In Dallas ISD, a fight over principals, race and a slice of the pie.
Dallas wants to close the book on abstinence-only education. Texas keeps getting in the way.
This year, a group of parents and administrators at the Dallas Independent School District embarked on pretty much the most thankless task there is: finding a new sex ed curriculum for the district's students. The job is thankless in large part because no matter what they do, someone's going to get ... More >>
Congratulations, Texas! After a lot of hard work and many long nights, we're number one in the nation for repeat teen births. According to the Centers for Disease Control, which released a new report on April 2, in 2010, 22 percent of Texas teenagers aged 15-19 who gave birth were delivering their ... More >>
The response to my article here last week about school reform proves one thing. I'm doing a poor job presenting school reform. The entire issue, in fact, is being framed in the responses to the article as a kind of combination civil rights question and job security dilemma for teachers and principa ... More >>
Teenagers, volatile bundles of hormones that they are, are going to have sex. That's an iron law of nature, as unchangeable as the fact that lions like to eat zebras. It's also a fair bet that, unless they are taught otherwise, these teenagers are going to have sex in an completely unsafe and irresp ... More >>
Texas parents beware: your children are being "imperiled" by "abortion peddlers" who want to teach them "sex education." No. No, they're not. Although at some point someone might want to teach them to put a condom on a banana, and conservative lawmakers, predictably, want to make damn sure that per ... More >>
If DISD's Mike Miles has a plan for that, then let's give him a chance.
Houston Republican Dan Patrick -- a conservative radio shock jock and founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the Texas Senate -- is vowing to lead the charge in the next session of the Texas Legislature for a school voucher system that would give away tax money to private and religious schools. That's ... More >>
State Senator Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican, fired something of a warning shot two weeks ago when he announced a renewed push for school choice, both in the form of vouchers and expanded charter offerings. "To me, school choice is the photo ID bill of this session," Patrick told the Houston Chr ... More >>
Dana Allen, a Lakewood parent, is thrilled with the education her 5-year-old receives at Lindsley Park charter school, but is displeased that the school has no gym, no cafeteria, no library and no computer lab. She attributes the absence of such basic niceties to the school's lack of state funding f ... More >>
As the district announced yesterday, and the DMN reported over the weekend (paywall), DISD is accusing five private tutoring companies of more $500,000 in fraud. That's on top of more than $140,000 the district accused two other companies of illegally taking in April after an external audit. The co ... More >>
Is it any wonder that Prime Prep Academy, the charter school hyped by Deion Sanders, is accepting triple the number of students that most charter schools accept in their first year? Everything about the place has been propped up with hopeful grandeur. Sanders, the school's co-founder and spokesperso ... More >>
A businessman and a bishop used Cowboys' Hall of Famer Deion Sanders' name to drum up interest in a charter school. Then they tried to score from the deal.
