as heard on jody dean As Heard On Jody Dean: Monday, 02/14/2011

Jonathan Hayes, Rebekah Black, Kathy Jones, Jody Dean, and Bernie Mack

If it came out of Jody’s mouth, we’re frantically trying to add it here!trans As Heard On Jody Dean: Wednesday, 02/02/2011

We’re updating this page constantly throughout the morning, so refresh often!

We have a few things going on this morning…

5:45AM – Notes from the News

6:10AM – Be listening for a chance to win tickets to see Diana Ross at the Majestic Theatre!

6:45AM – We’re going to talk ‘Hollywood’ with Mike Evans, the Hollywood Insider. 

7:50AM – They Walk Among Us

Now, on to your morning links!

1. The Grammy’s


2. Christina Aguilera Falls After Performance


3. Notes from the News


4. Emails from School Teachers

Email #1

Dear Mr. Dean and the Morning Team,
I heard your brief conversation this morning regarding school funding and wanted to offer this perspective.  If you choose to read this letter or selected parts of it on the air, please do not read my name.  My job, as well as my credibility, will come under fire and although I may lose my job anyway, I would prefer not to have my character attacked.
Our state has known for the past two years we would be facing deep across the board budget problems; however, the Texas constitution only allows the legislature to meet every biennium, therefore, nothing could be done until this year’s session.  That is only part of the problem.  The other problem is that some districts continually overspend on high district administration salaries, unnecessary district employees, and frivolous or unnecessary things.  Then, realizing they are overbudget, they use scare tactics on the unsuspecting taxpayers making it appear that the students will suffer if they do not approve a bond election.  I am sure it would require a statutory change, but I would rather see the overpaid school district administration employees be eliminated or take a pay cut before they eliminate teacher positions.  The Texas Tribune offers a view of what government employees (including some school districts) across the state are making.  Unfortunately, they do not have many school districts listed but here are a few links you might find interesting:  Dallas ISD, Ft. Worth ISD, Rockwall ISD  For further information see this link:
The teachers that do not lose their jobs are facing the issue of increased class sizes (as if discipline in the classroom were not bad enough already.)  There have been lobbyists in Austin attempting to remove the cap on elementary classroom size for at least the past couple of years citing the budget problem as their justification.  If you are the product, as I am, of classrooms that regularly had thirty-four plus students you will remember that most of the teacher’s time was spent in crowd control.  The saving grace for students at that time was the fact that teachers were not ordered to meet the demands of every ridiculous state and district mandated test created to prove that the teacher was teaching what they should and the students were learning.  Instead, teachers were allowed the freedom and flexibility to really teach and by this I mean placing emphasis where they felt it was required, spending extra time on what they saw students struggling with, and incorporate hands-on and real world experiences to their lessons.  And discipline was not a problem because the students were always busy - but not rushed to the point of distraction.  In that atmosphere, most excelled.  Compare that to today, when students are rushed through everything.  And psychologists wonder why we have an increase in excitability and hyperactivity.  Students are never allowed any time to simply work slowly, taking their time to digest what they are learning.
I blame the advent of high stakes testing on the current rushed learning process.  Many districts feel their teachers should ”hurry up and cram the material down the students’ throats without worrying about their understanding” because they have to get through a certain amount of material before the TAKS test.  This leaves little room for teachers to spend any kind of quality time preparing our students for the next grade level, much less college and life.  Instead, countless hours are spent monthly teaching students how to pass the TAKS test.  This does nothing to actually teach them the material necessary for higher learning – it simply teaches them a technique for gauging how a question is worded and how to eliminate answer choices.  In other words, if they do not know or understand the material they learn how to second guess the multiple choice answers to arrive at what they think may be the correct answer to the question to produce better test scores for the district.  To top that off, some districts create a scope and sequence based on what the students need to know before that subject and grade level’s TAKS test.  The scope and sequence tells teachers (what they should know already because of educator preparation, professional development, and hopefully a desire to stay up to date on TEKS/TAKS requirements) exactly what to teach, when to teach it, and how many days or weeks should be spent on it.  This creates a need for more people in the administration building because you have to employ sometimes multiple people to create the scope and sequence.  There are districts that spend additional resources employing coordinators (at the administrative as well as campus level) who create tests for the teachers to give their students.  The coordinators at the campus level are in charge of ferrying the tests from the administration building to the campus and back.
My advice to every parent is to become aware of what is going on in the schools your children attend.  I realize we are all overworked with little time, but if you can volunteer at the schools do it.  Better yet, if you are unemployed and looking for a way to make a little money try to get on the school’s substitute list.  The best way to see how your district is managing its money is to see it from the inside.  Most districts are top heavy – there are people in the administration building that can and should be cut before teachers or bond elections.  It is time to stand up for children, they are our future.  Hopefully this information will help.

Email #2


I heard on the radio this morning that “furlough” days are not possible for teachers because of state laws.  The laws, however, could be changed if the legislature wanted to help the school districts and teachers survive.  A form of this has been proposed in Arlington and would amount to approximately 3% pay cut.  This would save teachers jobs, and student class sizes. 

Too bad this is not the plan proposed by the AISD.  Their plan is similar to DISD, cut teachers and direct administrators, principles and assistants in the schools.  The plan also proposes a 5% cut in the central administration budgets.  This means less classroom supplies, cleaning supplies, maintenance, etc.  Teachers in some schools currently have to supply their own copy paper because the current budgets do not adequately support the teachers needs.  We will still have the same superintendant, assistant superintendants, directors, and their staffs. 

