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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 30 years."


 

Are you smarter than a county judge.....I don’t know if you have heard of the imbroglio involving County Judge Bob Hebert’s doctoral degree. Since almost every political pundit in Fort Bend County has weighed in on the situation, I suppose it must be my turn (and, maybe, hopefully, the last word).

Several months ago, Hebert was ambushed by a television news reporter that told him his doctoral degree from California Coast University was ruled a “diploma mill” degree by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and it was a Class B misdemeanor to claim it to obtain an office. Well, Hebert had already been elected to county judge before he received the California Coast Degree, legit or not. So no harm, no foul.

But Hebert thought he and some of his peers had been wronged so they sued the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to have their degrees declared legal.

After a judge found it was indeed a degree, Hebert issued a press release, and rehung his sheepskin, or xeroxed degree as it were.

In the ensuing hubbub, it was discovered that Hebert really only had a degree from South Texas Junior College and all the other degrees he had received were from institutions which accepted older students with life and management experience rather than undergraduate degrees. Institutions such as the University of Texas School of Business Advanced Management and Pepperdine University Graduate School.

I asked Hebert about all this, and he told me that he was in the Navy at 17 and by the time he served his tour, he was married with a child on the way. It took three years to get an associate degree at night at South Texas Junior College and when the state changed the requirements for law school (Hebert’s ultimate goal at the time), and he was making so much money, he took a 20-year detour from higher education. But after working for many years and finding he had a flair for making money and management, he decided to go back to school to keep his mind agile.

Have I ever mentioned that I’ve known Bob Hebert for 40 years? We all lived in Alief in little starter homes--he and Pat in Bellaire West, and me and my husband in Catalina Square. We were all active in the community then; that is how we became acquainted. Pat started a Republican Women’s Club (there were few of us then), and Bob was on the school board. I taught school.

In those days we had young families and worked hard to advance in the world. In the ensuing 40 years, I with my four year degree started a community weekly newspaper and Bob Hebert started a water district management company which he sold for millions, and did management consulting with entities from large companies to small cities, eventually running and winning the county judge position.

I guess what I am saying is that if education is the measure of the man, Bob did just fine without it, and I did so-so with it. If money is the measure, I believe he beat me, bad.

However, I do believe that Bob has felt the omission of that degree and has worked very hard to make it up--attending the University of Texas and Pepperdine University extension courses even though he had already done well without them. So the California Coast University doctorate is understandable and did require a lot of research and mental exercise before it was conferred.

But I can’t close this story without mentioning that Bob Hebert and the Fort Bend Commissioner’s court did vote for the India Herald as the official county newspaper. Now how smart is that?

We shouldn’t be surprised.....I don’t really like to say “I told you so.” It is so trite and cliched. So I usually say things like, “I have a bad feeling about such and so.” Then later I say, “I had a bad feeling about that.”

Well, I had a bad feeling about Cynthia Dunbar’s election to the State Board of Education. I begged you not to vote for her. I had a bad feeling about someone whose children had not attended public school.

I don’t know if you are aware but the State Board of Education had 15 members for the entire state. This means Dunbar represents several counties: Austin, Bastrop, Burleson, Colorado, DeWitt, Fayette, Gonzales, Lavaca, Lee, Milam, Waller, Washington and Williamson as well as parts of Brazoria, Fort Bend and Travis counties.

The state board of education is the favorite stomping ground of the lunatic fringe who want to completely destroy public schools in Texas.

She and her husband Glen Dunbar had made their career working for County Commissioner Andy Meyers. (yes, that Andy Meyers who was so smart he voted the India Herald as the county’s official newspaper).

First, the husband was hired by Andy to be his own little lawyer--like each commissioner needs his own personal lawyer.

Then Glen graduated to the county attorney’s office and Cynthia took his place in Andy’s commissioners office. She currently lists her occupation as a teacher, but I don’t know where she teaches.

She has written a dandy little book called “One Nation Under God: How the Left Is Trying to Erase What Made Us Great.” Okay, it is fine to write an opinion book (Amazon.com), but some of the things she has recently said and written make me very afraid that she is in charge my school children in Texas. Here are some reviews of her book on Amazon.com:

Poorly written fanatical tirade,

By J. Robinson

If you thought this would provide some insight in alternative schooling you will be disappointed. Dunbar, who ironically and unbelievably sits on the Texas Board of Education, believes that public school is a “perversion” and should be banned but offers no ideas or help with home school based education.

By T. Castle

Yet another book full of creationist tripe and subliterate interpretations of the US Constitution. If I somehow accidentally drove over this book with my car, I’d take it to a car wash right away.

One Nation, under delusions,

By Steven C. Trevino

I would have preferred some semblance of truth or facts in this book. Trying to force history to fit into an uneducated view of religion is disturbing.

Texas, we have a problem.

 

Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009