Certain amount of talk going around about the superintendent of schools in Paris, Texas, who shot off an angry public letter to parents attacking the validity of statewide student achievement tests. Apparently Paris ISD Superintendent Paul Jones has been getting viral attaboys from test-haters the w ... More >>
Last week somebody called me and asked me to go back and listen to Krys Boyd's April 29 Think program on KERA radio, in which Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas school trustee Bernadette Nutall debated "home rule," a proposal that could radically change the way we govern Dallas public schools. ... More >>
Alliance-AFT, a Dallas teachers union that was making robo-calls a year ago to get Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles fired, is about to endorse one of his strongest supporters for re-election to the school board. The union will inform members Friday that it has endorsed Miguel Solis for the P ... More >>
First, a spot of good news: Hillcrest High School has climbed off the Texas Education Agency's annual list of low-performing schools. So have two other Dallas ISD schools, Francisco Medrano Middle School and John W. Runyon Elementary. Now for the depressing news: twenty-five DISD schools took their ... More >>
Is it possible to tell a good teacher from a bad one?
Kind of a hilarious war of words going on right now between me, Dallas political activist Rene Martinez and a UT Austin Education School professor named Julian Vasquez Heilig. Heilig has threatened to call the cops if Martinez emails him again. I think Heilig might do better calling his mom. Heilig ... More >>
The special election for the school board will decide his fate. For now.
On Sunday The Dallas Morning News printed an essay on its op-page by Austin writer John Savage about teaching in what he calls "the worst school in Texas." It's a piece that has been making the rounds from Salon to the blog of Diane Ravitch, a former champion of school reform who has become a bor ... More >>
Story in The New York Times today talks about the Bush dynasty reclaiming its influence in the Republican Party by championing immigration reform. I have another idea for them, based on their legacy in Dallas: school reform. But this is grudging, man. Why do I want the Bushes to reclaim anything? ... More >>
Heed what just happened in the battle over next year's school budget for Dallas. Black elected leaders on the school board voted for segregation and failure. It's time for everybody -- I mean everybody -- to rethink the role of black elected leadership in this city. Of course the traditionally seg ... More >>
In Dallas ISD, a fight over principals, race and a slice of the pie.
Today is a key moment in the battle for school reform in Dallas, as a list of school principals to be fired goes before the school board. (Check back tonight for the body count.) The main opposition to the reform effort has come from southern Dallas black leadership allied with the district employee ... More >>
Three prominent Dallas business leaders have written a caustic public letter to Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, taking him to task generally for not conferring with them personally on school reform and specifically for threatening the job of a particular high school principal popular in South ... More >>
The Texas Education Agency will go ahead with a new performance rating system, Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced on Tuesday. The new system will score schools on an A to F scale in hopes of closing the achievement gap between white and minority students. "I have heard the criticism ... More >>
On March 22, I penned a story for this page in which I portrayed school district trustee Bernadette Nutall as appearing to be "neutral" on school reform. Her apparent neutrality made her a very singular exception to the rule at a heated community meeting the night before at Madison High School, wh ... 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 >>
There has been a lot of ink devoted over the past few days to Dallas ISD being named a finalist for $40 million in federal Race to the Top funds, which built to a crescendo yesterday when Education Secretary Arne Duncan came to town. That all sounds fantastic, but what does it mean? We decided to b ... More >>
By most measures, LG Pinkston High School is failing. The school, which neighbors Fish Trap Lake in a poor area of West Dallas, has higher dropout rates, lower graduation rates, and lower test scores than the rest of Dallas ISD. It is considered academically unacceptable by the state and has been fo ... 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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
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 >>
Seriously, instead of trying to come up with cute names for teacher evaluations or asking the Dallas Regional Chamber for help, the Dallas Independent School District's higher-ups (the school board, especially) need to take the few-minute drive to Mesquite and ask Superintendent Dr. Linda Henrie ... More >>
Earlier today we revisited the Dallas Regional Chamber's plan, blessed by Mayor Mike and Lew Blackburn, to save the Dallas Independent School District. And while Commit! is still in its vague, unformed infancy, clearly this is Very Important to a few very important people. Which is why Blackburn ... 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 >>
This never gets old.The Texas Education Agency won't officially release its based-on-TAKS-scores state accountability ratings till 'round 1 this afternoon (here, for those so interested), at which point Commissioner of Education Robert Scott will hold a press conference in Austin. But the Dallas ... 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 >>
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 >>
Patrick MichelsChartering a new course: Mayor Tom Leppert and DISD superintendent Michael Hinojosa this morning at Dallas City HallThis morning's mayor's breakfast at City Hall featured a parade of speakers covering the need for big-picture reforms in West Dallas education, the sort of shakeups t ... 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 >>
An out-of-state colleague wondered late yesterday, "Is it true that the state of Texas has canceled all sports events till May 11? Does that include Astros and Rangers?" Um ... no. Alas, such was his reading of a breathless, since-vanished New York Times story concerning the University Interscholast ... More >>
One answer to keeping black Dallas teens in school: more school
High-stakes testing doesn’t result in better education, at least not among minorities -- it just leads to a disproportionate number of African-Americans, Latinos and ESL students dropping out of Texas schools. That’s one finding in a new report released today by Rice University and the Universit ... More >>
Last Thursday, we had an item about the federal civil-rights lawsuit filed by Lucresia Mayorga Santamaria, who's claiming that Preston Hollow Elementary School is segregating its students by forcing Hispanic kids into English-as-second-language classes even if they're English-proficient. Santamaria, ... More >>
The Dallas Morning News came out today in favor of Dallas Independent School District superindendent Michael Hinojosa's reform plan, Dallas Achieves!, which is designed to root out the waste in the system and make it more accountable to students and parents. No one could argue with the plan's core m ... More >>
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
An innovative math program recalculates which students will succeed and which will fail at DISD
Good God, a good grade; Has he even unpacked yet?
Thousands of Texans say they can do a better job teaching their children at home. But some local truant officers claim parents are using a massive loophole in Texas law to skip school altogether.
Earnest eggheads came to Texas with an idea that for-profit schools can save public education. So far, it ain't working.