Budget Flexibility

When it comes to managing a budget, consider the lesson taught to me by three exceptional school leaders, Richard Hooker, Bob Brezina, and Shirley Neeley. Always have some wiggle room.  In your budget, you need to disguise an emergency fund.  At some time during the year, something is going to happen where the only way…

A Superintendent Writes… Reasonable Accountability – Part 2

In response to the January 14, 2016 post, “Reasonable Accountability – A Primer for the Texas Legislator,” an Old School LYS Superintendent writes: SC, Your plan is better than what we have now and obviously written with a heaping dose of common sense.  But… here is your big flaw.  You are still basing your plan…

A Reader Writes… Quick Accountability Testing – Part 1

In response to the 2/11/2015 post, “Quick AccountabilityTesting,” a LYS Principal writes: I love this plan! How soon can we implement it? SC Response Obviously, not now.  But if we, as educators, ever want to have this or a similar system implemented we must do two things. 1. We must co-opt the accountability discussion instead…

A Reader Writes… (More on PLC’s – Part 3)

In response to the 6/28/11 post, “More on PLC’s – Part 2,” an old school LYS’er writes:I understand the initial skepticism towards the power of the Fundamental Five. When the Fundamental Five was discovered, and it was discovered – not invented, it was difficult for even Cain to accept the fact that improving student outcomes…

A Reader Writes… (Texas School FInance Situation – Part 2)

In response to the 3/24/2011 post, “Texas School Finance Situation,” a reader writes: Cain, First, as to the your comment: “…and everything to do with poor leadership by the Governor and the legislature” The word “everything” leaves out a few people. Like, for example, the superintendents, principals, and board members who built a model of…

A Reader Writes… (Poisonous Staff – Part 1)

In response to the post, “Poisonous Staff,” a reader writes: SC, I was sitting here reading today’s blog and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The teacher that the person is writing about could easily be any number of teachers on my campus. We have some that think they are above doing what…

A Reader Submits… Technophobia

A LYS Principal submits: I have decided that in the field of education we are almost all technophobic. Educators were so resistant to putting technology into classroom instruction that Dr. Neely implemented technology implementation in the classroom as one of the observed teacher proficiencies under the PDAS teacher evaluation system. Let’s face it, when the…

Brezina Writes… (The Great Ones Outwork Everyone Else – Part 2)

In response to the post, “The Great Ones Outwork Everyone Else,” Brezina writes: “What a great comment on “Good and Great.” It takes a lot of courage and wisdom to take someone else’s thoughts and extend those words to further challenge conventional thinking. Good work.” SC ResponseThank you. But I will admit that the courage…

A Reader Writes… (Urban School Myth – Part 2)

In response to the posts relating to, “Urban School Myth,” an old school LYS Principal writes: “It is always good when Brezina likes a post. Of course, I know there are scores of problems that make the job of education exceedingly difficult. I also believe that many of those problems are self inflicted. In rural…

A Reader Submits… Black, White, or Gray?

An Old School LYS Principal submits: “A few years ago I was playing golf with Don Brown and I asked the question, “Are there gray areas in education or is everything black and white?” I was an assistant principal at the time and I really thought that everything should be black and white and I…

A Reader Writes… (Teacher Stress – Part 15)

In response to the post, “Teacher Stress – Part 9,” the writer writes: “So the campus administrators will know, “Central Office” was my focus. I do agree that everyone has their own perception. This is not about principals. It’s about Central Office not being in touch with realistic goals and respecting the teaching profession. How…

Readers Write… (Quick Advice for AP’s, Vol. 2 – Parts 2 and 3)

In response to the posts relating to “Quick Advice for AP’s – Vol. 2,” two readers write: “I guess I missed the non-LYS’er AP dialogue and if the AP warning that B & B might visit their campuses was based on that information then I, for one, was certainly out in left field or right…

A Reader Writes… (Advice 2/7/10 – Part 6)

In response to the posts relating to, “A Reader Shares… Sunday Advice (2/7/10),” a reader writes: “If I’m ever referred to as ‘ a good principal ‘ – shoot me…”SC ResponseHold on there, cowgirl. There is nothing wrong with being a good principal. There are even times when being a “not bad” principal is a…

A Reader Writes… (The Harris County Incubator – Part 2)

In response to the post, “The Harris County Incubator,” a reader writes: “I am with ya on that one. Old-timers work as a true team always. Old-timers know the meaning of doesn’t matter if you like who is on your team they are still apart of the team and will be treated as such. Old-timers…yep…

The Harris County Incubator

I was recently talking to an old acquaintance who came of age around the same time I did. We were talking about how lucky we were. We were both up and coming administrators in one of the golden ages of Texas Education. We both worked for superintendents in the Houston area in the mid to…

A Reader Writes… (Why You – Part 2)

In response to the post, “A Reader Asks… Why You,” a reader writes: “Common sense wasn’t ‘Common Sense’ until Thomas Paine wrote it.” SC ResponseIt is common knowledge that the LYS reader is smarter that the average educator, but a Thomas Paine reference? That’s just showing off. However, I am going to use your analogy.…

A Reader Writes… (Brezina and Brown Advice Combined)

In response to the post that combined Brezina’s and Brown’s advice, a reader writes: “I totally agree with Cain on the issue of politics. However, the principal does not have the luxury of setting the priorities of the district. As Cain has mentioned, and I agree with him, we need to shift the focus from…

A Reader Writes… (Brown Wisdom)

In response to the comments relating to, “Brown’s Wisdom,” a reader writes: “Let’s not fool ourselves; most principals are NOT the main advocates for students even though they should be. In most cases they are caught up in political mumbo jumbo, employee issues, and district office garbage that consumes most of their advocacy time. I…
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