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BUSINESS

HEALTH

ADVICE COLUMN

GOSPEL SPOTLIGHT

State Supreme Court Coming To Longview

Tips On Joining A Health Club Or Gym

His Behavior Is Out Of Control

Do You Know If You Are Going To Heaven

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Vol. 21 No. 002

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The community

January 12 - January 19, 2017 Complimentary Copy

EAST TEXAS REVIEW Districts Grab Sample Ratings, State Views

By Kelly Bell

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has fulfilled its obligatory requirement by supplying legislators with hypothetical letter grades on schools and school districts

Recognizing Outstanding Work Of Local School Trustees

I

statewide using the new letter grade system recently approved by the 64th Texas Legislative Session. The present system of “Met Standard” of “Needs Improvement”

ratings is being replaced by one that gives A through F letter grades along the lines of what students receive on assignments and report cards.

See Districts on Page 8

Mr. Jud Murray (Place 2)

Dr. Chris Mack President (Place 3)

Mrs. Virgina Northcutt (Place 4)

Mrs. Shandreka “Shan” Bauer Vice Secretary (Place 5)

Mr. Ted Beard Secretary (Place 6)

Dr. Troy Simmons (Place 7)

Dr. Kerri Daugbjerg President (Place 2)

Anthony Tanner (Place 3)

Frank Richards (Place 4)

Jim Cerrato Secretary (Place 5)

Amy Brown Vice President (Place 6)

Pat Noon (Place 7)

John Borens Vice-President

Karen Wright Secretary

Frank Bufkin III

Mike Henry

Brad Rogers

Ben Shelton

By Charles R. Stafford t seems to me that there aren’t that many selfless people or selfless tasks in our world these days. Too many of the voices we hear are speaking with vested interests or simply promoting “number one.” I have the happy opportunity, however, to know a large group of people who regularly volunteer to take on the responsibilities of a challenging job—and they do it without pay and often without acknowledgement or appreciation from those they serve. Who are these admirable people? They are the locally elected school board members who serve in Texas school districts throughout the state. There are more than 1,000 school districts that cover every inch of Texas. The districts come in all sizes, all levels of wealth/poverty, and all sorts of demographics. Some of them have only a few students and one school building, but some districts have many students and dozens or hundreds of facilities. The locally elected trustees come in all varieties as well. They are rural, urban, and suburban. They are doctors, lawyers, ranchers, small business owners, teachers, tradesmen, moms, and dads. They are representative of every community in every county. Though trustees vary dramatically and serve in districts that vary dramatically, they have one thing in common: they care enough about the kind of public education we are providing in our Texas schools to dedicate themselves to the work of a trustee.

Dr. Mark Camp Vice President (Place 1)

Adam Graves (Place 1)

See Recognizing on Page 8

UT Tyler Online Graduate Nursing Ranked Best in State The University of Texas at Tyler graduate nursing programming has once again been cited as one of the best in Texas by U.S. News and World Report.

See UT on Page 4

Mark White President


2 Business / Legal/Health

State Supreme Court Comes To Longview By Kelly Bell

The Texas Supreme Court has settled on February 15 as the date to hear opening arguments in two cases as the justices take the bench at Letourneau University (LETU.) In the first case the court will consider an inheritance rights case appealed from the Seventh District of Texas Court at Amarillo. The parties are Virginia O. Kinsel versus Jane O. Lindsey, Keith Branyon and Jackson Walker LLP from Tarrant County. The issues to be settled here are whether or not Texas law recognizes tortious interference with inheritance rights, if there is adequate evidence to justify the lower court's fraud verdict and damages award, if damages can be awarded on the strength of that jury's undue-influence finding, and is their enough evidence for this jury's finding that a woman was not mentally competent to amend her trust. "The Kinzel case is important because the Texas Supreme Court's decision will likely determine whether Texas legally recognizes a cause of action for tortious interference with inheritance rights, a claim that enables people to protect their beneficial interests in estates and trusts," said Scott Stevens, a lawyer with the local law firm Stevens-Henry, PLLC."This cause of action is currently recognized by a majority of the states in this country." The second case concerns a medical malpractice and government immunity appeal out of Houston's First Court of Appeals. The parties are Lee Anne Goriski Marino, MD versus Shirley Lenoir from Haskell County. The issues here spring from a challenge to a medical resident's dismissal from a malpractice claim, and are: was the trial court's dismissal order interlocutory (issued before judgement,) and whether or not the resident is protected by governmental immunity if she is hired and paid by a separate foundation while simultaneously supervised by employees of a medical school's clinic. Appeals from interlocutory orders are rarely permitted except by limited statutory exceptions to prevent cases from being appealed piecemeal. "The Marino case is important because the Texas Supreme Court's decision could impact circumstances in which governmental employees, including medical residents assigned to work at different clinics, are entitled to governmental employee immunity for acts caused by their own negligence, which

could further have an impact on graduate medical education and patient care in Texas," said Stevens. Gregg County Barr Association President Jessica LaRue is excited about the Texas Supreme Court convening in Longview. "The issues being decided in these cases are significant and will be of great interest not only to the legal community, but also to the public at large," she said. The cases will be heard from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. in the Belcher Center on the university's main campus at 2100 South Mobberly in Longview. The public is invited to the oral arguments and a question-and-answer session to learn how the state's highest court for civil appeals operates. Spectators should arrive at least 45 minutes before arguments begin so as to have time to pass through security screening. Backpacks and purses will not be permitted. All cell phones are to be turned off or left home. No flash photographs will be allowed. The justices will also hold breakout sessions from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on the campus and in the Gregg County Courthouse for the benefit of students, lawyers and sundry legal professionals. Justice Jeffrey S. Boyd is also an ordained minister and will conduct an opento-the-public afternoon session titled "God, the courts and the law" in the Belcher Center. Concurrently, LETU will host "Law as a Career" Day to give high school and college students an opportunity to learn more about the legal profession as a vocation. Law schools, paralegal schools and court reporter schools will set up recruiting booths to distribute information and answer questions. Justice Don Willett will chair a session for college students while Justice John Devine holds a session for high school students. High schoolers will also be granted tours of the university and interviews with its faculty. Registered students will also receive a free lunch. Attorneys will furthermore be eligible for 2.5 hours of ongoing legal education credit just for attending the oral arguments and question and answer session with the court. Each of seven afternoon breakout sessions at the Gregg County Courthouse will offer 1.5 hours of CLE credit. The Gregg County Bar Association is providing a schedule of events and outlines of the breakout sessions at.

