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"I Am a DISD Student. I Deserve to be Educated to the Fullest of My Potential. I Am TAG."

As of this afternoon, we've got 50-plus good reasons why we run comments on Unfair Park. They're affixed to Jim's Friday-evening item concerning the potential fate of DISD's magnet schools and learning centers. Jim and I marveled throughout the weekend at the quantity and quality of the comments, many of which came from former and current TAG students. As an Alex W. Spence grad myself, I was especially touched by and proud of many of those comments.

For those who may have missed them the first go-round (which, thankfully, doesn't include one Eric Celeste, whose daughter attends Booker T.), here's but one highlight among many, recounted if only to remind you to go back and read Dr. Schutze's initial post. It was, of course, written in advance of Thursday's called school board meeting at which this very subject will be up for discussion and approval.

And now, what say you, "I Am TAG"?

The district's mission is to prepare all students to graduate with the knowledge and skills to become productive and responsible citizens. My teachers at the School for the Talented and Gifted are exactly doing and living the district's mission. We are a mixture of students from different backgrounds, colors, and economic status. The things that bind us altogether are our commitment to learning and the constant quest for excellence. We are faced with being gutted because our student body is too good to be a public school. TAG magnet is not a private school yet we are accomplishing feats comparable or higher that most private schools can produce. For the city of Dallas, that is something to celebrate, yet critics find ways to criticize the environment where we are being taught and nurtured to reach our fullest potential.

I am a minority. I am poor. I am bilingual. I am TAG.

The critics are only looking at per teacher budget at our school. We don't spend as much money as you think in other areas compared to comprehensive high schools. We don't have TAKS classes. Our teachers don't get paid for tutorials because they do it out of the goodness of their hearts. Our Saturday classes are mostly done at each other's houses. We call it peer tutoring. We don't have athletics, therefore there are no expenses on buses and athletic events, no coaches, no cheerleading sponsor, and no athletic director to pay. Let's do the math. How much savings are all that? It's more than enough to save our beloved teachers. Most of our teachers are teaching three or four different classes. Our Statistics teacher is also teaching two different Physics classes and she's a part-time teacher.

I am a DISD student. I deserve to be educated to the fullest of my potential. I am TAG.

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