"If You Don't Respect the Public, Why Are You in Public Service?" One in Carla Ranger's Series.

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Though there are a few exceptions to the rule, for the most part any one Dallas City Council member may pull an item from the council's agenda and have it deferred till the next voting agenda meeting. Not so with the Dallas Independent School District, not anymore. Last month, six board members voted to amend its longstanding policy, and, now, two trustees must agree to pull an agenda item. Only Carla Ranger, Adam Medrano and Bruce Parrott voted against changing the rules. Ranger took to her blog and called it a suppression of democracy: "The purpose is to make dissent and public discussion of public issues more difficult."

And then, of course, there was the sequel: Thursday's discussion, held near the end of a marathon meeting, during which board president Lew Blackburn and trustee Bernadette Nutall said they felt bullied by public speakers at board meetings. Blackburn said he'd consulted with district attorneys about eliminating public speakers altogether. (As opposed to, say, the city of Dallas, which recently paid tribute to a fallen familiar at the council podium.) I was later told the discussion was brought up with the intention of protecting teachers and other district employees named and blamed in public without a chance to defend themselves; but the DISD board, being the DISD board, ended up making it all about the DISD board.

Ranger, of course, believes this is all part of the same-ol'-same-ol'. Quoting Marvin Gaye, she has taken to her blog over the weekend to criticize Blackburn, Nutall and Mike Morath for being "so full of themselves that they trip over their own exaggerated egos." The entire item is here, but long story short, writes Ranger: "Dallas ISD Trustee behavior is becoming more unethical by the day. Despicable Board behavior and abuse of authority are increasing. If you don't respect the public, why are you in public service?"
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55 comments
Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Diane Birdwell

  You can bring up race all you want  and I will do the same when I think it is necessary.  Your words are not breaking this city free of the past.  What you post here doesn't change the city, it only confirm to people like me that you are struggling to understand the issues that I am addressing It is clear that middle class African Americans are leaving Dallas and DISD.  They not only are moving from the city, they are also opting to put their children in charter schools.  There is no reason not to admit that we are loosing the middle class in Dallas.  While that is a fact,it does not change the conversation about educating all children.  Are you using that arguement to justify the reason  that  African American children score lower on test than other children? If so, it is  unacceptable to me.

"Oh, my God, Joyce, there you go again!!!What, you think we separate black kids from the rest and teach them differently? Are you so out of touch with what is going on in our schools?" "Again, looking through your tinted view of the world, you want to make anyone who does not feel EXACTLY the way you do--as being AGAINST black achievement."

" But you cannot MAKE a kid achieve. You cannot MAKE a kid succeed if they don't give a damn enough to get out of bed and LEARN on the weekend, so whose fault is that?"

I am not picking on you.  I am responding to your post. 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

@Joyce@9578f5610c0465460c5a32a8408c23a7:disqus Forman- The thread got too long back there, so let me clear a few things with you--

This "pain in your heart" about comments from teachers is ridiculous. You are purposefully taking what I and others say out of context. NOWHERE have I EVER said I cannot or will not teach black kids, or kids of ANY color. I have never said I have given up on ANY race of kids. Again, looking through your tinted view of the world, you want to make anyone who does not feel EXACTLY the way you do--as being AGAINST black achievement. Well, damn. What credentials do you need to see? You want the part in my PDAS that shows I was part of the special group last year at BAHS that FOCUSED on BLACK achievement? You want the receipts from when Coach Rob and I paid personally for give-away gift certificates for lunch quizzes on Black History Month--that was MY idea, by the way? Would you like to see the award I got from the Dorie Miller Chapter of the VFW from when I taught at Roosevelt? Shall I have you look up my Facebook page and have you message a bunch of my black former students who will tell you how hard I pushed them, helped them and never gave up on them? Romeal or Joshua, the Marines? Jasmine, the new mother? Ashley, the college student in Tyler? Channing, who oversees special events for the Cowboys? How about my AA god-daughter and namesake, Sydney Diane? (Her mom and I were roomies in college.) The mere fact that I teach in DISD should qualify me, since I could easily go anywhere. Pick on someone else , because you are coming up zeroes where I am concerned. Geesh, Joyce. YOU pointed out the 40,000 BLACK kids, not me. YOU are talking about the imbalance in teaching, but you have never exactly shown HOW. You cannot look at money alone. 

