The trustees of the Houston Independent School District voted yesterday to name a new elementary school after the late State Representative Joe E. Moreno. That's a good thing. Let's hope the kids at Moreno Elementary - I like the way that sounds - are inspired to go into public service and politics.
It is now time for my old boss, former Texas Guv Mark White, to get a school named after him. Remember House Bill 72 - education reforms like class size limits, no-pass-no-play, teacher testing, teacher pay raises - would not have happened without his leadership. He called a special session in 1984 to get things done. The dude got beat in 1986 in part because of HB 72.
Campaigning for reelection that year was a bit weird. Teachers were a little pi__ed off. After an appearance with a group called Valley Interfaith in Brownsville, protesting teachers - they didn't like having to take a test - surrounded the Guv's car (Commentary, before Commentary was in the car) and made it difficult for us to drive off. Also that year, in Midland, we decided to have the Guv meet with teachers - brilliant idea. Guv got an earful plus. Coaches got into the act. They weren't too fond of no-pass-no-play. Not cool in Mojoland.
To be fair, Guv White was elected in 1982 in large part because of teacher support. They felt betrayed and humiliated when HB 72's teacher pay raise was accompanied by a teacher test. Don't blame them. Some of us realized in '84 that only divine intervention would get the Guv reelected in '86. In '86, the divine intervener voted R.
At my 35th (yikes!) high school reunion the other day, a spouse of a former classmate told me that he considered Mark White one of the greatest guvs in Texas history. The Guv is a native Houstonian. Went to Lamar High School. He deserves a school.
June 10, 2005, 9:00AM