You are right on when you said that we have been running very fat in the schools.  Unfortunately this has not been in the classroom and the cuts will likely be made there first. 

I keep hearing about the states “rainy day fund”.  The superintendant said that AISD had a “rainy day fund” but if they used that the district would be bankrupt in three years.  He then proceeded to tell parents and teachers to call on the state to use their “rainy day fund”.  DUH!  Would this not do the same thing to the state without addressing the problem of matching expenses to revenue?  YOU JUST CAN’T FIX STUPID! 

We need teachers and teachers aids that directly support the students learning.  We do not need directors earning $150K per year for “dropout prevention”.  My solution would also include layoff of some directors and keep their administrative assistants (secretaries).  They are probably doing most of the work anyway.

5. Mike Evans


6. Bad Boy Mowers Celebrity Softball Classic Photos


7. Bebe’s Bites


8. News Reporter Gibberish


9. Hockey Fight


10. Crocodile Rock by Nelly Furtado and Elton John


11. Texas Beauty Queen Told She’s Too Fat


12. Lady Gaga – Born this Way


13. They Walk Among Us


14. The 25 Most Iconic Movie Kisses


15. Valentine’s Day Restaurants

Dallas Chop House, Sardine’s, Buscatti, Grimauldie’s, Terra, Cafe Ismir, Central 214, Nona Tatta, Lily’s Bistro, Patrizzio’s, Bailey’s Prime, and Cashrell

Comments (6)
  1. Joey2008 says:

    Both emails are very good and hit on many compelling and burning issues. Just a few thoughts and questions:

    “There have been lobbyists in Austin attempting to remove the cap on elementary classroom size…” If this is true, who is paying for these “Classroom Size Lobbyists”? School Districts? School Boards? Maybe this spent money, could have been better spent to save a teacher’s job or two….just a thought.

    It doesn’t take a genius to have forecast the pending budget issues or crisis, and from the Texas Tribunes’ employee-salaries list, some districts may not have these type people employed. Country in worst ever recession, housing foreclosures abound, and consumer confidence tanking all around, equals not enough money to make what the school districts are budgeting/spending. With all the high paid positions, school districts don’t have a high paid CPA out there to ring the “Over Budget Bell”? I agree with email #2 last paragraphs; drop all the directors’ level positions, now.

    “Scare tactics on unsuspecting taxpayers….” Yes they do this every year. School boards and Government official meet and raise the homeowner school tax rates. Appraisal Boards more than likely raise residential appraisals to help the cause, too. Something gotta give. Several years ago there was property tax reform, since then tax rates have slowly crept back to the same pre-reform level. Where is the reform now? Teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, oh my, we’ll just raise the unsuspecting homeowner taxpayer’s tax rate, problem solved. Something gotta give, again.

    I don’t live in DISD area, but I have to comment: A few years ago, under Mr. Hinojosa’s rein, the district hires some 800 too many teachers by mistake, last year Mr. Hinojosa publicly looks for another job, and then gets an extension on his contract. Now Mr. Hinojosa will have to lay-off thousands, mostly teachers? If I was DISD taxpayer, I would be asking for a lot of my money back and refuse to pay another nickel.

  2. Pat says:

    Please email information on Bollie and Wilson DJ for benefit local sick performer

  3. Dennis Garza says:

    Another great Mexican restaurant in Carrollton Tx.. Called Mena’s Tex-Mex Grill @ 2810 E Trinity Mills Rd.
    I’m taken my Sweetie there on Valentine’s dinner.
    Or Trulck’s seafood for Valentine’s dinner!!!

  4. Janice Harmon says:

    You did it to me.,,,a teacher on the way to Haltom High School at 8:15… thinking Valentines Day…married 40 years this year.. and then you played it.. it was a haunting song with just a piano start and a male voice….familiar but not familiar enough…I”VE GOT THE MELODY IN MY HEAD…. as Jody says, the only way to get it out is to hear it again. What was the song … or the artist? …Please help me…. hm, hm,, hm. hmmmm, hm, hm, hmmm ……

  5. RISD class of 87 says:

    I know this is hard to believe but…Teachers are overpaid, considering they have help doing everything in the classroom. Rockwall Elementary schools in particular, have tons of assistants, support staff, student teachers and volunteers. These RISD staff teachers have become lazy and complacent and have personal agendas. They are permitted to leave the campus for breakfast and lunch during school hours and are commonly “absent”. Since they are always at Chiloso Cafe, they should be getting paid by them too! It is time for teachers to treat their occupations like they are on the chopping-block, like everyone else in society now days. Fire all the helpers and support and make the teachers work for their $45,000-$65,000 annual salaries. Principals in our RISD elementary schools are doing nothing so cut their staff too. $100,000+ salary for the principal, plus an assistant principal, plus two to three support staff with $18k-$24K salaries each? DO YOUR JOB YOURSELF RISD TEACHERS, OR GO GET A REAL JOB WHERE YOU ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!!

  6. Rose Bass says:

    Hi there,

    Would you please suggest dinner type restaurants that are within a 30 – 40 mile parameter to Frisco? My friends and I like to hope in the car, enjoy a country drive with the destination of a good lunch somewhere we have never eaten before.

    Thanks so much!!

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