I said, I do this and I do that and all the while...my TEAM...is doing nothing but collecting paychecks and still doing nothing...even after the alleged reform. Don't be angry...don't be defensive...be truthful. The education in TYC is poor...the teachers are there to teach and therefore, no excuses are acceptable. So, Mr. Lawabidding WeaselWrangler....just remember the finger you point....5 more will come back to you. Don't speak on "blanket" adjudication when in fact, the "blanket" is dirty. Functionally illiterate? That's the same as a functional addict...either way its dysfunction and needs to be corrected.

Anonymous said...

WeaselWrangler you are correct about the first amendement right but you are grossly mistaken about the youth. And just for the record, "law abidding" can also mean you haven't been caught. I'm all for intellectual conversation, and you absolutely have the right to voice your opinion to any article...but don't you think its better to cover the bigger picture verus your defense on how much you love your job, and how much you show up on time and how much you want the position since the agency is a "team" and it takes a team effort and they was evidence of foul play and gross negligence towards the big picture of youth in TYC and therefore as a team..."accept and move on". I understand it does feel like a pin prick when one attempts to do their job and does it with pride but some other team members blurr the picture wiht foul play. I understand. I love the kids, it was and remains a calling. However, the calling is now bitter since the obvious is failing. So, let's agree....1) there are innocent kids incarcerated. Let's just use the example...if there are innocent adults and adults get more rights then youth...then I assure you...there are innocent youth inside TYC 2) and with item 1 I assure you by coverage that TYC has failed (even recently) regarding item 1 and therefore if you get innocent youth and TYC failing to attend to that matter because they fear everything in making a decision since they are under investigation then it is more logically to concede that a youth incarcerated, enduring hell (which can be proven) will not only NOT get quality care, NOT get quality treatment NOT get quality education NOT get quality PAT reviews, and will eventually have to cave to something false to simply get to the truth or get to freedom and therefore justice wasn't served except in the point that after all that hell that kids like that endure...all the youths and legislature that handled this kids file...FAILED and the education those types are kids are taught...well, let's say they came in scholastically able, they proved themselves scholastically able, TYC failed and forged a retake of Tabe testing...when they haven't been in any classes except the occassional vocational and central office gave one version of events, the youth gave another and the parents recorded another...so you see WeaselWrangler...you may want to refocus and wrangler the true wrangler. Its not a personal attack but the "team" we are on....does NOT advantage these kids and the article was right ON target and as a staff, parent and "team" I would be less of a person if I said, I do this and I do that and all the while...my TEAM...is doing nothing but collecting paychecks and still doing nothing...even after the alleged reform. Don't be angry...don't be defensive...be truthful. The education in TYC is poor...the teachers are there to teach and therefore, no excuses are acceptable. So, Mr. Lawabidding WeaselWrangler....just remember the finger you point....5 more will come back to you. Don't speak on "blanket" adjudication when in fact, the "blanket" is dirty. Functionally illiterate? That's the same as a functional addict...either way its dysfunction and needs to be corrected.

rage said...

Well, when the disabled and uneducated are released from TYC, they can turn around and apply as a guard. That's about the quality they get anyway...

Anonymous said...

Gritsforbreakfast said...
The "socialism" claims and conspiracy theories about the Department of Education are simply delusional. Sorry 7:40, but that's just "speaking truth."

You might want to read the following Grits. I am married to a long time school teacher and have watched our school system change in the following manner. I have no doubt the same has happened in Texas.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872-1970) was a renowned British philosopher and mathematician who was an adamant internationalist and worked extensively on the education of young children. This included running an experimental school in the 1920’s with his second wife Dora Black. He was the founder of the Pugwash movement which used the spectre of Cold War nuclear annihilation to push for world government. Among many other prizes, Russell was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950 and UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) Kalinga prize for the popularization of science in 1957.