EAST TEXAS REVIEW

January 12 - January 19, 2017

Tips On Joining A Health Club Or Gym By Mechele Agbayani Mills

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ne of the most common new year resolutions is to get in shape. If this is one of your resolutions for 2017, you’re not alone. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Business Profiles approximately 250,000 times for information on gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers. Better Business Bureau has information to help you get fit, without getting taken. In 2016, a large portion of complaints in East Texas were related to contract issues which typically involve disagreements over promises made by the salesperson versus what the membership actually included, and the policy for getting out of the contract if the member relocated to another area. While some complaints were regarding basic billing errors, the majority centered on the customer being billed after they believed their contract had expired. “It’s always important to make educated decisions when considering any business”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB serving Central East Texas “Those who ask the right questions and read the fine print are more likely to be satisfied both inside and outside the gym.” BBB offers tips before you start your fitness journey: Check with BBB. The company’s BBB Business profile will provide you with the company’s track record, including their rating and customer reviews. Consider your budget. Most facilities charge an up-front membership fee to join and a monthly fee that is usually paid by automatic withdrawal from your checking account. Take a tour. Make sure the gym has the equipment, classes and trainers you need or expect. Pay attention to things that are important to you, whether it’s the cleanliness of the showers or the availability of Wi-Fi. Ask questions and make sure you understand all the rules. Ask about busy times, wait times for equipment, whether classes require preregistration, availability and cost of trainers, etc.

Understand the terms. Before you sign the dotted line, request a contract to read at home so you fully understand what the membership entails along with any gym rules. Does it list all services and facilities and the hours of operation? Is everything that the salesperson promised in the contract? Consider other options if a club pressures you to sign a contract without giving you time to review it. Before deciding on a gym ask the salesperson these questions: Will my membership renew automatically ? Many times, people join a gym, but don’t consider what happens when the original contract runs out. Some gym contracts renew automatically unless they are cancelled. How can I get out of my contract? Getting out of any contract isn’t always as easy as getting into one. Make sure you understand what steps are necessary to cancel your contract. What happens if I move? Gyms have any number of policies for what happens if you move. It might depend on how far away you’re moving and if they have affiliate gyms you could attend. What happens if they go out of business? Ask the gym to explain what will happen to your money if they go out of business. Before signing that dotted line, ask yourself these two questions: What are my fitness goals? Determining your fitness goals in advance will help you select the most appropriate facility for your needs. If you have a serious medical condition, consult a medical professional when setting your fitness goals. Is this location convenient? If the gym is across town, you’ll be less likely to work out. Choose a fitness club that is convenient for you from work and home. For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline: 903581-8373 or report it via BBB ScamTracker.

East Texas Review is published at 517 S. Mobberly Ave, Longview, Texas 75602

E-mail us at joycelyne@easttexasreview.com Visit us online: easttexasreview.com Like us on: facebook.com/EastTexasReview

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Mission - Why We Exist To continuously improve communication between the people of East Texas.

Vision - What We Want To Be One of the best community newspapers in the

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kelly Bell Patrick Buchanan Steve Chapman Michael A. Guido Carey Kinsolving Mechele Agbayani Mills Charles R. Stafford Dr. Robert Wallace GRAPHIC ARTIST Edward Sampson DISTRIBUTION Teddy LaRose

Nation. Provider of positive and edifying news about people, places, and businesses. The entire contents of the East Texas Review are copyrighted 2017. Any reproduction or use in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. The Publisher welcomes input from the public. You may write or e-mail your comments. East Texas Review reserves the right to edit and make appropriate modifications. The opinions published by contributing writers do not necessarily reflect the views of East Texas Review or its advertisers. Submission Deadline - Every Friday

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Opinion 3

EAST TEXAS REVIEW

December 29, 2016 - January 05, 2017

REAL ANSWER

Fighting Poverty With Real American Values

A recent forum on fighting poverty, sponsored by the Jack Kemp Foundation and moderated by House Speaker Paul Ryan and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, showed why the Republican Party is America’s party of vision. The forum featured six Republican presidential candidates: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Mike Huckabee and Marco Rubio. Each responded to questions from Ryan and Scott and weighed in with their ideas for fighting poverty. They delivered a powerful message - that the most important antipoverty programs in America are the ideas and values that created the American success-andprosperity machine from day one. Star Parker I am talking about freedom, entrepreneurship, education to provide tools for realizing opportunity, and family, which keeps values intact and individuals in control of their lives. Our particular challenges of poverty have really been about bringing what we know works - freedom, tradition and personal responsibility - to the uniquely challenged minority communities in America. This was already starting to happen before liberals took over the poverty issue with President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty” in 1965. In 1959, the black poverty rate was 55.1 percent. By 1969 it was down to 32.2 percent. As Thomas Sowell has written, “In the period from 1954 to 1964 ... the number of blacks in professional, technical, and similar high-level positions more than doubled.” Since the launch of the war on poverty and the beginning of massive spending and big government anti-poverty programs, the black poverty rate has hardly moved. Today it stands at 27 percent. What did happen was the collapse of black families after the start of massive government intervention into black life, with a tripling of single-parent black homes since the 1960s. Republican initiatives have pushed back over the years to work against the massive liberal takeover of the poverty issue in America. As former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush points out, “three things will lift people out of poverty: work, marriage, and a high school education, at least.” Rather than government takeover of personal lives in poor communities, these individuals need to be empowered so they can truly be free and develop and bring their own skills and abilities to the marketplace. Republican candidates at the Jack Kemp Foundation forum discussed ideas of how to push back toward this direction. We must be looking at programs that reward work, marriage and family life, and maximize opportunities for poor children to get educated. Jack Kemp, back in the 1980s, promoted the idea of enterprise zones, to encourage business development in poor communities. Such ideas as the earned-income tax credit, school choice, welfare-to-work programs and vouchers to provide housing choice are all Republican ideas for bringing the power of freedom to poor Americans. As Speaker Ryan and Sen. Scott recently wrote, we’re spending $750 billion annually through more than 80 anti-poverty programs, “yet 46 million Americans are poor today, and the poverty rate has barely budged: from 19 percent in 1965 to 14.8 percent in 2014.” These huge, unproductive expenditures need to be redirected to encourage the values and behavior that move people out of poverty. Jeb Bush is proposing taking the funds from the biggest programs - welfare, food stamps and housing assistance programs - and block granting them to states so creative local decisions can be made to use these funds efficiently. The Kemp forum provided an invaluable platform to shine light on powerful conservative ideas that Republicans have been working on for years to empower poor Americans and undo the destruction caused by liberals. We even saw media coverage by liberal outlets such as MSNBC.

Iran Nuclear Deal -- Alive or Dead? By Patrick Buchanan

Though every Republican in Congress voted against the Iran nuclear deal, “Tearing it up ... is not going to happen,” says Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Hopefully, the chairman speaks for the president-elect. During the campaign, Donald Trump indicated as much, saying that, though the U.S. got jobbed in the negotiations — “We have a horrible contract, but we do have a contract” — he might not walk away. To Trump, a deal’s a deal, even a bad one. And we did get taken. In 2007 and 2011, all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies assured us, “with high confidence,” that Iran did not have an atomic bomb program. Yet our folks forked over $50 billion for an Iranian show and tell to prove they were not doing what our 17 intelligence agencies told us, again and again, they were not doing. Why did we disbelieve our own intelligence, and buy into the “Chicken Little” chatter about Iran being “only months away from a bomb”? Corker also administered a cold shower to those who darkly warn of a secret Iranian program to produce a bomb: “In spite of all the flaws in the agreement, nothing bad is going to happen relative to nuclear development in Iran in the next few years. It’s just not.” Under the deal, Iran has put two-thirds of the 19,000 centrifuges at Natanz in storage, ceased enriching uranium to 20 percent at Fordow, poured concrete into the core of its heavy water reactor at Arak, and shipped 97 percent of its enriched uranium out of the country. Cameras and United Nations inspectors are all over the place. Even should Iran decide on a crash program to create enough fissile material for a single A-bomb test, this would take a year, and we would know about it. But why would they? After all, there are sound reasons of state why Iran decided over a decade ago to forego nuclear weapons. Discovery of a bomb program could bring the same U.S. shock and awe as was visited on Iraq for its nonexistent WMD. Discovery would risk a pre-emptive strike by an Israel with scores of nuclear weapons. Saudi Arabia and Turkey would have a powerful inducement to build their own bombs. Acquiring a nuclear weapon would almost surely make Iran, a Persian nation on the edge of a sea of Arabs, less secure. If, however, in the absence of a violation of the treaty by Iran, we tore up the deal, we could find ourselves isolated.

