Are you angry?

The El Paso Herald Post published a guest op-ed piece the other day that I suspect discussed the community that contributes to this blog.

You can read it here:

It is unfortunate when we lose the ability to differ on issues of policy and instead argue based on personal attacks.

From the piece:

Being a blog that mostly caters to angry-at-local-politics folks, or people that are just angry in general for having to pay any taxes at all for anything, the echo-chamber cacophony of agreement crescendoed into a roar of annoyance and outrage.

Most of us are quite capable of speaking for ourselves.  It was inappropriate for the author to conclude that someone is angry, or why we might be angry for that matter.

His op-ed piece makes many valid points and at the same time he was factually wrong when he wrote “A student that goes to a charter school takes their funding with them”.  Yes the school district loses the money if gets from the state, but the local property tax money still goes to the school district.

Then again maybe he was talking about another blog.

We deserve better



19 Responses to Are you angry?

  1. Anonymous says:

    Here’s some critical thinking. In this article, the author compares schools to businesses. In a for profit business, executives make the decision to correct inefficiencies and get out of business segments with shrinking markets. When a business takes on debt, it has specific goals and timelines for the return that choice will generate. Businesses are market sensitive and tailor their services/products to customer “wants” to the extent they feel they can afford to and continue to make a profit. If it becomes clear that a specific product or service is too costly to make money at, they kill it. Conversely, public school districts see themselves as entities that must exist in the form they feel is appropriate regardless of how much it costs. Where a business would recognize the large demographic shifts in their market should drive a contraction in capacity tied to that business segment, school districts decide to keep trying to fill capacity at taxpayer expense. As a taxpayer, I think public entities should exist to fulfill basic needs not well served by for profit entities. Unfortunately, virtually every government entity we have sees itself as something that must grow and compete with the private sector, with virtually no cap on the money it will spend to get there. Businesses that operate that foolishly eventually run out of money. Government entities just float a bond issue and get their employees to show up in force at the polls. It is no longer “for the children” or even the teachers. It is for the folks at the top who want to increase their power and image, and for their backers who want to make money selling them stuff. If EPSID hadn’t had failure after failure the last 20 years, I wouldn’t be nearly as skeptical, but a critical thinker can’t help but question the series of missteps this district continues to have. And, yes, every time I pay my over $9k property taxes, over half of which goes to EPSID, I do get angry because I remember all the waste and fraud I’ve seen over the years. Perhaps if more folks got angry and voted their convictions we’d have less waste and fraud going on.


    • School Patrol says:

      EPISD also used fake photos of dilapidated school buses in their advertising campaign to promote the bond. They purchased the photos from a stock photo service and represented them as EPISD buses. If they lied about that, what else have they lied about?


      • Benevelous says:

        School Patrol, Read, “The Prince” by Machiavelli. It is the manual of philosophy of the current EPISD upper and Middle Admin. They lie and call it scientifically backed “truth”. They hide information and call it “transparency”. They waste money hand over fist and call it “Responsible Fiscal Policy”. They destroy the lives of staff and teachers and call it “the new business model”. And, they end actual teaching methodology, cater to the new wave liberal narrative (and ensure the $Billions for the test generating companies at the expense of our children) and dare to call it education.


    • JerryK says:

      I agree. If the market contracts, cut capacity and costs, i.e, close schools and lay off staff. Go deep, not wide. They will not because having the revenues and debt funds enables EPISD to reward favored (PAC) vendors. No one gives a sh*t about education.


      • Tickedofftaxpayer says:

        And, why is open enrollment good? We are effectively having public school districts compete against each other (and charters). A “business” would actually focus on consolidating districts, shutting down undercapacity schools (and selling the property to the highest bidder) and eliminating redundant operations. Instead, all districts are spending unbelievable amounts of money to compete with each other, and promising not to sell shut down schools to charters. As a taxpayer, I don’t care if you sell to charter school if they will pay the most for a special use building which otherwise might have limited value. In fact, if you sell to a charter for a high price, you up their operating costs (potentially limiting their ability to compete on program quality).


  2. James W Peterson says:

    Taxes are one thing, responsible fiduciary use of tax money is another. I would like to see a lowering of taxes from all taxing entities because they were able to cut costs and come in under budget on some of their spending.

    I did not appreciate how the money scammed from the Downtown Trolley Project seems to be perceived as just another cost of doing business.

    At least we give tax breaks to folks we give back to the community.

    p.s. apologies for sounding like a stand up comic.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Consider the author. What else would you expect from Tim Holt? And what’s wrong with being angry. Anger that is properly channeled can be productive.


  4. Happyinmyshoes says:

    Tim Holt writes from his perspective and that’s that. Read his blog and see. He stopped posting here a while ago maybe because his perspective is not appreciated. Therefore we must be angry since we disagree.

    There is no question “schooling” is changing. Cabrera runs EPISD as if it is a regular business and the customers are parents. If it is, take away government funding and then see what happens. Gone are the days of administration supporting teachers and having their backs. He sees customer service as the “business model.” Ask any teacher if they are afraid of losing their job by siding openly with the teacher over the parents. They side-whisper that they do not want to loose their jobs. Coronado High School is a good example. The recent principal changed the culture in three years to this model of customer service and now the parents run the school and she is gone (promoted for following Cabrera’s plan). A new principal is being sought, and he/she must be customer oriented.

    So a marketing campaign fits into EPISD’s new approach as Holt writes especially as pressure builds from Charter Schools (Google KIPP — it is coming). Maybe if I were in his shoes I would do the same if I want my check now and pension later.