Part 1 of this series examined science as power-thought and the use of scientific technique to increase the power of an elite scientific minority over the unscientific masses. Part 2 examined the composition of the society of experts who would use scientific technique to dominate the masses. At the forefront of this society of experts is the expert “manipulator”, whom Lenin is the archetype. This society would also aim to conceal its power and influence behind political veils like democracy. Part 3 explored the application of scientific technique to education with an emphasis on the distinction between education for the “governing class” and “working class”. Part 4 looked at the use of education, the Press, radio and Hollywood as forms of propaganda. Part 5 examined the use of behaviourism, psycho-analysis and physiological manipulation as applied to education. Part 6 examined the application of scientific technique to the reproduction of human beings including the separate breeding techniques to be applied to the “governing class” compared with the “working class”.

Is it a theory or a reality?

Anonymous said...

Some people seem to seriously underestimate the extreme amount of abuse that our students inflict upon the teachers each day. We need to face this reality instead of asking teachers to act as if they are operating in a normal functional classroom. It's easy to blame the teachers and wring our hands over how these poor innocents are being deprived of an education.

rage said...

10:39

Man, I would hate to go through life as you do, always seeing socialists and worrying that some scientist is going to take over your thought processes.

Anonymous said...

No doubt Rage. I bet if there were a medal to be handed out for world class paranoia, he/she would take the gold hands down.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

10:42, that's still TYC's responsibility; it's a youth prison, is anyone surprised when kids act up? Isn't that a predictable aspect of the learning environment the agency must take into account and plan for?

It's not just the teachers fault, certainly. Admin shares plenty of blame for not providing adequate security to teach. But it's not admin giving illiterate kids self-paced reading assignments and word-find puzzles as learning materials. That's on TYC's teachers and ed staff.

10:39 - that's neither theory nor reality, just crazy talk. I thought for a moment you might next blame the Illuminati or the Bildeberg Group for TYC's woes. Sorry, but I don't see any connection between your Cold-War era conspiracy theories and the topic of this post.

Anonymous said...

I read an op-ed in the DMN co-written by Nedelkoff last week in which he defends TYC education staff. Basically, he said the education process in TYC lacks, but it is the same in other states' juvenile correctional systems, and it isn't TYC teachers' fault. There must've been plenty of blowback from politically-connected education types when Harrell's report was published. Nedelkoff also said that the focus is on Texas because Texas has been out front with its problems.

Now, I hope to see an opinion piece by Nedelkoff in which he praises TYC correctional staff, who have also been doing the best they can with little to work with. Correctional staff aren't nearly as well organized or connected, though.

rage said...

It's the House of Orange man, they run the world.

Anonymous said...

8/11/2008 12:51:00 PM

The op-ed piece was written by Will Harrell and Michael Krezmien (authors of the original report). They stated that they wanted to clarify that the report was written to address the need for services and "not place blame." The report and the comments on Grits demonstrate it is a combination of resources, practices and personnel. These all need to be tackled in term.
Nedelkoff did write an agency memo on 8/1/2008 that complimented the commitment and hard work of TYC Education staff, and acknowledged that the report shows we still have more work to do.

Anonymous said...

And Willem Alexander von Amsberg, Prince of Orange, is plotting to control the world's supply of Xanex and Lithium, so stock up man, stock up...

Anonymous said...

Have any of you seen Bush’s latest “No Child Left Behind” in Georgia? US imbedded troupes and Special Forces are helping the Georgian army kill thousands of children in Georgia as you read this post. US soldiers are among the dead after the Russian army retaliated when their forces were attacked by the Georgian army and US military. Considering the killing of innocent men, women, and children by our current national leaders I would not hold out much hope for the TYC children. I don’t know about the new world order but I can see for myself our government does not care about our children much less TYC or the children housed in it. Our governor is one of Bush’s trainees so don’t expect much from him either. Perry did speak to the Builerburg Group last year in Turkey but I doubt he spoke on TYC. That speaking engagement was more likely about the TTC and the American Union. I hope the situation with Russia does not get out of hand since they have warned the US they will use nukes if necessary to protect their country. If this military action goes bad the TYC children will be a moot point. Sorry I strayed off of the point.

