DISD Has Plans For Two Schools Left Behind. But What About the 29,349 Kids Also In Need?

The Texas Education Agency released its federally mandated, No Child Left Behind-backed Adequate Yearly Progress report back in August, at which point it was revealed that the Dallas Independent School District missed the mark for the third consecutive year -- which interim superintendent Alan King blamed on the "annual ratcheting up of standards," in part. Maybe -- or perhaps, as Commissioner of Education Robert Scott pointed out in a January 13 missive to King and DISD board president Lew Blackburn, the district's not spending its NCLB Supplemental Education Services funds properly ... or at all.

As Brett Shipp reported last night, Scott's ticked and threatening to hang on to 'round $80 million in Title I funds, because "of the 29,349 students eligible" for after-school tutoring and remedial help, "only 40 students have received tutoring services to date." Writes Scott, the TEA "is gravely concerned about DISD's failure to comply." King -- who won't talk to anyone about anything these days, and who says there's a communications gap at 3700 Ross -- said in a statement the district's been working since October to resolve the issue. Said he, "We have addressed each of the concerns in the commissioner's letter." Well, then, problem solved! Meanwhile, Allen Gwinn's written an open letter to the commissioner: "Robert, I'm going to get straight to the point: please do us a favor and take over DISD."

Scott pointed out in his letter what August's report revealed: Eighty-five DISD campuses came up short on AYP, with two listed as "Stage 4, Year 1," meaning they need "a major reorganization or restructuring of the campus," and they need it yesterday. Those schools: Lincoln High School and Seagoville Middle School. So happens that on Thursday the DISD board will discuss what to do with those schools, before a February 23 public hearing after which plans will be submitted to the TEA.


Per the board briefing below, at Seagoville the district wants to "reconstitute the school into smaller autonomous learning communities to better address the needs and interests of various groups of students." Meanwhile, at Lincoln, the plan is add math and reading classes, tack on an additional 45 minutes of instruction each day, take a long, hard look at the teachers and "develop reform solutions that best meet the needs of students in the school and community."

And as you'll note below the plan at Lincoln involves creating two academies in addition to the Humanities/Communications Magnet already in place on the South Dallas campus: an Academy of Engineering and an Academy of Culinary Arts and Entrepreneurship, the latter of which is quite successful at Skyline and Emmett J. Conrad, where, word is, the in-school cafe's top-notch. Lincoln and Seagoville Campus Improvement Plan Briefing

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky