A school district official denied that bullying and retaliation was a widespread problem in the Fort Worth school district. That same official denied that another trustee wasn’t being allowed to get her issues onto the board’s agenda.

Board president Norman Robbins didn’t respond to Fort Worth Weekly in time for print, but did so this morning.

“I’m not aware of instances of the school district not responding to agenda requests, although some requests require vetting which can delay their being placed on the agenda.,” he said. ” Regarding bullying, that is absolutely not tolerated and needs to always be  reported for further investigation.”

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During the whistle-blower trial of Joe Palazzolo, numerous teachers and district officials testified that there was indeed widespread bullying and retaliation throughout the Fort Worth school district. Robbins, who testified on behalf of the district, denied that bullying and retaliation was a problem.

This week’s metro story is about board trustee Ann Sutherland, who is having a tough time getting some of the issues she cares about on the board’s agenda. In the story, she accuses interim superintendent Patricia Linares of violating board policy and Robbins of allowing Linares to get away with it. One of the issues Sutherland has been trying to add to the board’s agenda involves the district’s use of short-cycle assessment tests — benchmark tests that occur every three weels designed to prepare students for the STAAR test. The other issues Sutherland claims Linares and Robbins are ignoring centers around a district employee who was allegedly demoted with a pay cut for reporting workplace bullying. Sutherland is trying to get that employee a grievance hearing.



  1. This issue may seem small, but it isn’t. The board has delegated all responsibility for curriculum and testing to staff via policy adopted in November, 2013. So when staff decides to spend a huge amount of time testing children, the board has no recourse except to make a statement that they disapprove of this.

    We are using made-up tests and forcing teachers to test every 3 weeks.

    That is what I want on the agenda, and what Dr.Linares and President Robbins refuse to do.

    In so doing, they consign our students, and our teachers, to hours of worthless work every three weeks. The staff actually is requiring teachers give the tests, send them downtown, meet and discuss the tests with children.

    In many cases the answers are wrong, or there are mis-spellings, or the questions do not relate to the topics currently being studied. (you can see examples at

    Fort Worth administers over 100 different standardized tests each year, not including these short cycle tests (which aren’t even field tested, let alone standardized).

    Testing is not teaching. We are testing too much at the expense of time needed to teach.

  2. Nothing could better illustrate how out of touch this man is with reality. He IS part of the problem. The Assistant Principal who was transferred and demoted and whose grievance ROBBINS refused to put on the agenda has resigned. Lockheed would not tolerate the environment Robbins has created at FWISD.

  3. Despite all of the years of dishonesty by members of the school board, how can anyone be shocked or surprised that good old Norm would lie. What is shocking is that the people of Ft. Worth allow it to continue. It is truly sad that the people of Ft. Worth have become so complacent that they will accept any lie from any politician. We see it with the school board, the water district, and our city leaders. Ft. Worth was once known as Cowtown because of our heritage of the great cattle drives that passed our way and the rich history of the Stockyards but now it’s cowtown because just like dumb herd beasts, the people of Ft. Worth just go along with the herd.

  4. Workplace bullying DOES exist at FWISD!!! FWISD just chooses to hide it and retaliate against those that report it. Emoloyee Relations is a joke. Employees do not have any advocacy!

  5. How can the district get away with requiring students that are classified as SPED and have federal teaching guidelines that require all tests to be modified, not being done on the three week SCA’s. How is this not a violation of the federal law? There scores are recorded and computed into the overall schools assessments and thus teachers are then held accountable for the percentage that is recorded.
    Teachers are being required to complete SCA assessments even though the district sent out a mandate saying this was not required. I am fearful of reporting this action by my administration due to the history of the district retaliating against anyone who reports wrong doing.

  6. the sky is falling, the sky is falling says norm robbins! anything for judy needham.
    there definitely is WORKPLACE BULLYING AT FWISD! is employee evaluations were anonymous the TRUTH would come out, but no such thing as anonymous with INSECURE LEADERS and OPS and Employee Relations hatchet teams.

  7. Keep believing administration Norm! Administration covers up everything! The board hasn’t a clue what employees suffer, why, because you believe in the cabinet bullies! The board will continue to look like a bunch of idiots on camera. Everyone is talking about the FWISD board! What a legacy!