Here is the part you and Betty and many others refuse to admit: Dallas is losing its black middle-class to the suburbs. To Desoto, Lancaster, Mesquite. With them go the kids who achieved with few interventions  needed. The 40,000 left have a higher percentage of kids with  lower-level reading skills, etc... It is simple math. As fewer on-level black kids are in the mix, the ones left count more as a percentage. The bad part is these kids need to achieve, and whether you believe it or not, I work my ass to help them--to help ALL of my students. It is too bad if you want to not believe it. You can think ill of me, but never of my teaching. No ma'am. Come talk to my grads or to my current students. They would break out laughing if they heard you claim I  was not pushing them, working with them. Until you are teaching alongside me, you cannot possibly know what I do, how I do it or judge me. 

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I have a proposal for DISD Board: Give us our 40,000 Black kids ,budget that supports 40,000 based on magnet school pre diem , teachers,supplies,facilities and other support services. We can show that Black kids will excell and pass any test given. I'm sick of all this mess going on at DISD,Hinojosa built all those empty ass schools now they want to close almost 44 of them one being the newly constructed K.Gilliam  that just open in August.All the building to keep Construction folk getting paid. DISD give us Black Folk our kids,buildings,tax money we will educate our own with Ms. Ranger being our District Rep. and Dr. Henri Simpson being our Director,Dr. Ora Watson Director and Janice Davis Finance,Allen Clemson ,operations. I'll show you a school system that work. 

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

 Oak Cliff Townie

We do not agree, but I respect your right to your opinion.  I would much rather spend my tax money on education rather than on prisions.   

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I am constantly reminded about Edwin’s comments after they (the board o trustees) released the much anticipated audit report (the report that was purposely delayed until after the 2008 bond proposal passed) and he quipped “good news we are not criminals were just incompetent”.  I seem to recall that afterwards their next step was to try to lengthen their terms from 3 years to 4 years as a reward for their stewardship of the DISD.   Only Carla Ranger objected! They (the board) has been incompetent for many many years now.  So much so I have to wonder what is in it for them (the trustees)?   I doubt it is “for the good of the children” as they constantly chant as they incompetently muddle their way through our tax dollars.    The refrain of  “for the good of the children” was much in evident when I attended a school house meeting with Edwin  hosting (as I complained about their incompetent spending of tax dollars) where he promptly (argumentatively) surrounded himself with children telling me that the DISD squandering was for their (the children’s) good.   Reminded me of how the Taliban holds hostage women and children around them so that they will not be blown away by a hell-fire missile.    In recent years the only one who has their head on is Ms. Ranger.  Oh and I forgot I have HURT some of the trustees feelings by expressing my view here to AN ELECTED OFFICAL.

East Dallasite
East Dallasite

Carla Ranger is "a voice calling in the wilderness". Is anyone listening?

I have grown increasingly more infuriated with the Board of Trustees. With the exceptions of Ranger, Parrott and Medrano, this Board seems to believe that DISD belongs to them and that they are free to implement any changes they desire as long as they do so under the guise of "helping children".

I have news for you Trustees - DISD belongs to the citizens and taxpayers that support it. It is not your personal school district to experiment with and privatize at will. For too long you have counted on the fact that the general public doesn't pay attention to what you do. I am personally going to work as hard as I can to change that. I will be telling my neighbors, coworkers, church members, friends and anyone who will listen of your sorry schemes and encourage them to vote you out of office.

People, don't be fooled. It's not about black vs. brown vs. white. In reality it's about the Trustees bought and paid for by the Dallas Citizen's Council and the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce vs. the general public. If we wake up and unite around a common cause of good public schools where education comes first and lucrative contracts for your friends in the business community aren't the primary concern we can accomplish something tremendous. It may take a miracle, but I will hope and pray and work until it happens or I shuffle off this mortal coil.

Vote the bastards out! Bingham, Blackburn, Flores, Morath and Nutall need to go! Let's take back our schools!

