Congressman Bill Archer

Congress of the United States

House of Representatives

7th District, Texas

1135 Longworth

House Office Building

Washington, DC  20515

 Dear Congressman Archer:

 Thank you for all the hard work you have done on our behalf over the years.  It is very gratifying to have watched your efforts and to now see you able to implement your ideas.  You have my support

I am writing to you with a few suggestions that I have as a school board trustee in Katy Texas.  The “Correction Day” program has caught my eye as being a boon to ridding our country of boondoggle programs. 

As a school board member I constantly see  many things that simply amaze me.  I would like you to scrutinize a few of these issues, and if you can get rid of these I would be happy to suggest others.

Last year Goals 2000 funding was extended to the states for the purpose of making President Clinton appear to be helping with the improvement of education.  Each state then asked individual school districts to make grant proposals to acquire some of this federal money.  I calculated that the funds if distributed evenly among Texas school children would equate to fifty cents per student, a fact that told me that this was merely a political project.  I have been successful in preventing my school district’s employees from applying for these funds, but not without some difficulty.  (I wish you had time to look at some of the grant requests that teachers devised to get their hands on this money.)  This funding, as well as Goals 2000, needs eliminating.  I am convinced that President Bush was naive when he allowed this program to go forward.    While Congress  debates the current problems, it is allowing an entire generation of young people to be educationally brainwashed right under its nose, and all the  efforts of Congress will go for naught when these students  mature and have a voice.  A return to a strong traditional academic education should be the first priority of Congress.

I also see a great waste in the Blue Ribbon program for our public schools.  You, like I participated when Pattison Elementary received this award last fall.  It is a dubious honor, based upon meaningless criteria and reflects nothing in the way of scholarship or the “goodness” of the school.  At Pattison as well as at the high schools in our district that have applied this year, $1,500 consultants’ fees are paid to greedy educrats who have found yet another way to dig into the taxpayers’ pockets under the guise of helping to obtain these awards.  Parents justify this award as being one that brings self-esteem to the students.  However, you and I know the origins of self-esteem, and they are not inherent in  the receipt of a meaningless award or a self-proclaiming sign on the outside of a school building. 

Teachers spend hundreds of hours to research, write and refine these applications.  They either spend their personal time, or they spend time that takes away from their students.  Teachers do not want to spend their time in this manner and do not need to be forced to do this work.  And they are forced by egotistical principals who are looking only for bragging rights among themselves. Our school district even allowed fourteen elementary principals to meet for an entire day on February 21 under the guise of staff development to discuss Blue Ribbon Award application procedures!

The Blue Ribbon Award is a joke, and everyone but the federal government seems to know it.

I would also ask you to look into a federal law that appears to exempt high school special education students from being included in determining class rank among graduating seniors. Ordinarily, these students with their various disabilities which render them unable to compete academically, would fill in the lower quartile of the ranking. When the artificial practice of removing them from consideration with regard to class standing is applied, the rest of the class who have achieved some true academic standing must be distributed over the four quartiles.  This misrepresentation of the actual academic achievement within a class, causes many students to not be placed at their true standing thus affecting their ability to gain entrance to the two major universities, the University of Texas and Texas A&M as well as to many private universities to which they apply.  This fact occurs because the standing of students within every quartile is affected. This application of the law is arbitrary and unfair  for ninety per cent of our students and should not be allowed to stand. 

Thank you for your consideration of these requests.

Yours truly,


Mary McGarr

(Mrs. Gary L.)

Katy ISD Trustee