Back in June, some two dozen educators, religious leaders and activists -- among them The Rev. Zan Holmes, John Fullinwider, Frederick Haynes III, Diane Ragsdale and Beverly Mitchell-Brooks -- urged the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees to appoint former DISD Superintendent Nolan Estes as the interim super following the sudden departature of Michael Hinojosa. That didn't happen, as CFO Alan King got the job four days later, after which he began cleaning house of folks closely tied to Hinojosa and ceding control of the school board to its president, Lew Blackburn.
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Now, that group has a name: The Coalition for an Accountable System of Education. That's according to a missive I received from Roscoe Smith, a longtime DISD teacher and administrator who most recently was among those appointed by Eddie Bernice Johnson to oversee her scholarship committee following last year's whoopsie. It also has a mission statement:
CASE is a broad based group of community leaders, parents, educators, and other citizens dedicated to ensuring that excellent and equitable educational opportunities are provided for students, especially those of African American descent, enrolled in Dallas Public Schools. Using various forms of advocacy and strategies, CASE will work toward ensuring that a relevant and accountable system of education is a reality for all students.
On the other side is a complete list of its members, which includes a former DISD trustee, as well as a few suggestions for what the district needs in a superintendent.
The Coalition for an Accountable System of Education (CASE) is recommending to the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) the following criteria which are part of a working document that is being developed by CASE with broad-based community support to be used in the selection consideration of the next general superintendent for DISD.
The Dallas ISD Superintendent must have commitment to:
• Public Education that is both student-centered and personal based upon experience as a public school educator with demonstrated success
• Raising Student Achievement as demonstrated by experience in closing the achievement gap between diverse learners, including African American and Hispanic Students, and socio-economic groups.
• Community Engagement that is demonstrated by a willingness to understand the particular culture of Dallas and the Dallas ISD.
• Strong Community Leadership and possess excellent interpersonal communication and political skills to assume an active leadership role in the city, state, and region on funding, infrastructure, and other education-related issues.
• State Required Educational Training and Certifications as documented by a master's degree in education; an earned doctorate is preferred and prior experience as a public school superintendent in a large urban setting,
• Experience in leading and managing the complexities of an Urban School District.
Partial List of Coalition Members
Dr. Roscoe Smith, Award winning Former DISD School Principal
Dr. Alfred Roberts, Former DISD Assistant Superintendent
Kathlyn Gilliam, Former DISD Board of Trustee
Brenda Fields, Award winning Education Activist
Dr. Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr., Retired Senior Pastor St. Luke "Community" United Methodist Church
Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, Senior Pastor Friendship West Baptist Church
Dr. Jerry Christian, President African American Pastors Coalition
Diane Ragsdale, Former Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dallas City Council
John Fullenwider, Former Dallas Independent School District "Teacher of the Year"
Thomas Muhammad, Chairman National Black United Front (NBUF)-Dallas Chapter
Jeffery Muhammad, Student Minister Nation of Islam Mosque #42 Dallas
Aaron Michaels, Founder New Black Panther Party
Rev. Charles Bowman, President Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)-Dallas
Bandele & Akewte Tiyemba, Pan African Grassroots Organizers
Dr. Beverly Mitchell-Brooks, Education Activist and Community Leader