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Joyce,I am looking at a series of excel spreadsheets showing class enrollment numbers across the district coupled with the numbers of programs that are focused on AA student achievement.  At this juncture, it looks to me like the Hispanic middle school students are the ones being shoved into over-crowded classrooms with the fewest resources and programs. As Diane noted, you cannot force kids to learn or parents to be involved.  No one is trying to re-write the history of the criminal short-changing of the AA community in public education and there is some good news, as this morning's DMN points out, where African-American fourth-graders in Texas finished second nationally among their peers in math. They also beat the national average for black fourth-graders.  Your statement that "40,000 African American children are  in the DISD system with little or no attention to their educational needs" is an insult to the teachers, principals, administrators and volunteers who are actively engaged with closing the achievement gap and is contrary to the reality of the myriad special programs geared to the teachers and students.  Perhaps Carla should take a look at the *effectiveness* of these programs including the CILT training for science and math teachers that included Conga Lines - with zithers - two years ago and the history of Rap and Hip Hop last year - the teachers will tell you it was an absolute crock of manure.  At this point I agree that Carla has become completely ineffective although I often agree with her positions. 

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

What Mike Morath said that was really scary and raises eyebrowns is he said that when people came here and speak, that it doens't change his mind, but when people e-mail him, that makes him gather a opinion, at the same time I would like to ask him, is there a purpose of Public Comments?

At the same time, as long as theres no bad words being said about someone, thats fine with me.

Another thing that was said was a public forum that some trustees said they can have before the meeting, enstead of that, why don't they go back to there districts and have a "Town Hall" type of meeting for them to tell them whats going on and let the people tell them what they need. That what I would do if I was a Trustee.

BoardWatcher
BoardWatcher

It is unfortuante that Carla has become irrelevant but she has largely done that to herself.  For the last year Carla has refused invitations from trustees and members of the public to meet with her for informal lunches.  She resigned--then un resigned.  She has not attended board briefings and meetings that revolve around selecting the next superintendent.  Her petty PESONAL squabbles with Dr. Blackburn and Bernadette Nuttal have escalated to include her good friends Joyce Foremand and Juanita Wallace, head of the equally ineffective Dallas branch of the NAACP.  Carla's blog posts have become a platform for her pettiness desguised as relevan political commentary.  The personal and hateful comments and name-calling used by both Ms. Foreman and Ms. Wallace in public board meetings should be an embarrassment to the whole African American Community.  The NAACP should censure Ms. Wallace for her verbal abuse of Dr. Blackburn.  Carla Ranger should reconsider her decision and resign. 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Hell, ask Carla Ranger---she knows me quite well. Ask Lew. Ask Bernadette. When others quit bringing up race, I will as well. Untiil then, I will counter it so this city can break free of the past and move FORWARD.  

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I'm with you Betty.  Thank you for your comments. Reading some of these comments pains my heart. It is especally disgusting when they come from teachers and others that are involved with DISD. These children will never have a chance if the attitude is that they will not make it anyway.  

Ross3700
Ross3700

Folks who have been on the board too long and are still a part of the problem:Carla Ranger, Lew Blackburn, Nancy Bingham and Edwin Troy nee Flores.

Watching Dad
Watching Dad

East Dallasite,

1) What do you think the current board has done to negatively affect student education?

2) What other actions do you think the board should do/should have done to positively affect student education?

I hear your comments, but it falls into the category of "criticizing the bureacracy," rather than a helpful discussion.

Ross3700
Ross3700

You can have the schools back....and THEN what would you do with them? Talk is cheap.  Good people are trying to do something different---maybe it'll work---maybe it won't---but at least, for the first time in ten years, there is change.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

You can provide folks with everything that is needed to do something. That would be every little thing  folks can think of .However if they chose not to do it It won't get done.Above all students have to want to learn.Society can not force them to .The sooner we realize the the social experiment of forcing education to all comers regardless of the willingness to participate is a mistake , AND CORRECT IT ! Things will improve.The program is simple Sit quietly and learn.Those who chose not to ? Showing them the door is a start .The sooner we can get on with providing education to the ones who want  come sit quietly and receive the education that society wants to provide for them .I understand we have folks / kids who have needs that the education system should be tweaked to help.By the same token Some of these kids & Parents need to be told to just GO AWAY !

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

 Micheal, I looked at the national numbers also and again the African Americans are behind all groups.  My comments were never directed toward all teachers and you know that. The facts are the facts and you nor Diane can deny them.  You keep trying to move the ball in a different direction.  In the Dallas Public Schools, African Americans score lower than anyother etchnicity.  If that is not true, please point me in the right direction.