For Britain, France and Germany also signed, and they believe the agreement is a good one. Do we really want to force these NATO allies to choose between the deal they agreed to and a break with the United States? If the War Party is confident Iran is going to cheat, why not wait until they do. Then make our case with evidence, so our allies can go with us on principle, and not from pressure. Also at issue is the deal signed by Boeing to sell Iran 80 jetliners. Airbus has contracted to sell Iran 100 planes, and begun delivery. List price for the two deals: $34.5 billion. Tens of thousands of U.S. jobs are at stake. Is a Republican Congress prepared to blow up the Boeing deal and force the Europeans to cancel the Airbus deal? Why? Some contend the planes can be used to transport the Iranian Republican Guard. But are the Iranians, who are looking to tourism, trade and investment to rescue their economy, so stupid as to spend $35 billion for troop transports they could buy from Vladimir Putin? The Ayatollah’s regime may define itself by its hatred of the Great Satan. Still, in 2009, even our War Party was urging President Obama to publicly back the Green Movement uprising against the disputed victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In 2013, moderates voted Hassan Rouhani into the presidency, where he began secret negotiations with the USA. New elections will be held this year. And while the death of ex-President Rafsanjani this weekend has removed the powerful patron of Rouhani and strengthened the hardliners, Ayatollah Khamenei is suffering from cancer, and the nation’s future remains undetermined. Iran’s young seek to engage with the West. But if they are spurned, by the cancellation of the Boeing deal and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions, they will be disillusioned and discredited, and the mullahs will own the future. How would that serve U.S. interests? We still have sanctions on Iran for its missile tests in violation of Security Council resolutions, for its human rights violations, and for its support of groups like Hezbollah. But we also have in common with Iran an enmity for the Sunni terrorists of al- Qaida and ISIS. We are today fighting in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as the War Party works to confront Beijing in the South China Sea, Russia in Ukraine and North Korea over its nuclear and missile tests. Could we perhaps put the confrontation with Iran on hold?

The Risks of Repealing Obamacare By Steve Chapman

Much of politics is not about solving problems. It’s about decrying problems while blaming your opponents for causing them or for failing to solve them. The trick is to always evade responsibility. It’s like a game of hot potato. When the music stops, the winners are the ones holding nothing. Long before Barack Obama became president, the worst flaw in our health care system was obvious: Millions of people lacked insurance, exposing them to the dangers of untreated illness and the risk of ruinous hospital bills — and imposing the expense of caring for the uninsured on everyone else. Those lucky enough to have coverage, meanwhile, had to worry about losing it if they got sick or changed jobs. It might seem that taking measures to eliminate these problems would be good politics. In practice, it has been better politics to criticize those measures. One reason is that most Americans had insurance before Obamacare and didn’t see what they would gain from it. That’s why Obama felt the need to make a promise he was bound to break: “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” Even the comfortably insured had their gripes with the status quo he inherited. But that didn’t mean they wanted it to change. In 2010, pollster Douglas Rivers of YouGov/Polimetrix reported that most Americans, when asked what would happen if Obamacare passed, expected “worse care at a higher cost.” If it didn’t pass, though, they expected exactly the same thing. It did pass, and it failed to please most people. In a September 2016 Gallup Poll, 51 percent of respondents said

they disapproved of Obamacare. But it would be a mistake to attribute too much consistency to public attitudes. A poll last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 26 percent of Americans want it repealed. Majorities in both parties support the law’s provisions forbidding insurance companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions, allowing children to stay on their parents’ policy until age 26, eliminating copayments for preventive care and subsidizing premiums for lower-income people. What do they dislike? The individual mandate to buy coverage. From a political

standpoint, Obama made two big mistakes. First, he took action that saddled him with the blame for any complaints Americans have about their health care system. Even before the Affordable Care Act, premiums sometimes rose, treatments were sometimes denied and people sometimes had to change doctors. But when such things happened afterward, they automatically became his personal premeditated crime. Second, he assumed the citizenry was mature enough to accept that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Obama figured that if Americans were protected against loss of coverage and astronomical bills, they would accept their reciprocal obligation to make the system work by purchasing

insurance. What was he thinking? They didn’t accept it. They wanted — and still want — the benefits of the Affordable Care Act without the burdens. They’ve actually gotten something approximating that. This year, the penalty for not having coverage is $695 — much less than the typical annual premium. Consequently, many people, particularly the young and vigorous, choose to do without. They can get off scot-free, because the only thing the IRS can do is reduce the tax refunds (if any) of the shirkers. It can’t garnish wages or impose liens. Americans may not be crazy about the new system. But Republicans may find there are more hazards in undoing it than there were in creating it. Since its passage, some 20 million Americans who didn’t have insurance before now have it — and a study by the Urban Institute forecasts that if the ACA is repealed, 30 million will lose coverage. The GOP would take the fall for that. Some people will have other problems with their health insurance, as people always do, and they, too, will blame it on those in power, regardless of the cause. Congress could keep the popular parts and junk the mandate, but that would cause even more healthy people to bail out, which in turn would push up premiums, which in turn would cause more people to drop coverage, which would leave Americans without the impossibly sweet deal they demand from their leaders. Republicans may find that when they try to carry out the promises they’ve made, the public will not reward them for good intentions but punish them for any result that falls short. There is a term for this tragic outcome: poetic justice.

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4 Community News ADVICE

His Behavior Is Out Of Control

By Dr. Robert Wallace

DR. WALLACE: I’m 18 and Mario is 20 and we have been dating for about four months. We met at a friend’s birthday party and were mutually attracted to one another. The first two months together were wonderful and we had great times together. Then Mario seemed to change. If I wasn’t home when he called, he demanded to know where I was and who I was with. Pretty soon he got upset if I talked to another guy. Then he started following me in his car when I walked home from work. He doesn’t know I’m aware of this, but I have seen him following me in his car about a block behind me. As soon as I get home, he calls me and pretends to be somewhere else. On our last date, he took me home early when I talked for a few minutes to a guy from my church when we were at the mall. On the way home, he told me he did not want me ever to talk to another guy when I was out with him. Now my parents are upset with him because of this and they told me that I should just stop seeing him immediately. I’m not really sure if I want to do that. I kind of like that he is jealous and it makes me feel special and wanted. What do you think I should do? — Nameless, Del Rio, Tex. NAMELESS: Mario’s possessive behavior is out of control and will only get worse. While his jealousy may make you feel “special and wanted” now (though it’s obviously unnerving as well) soon will begin to make you feel like a bird in a cage. He has crossed way over the line and may need professional help to get a handle on his deep-seated insecurities and inability to trust. I urge you to listen to Mom and Dad and give this guy his walking papers. You deserve to be treated with love and respect, which will truly make you feel special and wanted.