I think many people were doing the best they could at TYC considering what they were given to work with. It is too easy for outsiders who know nothing about what it must be like to work at TYC now and in the past to spout on and on about something they know nothing about! All of the so called experts have come and gone and TYC is much worse for theme having come to fix TYC. Most of you are a bunch of arm chair quarter backs that would pee in your pants if faced with what the poor people at TYC are now facing daily. TYC needed correction not destruction!

I know, I am bad, I will quit while I am still behind.

Anonymous said...

"Perry did speak to the Builerburg Group last year in Turkey but I doubt he spoke on TYC. That speaking engagement was more likely about the TTC and the American Union."

Are you out of your MEDS???

We told you, Orange is it, now if you can't accept our world dominance, and the fact that we bought the Cowboys to win the World Cup, (umph, Superbowl), then you leave us no choice but to implant you with a GPS chip to monitor your whereabouts. - Alex


-I aint dead yet.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe anyone said that the TEACHERS sleep in class. I believe I said that the STUDENTS sleep in class. A teachers would be crazy to sleep in class.

While some students sleep in class,the teacher can help those few who want our help.

Get your facts straight!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey "Orange" dude...go back to your communist village! Hurry along now, Hitler is waiting for you!

Anonymous said...

the idea that the state of TYC education has anything to do with socialist ideas is quite preposterous. The current state of TYC is directly related to 13 years of right wing "compassionate conservatism". Remember that. Get tough policies in TYC are what have resulted in the current state of affairs. It is only the work of those damn liberals that brought out all the attention on TYC. Come on people. Get real. Why is it that Governor Perry's name still does not connect with the mess of TYC. I don't understand.

Delusional is right Grits.

Anonymous said...

LD, ED, MH, non of that means functionally illiterate.

Anonymous said...

Grits - Have you never read Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"? I think we may be getting some knock-offs here...

Anonymous said...

I Googled “Perry Addresses the Bilderberg Group” and it appears he did attend Bilderberg in Turkey last year. I am not sure I understand why that matters but it appears to be true. He must have been a flop there also since they didn’t invite him back this year. Maybe the Texas voters should not invite him back either. Hasn’t Perry picked a fine cast of Conservators for TYC? The buck stops with Perry, throw the bum out!

Anonymous said...

9:39 you are well read and correct! It was all a A Modest Proposal......

Anonymous said...

Bill Bush: Glad you took "y'all come back" to heart. Do you have a personal email address you want to post? I have a proposition I would like to suggest to you.

Anonymous said...

TYC prepared me for college at UT where I earned a BS in Electrical Engineering as well as advanced training throughout my career. The Gatesville State School for Boys in the mid 70’s was in crisis from outside interference just as much as TYC is now and the school time according to the culture of the day, 3 hours a day, was a tremendous waist. Coming into TYC as an A student in 8th grade the year before from a school not yet effected by desegregation and the principal of teaching on the level of the lowest common denominator, the diagnostic testing for our education level from the state boys perspective was nothing more than pretending to color in the right box on a multiple guess quiz. You whip through it so you could go outside and hang out with your homies. Hilltop School was beautiful in the spring and we would sit on the Texas rocks outside the building smoke cigarettes and wait for the bus. Anyway I went from an A student honor role to a retard in less than a week. As practiced in Gatesville back then, shortly after to our 17th birthday we did the same on the series of GED tests. We knew we would pass since the objective was to get a full day of work out of us and not have to mess with that school stuff. Yes we had to work then, these TYC kids today have it so easy in so many ways. I will say that in the spring of 1976 at Terrace School the course work for drivers education was taught. Must have been 50 of us in the old woodshop spending the 30 hours needed to complete the class. It was a joke but it was well attended. Simply pulling our driving records could show how effective that drivers ed program was. At least we had a license to drive that stolen car.