It is not just Carla Rangers responsibility to ensure that all children have equal access to learning,it is the entire boards responsibility. Shame on you for believing that the problem is only with the students and their culture and that the only person that should be concerned is Mrs. Ranger.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

In the past, the individual committees had open meetings at lunchtime where students and parents could have a conversation with the trustees on that committee.  The communication was invaluable.  I believe that the Trustees stopped that process shortly after Lack Lowe was elected and moved to "walking committees" where there is NO public input to the committees (unless invited) and where some  Trustees actually stated that other Trustees were NOT welcome to attend! The individual committees meet as a "committee of the whole" at the board meetings where they read their reports into the record. If citizens really want to have input that may change the hearts and minds then go to the board *briefings*, talk with the trustees, send them an email  or call...most of them try to respond in a timely manner.  The dialogue needs to happen before the actual board meeting or the chance of changing a member's mind is less likely.  As Jack Lowe said at a community meeting last year (paraphrased)  "we often tend to give more weight to the speaker because they have taken the time to come and speak, but that is a concern to me because they may be misinformed or do not represent the majority or are not factual."  The gist being that Jack may not have given more weight to the speaker just because they spoke. If you have a concern then by all means contact the board. If you speak on an issue then use the advice that Dr. Blackburn often gives, "Come on long and come on strong."  In other words, one voice crying in the wilderness once has little effect.  Bring down a group who will stand behind the speaker and do it as often as possible...you will be heard and they will pay attention to the issue.   

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

BoardWatcher, I would love to see your record of working on committees, helping students, hiring student and being supportive of the DISD teachers and parents.  I continue to believe that Blackburn runs the meetings like a dictator.  When Medrano was president, we did not hear anything about silencing the public. If you attend the meetings, I am eager to have a discussion with you about my actions.   Maybe you have some pointers on how I can better express my frustrations with the current board leadership.  Sign in with your real name and we can go from there.

My strong belief is that 40,000 African American children are  in the DISD system with little or no attention to their educational needs.  I am sure you are aware that African Americans score lower on all test and in every catagory than anyother ethnicity.  For your information, the African Americans that I know are greatful that I spend my time fighting for our children. Not only that, they know that I am pro public education for all children.

  As for bullying, I was bullied by the out of control Bernadette Nutall on last Thursday at the board briefing. 

Thank you Mrs Ranger for being brave enough to stand on principal and not go along to get along. 

maryhasan
maryhasan

I believe that there is enough blame to go around.  Part of that blame has to be placed on teachers.  If a student has a teacher who doesn't believe that the child can learn, they're in the wrong profession and shouldn't be teaching.  Part of the blame goes to the parent, some of whom are just children themselves and don't understand the importance of education and part goes to the child.  Although my previous statements are correct, there are other things that weigh in on this discussion.  When a parent is working long hours or two jobs to try to provide for their family, they have little time to help their children.  There are teachers who draw a salary and could care less if the child learns.  There are teachers who tell kid that they are dumb and there are teachers who have been in the field too long and seem to be burnt out.  All these teachers need to go.  If a child feels that they are not capable of learning because the person teaching them shows this feeling, then they feel why try.  I agree with you Joyce that it is especially disgusting when it comes from a teacher.

My granddaughter goes to AW Brown Charter School and personnally I think DISD can learn a lesson from them.  At age 5, she was taught the 7 basics habits of highly successful people, the Preamble to the Constitution and how to read.  They motivate the children and instill in them the belief that they can be or do whatever they want in life.  They don't tolerate all that negativity.  They also instil in the parents that they have a part to play in their education.  Parents must be involved and they have a role equally as important as the teacher. 

Joyce, keep fighting, we can't give up on the children.

Watching Dad
Watching Dad

We should hold public elections and get them voted out.  Oh wait...

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

1.  They hired Hinojosa & then they extended his contract.  This emboldened the already bold cronies of his to behave as they wanted.  Incompetent people grew in power all over the district.  They surrounded themselves with more incompetent cronies and relatives.  Children came last.2.  They stood by and watched DISD blow $57 million dollars intended for kids on fast food and Dallas hotel rooms for administrators who live in Dallas.  DMN did a big story on it in June (in case you missed it).3.  Despite clear evidence, they embraced the CEIs, which are nonsensical (but expensive to explain!) measures of teacher performance.  Crappy teachers hurt student education.

Let me know if you'd like me to go on.There are plenty more examples of how many trustees have failed students and taxpayers in Dallas.  

East Dallasite
East Dallasite

The "good people" of the DCC and DRGC are out to pillage every penny they can from DISD, nothing more, nothing less. It's what they've always done and they're very good at it.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Showing them the door will get us what?  We already know that the majority of people in prison are not educated.  Is that what we want?  Are we satified with more tax money being spent on prison than on education? 