December 29, 2016 - January 05, 2017

Lobo Band Members Named 'Texas All-State'

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hree members of the Big Green Marching Machine have been selected to the prestigious Texas All-State Band. Joshua Babino, son of Jonathan and Rochelle Babino, Levi Grant, son of Doice and Beth Grant, and Myles Meader, son of Matthew and Francis Meader, will perform with the Texas All-State Band in San Antonio, Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center as part of the 2017 Texas Music Educators Association Convention. They were chosen for this honor through a competitive process held this year across the state at District, Region and Area levels. LHS Director of Bands Louis Robinett said students selected to perform in the All-State concerts have competed through several levels of auditions beginning in the fall of 2016 to arrive at the state level. "All-State is the highest honor a Texas music student can receive," he said. "Over 1,500 students are selected through a process that began with over 60,000 students from around the state vying for this honor to perform in one of 14 ensembles bands." Joshua, Levi, and Myles are students of Robinett, as well as Tommy Moore,

Tim Drayton, Arri Moore, Jessica Philippus, and David Applegate — all members of the Texas Music Educators Association, an 11,000+ member organization headquartered in Austin. Texas Music Educators Association sponsors the Texas All-State competition. This competitive process begins throughout the state in auditions hosted by 28 TMEA Regions. Individual musicians perform selected music for a panel of judges who rank each instrument or voice part. From this ranking, a select group of musicians advances from their Region to compete against musicians from other areas in seven TMEA Area competitions. The highest-ranking musicians judged at the TMEA Area competitions qualify to perform in a TMEA All-State music group. All-State students will participate in three days of rehearsals directed by nationally-recognized conductors during the TMEA Clinic/Convention. Their performances for thousands of attendees bring this extraordinary event to a close. For the All-State concert schedule and conductor information, go to tmea.org/convention.

Texas Shakespeare Festival Awarded The Texas Shakespeare Festival at Kilgore College has been awarded a $10,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the TSF’s Roadshow Educational Tour. With the NEA Art Works grant, the TSF can bring free abridged productions of Shakespeare and workshops into East Texas schools and in communities throughout the state this spring. The Art Works category focuses on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts and the strengthening of communities through the arts. “We are very proud at TSF to be producing arts education and outreach that’s receiving this sort of national acknowledgment,” said TSF Roadshow director Matthew Simpson. “This grant allows us to make a deeper impact, to reach more students in our area and to spread the word of the incredible resources available at TSF and Kilgore College.”

More than $30 million in grants were awarded by the NEA in its first major funding announcement of fiscal year 2017. “The arts are for all of us, and by supporting organizations such as the Texas Shakespeare Festival, the National Endowment for the Arts is providing more opportunities for the public to engage with the arts,” said NEA chairman Jane Chu. “Whether in a theater, a town square, a museum, or a hospital, the arts are everywhere and make our lives richer.” “We want to make sure that all students are able to experience the magic that TSF has created for 32 years,” Simpson said. “If they are unable to come to us, we will find a way to bring it to them.” For more information on the Texas Shakespeare Festival, visit www. texasshakespeare.com. For more information on projects included in the NEA grant announcement, T:5.73” visit www.arts.gov/news.

LEGAL NOTICE

UT|Continued from Front usnews.com/education/onlineeducation/nursing/. Programming within the UT Tyler School of Nursing focuses on community health and prepares future nurse leaders, educators, advanced practitioners and researchers. Courses are flexible with a student focus, while addressing the challenges of a changing health care environment. The school’s success in educating nurse leaders is best demonstrated by the achievements of graduates in the region and nationwide. They serve as executive officers of large health care institutions and educators in universities and colleges; while others work as advanced practitioners and consultants in settings ranging from rural clinics to government agencies to urban medical centers. For more information, visit uttyler. edu/nursing/college/graduate/. One of the 14 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler features excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of almost 10,000 high-ability students. UT Tyler offers courses at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine as well as a location in Houston.

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T:10.16”

In the 2017 ‘Best Online Nursing Programs’ edition, UT Tyler master’s and doctoral degree programs are ranked 13th nationwide out of all online graduate nursing programs surveyed. For the second consecutive year, UT Tyler is the highest ranked Texas institution listed. Universities listed include University of Alabama, Texas Christian University, University of Arizona, Michigan State University, Florida State University and UT Arlington, among others. “Once again, we are honored to be recognized as one of the premier online graduate nursing programs in the country,” said Dr. Barbara Haas, UT Tyler professor and associate dean for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. “Being the top ranked school in the state of Texas is a reflection of the dedicated faculty and staff at UT Tyler who work so hard to ensure our students are supported and that our programs meet the highest academic standards.” U.S. News and World Report evaluated only regionally accredited schools that met the federal standard of 100 percent online course delivery. Rankings are based upon student engagement, faculty credentials and training, peer reputation, student services and technology and admissions selectivity. To view the complete listing, visit

EAST TEXAS REVIEW


Education 5

EAST TEXAS REVIEW January 12 - January 19, 2017

The Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

M

artin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of AfricanAmerican citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, “I Have a Dream.” Education and Spiritual Growth In 1948, Martin Luther King Jr. earned a sociology degree from Morehouse College and attended the liberal Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania. He thrived in all his studies, and was valedictorian of his class in 1951, and elected student body president. He also earned a fellowship for graduate study. But Martin also rebelled against his father’s more conservative influence by drinking beer and playing pool while at college. He became involved with a white woman and went through a difficult time before he could break off the affair. During his last year in seminary, Martin Luther King Jr. came under the guidance of Morehouse

College President Benjamin E. Mays who influenced King ’s spiritual development. Mays was an outspoken advocate for racial equality and encouraged King to view Christianity as a potential force for social change. After being accepted at several colleges for his doctoral study, including Yale and Edinburgh in Scotland, King enrolled in Boston University. During the work on this doctorate, Martin Luther King Jr. met Coretta Scott, an aspiring singer and musician, at the New England Conservatory school in Boston. They were married in June 1953 and had four children, Yolanda, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott and Bernice. In 1954, while still working on his dissertation, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church of Montgomery, Alabama. He completed his Ph.D. and was award his degree in 1955. King was only 25 years old. Montgomery Bus Boycott On March 2, 1955, a 15-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery city bus in violation of local law. Claudette Colvin was arrested and taken to jail. At first, the local chapter of the NAACP felt they had an excellent test case to challenge Montgomery’s segregated bus policy. But then it was revealed that she was pregnant and civil rights leaders feared this would scandalize the deeply religious black community and make Colvin (and, thus the group’s efforts) less credible in the eyes of sympathetic whites. On December 1, 1955, they got another chance to make their case. That evening, 42-year-old Rosa Parks boarded the Cleveland Avenue bus to go home from an exhausting day at work. She sat in the first row of the “colored” section in the middle of the bus. As the bus traveled its route, all the seats it the white section filled up, then several more white passengers boarded the bus. The bus driver noted that there were several white men standing and demanded that Parks and several other African Americans give up their seats. Three other African American passengers reluctantly gave up their places, but Parks remained seated. The driver asked

