New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 10, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
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By JACQUELINE SMITH Staff writer
One thing that is bothering school teachers most nowadays — in addition to their salaries — is how society has changed school children, according to one local teacher.
“Children aren’t the same anymore. They don’t have the same attitude towards school,” according to Florence Crews, publicity chairman of the New Braunfels Educators Association and fourth grade teacher at Carl Schurz Elementary.
“Scores are getting worse and worse on the standardized tests (such as the SAT),” she said. “And its tough on teachers because
they’re in there working just as hard as ever and not getting the same results as in previous years.”
“Yo<j can’t keep demanding the same high standards if the majority of the children are not meeting them consistently,” Crews said.
“Most of us (teachers) are not willing to go out on a limb,” she said referring to a teacher who gave many of her students failing grades because they did not meet the standards she had set in previous years. “As a result her contract was not renewed and she lost her job because she failed many students.”
Crews said that in New Braunfels teachers have no continuing contract to teach and at any
time the school district can decide not to renew it. “The teacher does not have to be incompetent nor do they (the school board) have to give a reason why they did not renew it (the contract),” she said.
However, it hardly ever happens in New Braunfels but it does in bigger communities, Crews said. “Most of us in New Braunfels are automatically renewed,” she added.
And although teachers’ salaries are not always adequate, Crews said that the majority of teachers get into teaching for different reasons and not “just for the money.”
There are too many hours spent teaching to do it just for that (for the looney), she said.
“Most teachers get into teaching because they want to help children.”
“I don’t know anyone in his right mind who would get into it (teaching) just for the money because it is not an easy job — if you do it right. And if you don’t do it right, you don’t get away with it.”
Crews attributed one reason for a decline students’ interest in their school work to the parents. “The parents — although some are — aren’t as interested. A big percentage of them seem to not be working as hard at encouraging their children as they could,” she added.
“If they would spend just IO or 15 minutes a day with their children reading to them or
listening to them read, or helping them with their multiplication and division ‘factV it would help the child,” she said.
Crews also said because there has been a lot of adverse publicity about the public school systems nationally, some parents are now refusing to send their children to public schools. “Instead they send them to private or teach them at home,” she said.
“There is not a severe problem (with parents not sending their children to public schools) in New Braunfels, it’s still more of a national problem,” Crews said. “But ifs just a matter of time before it gets into a place like New Braunfels.”
• Taylor Communications Inc.
25 cents October 10,1980
Vol. 89 - No. 78 20 Pages — 2 Sections (LISPS 377-880)
New Braunfels, Texas
State opinion asked on Herbrich status
Commissioners Court voted to ask the state attorney general to decide whether Al Herbrich was legally installed as deputy constable for Precinct 2.
The answer, which could take months, will constitute an updated opinion on the legal procedures for appointing deputy constables.
Comm. Monroe Wetz made the motion on the recommendation of County Judge Max Wommack at a special Thursday session at the Courthouse. The idea for an opinion update came from Assistant County Attorney Bill Reirner, who was not present.
“This has been a burr in the side for a long time. We want to do what is legal and keep it legal. I think it needs to be settled one way or the other,” Comm. Charles Mund said after the meeting.
Vetter and Herbrich have disputed Reimer’s contention that Herbrich was not legally appointed.
Reimer, in turn, has based his decision on a 33-year-old attorney general’s opinion, the latest available. It spells out the requirement for vital paperwork establishing the constable’s need for a deputy.
That paperwork is either missing
from county records or was never filed in the first place. Wetz and Comm. Orville Heitkamp made it clear at Thursday’s meeting they would have preferred to appoint Herbrich anew, this time following the legal procedure to the letter.
Heitkamp said the court was ready to reappoint Herbrich at its Monday meeting but Vetter had changed his mind.
“Is this some sort of issue between you and us? Is that what we’re looking at? This seems like a personal vendetta. If a mistake has been made, then let’s correct it — that’s what we’re after,” Heitkamp said.
“It would seem to me we should put this all in the garbage can and start over. If there’s a need for a deputy, then the request should be made in this court as prescribed by law,” Heitkamp said.
Wommack tried to end the discussion, pointing out the vote had already been taken.
“I don’t see what we’re ringing about,” he said.
Vetter said in an interview that clearing Herbrich’s status was more important “at this time” than starting over with a new appointment.
“I don’t have anything personal against the man,” he said of
Discussion continued among the commissioners, Vetter, Herbrich, and several residents of Precinct 2 for 15 minutes after Wommack adjourned the meeting.
Jack Ryle, a representative of the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Standards and Education, said the attorney general’s opinion would take “about six months.”
The commission would file a brief with the attorney general “if we’re requested to do so,” Ryle said.
“Anytime a question comes in the normal course of business, our attorneys file an opinion on it. The at-, ’ ' torney general’s office makes the request,” Ryle said.
Vetter told the court the minutes from meetings in January 1977 and July 1979 contain the record of Herbrich’s appointment as a reserve deputy and deputy constable, respectively. This should adequately prove Herbrich was legally installed, he said.
“I don’t see how Reimer can say he was not legally appointed,” Vetter said, but added later he welcomed the court’s decision to go to the attorney general.
“We have to live with the legal opinion,” he said.
Staff phi) lo
Talking it over
Comm. Charles Mund discusses deputy situation with Pct. 2 Constable Kermit Vetter. Most commissioners spoke individually with members of the audience after a crowded meeting Thursday.
Area high school students celebrated homecoming with their annual bonfires Thursday night. Above, students prepare Canyon's woodpile at Cypress Bend Park. At far right, a Smithson Valley student is washed in the light of the fire, while at right Smithson Valley students participate in a "car bash."
New Braunfels High School is one of six participants in a program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and proposed by Southwest Texas State University to help improve the quality of instruction in basic mathematics and such communication skills as reading and writing.
SWT has been notified that its Department of Education proposal for improving basic skills instruction in the secondary schools has been awarded $82,066 for the first year of a four-year grant project.
The proposal to improve the quality of instruction in the basic skills at the six participating schools calls for heavy emphasis on staff development through an intensive inservice training program, which will include 10-day on-campus summer workshops, and needs assessment in the respective schools.
In addition to New Braunfels High School, participating schools include Gary Job Corps Training Center, the San Marcos Baptist Academy, Navarro High School in Geronimo, Marion High School and Dripping Springs High School.
Content for the inservice workshops to be conducted at the individual schools during the school year will depend upon needs identified for each. Teachers participate will receive stipends to attend the summer programs at SWT. The grant project’s staff will make available to the participating schools expertise and resources of SWT’s Center for the Basic Skills.
The Center for the Study of Basic Skills was started at SWT in 1978 to help schools help students. Dedicated to improving the teaching of basic skills — reading, writing and mathematics — the SWT Center is a cooperative project of the Departments of Public Education, English and Mathematics.
Parkay says the long range goal for the grant-funded project is the development of a model program witrh deinonstratable results that could be implemented across the country.
In addition to the inservice workshops that will be part of the grant project, Parkay says those involved hope to establish a home-school-community network to disseminate information on some of the techniques proven to be successful in the teaching of basic skills.
The SWT basic skills proposal was one of 155 programs in the nation and one of seven in Texas to receive grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education this fall. SWT was the only university in Texas to receive funding.
The next step in the process that will be used to conduct the project will be to visit the administrative staffs of each of six schools, Parkay says. After that, brainstorming sessions will be conducted at each school-