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Joyce, you apparently are equating low student achievement with a lack of "equal access to learning"...sorry, I don't buy it and I've been looking at this hard for almost three years.  Again, no one is trying to re-write the history of the criminal short-changing of the AA community in public education but many of these concerns have been addressed and are continuing to be addressed. You cannot force the children to learn nor the parents to parent.  We CAN make sure that we have the best teachers possible and that there is no "pedagogy of poverty".  As for your suggestion for more parent training programs (if we can get the parents to show up, which is unlikely) what would you like to see "trained"?

Perry Moore
Perry Moore

Ms. Foreman, thank you for your public service on behalf of all DISD students and taxpayers. May your passion for education bear fruit in the lives of those students. Finally, with all deference given to your expertise in other areas, the word is "grateful."

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Oh, my God, Joyce, there you go again!!!What, you think we separate black kids from the rest and teach them differently? Are you so out of touch with what is going on in our schools?

I usually do not ever comment on specifics at my own school, out of respect for the system, but let me give you an EXACT account of the state of the thinking and value our students place on their education. And just to make this clear, race is not the issue here....A few weeks ago, seniors who still needed to pass TAKS were offered--for free--- Saturday tutoring. Since we went low-performing, the urgency is there, right? Since there were about a THIRD of the senior class, over 125 kids, who needed to pass TAKS, here is how the assembly went, and I am paraphrasing and truncating here:

Admin: We need you to come to Saturday school. 9-12.

Students: Do we have to?

Admin: If you want to pass TAKS, yes, this could help.

Students: Do we have to wear our uniform?

Admin: No. But dress correctly, decently. Students: Will there be food?Admin: No.

I was there that morning, working the SAT administration. We had over 400 kids for that, but only about a fifth were DISD kids. The rest were from Wylie, Sachse, Garland, Mesquite, private schools, etc... So that shows you the lack of desire in DISD seniors to advance to college... But back to TAKS....

Do you know how many showed up?

FOUR.    FOUR, count 'em.

Joyce, I so respect your passion and hard work, but you also have to understand that there is no conspiracy against AA kids, no more than there is against Hispanic kids. The fraud, waste and abuse affect ALL kids, no matter their color. But you cannot MAKE a kid achieve. You cannot MAKE a kid succeed if they don't give a damn enough to get out of bed and LEARN on the weekend, so whose fault is that? Why is there no urgency in Dallas among the leaders of the minority communities-- both black and Hispanic, to WORK TOGETHER to get their kids in school, paying attention, behaving and working hard? You know, there is NO achievement gap among minority kids in military communities. You gotta think why.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I agree with you DISD Teacher.  We need good honest school board members. The three board members that are up for election are Flores, Parrott and Nutall.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I seriously suspect voter fraud impacts even the school board elections.

DISD is a cancer stifling renewal and growth in Dallas.Everyone on the city council knows it.

Homeowners in the suburbs and HP know it, too, and are grateful for it.

Priority 1 is a moral, honest school board or this city will die.  It is that important.  What will be done in the next school board election to ensure that voter fraud is not happening?

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Less money ?HUH ?However if Less Money means better students in the classroom  then fair trade  .

The here and now are the students in the seats in front of the teacher .Stay and behave have and have oppertunity for a good future on US.

Becoming Future Convict 39521479 is in the hands of the student .Misbehave and DISRUPT go ahead and clear off that pocket for a number .

Our schools bend over backward to make a place for folks,even those  who don't want one .

It isn't working !

Cut the losses and move on.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

"Showing them the door will get us what ?"

How about a building full of students that are there because they want to learn ?WOW what a concept ?Can you believe the quality results a school will have if you don't have to deal with the the kids who don't give a Bleep about being there ?

Schools are there  to TEACH.Boot those who don't want to be educated out .PRISON IS IN THE FUTURE FOR SOME OF THEM.Those are the hard facts !That is no reason to let them Disrupt the others who want what is offered .

I understand what you are saying  and I think it is a well meaning but Misguided notion in these times.

