Commissioner of Education Williams tours Henrietta ISD campuses

Commissioner of Texas Education Michael Williams speaks with fourth grade teacher Tricia Campbell during a tour of the Henrietta ISD campuses Tuesday.

Commissioner of Texas Education Michael Williams speaks with fourth grade teacher Tricia Campbell during a tour of the Henrietta ISD campuses Tuesday.

Editor’s note: During a tour of Henrietta ISD, Commissioner of Texas Education Michael Williams met with the staff of The Catawampus, Henrietta High School’s student newspaper.

By Justin Riddle and Katelyn Parrish
The Catawampus

Commissioner of Texas Education Michael Williams visited the campuses of Henrietta ISD on Tuesday, Oct. 22. While touring the schools, he spoke to the high school newspaper staff and discussed several issues affecting students across the state of Texas. Some of the topics Commissioner Williams addressed were his observations while visiting Texas schools, what the role of the Commissioner of Education entails, what he has learned about the state of Texas education and what he feels are areas of concern, and the advantages and disadvantages of the revised graduation standards.

Born in May 31, 1953, Williams is a 1971 graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Midland. Born to two educators, Williams earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at the University of California, as well as a law degree from the University Of Southern California in Los Angeles. He has served three major administrations, including the Texas Railroad Commission, Texas Education Agency and the Civil Rights Commission under the second President Bush, as well as being a college professor and lawyer.

When asked about what his role as Commissioner of Education, he stated “The Commissioner has the responsibility of taking care of more than 5 million youngsters in Texas public schools, 1,200 districts and 8,600 campuses. The responsibility goes to enforcing the state’s laws, channeling the dollars that come through the state, whether they be those be the state’s dollars or federal dollars, to be directed to local school districts.”

Remarking on his school visits, Williams noted how pleased he was to see how much teaching and learning was going on in each school and praised the strides Texas has made in increasing graduation rates over the past 15 years, particularly within ethnic subgroups. Currently, Texas is third in the nation in terms of graduation rates.

The students questioned Commissioner Williams about his feelings on the changes made to high school graduation requirements and the affect the decreased amount of testing would have on graduating seniors as they prepare to enter the work force.  While Commissioner Williams stated that he had worried that the reduction from 15 end-of-course tests to five may reduce student motivation to take more advanced classes, he did like the idea of teachers being able to teach their students with more depth, flexibility, and a wide variety of choices, based on what they would like to teach.

Despite not being a professional educator, Commissioner Williams told students that he felt his training as a lawyer helped him know how to ask the right questions to the right people. He referred to how he was in charge of about 1200 people for 12 years while working for the U.S Department of Education, and the experience gained in managing large numbers of employees was a big asset to his current job.


About Author

Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.


  1. I was curious if you ever considered changing the
    page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what
    youve got to say. But maybe you could a little
    more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
    Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  2. I need to to thank you for this good read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you book marked to check out new things you post…

  3. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having identical RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!|

  4. I would like to install wordpress on one website name but using that same wordpress have got a go for category appear under a different domain. Is there a way to try this?.

  5. I’m a teenager and I heard that you can in fact get paid intended for things like this. I’m experienced with computers and have good literary works skills and I’m sure I could write effective blogs/articles… On a different (sort of) subject, would I be able to sign up for affiliate programs?.

  6. Hi there, I do believe your blog could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, great site!

  7. Hi,.. I would like to post straight to my wordpress blog from my desktop, specifically from Command quick… I know there is a protocol called xml-rpc, yet that features no assist to me, because I can’t say for sure what in the world it is. Any help would be appreciated..

  8. Heya i’m for the first time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

  9. “Thanks for the several tips provided on this blog site. I have seen that many insurance carriers offer customers generous deals if they decide to insure a couple of cars with them. A significant amount of households have got several automobiles these days, especially those with mature teenage youngsters still located at home, as well as savings in policies might soon increase. So it will pay to look for a bargain.”

  10. I want to start to put my photos up on my camera, and start a blog or something. Exactly where is a good spot to do this just like a website or something, will i have to copyright laws them thanks a lot: ).

  11. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I found this during my hunt for something regarding this.

  12. I made a blogger account a few months ago, and i added some images to my sidebar and do not know how to take them off. I used the image hosting site ‘Photobucket’ to put the pictures upon my blog page, and put my login info there nd they did it for me. I don’t like how one of the photos look and I really desire to remove/delete it. Help? Thanks..

  13. I’ve asked my older sis countless moments to file format my pc because Now i’m experiencing lag in the game We play. Btw, this computer has been formatted 4-5 occasions. But anytime I inquire my sister to file format my computer, she says no mainly because she says that if you format a pc too much, the computer itself gets slower than it currently was. Is this true? Or is that an excuse to get out of formatting my computer because it removes her 2-3 hours?.

  14. Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your site
    and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually loved account your blog posts.
    Anyway I will be subscribing for your augment or even I fulfillment you
    get entry to persistently quickly.

  15. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after
    dealing with lots of the posts I realized it’s a novice to me.

    Regardless, I’m certainly happy I discovered it
    and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

  16. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have have in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely great. I actually like what you have received right here, certainly like what you are saying and the way in which during which you say it. You make it entertaining and you continue to care for to keep it sensible. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is actually a tremendous web site.

  17. I would like to start a free WordPress blog around the WordPress site (not my very own domain) yet I can’t stand the styles they provide. May i use a downloaded theme on the website? I have noticed some WordPress hosted websites with different themes, so it looks like it’s possible..

  18. I love firefox MUCH better than IE but on certain occasions i would have a ff winfdow open and it shows the windowpane error thing. i go back and it was firefox is already running or something t i find it difficult to use it….

  19. I would really like to be a innovative writing teacher, but I could no discover out exactly what they do. I love to write, and to help other people become better writers, so that is why I wish to become a creative writing/english professor. Does this fit with the profession? What is the existence of such a professor like?.

  20. I’ve been exploring for a little for any high quality articles or blog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Reading this info So i’m satisfied to exhibit that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out exactly what I needed. I such a lot definitely will make sure to do not omit this site and provides it a glance regularly.

  21. Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my site thus i came to “go back the favor”.I’m trying to find issues to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  22. My home computer is connected to a router. I would really like to have access to my home computer’s web cam through my work pc.. My desktop computer is connected through a DSL modem and is often on.. My work pc obviously provides access to the Internet..

  23. After checking out a number of the blog posts on your website, I seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and tell me how you feel.

  24. My bestfriend and I want to build a blogging site, but we all dont understand which one to use. We basically will certainly just be publishing random stuff about not we want the site to be fun and ornamental, not just a ordinary layout..

  25. Hello would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  26. I do not know if it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering problems with your site.
    It appears as if some of the written text on your posts are running off
    the screen. Can someone else please comment and let
    me know if this is happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen before.

Leave A Reply