her again to give up her seat and again she refused. Parks was arrested and booked for violating the Montgomery City Code. At her trial a week later, in a 30-minute hearing, Parks was found guilty and fined $10 and assessed $4 court fee. On the night that Rosa Parks was arrested, E.D. Nixon, head of the local NAACP chapter met with Martin Luther King Jr. and other local civil rights leaders to plan a citywide bus boycott. King was elected to lead the boycott because he was young, well-trained with solid family connections and had professional standing. But he was also new to the community and had few enemies, so it was felt he would have strong credibility with the black community. In his first speech as the group’s president, King declared, “We have no alternative but to protest. For many years we have shown an amazing patience. We have sometimes given our white brothers the feeling that we liked the way we were being treated. But we come here tonight to be saved from that patience that makes us patient with anything less than freedom and justice.” Martin Luther King Jr.’s fresh and skillful rhetoric put a new energy into the civil rights struggle in Alabama. The bus boycott would be 382 days of walking to work, harassment, violence and intimidation for the Montgomery’s AfricanAmerican community. Both King ’s and E.D. Nixon’s homes were attacked. But the African-American community also took legal action against the city ordinance arguing that it was unconstitutional based on the Supreme Court’s “separate is never equal” decision in Brown v. Board of Education. After being defeated in several lower court rulings and suffering large financial losses, the city of Montgomery lifted the law mandating segregated public transportation. ‘I Have a Dream’ In the spring of 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Entire families attended. City police turned dogs and fire hoses on demonstrators. Martin Luther King was jailed along with large numbers of his supporters, but the event drew nationwide attention.

We Celebrate Dr. King’s Legacy Dr. Selwyn E. Willis, Podiatrist www.longviewfootcare.com

609 E. Whaley • Longview, Tx • 903-753-3316

“The time is always right to do what is right.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

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See King on Page 7


6 Gospel Spotlight

EAST TEXAS REVIEW

January 12 - January 19, 2017

How Do You Know If You’re Going To Heaven?

By Carey Kinsolving

“My grandma thinks I’m going to heaven,” says Kole, 6. Why is it that most grandchildren can’t get enough of their grandparents? Most grandparents are smart enough to just love on their grandkids. They leave the hard stuff like correction and discipline for the parents. Kids instinctively sense when someone loves them. They know their grandparents think they’re very special, and they love it. If grandparents possessed the key to heaven, all their grandkids would have their tickets punched for heaven. “You have to be good,” says Carly, 6. That’s exactly the problem, Carly. Do you know anyone who is good always? If no one is good all the time, how good do you have to be to walk through the pearly gates? Many people think God grades on the curve. If I’ve been better than most people, God will roll out the golden carpet to welcome me into heaven, right? WRONG! God doesn’t grade on the curve. When we compare ourselves to other people, we’re looking at the wrong standard for entering heaven. We need to look at God

instead of people. God is good all the time because goodness is his nature. “I know I am going to heaven because I believe that Jesus died on the cross to take away my sins,” says Reecie, 7. “I know that this is the way to get to heaven because God said so, and God is truthful” (John 3:16). Reecie is not trusting in her own efforts to be good. She knows that she could never earn the kind of goodness that God requires to live with him forever. The Lord Jesus Christ is God’s standard for goodness and heaven. Out of all the billions of people who have been born, only he was good all the time. As God’s only son, Jesus came from heaven in order to make the way to heaven available for all. Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Amazingly, Jesus Christ offers eternal life as a free gift to all who will simply trust him and him alone as their only way to heaven. In spite of the fact that Jesus said, “It is finished,” as he hung on the cross, many people still think Jesus needs help in being the savior of the world. You can’t be truly confident or powerful unless you

know with certainty that you have eternal life. Death is the biggest problem everyone faces. Jesus conquered death when he rose from the grave after three days. True liberation and power comes from knowing you are God’s child forever. No one including you can undo a spiritual birth any more than one can undo a physical birth. When you’re born again spiritually into God’s family, you belong to him forever. God wants to bless all his children. Like any good father, he disciplines his children (Hebrews 12:6). However, he never disowns them. That can’t happen because God promised eternal life to all who accept the Lord Jesus as their savior. No sin or failure is greater than Christ’s sacrifice for sin. Wow! Think about this: The very nature of the life that God gives when anyone trusts the Lord Jesus as his or her savior is “eternal.” Memorize this truth: “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28). Ask this question: How can you lose something that lasts forever?

Christianity Is Not A Religion By Michael A. Guido, D.D

C

hristianit y is not a religion. Religion is man seeking a god. But in Christianity it is exactly the opposite: it is God seeking man through Jesus Christ. Scripture informs us that God “sent His Son” into the world to seek and to save us that we might have a relationship with Him. It is a relationship that is certain, constant and continual. It begins with a grip. A visitor to the Alps decided to go mountain climbing with a famous guide. As they ascended the mountain all went well until they came to

a dangerous crevice. His guide held out his hand but the visitor was reluctant and hesitated. “Grab my hand,” shouted the guide. “That hand has never lost anyone.” So it is with God. “I am always with you,” said the Psalmist, “You hold me by my right hand.” It continues with a Guide. God has a plan for each of us. He knows our possibilities and our limitations. Only He can guide us in the right path because He created us to be God-guided in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. We often fall short of what God intended us to be and become but if we are willing he will lead us carefully and safely through life. The Psalmist wisely wrote, “You guide me with Your counsel.” It ends in glory - not a grave. What a blessed hope! He extends His sure-handed grip to keep us from falling. And with our hand in His, He guides us every day of our lives. Finally we end up living eternally with Him in heaven. All because our Father loves us with an everlasting love.

Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church

Reverend James Webb “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your soul” James 1:21

801 W. Grand Ave. Marshall, Texas 75670 (903) 938-1931

Longview Full Gospel Holy Temple Wednesday-Bible Class, 7:30 p.m. Pastor Dr. Jerry Stanmore Friday-Deliverance Night, 7:30 p.m. 6 E. Pittman Street Sunday School, 9:45 a.m. Longview, TX 75602 Sunday Worship, 11:00 a.m. 903-758-9532 Sunday Family Night, 7:30 p.m. Fax 903-757-6811

Longview Christian Fellowship 2101 W. Marshall Ave. | Longview | 903-759-1401 | www.lcfchurch.org Prayer Time: 10:00am | Worship Service: 10:30am | Pastor Bob Cammack

One of the most common questions of persons who are in the midst of grief is some variation of “how long?” How long will this pain last? How long before I am able to function like I did before? How long before I stop crying whenever someone mentions the name? We sometimes think of grief as a condition - an illness that V. Stanmore Director has to run a particular course. With a cold or flu, we can take comfort that in a few days we will recover. We will be back to normal. All signs of the illness will be merely a memory. Grief is not an illness or a disease. It is a transition.We do not get better. We reconstruct our lives in the face of the loss. We learn to live with that loss. Grief is a difficult journey. We may experience all sorts of emotions - guilt, anger, sadness, loneliness - to name a few. We may find it difficult to concentrate, distressed by so many memories. We may hurt physically, feeling less than our best. It may influence the ways that we behave. We may find ourselves avoiding others or angry at the normal irritants of life. We may struggle with our faith, trying to sort out all our questions of why this had to happen.

