NISD Superintendent Moderates Education Panel

NISD Superintendent Moderates Education Panel
Posted on 04/13/2018
NISD Superintendent Moderates Education Panel

Nacogdoches ISD Interim Superintendent Alton Frailey moderated a discussion Friday on public education during the Lone Star Legislative Summit held at Stephen F. Austin State University.

“School of Hard Knocks: Who Wants to be a Teacher?” was one of 10 sessions in the LSLS, which is organized and managed every two years by Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. Event co-hosts are state Sen. Robert Nichols and state Rep. Travis Clardy; both represent Nacogdoches County in the Texas Legislature.

Panelists for the education session included state Sen. Larry Taylor and state Reps. Giovanni Capriglione, Gina Hinojosa, Dan Huberty, Ron Simmons, Gary VanDeaver and Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Morath.

Frailey posed four questions to the panel: 1. Are public schools for the common good or are they a consumer good? 2. As an indicator for the direction of a community, do public schools lead or lag? 3. What are ways Texas can improve teacher recruitment and retention? 4. What impact do state and federal accountability measures have on teachers?

Towards the end of the session – where discussion also encompassed the topics of school funding and charter schools – Morath gave voice to just how difficult public education is… the challenges faced both by teachers in the classroom and by those tasked with lining up funding.

“This is darn hard,” Morath twice said, comparing a teacher’s job to that of a neurosurgeon. Whereas the doctor is tending to one patient at a time in the operating room, Morath said, a teacher has 20 or more minds she’s responsible for and must work with simultaneously.

“And when you think about that neurosurgeon, he’s not worried about a fight going on in the hallway,” Frailey added.

A session was held earlier in the day on school safety. Kathy Martinez-Prather, Director of the Texas School Safety Center, led a presentation created for school officials, education stakeholders, and law enforcement officials.

Other sessions held Friday included a breakfast meeting with Texas Association of Business CEO Jeff Moseley; a briefing on the economics of tourism in Texas with David Teel, president of the Texas Travel Industry Association; a session on energy with Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian; a panel on oil and gas industries with Nichols and state Reps. Drew Darby, Phil King, Brooks Landgraf; Chris Paddie and Stan Lambert; a discussion on health care moderated by Dr. Nancy W. Dickey, president emeritus of Texas A&M Health Science Center; a presentation by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton; and a session on Texas history, moderated by John Crain, vice chairman of the Texas Historical Commission, with panelists including state Sen. Brandon Creighton and state Reps. Dustin Burrows, Eric Johnson, Poncho Nevarez and Drew Springer.