Woods' Weekly

Dr. Woods working with student

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

May 16, 2022

Good morning! Thank you all for your continued commitment to cultivating informed communities and promoting a culture of voting. Early voting for the Joint Primary Runoff begins today, Monday 5/16, and runs through Friday 5/20, with hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Election Day is Tuesday 5/24, with hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. These runoffs are a result of the Primary Election in March, in which multiple races did not produce a candidate with over 50% of the vote. Runoffs are needed to determine who moves on to the General Election in November.   

 

If you voted in the March primary, you can only vote in the same party's runoff. If you did not vote in March, you can choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican runoff. Any registered voter can vote at any of the polling sites. You can check to see if you're registered by entering your information at the Texas Secretary of State's website here: https://teamrv-mvp.sos.texas.gov/MVP. As with all elections, it's important to exercise your right to vote, regardless of which candidates you support. I encourage you to make a plan to vote and to remind your family members and close associates to do the same.  

 

Last week, I was able to attend a meeting of an organization that is important to our advocacy work. A gentleman named Harvey Kronberg was invited to speak. Mr. Kronberg runs an Austin-based publication called the Quorum Report and frequently appears on various channels as a source of insider information on Texas politics and politicians. In his remarks, he made a point that resonates with me and perhaps anyone who was in a school district after the massive funding cuts to public schools in 2011. He said that the greatest danger of the upcoming legislative session is that, ironically, there is too much money available. With property and sales tax revenue soring as well as being flush with unspent and unallocated federal stimulus dollars, Texas is rolling in money. The danger he meant was that it will be tempting for the legislature to spend funds in ways that, if there is a housing bubble bust or a recession, might not be sustainable even in the near future. For those of us who vividly remember the trauma of 2011-12, even in Northside where no one lost their job, that is a sobering thought.

 

Also, last week was the official walkthrough of the nearly completed Sotomayor HS. Our twelfth comprehensive high school will open in August of this year and it is absolutely beautiful. Between our staff, the architects and other consultants and the contractor, we will have a building that will make us all proud. Now that the most recent bond election is behind us, I look forward to making similar major adjustments to many of our oldest schools. 

 

On Saturday, I was thrilled to attend Together We Sing where all middle school choir programs are invited to showcase their singing talents in the same big space. It is truly a one of a kind event. The crowd saw around 700 middle school choir students show off their skills. The music ranged from the Beatles to Queen and there were a lot of smiles among teachers, parents, and performers. Thank you to our entire Fine Arts group including vocal arts supervisor James Hare for putting on an exceptional performance. Thanks also to our middle school choir directors. If you don’t remember having a lot of honed skills in middle school (like me) you haven’t seen what this group can do!

 

Finally, lately, we have heard a lot of ideas about what we do in public schools, including in Northside, that are based on half-truths and questionable, hand-picked “facts.” With that background in mind, I recently read in an Express News column, ironically about sports, a quote from the author Mike Finger. I really enjoy his style of writing. He said:

"There is a Latin proverb, at least four centuries old, which loosely translated says, 'what is asserted without reason may be denied without reason.' In other words, the thinkers of the day were asserting it’s not on us to prove your unsubstantiated ideas are wrong. It’s on you to prove they’re right."

 

Have a great week!

BTW

 

 

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