Mount Olive Baptist Church 306 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Longview, TX 75602 • 903-753-1774

J.D. Palmer, Pastor

RED OAK MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH Reverend H. C. Rockmore, Sr.

“The Church Where Everybody is Somebody” Sunday School-9:30 a.m. �Morning Worship-10:30 a.m. 2717 S. Martin Luther King Blvd. Longview, TX 75602 �903-753-7390

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EAST TEXAS REVIEW January 12 - January 19, 2017

King|Continued from Page 5 However, King was personally criticized by black and white clergy alike for taking risks and endangering the children who attended the demonstration. From the jail in Birmingham, King eloquently spelled out his theory of non-violence: “Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused to negotiate, is forced to confront the issue.” By the end of the Birmingham campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporters were making plans for a massive demonstration on the nation’s capital composed of multiple organizations, all asking for peaceful change. On August 28, 1963, the historic March on Washington drew more than 200,000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, emphasizing his belief that someday all men could be brothers. “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  — Martin Luther King, Jr. / “I Have A Dream” speech, August 28, 1963. The rising tide of civil rights agitation produced a strong effect on public opinion. Many people in cities not experiencing racial tension began to question the nation’s Jim Crow laws and the near century second class treatment of African-American citizens. This resulted in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities. This also led to Martin Luther King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for 1964. King ’s struggle continued throughout the 1960s. Often, it seemed as though the pattern of progress was two steps forward and one step back. On March 7, 1965, a civil rights march, planned from Selma to Alabama’s capital in Montgomery, turned violent as police with nightsticks and tear gas met the demonstrators as they tried to cross the Edmond Pettus Bridge. King was not in the march, however the attack was televised showing horrifying images of marchers being bloodied and severely injured. Seventeen demonstrators were hospitalized leading to the naming the event “Bloody Sunday.” A second march was canceled due to a restraining order to prevent the march from taking place. A third march was planned and this time King made sure he was on it. Not wanting to alienate southern judges by violating the restraining order, a different tact was taken. On March 9, 1965, a procession of 2,500 marchers, both black and white, set out once again to cross the Pettus Bridge and confronted barricades and state troopers. Instead of forcing a confrontation, King led his followers to kneel in prayer and they then turned back. The event caused King

Education 7 the loss of support among some younger AfricanAmerican leaders, but it nonetheless aroused support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. From late 1965 through 1967, Martin Luther King Dear Fellow Texans: Jr. expanded his Civil On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we celebrate not only the man who Rights Movement into dared to dream of a better future for our nation, but the work of so other larger American many others dedicated to making that dream a reality. cities, including Chicago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a man of faith and courage, stood up and Los Angeles. But for what he believed was right despite encountering adversity almost he met with increasing every step of the way. He peacefully encouraged unity over division, criticism and public understanding over ignorance, and mutual respect over hatred. But challenges from young above all else, he urged us to serve our fellow Americans. black-power leaders. Dr. King once famously declared: “Life's most persistent and urgent King ’s patient, nonquestion is: What are you doing for others?" violent approach and This was the crux of his prescription for realizing equality: only appeal to white middlethrough service for others could one cultivate the respect and class citizens alienated understanding necessary to see their fellow man as an equal. many black militants who As our nation continues to make strides toward Dr. King’s dream of considered his methods equality, we must remember and honor his call to serve. too weak and too late. I look forward to continuing to represent the Lone Star State in the In the eyes of the sharpUnited States Senate, always mindful of Dr. King’s message of service, tongued, blue jean young understanding, and mutual respect. urban black, King ’s God Bless you all, and may God continue to Bless the Great State manner was irresponsibly of Texas. passive and deemed noneffective. To address this criticism King began making a link between discrimination and poverty. He expanded his civil rights efforts to the Vietnam War. He felt that was struck America’s involvement by a sniper’s bullet. The shooter, a malcontent in Vietnam was politically untenable and the drifter and former convict named James Earl Ray, government’s conduct of the war discriminatory to was eventually apprehended after a two-month, the poor. He sought to broaden his base by forming international manhunt. The killing sparked riots a multi-race coalition to address economic and and demonstrations in more than 100 cities unemployment problems of all disadvantaged across the country. In 1969, Ray pleaded guilty to people. assassinating King and was sentenced to 99 years in Assassination and Legacy prison. He died in prison on April 23, 1998. By 1968, the years of demonstrations and Martin Luther King Jr.’s life had a seismic confrontations were beginning to wear on Martin impact on race relations in the United States. Luther King Jr. He had grown tired of marches, Years after his death, he is the most widely known going to jail, and living under the constant threat African-American leader of his era. His life and of death. He was becoming discouraged at the slow work have been honored with a national holiday, progress civil rights in America and the schools and public buildings named after him, and increasing criticism from other Africana memorial on Independence Mall in Washington, American leaders. Plans were in the D.C. But his life remains controversial as well. In works for another march on Washington the 1970s, FBI files, released under the Freedom to revive his movement and bring of Information Act, revealed that he was under attention to a widening range of issues. In government surveillance, and suggested his the spring of 1968, a labor strike by Memphis involvement in adulterous relationships and sanitation workers drew King to one last communist influences. Over the years, extensive crusade. On April 3, in what proved to be an eerily archival studies have led to a more balanced and prophetic speech, he told supporters, “I’ve seen the comprehensive assessment of his life, portraying promised land. I may not get there with you. But him as a complex figure: flawed, fallible and I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, limited in his control over the mass movements will get to the promised land.” The next day, while with which he was associated, yet a visionary standing on a balcony outside his room at leader who was deeply committed to achieving the Lorraine Motel, Martin Luther King Jr. social justice through nonviolent means.

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X


8 Education

Districts|Continued

EAST TEXAS REVIEW

January 12 - January 19, 2017

Schools And Districts Got Their Grades

from Front

Known as House Bill 2804 this legislation requires the TEA to provide schools and districts with what is essentially a preliminary snapshot of how the system will work once it goes into effect in 2018. Districts and their schools are rated in four domains as follows • D1: Student Achievement • D2: Student Progress • D3: Closing Performance Gaps • D4: Postsecondary Readiness “What the TEA releases provides insight about the methodology of a futuristic system,” said Tyler ISD Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford. “These marks do not reflect the incredible progress Tyler ISD campuses made over the course of the last school year in current law, such as the increased number of state recognized academic distinctions and the significant reduction of low-performing campuses.” State Education Commissioner Mike Morath points out that guidelines for establishing the grades in their individual categories are not yet firmly set, and may change before the fall 2017 semester. He also advises parents and schools against using these preliminary grades as indicators of what overall grades may be the following year. “TEA was clear in calculating this statutory requirement as developing and unfinished,” said Crawford. “We’re not letting the success of students and solid work of teachers under the current system go unnoticed, much less distracted by the experimental features of these new, unofficial targets. Right now, we’re focused on teaching this year’s students and continuing the gains we saw next year. Once the rules of this game are clear we will work to win in that setting just as we are in the current system.” The Met Standard/Needs Improvement methodology are still in use for the 2016-2017 school year. These ratings are for informational purposes to comply with legislative requirements by representing work-in-progress models that are expected to change before the A-F rating system goes into effect in August 2018. Longview Independent School District Director of Research, Planning and Accountability Latitia Wilson is confident that LISD is on track with the A-F Rating System. Nonetheless, she posited that it is not an accurate measurement for Longview ISD student population. “We are ahead of the game due to the measures we already have in place. Now that we know the rules, we will continue to implement our strategic plan,” she said. “Our district does not have a problem with TEA measuring student performance or student progress; however, the A-F rating system does not give an accurate picture of everything that is going on in our district with our students. The

