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[Susan notes: This letter has a great, poignant last line, a tellling line for all educators.]

Published in Houston Chronicle

To the editor

(In response to editorial criticism of Dr. Saavedra)

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Saavedra inherited a culture where honesty was the fruit of limited ambition. For too many years job security in HISD was based on adherence to company creed no matter how little pedagogical or ethical sense it made. Keeping the job interfered with doing the job. Such a policy doesn’t breed the brains out of an organization, it breeds out the integrity.

Recently, as president of the Houston Classroom Teachers Association, I gave a speech to the school board expressing my frustration with the historic opportunistic culture of HISD. I told the Houston Independent School District School Board: once I tried to right wrong where I found it because I believed people who did so made a difference. But, after a decade’s exposure to influence bartering, ethics of expediency, and the bastardization of a school district for political purposes, I was numbed. I no longer tried to right wrong. I tried to remember the difference.

Coletta Sayer

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