Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Houston Strategies kickoff

This is my second attempt at a blog, after the launch of The Social Systems Architect last year. Since it can handle attachments and extra-long posts very well, I will still post "heavy" content there and put a link here. It's also the place to go to browse some of my previous Houston-related writings, including a Next American City magazine article and several published Houston Chronicle editorials (which, for some strange reason, are not kept in their online archives). If you don't have the time - no worries - I'm sure most of that content will trickle through here over the coming months.

This blog was inspired by the highly-encouraging feedback I've gotten on several "broadcast" emails (you know who you are... thanks). I decided it's time to join the 21st century and do a high-frequency blog while cutting down on the clutter I add to peoples' inboxes. This blog will be regularly updated with short, crisp postings that (hopefully) will spark some interesting dialogue and debate in the comments. If you care about the future of Houston and can't find something interesting here at least once a week, then I'm not doing my job - and I'd much rather you let me know that than just taking me out of your daily/weekly/monthly site-review rotation.

To throw in a little teaser marketing, in the months ahead we'll explore topics such as

Stay tuned.


At 8:43 AM, March 16, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent discussions. Appreciate your efforts to create a dialogue on Houston and opportunity to center on questions as to how we as a community we might engage in contributing to enriching the quality of life to all our citizens.
Future articles might look for insight intoh our Public Schools and how working as a community of contributors we might reverse the trend of trunancy, drop-out, violence and improve graduation rates. Resent data analysis shows an increasing trend for those who are not obtaining a high school degree and those who are ( graduaion rate have dropped 10% since 1992). It appears that the increasing trend for home schooling and taking one's own children to private schools has missed the implication that in failing to support the public schools we are contributing to a future economy where the majority may not be litterate enough to contribute to the economy. Such a result would lessen the opportuities and economic growth of al those who will be a past of that future economy. It would appear that education of the public as to the issues and a call for greater parent involvment in public schools is a requiement if the trends are to be reversed.

At 2:52 PM, March 16, 2005, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

Thank you, and I totally agree with your comments on education. There will be more posts in the future on this topic, but a few quick comments:

-there does seem to be some evidence that the push for tougher curriculums and more accountability and testing is having the unfortunate effect of increasing the dropout rate. We don't want to go back the old days of promoting unqualified kids, but it does need work.

-One of the things we're talking about at the Education Foundation of Harris County is supporting more voluntary, innovative "schools within schools" that might, for instance, require tough parental commitments and contracting.

-We shouldn't give up on dropouts. Some kids need time to mature and really experience for themselves the career limitations of being a dropout. There needs to be aggressive followup with them in later years on GED and community college programs.


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