Recognizing|Continued

rating system provides a narrow focus primarily based on the STAAR tests.” After looking at LISD preliminary grades, Wilson said, “The district will continue to provide targeted staff development for teachers in key content areas such as reading, math, science, writing, and social studies across the district. Although the average daily attendance rate for all schools was above 95%, we will place more focus on decreasing our chronic absenteeism rate (Domain IV) by utilizing our district truancy officer as well as other district initiatives to assist in this matter.” Pine Tree Superintendent Dr. T.J. Farler stated her thoughts about the system thus: “Since the A-F system is still in the development phase, I cannot really provide a comment. If we truly develop a system that easily shows our parents and communities what districts and campuses are accomplishing, a new system could be beneficial. But, if the new A-F system is only going to use one set of testing data from one day during the school year, that is unfair to the students and teachers who work hard each day. PTISD provides our students with a robust education to be great digital citizens, people of character, and individuals who can compete in a global work environment. It appears the new A-F system is only going to be another testing system based on one day during the school year. Pine Tree school had no As nor Fs on the new rating system. Per Farler, when indicator for the system is carefully examined, one will find that the “new system is very narrowly focused.” “Districts that have a lot of diversity and/or students who need additional support to be academically successful will not score well in the newly designed A-F system,” she said. “PTISD will continue to provide an innovative, challenging education for all of our students. and we will continue to provide learning creative opportunities for our students. This type of learning cannot be measured by a scanton test or be reflected in the A-F system as it is currently set up.” Still “PTISD will analyze the data provided by TEA in the A-F system, and use the information to make informed instructional decisions,” Farler said. “However, this is old data and we have already planned curriculum, provided professional development for teachers/ staff, and worked to close the gaps for students who need help to improve based on the 2016 STAAR results that were released last June (2016). It seems a waste of time and effort to be using old data for a new system. It would have made more sense to phase in the new system, as TEA has done repeatedly in the past, rather than send out “test” grades with old data.” Spring Hill ISD Superintendent Steven Snell could not be reached for comments.

from Front

The work of a trustee includes sitting through long meetings. It includes learning what they need to know about school finance, Charles R. Stafford about the state’s accountability system, and about how to make learning happen in a classroom. It includes being approached by fellow community members to talk about schools in the grocery store, at church, and when they go out to eat. Sometimes being a trustee is inconvenient. Sometimes being a trustee means voting for the right thing despite pressure to take another path. Sometimes it means hard work, difficult choices, and real perseverance. But it is a job that trustees take on willingly because they are committed to seeing that the education we provide is the very best it can be, and that commitment is what makes knowing trustees from all parts of the state such a pleasure. When I go to conferences where trustees gather to learn what they need to know to do an effective job as trustee, I am

always impressed by the dedication, purposefulness, and plain caring that these people exemplify. This year I have the privilege of representing those fine people by serving as president of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). It is a private not-for-profit membership organization that was created in 1949 by trustees who wanted a way to speak up for their schools and students and help themselves do the best job they could. There are more than 7,200 locally elected trustees in Texas. They are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the State. Generally speaking, they serve quietly and without fanfare. As a group, they are fine people who care about kids. While a few trustees make headlines, the overwhelming majority of them work in the background, serving without calling attention to themselves. For that reason, it is important to occasionally point the spotlight on them and express our appreciation for what they do. They are truly public servants, working without compensation, playing an important role in making sure that the more than 5.3 million students in Texas public schools have the best classroom experiences we can provide.

S

chool districts across Texas pulled in lackluster preliminary grades under the state’s new letter-grade accountability system that debuts Friday. Various Central Texas districts, including Austin, Leander, Hays, Georgetown, Bastrop, Manor, Elgin, San Marcos, Hutto, Dripping Springs and Elgin received unacceptable grades of Ds and Fs in certain categories, according to a report sent to the Texas Legislature last week that was obtained by the American-Statesman. Even some nationally ranked campuses, including Round Rock’s Westwood High School and Eanes’ Westlake High, didn’t muster straight As under the new system, and schools that received top marks from the state just a few months ago received unacceptable scores. The grades are meant to give districts and the public a glimpse of how the new system will work when it is finalized next year, and are not official or punitive. The accountability ratings doled out in August still stand. “Although we support and value campus and district accountability, we also believe that communities cannot assess the complexity of educating students by a single letter grade based mostly on a standardized assessment,” said Round Rock Superintendent Steve Flores. The new A-F letter grade rating system is based heavily on state standardized test performance. While the final grading system goes into effect in August 2018, lawmakers required that school districts and campuses receive preliminary ratings based on the 2015-16 school year to give a glimpse of what ratings will reveal. The scores are not official or punitive and the accountability ratings doled out in August still stand. Instead, the Texas Education Agency’s preliminary report to the Legislature shows what letter grades schools and districts would have received for the 2015-16 school year if the rating system had been in place. While in the future schools and districts will receive a single letter grade, that’s not the case for the preliminary grades. The Texas Education Agency is instead releasing four letter grades, each in a different category: • How students perform on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness. • How students improve on the STAAR year over year. • How well students are prepared for careers and college after high school. The state is scoring elementary school students on this category based on how many of their students are chronically absent. Middle schools will also be scored on their drop out rates. • How campuses and school districts close performance gaps between low-income and higherincome students.

The new rating system was passed by the Legislature in 2015 amid heavy pushback from school districts statewide. State teachers’ groups and multiple Texas districts, including locals Austin, Dripping Springs and Manor, approved resolutions that called on the Texas Legislature to repeal the A-F letter grading system. Others, like the Round Rock district, included repealing the grading system in its top legislative priorities. Austin school district Superintendent Paul Cruz said having an A through F system is confusing if it is not the same A through F system that people know and understand. Under this system, a school can have a 90 and still be failing, he said, and “that’s not the grading system we use in our schools.” Blackshear Elementary, for example, is a national Blue Ribbon school, and has been recognized by the Texas Education Agency for the work it has done with a high concentration of students from low-income families. Yet it received an F under the postsecondary readiness category because of absenteeism, he said. Statewide, campuses also scored tepid marks: • 13 percent got As, 18 percent got Bs, 36 percent got Cs and 32 percent got Ds and Fs in student achievement. • 12 percent got As, 21 percent got Bs, 34 percent got Cs and 33 percent got Ds and Fs in student progress. • 10 percent got As, 25 percent got Bs and 23 percent got Cs and 42 percent got Ds and Fs in closing performance gaps. • 11 percent got As, 24 percent got Bs and 35 percent got Cs and 31 percent got Ds and Fs in postsecondary readiness. Courtney Boswell, executive director of the Austin-based education policy group Texas Aspires, said that the results transparently represent the actual performance of districts and campuses statewide. “So much of the resistance to accountability and academic transparency comes from superintendents and supported by suburban-type parents. Everyone thinks that their school and teachers are great, and not necessarily the one over there. It gives us a great opportunity to see where there are gaps and areas for improvement. Perceptions aren’t always reality,” she said. The new A-F rating system was passed by the Legislature in 2015. It requires that the Texas Education Agency assign letter grades on overall performance, as well as for each of five performance indicators (only four measured for now), to districts and their campuses. Letter grades A through C are considered acceptable, while D and F are not.