So how did TYC prepare me for a major in Electrical Engineering and college in general.
As a double E in the early years you have ta’s who have difficulty with the language, they know the stuff but can’t communicate, so its self pace basically. Later on the ta’s are the ones to go to because the professors won’t give you the time of day. If you complain, the professors would say if you can’t handle double e perhaps you should go to the business school. This was like the dorm man who would say if you’re not tough enough to be on this dorm then I can transfer you to the punk dorm. I have a list of these similarities that I complied relating to the psychological issues one would suffer in a TYC culture and how to reverse them for good.

IMO the very culture at TYC teaches a kid to work a system, it doesn’t matter if it’s this cool new program or that cool new program, the cool new program was called deCon back in my day. To reach a goal you work a system. That goal could be the release from TYC or a Law degree or buying a home, whatever. There is a difference between working a system and playing a system and the kid needs to be guided in the difference or as many I would suppose left to figure that out for themselves like I had to. Based on this opinion I would theorize today’s TYC kids could slip right into atypical American large company with dysfunctional upper management and line supervisors doing the best they can to do their work all the while telling the people under them it’s all good. Empires and walruses Jim Collins of Good to Great fame might say.

Thank you TYC for your small but significant piece in my path that has helped me become a bad ass system engineer.
Sheldon tyc#47333

Anonymous said...

LD, ED, MH, none of that means functionally illiterate.

But it might be one of the underlying reasons for the illiteracy or a current impediment for learning which should be considered in the learning process...

Anonymous said...

Grits,
First of all, I resent the fact that you are quoting the report but you are not totally on target with the facts. That is not like you... Let me try to clarify several things as a veteran teacher of TYC.
As for the "self-pace" curriculum. About 10-12 yrs ago all facilities were using a curriculum called API. It is self-paced modules. Teachers did sit at their desk and pass out the modules and every student was to complete them, and this did indeed include the ones that could not read. Finally after several years (many)the modules were disposed of and the teachers began "real" teaching again. This included lesson plans and direct teaching.
About this same time, TYC went ahead of Texas Public education and developed their own NCLB Research Based Reading program. Yep, this is true. I am addressing your statement about a nonreader teaching himself to read by reading...This reading program was developed and was a policy mandated program that was to be implemented in all facilities, and the curriculum was very structured and very individualized--which meant that classes were to be small. This was a developmental reading program for all students who truly read below a 6th grade level. However, with the turnover and atrition rate of educators, this program too became muddied. Principals wanted to use the remedial reading credits as free electives rather than have small individualized classes for the low readers.In their minds, it was a waste of an FTEs because the classes were to be small. What a shame, huh? Very few facilities adheared to the original mandate, and there was no accountability to the program. Today there are probably only about 3-4 facilities who really follow policy on this low level reading program.
In the meantime...this past May at the TYC statewide educators' conference in Corpus, the educators were asked to decide and vote on a systemwide curriculum to help standardize the curriculum, throughout the system and guess what won???? Yep, sadly--- API modules are making a comeback! Ten steps backwards. However, the reason for this decision was due to the horrific behavior in the classrooms and the impossible task of the teachers to even complete a direct teach. Now, this was done under the direction of Bob Contreras who is no longer Educ. Superintendent. So, I do not know if API is still in the works.
Now, let's talk about numbers. The state lege says they want a ratio of 1:12. Well, why does that does not happen in education? You have many classrooms with one teacher and 16-20 students. Go figure that one???? When they count education staff, they include the ones that never are in a classroom with the students such as the diags, counselors, etc., so it throws off the count.I guarantee that much more learning would take place in classes with a ratio of 1: 10 or 1:12. These are very tough students, especially now as we are removing the misdemeandor offenders and only keeping the very hard core.
Could teachers and teaching in TYC improve--you bet. We can always improve what we are doing. These are the toughest youth in the state, and they need the strongest teachers to meet their many and varied needs. However, in several instances the systems are in place already, there is just no accountability.
Interesting info don't you think? Funny that the report said nothing about any of this...Maybe it should be checked out????

Anonymous said...

