From Australia, A Message for the DISD Trustees: Do Not Close Bonham Elementary

AbbeyatBonham.JPG
From David Abbey's postcard from the DISD
David Abbey is the principal of Kingswood Park Public School in Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, considered a suburb of Sydney. Kingswood Park has its familiar issues -- a "socio-economic disadvantage" in large part because of a dwindling student body, "a significant Aboriginal population" and many of its students hailing from single-parent families. It receives government funding; over there it's called "charity status." Which is why, in the fall of 2010, Abbey came to the United States and Canada -- in search of educational role models, successful schools that might be willing to share their blueprints for success. He needed help. And as you could probably guess by now, one of the schools he visited was James B. Bonham Elementary on Henderson Avenue.

Late last night, a note from Abbey arrived in the in-box. He's heard all about the Dallas Independent School District's looking to close, or "consolidate," Bonham -- this, despite its status as one of the district's rare jewels without "academy" or "magnet" or "vanguard" in its title. Abbey sends this note:
Without a doubt James B. Bonham Elementary was the outstanding school I visited and researched. Their results over 10 years of above-state average results from a disadvantaged area are unheard of in Australia and the reason I invited the principal, Ms. Sandra Fernandez, and teacher mentor Mr. Rogelio Garcia to visit our school and conduct training sessions for two weeks with many other schools in July this year in Sydney, Australia.

James B. Bonham Elementary School is a lighthouse school of international best practices in quality teaching and learning. It must continue to provide the very best educational opportunities for its students and local community. It cannot be closed.
He also dispatched his "Postcard from USA & Canada," in which he documented his visit. The first school about which he writes is Bonham, and he does so at great length. Read the missive on the other side. Uws North America Article Smaller Pics
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12 comments
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Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Duh.  We have to close down the good regular schools.  They're making the others look bad.  Same reason we have to undermine the magnets.  Hinojosa may be gone, but his legacy lives on.

sizzler
sizzler

if bonham closes its students will go to lee and milam. exemplary and recognized, respectively.

Gubbins
Gubbins

Lee: exemplary for one year; Milam: not exemplary; Bonham: exemplary for EIGHT years, and many other awards, including national awards. Your argument doesn't hold up.

Justin C
Justin C

the suburb is spelled "Penrith"

I was there in September, I ate at a Subway. For the record, their subways are just like ours.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Indeed -- that was just a lousy typo. Thanks, Justin.

howl
howl

Mt. Auburn Elementary, an exemplary rated elementary school in a lower-income neighborhood, is also on the chopping block.  Where are these kids going to go? What of the faculty that has built this almost 100 year old school into a success?  What now for this community that needs quality primary education so very much?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Actually, that's far from the case: Per the proposal, the kids from Bonham would be split up and sent to Mata and Mount Auburn. See Page 5 of this doc:

http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/l...

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

Robert, DISD announced that Mata (only 14 years old) and Mount Auburn are on the proposed closure list ...also it was announced that the recently demolished O.M. Roberts is included on the closure list but, according to DISD they plan on building a brand new school anyway.  These three schools are on the same street East Grand that turns into Garland Rd. less than 1 mile from each location...What is DISD doing?   Wouldn't it make more sense to use the Mata and Mt. Auburn buildings instead of wasting more tax dollars on building a brand new OMR.  Is it true that maybe DISD will close Mata and Mt. Auburn to bus the students over to the new OMR?

howl
howl

Thanks for the concrete info. Now, I'm left wondering if the rumor mill has churned up another whopper, or if there are conflicting plans with the district; I'll hope for the former.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Yikes!A world class school. But Dallas hasn't achieved World Class City status yet!

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