EPISD and thoughts about IDEA schools

This note came to us from a third party:


The purpose of this E-Mail is to update you on the infestation of El Paso by IDEA Public Schools. We are sometimes so focused on surviving the semester, Fighting Forwards for a Bonus, and Fighting Back on individual and collective Advocacy Issues, we lose track of the greater threat of our students, our schools, our district, and our profession. That is the impending arrival of a major predatory Corporate Charter profiteer, “IDEA Public” Schools in El Paso.

Here is what has happened so far, this school year.

1. IDEA has begun actively and aggressively recruiting students to exploit. Presumably you have seen or heard their radio and TV spots. They set up a roadside recruiting stand across the street from a Socorro ISD Elementary School this week.

2. Construction has begun on two IDEA locations in East El Paso. Needless to say, they are using non-Union contractors. Our brothers and sisters in the Iron Workers and Building Trades Council are protesting at the work site. IDEA uses low quality “educators”, so why be surprised they are using low quality labor to build their “schools”.

3. We prematurely thought that we had ‘dodged the bullet’ for a while in EPISD and that Socorro and Clint ISDs would take the brunt of their initial attack on our Public Schools. That feeling of relief ended when it came to light that the former Jewish Community Center building at 405 Wallenberg Dr. had been sold to Tommy Torkelson’s Bad IDEA. That places an IDEA “school” in the middle of the Morehead MS and Johnson ES Attendance Zones. Both Title 1 schools are with 750 feet of the Bad IDEA “school”. And, it is very disappointing and disconcerting when you look at who sits on the Board of Directors of the organization that had to authorize the sale last school year.

Tommy’s Bad IDEA “schools” will soon be trying to recruit faculty and staff. Of course, Tommy will go to his alma mater, Teach for America and its ‘drive by’ 30 day wonder teachers as a source of staff. But also look for them to try to recruit you. Oh boy, lower payer, no due process, no to very low expectations of being kept past three years, no rights, and no academic freedom, just drill and kill.

In Solidarity,


6 Responses to EPISD and thoughts about IDEA schools

  1. Chico says:

    Overall, the EPISD teachers are good. I appreciate their commitment.

    The district leadership, however, needs to “up” its game. I’m hoping a little competition will make that happen.


  2. Progress says:

    Public school s are terrible and get more money every year to do a worse job “teaching” our children, but the writer uses the word “exploit” to describe a charter school. If anyone is exploiting children it is the public school system. We are not even in the top ten best countries when it comes to education, yet we spend more than all other countries combined. The exploitation of our children comes from school teachers and administrators who demand high wages to do basically nothing, then they spend all their time opposing the testing of children to see what they have learned.


    • Dan Wever says:

      This one of the standard replies by the Charter school people. They put a few true points along with badmouthing public education which is the main goal.


    • anonymous says:

      When you say an organization is “terrible and get more money every year to do a worse job,” you’re describing pretty much every government entity and many large businesses, including health care insurance companies and many health care providers. Public education is not alone in its shortcomings.


  3. The Wizard says:

    Agree with Chico. Most of my kids teachers in EPISD are good, fine, and some excellent. Had a few losers the union is allowing to hurt my kids education.


    • Dan Wever says:

      The Wizard, I wish you would name any teachers that are losers and the Union is allowing them to keep hurting your kids. In Texas, the Unions have very little or no power to keep bad teachers on duty. It is very easy to get rid of bad teachers in Texas, you only need good Administrators that are able to do their job and document what the teacher is doing wrong. Now of course if this information is given to Administration and the teacher happens to have friends on the board it might be hard to get rid of them but it has nothing to do with the Union. 😦 My wife as a Union leader talked more teachers into changing jobs or quilting rather than even trying to save their job if they were indeed bad teachers. Most teachers can learn if given the proper training, but they are many times given new software with a couple of hours of training and are expected to be able to use it like they are factory reps. 😦


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