TYC is such a confusing mess! People inside of and outside of TYC seems to have a very different perception of reality as it relates to TYC. All the king’s men and all the king’s experts could not put poor TYC back together again! RIP TYC and go softly into that long goodnight.

Anonymous said...

Once again, it's all doom and gloom 1:44 a.m. You just love to troll and churn the rumor. Get a life. Hey - the Whataburger down the road needs a fry cook? Think they might have a blog too?

Anonymous said...

Modules are the only way to teach in TYC and I will tell you why. It's called "open enrollment". For those who don't know..that means the students come into the class all year long. We have no beginning of school or no ending. It just keeps rolling along. The students are all on a different places in the book and may even be in a different text book.When the student comes into the class, he is started on Chapter 1 or whatever the teacher needs to teacher him. When he finishes that ,he turns that module in and gets the next one...until he finishes the course or leaves TYC.The teacher gives him the help he needs to complete the course. As far as a "one on one" situation, this is the best way to teach at TYC. As a matter of fact, parents in the free PAY to have that situation...that call is "TUTORING"

Anonymous said...

8:17 the record of events in the Fix of TYC speaks for itself; almost two years later and TYC has gotten worse not better. Just how much more of our tax money do you self proclaimed experts want to waste floundering around? I don’t need a job because I have a real job that produces a real product that benefits the public. I am not forced to rely on a government job that does no real good for society and is difficult to measure the performance of output. Government work is the new form of welfare! Look busy, have meetings, and get nothing done on a bloated budget. The lot of you at TYC can’t agree on anything and will never get anything positive accomplished. Tax payers and members of the Legislature are getting tired of the inability of TYC leadership to get problems corrected. If TYC were a business it would have gone bankrupt long ago! If you can’t get the job done at TYC then you might want to consider the fry cook job for yourself.

Anonymous said...

8:24, your comments are 100% correct. It is possible to have a few minutes of direct teaching on study skills that are not directly related to specific subject-chapter content, but the students need the one-on-one tutoring to make real progress. Thank you for making the case so clearly.

9:23, what is your real job that produces a real bensfit to the public? Every success that you have goes back to what you learned from a teacher. Who taught you to read and write? Who taught you math, science, social studies? How far would you have gotten without an education? The teachers, case workers, JCOs, and other staff work with the TYC youth in hopes that he or she will take his or her life in a new positive direction. We plant seeds in the youth. Some times we are lucky enough to see the seeds take root, grow, and bear fruit. Most of the time, the seeds are planted, but we know they are being transplanted back to the weed patch that sent them to TYC. Your comments offend me and every other dedicated and loyal TYC employee who does everything they can to make a difference. For over a year and a half, there has been a revolving door in Central Office. The management of TYC changes so fast it is hard to know who is in charge. Then within those management changes are all the policy changes. And lets not forget the lege and special agenda groups that are more interested in headlines than help. Yet amid all this confusion, the frontline employees continue to do the best we can for the youth and the agency. I would love to see how well you would function in the enviroment TYC has had since the beginning of 2007.

Anonymous said...

What we need is HELP. We can and have educated many youth in TYC but there are so many hurdles to overcome that it's nearly impossible. First, there are few that really want to learn at any given time. Since you can't do anything with those that don't want to learn discipline-wise today, you either ignore their antics or you send them down the hallway for a few minutes for a type of "time out" while you now spend your valuable time filling in whatever type of paperwork they want you to in order to report the misbehavior to people who simply don't give a darn anyway and can't hold them accountable if they wanted to. Be sure to tell the student that wanted to learn that you can't help him now because this required paperwork must be filled out and sent in pronto. All the while the JCO is sitting there doing nothing but sitting there. We have to correct, teach, fill in paperwork and as yet, I haven't figured out what the JCO job duties are because during education, they aren't doing anything unless it's calling them for latrine break. We've completely had our hands tied and there is no real recourse for those who misbehave. These children are going home when they are supposed to thanks to our dear legislators and that's that. And let me tell you, they full well know it and will tell you so. I can tell you one thing, you'll never be so humiliated as a teacher anywhere but TYC. The kids curse you, the JCO's for the most part despise you and sit and laugh when the students are out of control and won't help any and the administration badgers you every time they get a chance. You are still not to report things because if you do, you'll be retaliated against like nothing else but out of the other sides of their mouths, they tell you that it's policy that you must report things. It's a no win situation all the way around. These "children" curse you each and every time you dare to correct them and do it as loud as they can all the way down the hallway and nothing is really done about it. Never mind turning over the desks, throwing stuff all over the room, etc. and still they are back before you can fill out the paperwork.