 

JM
JM

Joyce, it is commonly believed that a lack of education,or a poor education, in this case measured by "poor test scores', leads to a life of crime. A federal study showed 64% of jail inmates have symptoms of severe mental illness. Do poor test scores then lead to mental illness? We are absolutely doing all children and adolescents an injustice by ignoring their individual (not race based) needs for support in all areas. DISD Teacher's constant pleas to separate the intentional nonlearners and "troublemakers" from the general population and aggressively deal with their issues is what has a chance of emptying our prisons. I am not convinced that AA kids and Hispanic kids and Anglo kids learn differently.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

So sorry you feel the way you do.  The test for quantifying if the needle moves is obvious,  where were the students before the technology upgrades and where are they now.  You make it seem asthough you are not just putting your thoughts out here too.  Neither of us are elected to the board, therefore we have ideas and thoughts we share with the people that are voting.

I never said all kids need the latest technology.  I spoke about the technological advantage that some schools have over others.  It's not friggin easy to say, it's a fact.

The contracting process is another issue and maybe you and others will weight in on that from the budget committee that you are on. 

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

"If this was not needed, do you think the district would be doing it?"  If WHAT was not needed?  Technology?  The skeptical side of me says someone is making money off DISD somewhere in the process.  I'd start with the contract to lay 280 miles of fiber optic cable.  "I have spoken with the superintendent and the technology leader and they both agree with me."Agree about what? The effort to get money for technology for older schools?  Hell, I agree about that too.   Again, properly integrated into the curriculum the technology tools will be useful.  Will they move the needle on student achievement?  Dunno. Will DISD try to quantify the effect on student achievement.  Nope.  Not unless someone pushes hard for it.  So we might never know.  Joyce, the devil is in the details and your brush strokes are very broad. DISD is in the shape that it is in because it's friggin' EASY to say something like "all kids need the latest technology" but awfully difficult to make that translate into good education.  We have been a district of vendor managers, not educators, and neither job has been done well.  

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Technology is a tool.   It is a teaching and learning tool that all students do not have access to.  You have just made my point about the disparity of education in the schools. New schools are not built without technology capabilities, but as you stated, there is an effort to get funding for technology in the older schools.  If this was not needed, do you think the district would be doing it?  I have spoken with the superintendent and the technology leader and they both agree with me.  I have been, and will continue to advocate for equal access for all students.

Who sees public education as public welfare?

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Technology, in and of itself, is just a tool. The DISD I.T. department wants $168M for a variety of projects including new schools, network cabling and surveillance systems, wireless networks, a new data center, new P.C.'s, digital classrooms (white boards and clickers) and the refurbishment of existing computers. Much of this is infrastructure that has been neglected.   As I stated publicly (link below), any technology works best when integrated into the curriculum...that integration (or lack of) is a very great concern to me second only to the lack of personnel to implement.  DISD just fired half of the librarians...who is supposed to train the teachers?  Who is going to work one-on-one with the students?  How, and when, is this supposed to be integrated into the lesson plans?  How are we to measure whether the technology actually moves the needle on student achievement?  Words are easy, Joyce.  Action is more difficult. In the past there was money to throw crap on the wall and see what "stuck". Not anymore. Concillio is a great example...this should be funded by the community (How about it Commit! ??) and not DISD. Public education is currently seen as a social welfare program...that is a problem.

http://budgetreview.org/Home/t...

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Of course I equate student achievement to lack of equal acess to learning.  For the past several years, I have been pushing DISD on the technology issue because most schools in my area are not wired.  If the students  in the new schools have access to technology and the students in the olders bulidings do not, who do you think have a better chance for learning in the technological world?  I think we have had this discussion before you were put on the technology committee.  If I am wrong about the unequal access to technology, please point me to information that is different.

I am more aware of the bias toward African American,past and present, because I have lived and live it everyday.  Society has come a long way from segregated schools, but there is still a long way to go, and as I read some of the blog post, I find myself devistated at the attitude of some.

How do you know the parents will not show up for training programs?  That is why nothing changes. some people make assumptions before actually trying.  DISD put $250,000 per year in a parent training program for the Concillio, and  nobody said they probably will not come.  The fact is they gave it a chance and that was the right thing to do.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

We have been raising the issue with DISD for several years. It is clear when the parents are involved in the child's education, the children are better students.  DISD recognize this also and awarded $250,000 per year to the Concillio for parent training.  This is a good organization, but it is geared to the Hispanic population.  They are trying to reachout the the black community but are having a difficult time.  Our community needs something simular.  I do not care who funds it, but we need it.

maryhasan
maryhasan

You are absolutely correct about parent training. With more and more young people becoming parents, there is a definite need. 