    Am I angry? No, not at all. I do appreciate this and other blogs that allow us to speak openly without fear of retribution. Some writers think if we do not agree with their opinions that we must be wrong and they resort to ad hominen type assaults. That’s OK, too.

    The days of tough, rigorous education are gone and we must realize that it is now all about social and emotional learning. Google that, too. SEL is here.


    • abandon hope says:

      Agree that Tim Holt is entitled to his opinion but disagree that ad hominem assaults are ok. Anyone who has firm, researched opinions backed by facts and evidence should be able discuss ideas in a civil way and not attack others. I would feel better about the public schools if students were taught civil discourse but if the teachers and administrators don’t know it, what chance do students have?


      • Happyinmyshoes says:

        You are correct. Ad hominem attacks are not ok and I update my statement. Thanks.

        By the way, the schools are actively getting rid of experienced teachers (read:old) who practice civil discourse. EPISD only wants younger teachers who will follow lock-step the new way of thinking. There are very few teachers left over 55 in EPISD. It pays the new teachers enough to keep them and then molds them into facilitators, not strong teachers of years past. The pressure on my older friends to retire is high and they get hounded about their strong personalities and lack of customer service (meaning these teachers grade the students based on their performance).


    • Chico says:

      Don’t decide yourself. Timmy still posts here, just with pseudonyms. His real problem is that he cannot imagine that anyone would ever disagree with him. Why should we, when he is so darn smart?


  5. Old Fart says:

    The El Paso Herald Post went out of existence years ago, only to later came back in some internet form. So wonder how many people even read it today?

    Today the Times, which shared the same building as the Herald Post, is a mere shell of its former self. Just look at a Sunday Times and see how few advertisers have supplements in the paper. The ads package that comes in the mail once weekly has more advertising.

    Strange how you have this quasi-internet publication, which went out of existence long ago as a functioning business organization, now criticizing blog posters.


  6. Brutus says:

    Jud Burgess sent this comment in:

    Tim Holt inexplicably leaves out the most basic reason marketing dollars for EPISD are flushed down the toilet…
    EPISD does a mediocre job of educating El Paso’s unique border student body.

    Cabrera and Fenenbock just used half a million dollars of El Paso Rising marketing (misinformation and outright lies) dollars to spearhead the eventual passage of El Paso’s record-breaking, student-shafting, taxpayer-gouging, educator-disrespecting $670,000,000 EPISD bandaid of a school bond.

    Tell me Mr. Holt…did all that marketing money get our kids any closer to quality education in El Paso, where we already are behind the #43 in America ranked education in Texas?

    Marketing dollars spent for new turf, refrigerated A/C, I-pads, new buses, etc.

    You can sit there and try to impress us with all your indepth knowledge about how marketing helps flailing school districts attempt to bring students into their mediocre schools while ignoring their true needs, but you lose all credibility when you fail to mention even the most basic reasons of why EPISD needs to get their house in order before marketing themselves.

    The angry commenters on the blogposts are right.


    • Shocked says:

      Gosh! I actually agree with JB.


    • Concerned Taxpayer says:

      EPISD has made many mistakes that have caused for students to learn less. Cabrera is only interested in having a good image in front of the media. He runs EPISD as a business, but forgets we are dealing with students, not with a finished product.

      He started by taking away academic coaches and textbooks and replaced them with laptops. All along without any useful software that can help teachers with an efficient way of using the newly acquired technology. When Cabrera was asked for software so teachers could monitor the screens, he said there was no need for software. He said that teachers should be able to monitor the screens by walking around the room. As if the students wouldn’t be able to switch screens in a heart beat.

      EPISD scores have been decreasing. Mostly due to the poor decisions Cabrera has made. Some of those decisions were with Tim Holt’s advise. Therefore, I also blame Tim for the low scores.


      • School Patrol says:

        Holt’s pontificating and his defense of EPISD has always reminded me of a sycophant trying to score points with the higher-ups. He also never responded when I once pointed out that he was commenting during the work day; so we were apparently paying him to blog and lecture us.


  7. Editor says:

    Tim Holt is described as a writer. If that overly long and overly detailed opinion piece is an example of his writing, he’s in trouble. Rule #1: make your point in the first paragraph. Rule #2: keep it short.
    That piece was nothing more than an unnecessarily long rant.


  8. Chico says:

    Three problems with Timmy’s article –

    1. When your product is poor, marketing only helps a little. You can only put so much lipstick on the EPISD pig. Cabrera is the main issue. He has not school district experience and doesn’t know how to move the district in the right direction.

    2. I don’t have a problem with marketing. I have a problem with poor quality marketing. As I’ve mentioned before, EPISD spent money on high value billboards on I10. However, they put so much copy on the billboards that a driver or a passenger could never read all the text. Marketing 101 – Keep it simple, stupid.

    3. Since EPISD is a public entity, how about letting us know the results of the marketing? Did EPISD increase the number of students? Did the district pull from students from Ysleta or Canuttllo to improve enrollment?

    While Tim fills his robust belly off the taxpayers dole, his real problem is that he doesn’t believe that taxpayers deserve to have any input on their school district, unless of course they agree with him.

    He also doesn’t realize that many of the posters are parents and volunteers for the district. Tim’s arrogance kicks EPISD supporters right in the face.


  9. Chico says:

    Tim may be right. EPISD is a business. Like any other business, we should ask ourselves, what is the ROI? What did we get from the $500K spent? Did we get more students? Did enrollment increase? Did increased funding come to the district?

    If there is ROI, I’d love to hear about it.


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