Secondly, the poster above is correct. This is an Open Entry/Open Exit school. Students come and go each and every day and are;therefore, in all parts of the book. Why is that so hard for everyone on the outside to see? We can't start the course all over every day when a new student arrives. They are high school aged students who must be enrolled in high school courses despite being on about the 3rd to 5th grade level. Try that in Algebra or Geometry class. You don't know your multiplication facts but you have to enter in the middle of Alg. 1 because some genius somewhere said that we have to "teach" like the public school model that has been a total failure for the past century. Then, just what do we do when September comes around??? I guess we're to start back at the beginning of the book whether the students are finished or not. I guess without being here and seeing it in real action, one could just not fathom how it works. Are we putting out many rocket scientists. NO, but neither are many of the other "elementary schools" in Texas or any other state in this nation. We simply help the kids where they are and take them as far as we possibly can take them. I can tell you this. It was much easier in the public schools standing and "teaching" the same lesson to everyone in the classroom whether they were really prepared for it or not and then moving on whether they knew all the material or not all for the sake of keeping everyone in the same place and getting done with the book at the end of the school year. In TYC, we "uncover" material at the students pace, we don't "cover" material at the pace some PhD who hasn't taught "kids" in 20 years thinks we should.

All this for what? For those of us in the trenches, we all know this is how it MUST work in TYC. For all those outside who know everything about everything, a waste of breath since they can't comprehend until they put these shoes on (and they sure aren't going to do that). Why should they, they already know how it should work.

Heck, some of the legislators I've watched would fit right in. They throw their little tirades and tantrums much like these children and nothing happens to them either. They humiliate those who are actually trying to help and won't come to see how things really are inside these fences and basically bully everyone around and lie with the best of them. Some of them can't wait for more of these facilities to close so they can get those contract facilities going. I'll bet if someone dug deep enough, they are going to reap some of those $$$ benefits or someone they know well will.

I know this. I'm going back inside those fences again tomorrow and I'm going to try the best I can to help "kids" despite all the hurdles I'm going to face. Stand outside and throw rocks at us all you want, but we really do care about kids and want to help them. Quit fighting and try to help us help them. We can start by ensuring we have something that can be used as discipline so we can actually try to have school. There is never much learning taking place, no matter how we try, if there is not order and discipline.

Good night.

Anonymous said...

Your right HELP is what we need. At Gainesville we need it for sure.

Today, we had youths running all over campus, food-fighting in the chow hall, climbing on roofs, climbing in trees, fighting and being restrained in the hallways of the school house, screaming and yelling cuss words all over the place and our leaders telling us that they had it all under control. I sure hope it does not get out of control. I can't imagine what that will look like. A teacher even got their glasses broken. It's for sure a miracle that many people including youth and staff were not hurt. If someone doesnt' get control of the youth on this campus, someone is going to get hurt really bad and maybe even worst. And it might just be a lot of people.

We need your prayers. We're trying to make it the best we can but instead of taking control and getting the help we need, they just want to cover it up. Mr. Needlecoff, Mr. Walters, Mr. Bartush, where are all of you when we need you to come and see what is really going on here and how our leaders can't take care of the youth or the staff? This place is a bomb waiting to happen. This is getting serious and i'm afraid it's going to get even worst than it is right now if that is possibel.

I'll bet you didn't even know nothin about this did you?

Anonymous said...