See Scores on Page 9

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017 6:30 PM

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Education 9

EAST TEXAS REVIEW January 12 - January 19, 2017

School Grades By District D1: Student Achievement

D2: Student Progress

CAMPUS

Districts and their schools are rated in four domains as follows: D3: Closing Performance Gaps D4: Postsecondary Readiness

DISTRICT

SCHOOL TYPE

2016 RATING

D1

D2

D3

D4

BRAMLETTE EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

F

C

D

D

FOREST PARK MAGNET SCHOOL

LONGVIEW ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

D

C

C

C

FOSTER MIDDLE

LONGVIEW ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

B

A

B

C

HUDSON EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

A

C

A

A

J L EVERHART MAGNET EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

C

C

D

JOHNSTON-MCQUEEN EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

B

D

C

JUDSON MIDDLE

LONGVIEW ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

C

B

C

D

JUVENILE DETENT CTR

LONGVIEW ISD

High School

Not Rated

-

-

-

-

LEAD ACADEMY H S

LONGVIEW ISD

Alternative Education

Met standard*

C

B

B

D

LONGVIEW H S

LONGVIEW ISD

High School

Met standard*

C

C

B

C

LONGVIEW ISD

LONGVIEW ISD

District

Met standard*

C

A

B

D

NED E WILLIAMS EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

B

B

A

D

PLAYING FOR KEEPS EARLY CHILDHOOD

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Paired campus

-

-

-

-

SOUTH WARD EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

B

C

C

WARE EL

LONGVIEW ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

F

C

D

D

DISTRICT

SCHOOL TYPE

2016 RATING

D1

D2

D3

D4

EXCEL H S OF CHOICE

PINE TREE ISD

Alternative Education

Met standard*

B

-

-

C

PINE TREE EL

PINE TREE ISD

Elementary

Paired campus

-

-

-

-

PINE TREE H S

PINE TREE ISD

High School

Met standard*

C

D

D

B

PINE TREE INT

PINE TREE ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

D

C

D

PINE TREE ISD

PINE TREE ISD

District

Met standard*

C

D

D

C

PINE TREE J H

PINE TREE ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

C

C

D

C

PINE TREE MIDDLE

PINE TREE ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

C

C

D

D

PINE TREE PRI

PINE TREE ISD

Elementary

Paired campus

-

-

-

-

DISTRICT

SCHOOL TYPE

2016 RATING

D1

D2

D3

D4

SPRING HILL H S

SPRING HILL ISD

High School

Met standard*

B

C

C

B

SPRING HILL INT

SPRING HILL ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

C

D

C

SPRING HILL ISD

SPRING HILL ISD

District

Met standard*

B

C

B

B

SPRING HILL J H

SPRING HILL ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

B

C

C

B

SPRING HILL PRI

SPRING HILL ISD

Elementary

Paired campus

-

-

-

-

CAMPUS

DISTRICT

SCHOOL TYPE

2016 RATING

D1

D2

D3

D4

WOODS EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

C

D

C

TYLER ISD

TYLER ISD

District

Met standard*

D

B

D

D

THREE LAKES MIDDLE

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

C

F

F

F

T J AUSTIN EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

C

C

C

ST LOUIS EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Paired campus

-

-

-

-

ST LOUIS EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Paired campus

-

-

-

-

MOORE MST MAGNET SCHOOL

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

B

A

B

C

BIRDWELL EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

A

B

A

T J AUSTIN EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

C

C

C

ROBERT E LEE H S

TYLER ISD

High School

Met standard*

C

C

C

D

PEETE EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

A

C

B

HOGG MIDDLE

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

D

D

C

C

BELL EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

B

C

C

WOODS EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

C

D

C

TYLER ISD

TYLER ISD

District

Met standard*

D

B

D

D

RICE EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

C

D

B

RAMEY EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

F

C

D

C

OWENS EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

C

D

D

C

ORR EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

B

D

F

JOHN TYLER H S

TYLER ISD

High School

Met standard*

F

D

D

F

HUBBARD MIDDLE

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

C

C

D

B

GRIFFIN EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Improvement required

F

C

D

C

DR BRYAN C JACK EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

B

C

D

C

DOUGLAS EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

C

D

B

DOGAN MIDDLE

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Improvement required

F

F

D

B

DIXIE EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

B

D

D

CALDWELL EL ARTS ACADEMY

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

D

D

D

C

BOULTER MIDDLE

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

F

D

D

D

BONNER EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

F

C

D

C

THREE LAKES MIDDLE

TYLER ISD

Middle School

Met standard*

C

F

F

F

JONES EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Improvement required

F

F

F

C

CLARKSTON EL

TYLER ISD

Elementary

Met standard*

F

D

F

C

CAMPUS

CAMPUS

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EAST TEXAS REVIEW January 12 - January 19, 2017

COMMUNITY HEALTH This page is generously sponsored by

UPCOMING EVENTS

Hope Breast Cancer Support Group of Longview Meets the second Tuesday of each month, • Free support group. Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Where: The Breast Center of Longview Regional; 709 Hollybrook Drive, Suite 5604, Longview, 75605 For additional information: Call 903-235-8713

Less waiting for emergency care

Breastfeeding Support Group

(and a lot more care, if you need it). In a medical emergency, every minute matters. So, at Longview Regional Medical Center, you’ll find faster care in the emergency room. We work diligently to have you initially seen by a medical professional* in 30 minutes – or less. And, with a team of dedicated medical specialists, we can provide a lot more care, if you need it.

The 30-Minutes-Or-Less E.R. Service Pledge – only at Longview Regional Medical Center. LongviewRegional.com

Meets the second Tuesday of each month, • Free support group. Time: 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Where: 709 Hollybrook Drive, Third Floor, Cardiac Rehab Classroom For additional information: 903-242-3490

*Medical professionals may include physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners.

84671_LONGV_ERpldg_8_4x10_75c.indd 1

7/16/15 7:08 PM

Childbirth Education Classes

Four-week childbirth education series held on Mondays. Time: 7:00 p.m. Cost: $65 which includes a resource book for your reference. For additional information & to make your reservation: 903-242-3490

Topics, dates and guest speakers are subject to change without notice after posting. Please visit www.LongviewRegional.com under Calendar of Events or the Healthy Woman page on the hospital’s website to verify dates and topics.

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East Texas Review January 12, 2017