I related yesterday that I was going to rise an extra thirty minutes before my usual time for a brisk run before heading off to work. That didn't come to fruition, but instead I hit the snooze button about 3 times. Work at the West Texas State School was exhausting today, because I'd been gone for a week. I forgot conveniently how taxing the boys can be and how they demand so much of my attention. This week is extremely important, we have 9 young men preparing to take their TAKS EXIT LEVEL TESTS. In the state of Texas, one must pass these tests, even if they have the required amount of credits, to graduate from high school. These tests are similar to the GED in the fashion that they are both written in English, other than that, the TAKS remains a mighty difficult undertaking.
Before I left for holiday, it was my understanding that the school would remain operating until August of 2010. When August of 2010 rolled around the school has been ordered to close permanently. Well, when I got back to WTSS today, a vicious, nasty rumor had been circulating that said the school was closing at the end August 2009. The rumor had been started by the top guy at the Pyote facility. I believe this to be a direct attack against the employees for several reasons:
1. If the top brass can jump start enough discord and unrest, more people will quit which will leave the school short staffed causing a severe problem which will act as a catalyst to shut the school down early.
2. Apparently, someone has a vested interest in West Texas State School shutting down. Possibly, could there be a monetary incentive to a certain person? A likely transfer to the Galveston facility as their Superintendent once the Pyote School is closed?
3. The education program under Iraan Sheffield ISD has been so much more successful than it ever was under the tutelage of the Texas Youth Commission; in such a short period of time, that after YEARS of inefficiency and corrupt waste a truly successful program would blow the lid off their blatant mismanagement all over the great state of Texas.
Fact: As far as I know, the Pyote location has not graduated a student in the past 5 years. They had a particular young man for FOUR years, and when Iraan took over the education and started the program of intensive direct teaching and computer lab skill mastery, this young man only had 1 credit in Physical Education. After just 11 months, this student has earned 13 credits, earned his GED and is now taking the EXIT LEVEL TAKS TEST. He and 8 others will be testing this week like all other Junior and Senior level students across the great state of Texas.
Once these students graduate, they are no longer enrolled in high school. It seems very strange that after YEARS and YEARS of Texas Youth Commission management, there is NOTHING in place for these graduates. You know what some of them did today? Swept the floor.