9:23 is nothing more than a fry cook. Don't let the fry cook get under your skin.

Anonymous said...

A big thank you to the Teachers and JCO’s who tirelessly work to help our throw away kids. If you want control you need the Pope if you want out of control you have the libs stirring up trouble. Somewhere in between is the equilibrium need for success although the central office and our elected officials could never allow a win for TYC just by their very nature.
I pray y’all find a way to work within the boundaries you have been given. I pray that each of you can personally instill the understanding in your TYC kids that they need in order to respect you, in spite of the fact that the current climate of TYC is to hand over control to the offenders. Good luck and keep out of harms way.

Anonymous said...

Austin, we have a problem - we are steadily losing control of our campuses!! PLEASE HELP!!1

Anonymous said...

9:23,
The taxpayers should not be frustrated with TYC, they should be frustrated with the legislature and the governor.

They are the ones who pushed for conservatorship.

They are the ones who supported Kimbrough and the Pope.

They are the ones who for more than a year have completely ignored the recommendations of juvenile experts who came from across the country to put together recommendations for TYC.

They are the ones who refuse to work with, but would rather play politics with, our current administration (only 7 months by the way).

They have been driving this train into the ground. I wish everyone would see that they are doing it on purpose, sacrificing an agency and the youth in it.

Stop blaming TYC administrators for all of this. WHitmire needs to be held accountable for not knowing what the hell he is doing and the hell he has caused.

We really need to do a sweep of the legislators on the criminal justice committees and bring in some people who actually care about making Texas a safer place to live, not just their own political power and pocketbooks.

Now, the new administration is at fault for following through with the NextConConextions treatment program put together by the Pope. This is ridiculous. Youth will not be held accountable for their behavior. They will not even have to work on identifying their motivations for offending and their criminal offenses. The legislature really needs to wake up to what they have done by eliminating, rather than adjusting, the resocialization program. It really wasn't the program it was the method of assessment that was the problem. It would still be so easy to just modify an established program, bring back some sense of understanding for these youth who are now out of control, and slowly adjust the program.

Quit talking about Research Based Treatments TYC. Conextions is not research based and is really not even a treatment program. Just a bunch of groups with skills development. What a joke. You are going to have VOAs and sentenced offenders just sitting around for 2 to 3 years, learning skills, nothing more? please. what a joke. what a waste. come on.

Anonymous said...

9:23 is telling like it is! The truth and nothing but the truth.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the "fry cook" is reflecting the attitude of most voters out there with regard to government employees. That's the ignorant audience Whitmire is playing to. Whitmire is not stupid - he's just completely amoral.

Anonymous said...

I do not disagree that TYC is a chaotic place, but disagree that the agency is responsible. What other state agency has had 5 different leaders in a span of less than 2 years. Who is responsible for this? the governor and legislator. You should expect nothing but chaos from this situation. All Nedelkoff has been able to do is manage the inane policies of his predecessors. It will take the new ED two years to firmly establish a future path.

Dismantle Austin, not TYC.

Anonymous said...

Who is responsible for the turn of events...

Conservatorship...legislature/governor
Disbanding the board...legislature/governor
J. Kimbrough...governor
Ed Owens...governor
The pope...Whitmire/governor
Nedelkoff...governor

All of the current problems in TYC are directly related to the people listed above. not TYC staff.

If the legislative and executive branches of government were businesses the legislative branch would be bankrupt and the executive branch would be locked up.

Quite blaming tyc staff. You don't know anything about the dedicated staff of TYC. Staff who continue to do their job, faithfully, while central office bobbleheads yank the chain back and forth. Work endless 12 hour shifts. Have the policies by which they are supposed to do their jobs yanked around like yo yos leaving them unsure what if anything they can do to protect themselves and the youth in their care. TYC is no different than any other employment pool. You have those who don't carry their weight, but the vast majority work extremely hard, with limited resources (not a bloated budget at the institutional level). So rather than knowing what they are talking about 9:23 is talking out of their a@#.