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

You can't prepare a child for an unknown test.It would be like teaching an alien Latin before they arrive on Earth.Won't hurt them, but won't help them.  

Tutor the kids to master the TEKS during the week.Test prep the remaining TAKS-takers.Let all the other kids sleep in and be kids.

If we weren't in the midst of a budget crisis, it wouldn't be a big deal.  If it's between firing more teachers next year/increasing class sizes OR Sat School this year, I choose the former.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I am not the leader of the NAACP, but I will pass this on to her.  I know that there is a cost to putting together a parent training program and I know that volunteering, tutoring, mentoring, reading, etc already take place in many of the schools. We just need more.

I do appreciate your post .

Watching Dad
Watching Dad

Ms. Foreman,I would like to see more parent training as well.  DISD might be able to do that, but wouldn't that require additional funding?  If the NAACP did this, it would have a direct affect on the outcome of those students/parents participating.

The board (and even the superintendent) affect the school SYSTEM, not students.  Teachers and parents affect student outcomes.  If the system needs to be changed to get out of the way of teachers and parents, the board should make sure the superintendent and administrators are aware of it.  If we want to help make students/children better, individuals and groups such as your in the community must directly support parents, teachers, and students.  This may be mentoring, volunteering, tutoring, reading, etc.If you organization has any programs and methods such as these that directly touch students, please post them and other people like us who are concerned enough to read these comments may be able to help.  If the only thing your organization is doing to support education is sending you to make comments at school board meetings, I ask you how is that action more valuable than directly helping one student or one parent or one teacher.

Watching Dad
Watching Dad

Some students still need to pass the TAKS test in order to graduate.  If those students to not pass TAKS this year, they will not graduate.

If schools recognize that students will not perform well, I would prefer they help those students this year rather than "take a year off."  If you think there is too much emphasis on test scores, then trust teacher opinions when they believe a student should attend Saturday school.  Otherwise, we are only waiting for the next test to tell us they should have had Saturday school.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

 Chris, You and I  agree.  I believe the parents and students have a responsibility for thier actions.  But when I was a student, if I said I can not do that, the teache would r say yes you can and pushed me to learn.

The young parents of all races are struggling with being parents and are not pushing their children the way that they should.  These children should learn respect, but some of the teaching of children come from the teachers . the communit and society.

I would like to see more parent training programs at DISD.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Joyce, i'll give you an a solution to help out your consituency: Make them take responsibility for their actions and quit blaming others for their own idiocy and bad choices in life. 

That's the largest problem w/ the DISD and most urban public school systems in this county, parents who are barely adults themselves and the little SOBs they refuse to parent. Instead of making them(Parent and Child)  understand that school a place where they should be respectful and learn, they have become nothing more than publicly-funded day care centers with spoiled brats taking up the lions share of the class day, which is a disservice to everyone involved, not to mention standardized testing which is an abject failure.Im old school,  I believe respect is earned, not given on merit or dispensation. Once we start teaching that to our children along w/ the three r's, we'll upright this ship called public education and make it great again...

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

You are right.  Last TAKS test rating was for 2 years. 

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

Diane,

Bless your heart.  You do not get it and I can not make you get it.  The sad thing for me is that you are a teacher and your post seem to show that you  believe the African American children can not be forced to learn although they are lagging behind all children on test scores. If all teachers feel as you do, these children will never make it.

You keep wanting to make it blacks against browns, and clearly it is not that.  The facts are the facts, and that is the way that I am addressing them.  Most, not all, African American families that can have taken their children out of DISD.  Those children that are left need a voice speaking for them, but people like you always want to call it being raciest when an African American speakes up for African Americans, but you never say a word when others speak up for their race. 

I was responding to Boardwatcher about the reasons that Lew Blackburn is having a hard time being the president and why many people come and speak out.

I appreciate your respect for me, but please push the children to learn, no matter what they think, because ALL CHILDREN CAN LEARN. 

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The results of the upcoming STAAR test this year will not affect a school's rating or a student's promotion.It's more of a "preview" year so teachers can see what the new test is like.

And yet, many schools (most?) are again spending lots of taxpayer money on Saturday School.

The teachers have to be paid whether 1 kid shows up or 20.  For a test that doesn't count bc no one knows what will be on it.  

Sheer waste.We have a free pass from the state to save money on unnecessary (and probably ineffective) test prep, and yet DISD admin prefers to spend whenever possible.

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