Texas public schools are barely squeaking by, The New York Times reported this morning in a heart-rending story about state budget cuts. Things have gotten so dire that the Times led its story with the horrifying tale of a youth in Hutto, northeast of Austin, who must now walk a mile to classes beca ... More >>
All this arguing we're doing about contraception is getting a little tiresome, isn't it? Sure, we get to use the word "sluts" repeatedly in a national conversation, and we've watched several elderly male politicians state their understanding of how birth control works, explanations which often deser ... More >>
Below is the charter school briefing the city council was promised last week, but only after the heated discussion punctuated by Mayor Mike Rawlings's fiery call to expand charters -- because, as he said, "freedom is choice, choice creates excellence, and excellence graduates kids." The purpose o ... More >>
This was a good day -- such days do occur -- to study democracy in action at Dallas City Hall. The city council engaged in a smart debate on a proposal to help a charter school organization sell bonds to build more charter schools. The mayor and council decided not to decide. If you listened to ... More >>
We started this morning by noting Brett Shipp's piece from last night suggesting the Texas Education Agency is threatening to withhold Dallas ISD from close to $80 million in federal funds birthed by No Child Left Behind. The reason, says Commissioner of Education Robert Scott: Only 40 students o ... More >>
You know the cell phones must have been burning all weekend when the first city council committee briefing of the week at City Hall on Monday morning starts off with a rebuttal. Wait, rebuttal already? While those of us out here in the peanut gallery are still wiping the weekend from our eyes, co ... More >>
Just three years ago, 94 percent of the state's school districts told their kiddos: Just say no to sex. And that was that when it came to sex ed -- abstinence only and nothing but, which was working out real well considering that Texas's teen-pregnancy rate was the third-highest in all the land. ... More >>
Dave GoldfingerAnd the hits just keep on coming: One week ago today the Texas Education Agency officially announced that the Dallas Independent School District had more campuses deemed academically unacceptable (33) than exemplary (30) -- a radical shift from last year's stats, thanks in large pa ... More >>
Over the last couple of weeks I've received numerous emails suggesting I sign up for something called Leadership DISD, which promises to develop "education-focused, informed leaders within the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) service area who affect positive change and help to lead suppo ... More >>
Photo by Patrick MichelsMiss him yet?Former Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa officially begins his new gig in Cobb County, Georgia, today. Hence, this morning's piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "New Cobb superintendent's job 1: Close students' achieveme ... More >>
State Rep. Sid MillerLast night in Austin, state Rep. Sid Miller laid out a novel solution for Texas's troubled school budget: the Taxpayer Savings Grants Program, a reward of nearly $5,000 for any parents who'll do us all a solid and take their kids out of public school. Under Miller's plan, par ... More >>
Lew BlackburnAt some point this evening, the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees will elect new officers. Among the front-runners for president is Lew Blackburn, which may explain why Carla Ranger took to her blog earlier today to throw Blackburn under the bus.You see, there's no ... More >>
On Thursday morning, the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees will take its first long, hard look at a proposal to "streamline the process for implementing a charter school." It's the result of months of work by the board's Charter School Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with ... More >>
It's been a long while since Dallas Independent School District District 6 trustee served up a hot sports opinion on her blog. But given the looming "new reality" that has led to trustees being asked to consider giving teachers $10 million to scoot before they're fired, Ranger can hold her tongue ... More >>
A handful of Dallas Independent School District gatheredn the old board room at 3700 Ross this morning to poke at a question with big implications: How can the district get the most of its new partnerships charter schools, possibly even next school year? Born out of April's West Dallas "School Zo ... More >>
One week ago today the Texas Education Agency sent word: With significant help from the state, the Dallas Independent School District racked up 63 exemplary schools, while several high schools long on the academically unacceptable list finally get a reprieve. Not all was well, as dropout and comp ... More >>
Patrick MichelsDiane Ravitch speaking at the Dallas Institute's first annual Education Forum last night.The big shakeups credited with turning around public schools in New York, New Orleans and Washington, D.C. -- which Mayor Tom Lepeprt and organizers cite as influences for a new school reform e ... More >>
DISD trustee Carla RangerYesterday Patrick Michels brought back this report from Dallas City Hall, where Mayor Tom Leppert and Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa introduced the so-called the West Dallas "School Zone," a public-private partnership involving charter ... More >>
Perhaps you've seen the promotional materials -- they've been everywhere during the past five years, as the Dallas Independent School District (and superintendent Michael Hinojosa, especially) eased on down that Road to Broad, so named for the $2 million award given to urban school districts who ... More >>
LIFT raises money for literacy
To get into the right college, sometimes you have to be better than perfect
If Russell Fish ever wins his lawsuit, watch 'em blow
Or, how a Democrat and reviled former DISD board president found a happy home pushing "educational acoountability" for the GOP
Man with the Plan DISD's New Math
Good God, a good grade; Has he even unpacked yet?
Charter school scandals are teaching Texas a tough lesson -- one the state should have known four years and $77 million ago.
In the Legislature this year, lawmakers may find that it's better to give than receive
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