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

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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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21 comments
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Mary
Mary

41 divided by 80 million is a lot of money to teach marginal students making at best marginal gains. . .at my former school, community liaison, paid for by Title 1 money, rarely did anything let alone anything with parents

MeMet
MeMet

Okay...! The usage of red yeast rice has heightened in recent years as most people have come to be aware of its potency and uses.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

You cannot MAKE a kid come to tutoring. You can try, you can bait them with food, with prizes, with computers---but if they don't come, how in hell is it our fault? Is it my doctor's fault that I am overdue for my cholesterol check, or is it my fault? Is it the power company's fault if I am late in paying, or is it mine?

I got a clue here: TIE FEDERAL AND STATE benefits, WIC, Food Stamps, Unemployment, etc... to the kids' attendance and grade reports. If they kids are failing, blame the ones who brought them into this world. We work our asses off every day to provide FREE tutoring, and SES programs come in as well. Between us and them, the kids walk on home....

RTGolden
RTGolden

Kind of off topic here, but maybe not so much.  A lot has been written here in the last few weeks about education and local schools and whatnot.  Here is a link to an 8th grade final exam from 1895 in Salina KS.  Wonder how many DISD graduates (or college graduates, or journalists, or me) can pass this.  NOTE: If you are a DISD Trustee, pay particular attention to problem number 4 on the Arithmetic portion of the test **

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.e...

Daisy C
Daisy C

Just a little dose of reality. We aren't talking about the after-school tutoring that teachers do in the classrooms or cafeteria, and still do, every day, across Dallas and most other districts. SES tutoring across the country has largely been a boondoggle for private "service providers". School districts are supposed to give students a list of companies that offer tutoring services, then pay these organizations to serve any students who sign up. The providers frequently don't document attendance or report to/coordinate with schools and teachers. The worst ones give the students cheap laptops as an incentive to sign up, collect their Title I dollars, then provide access to some canned on-line tutoring. Most parents won't sign up for these programs; nationally, no more than 17% of eligible students have ever participated. Some states have sued SES providers for fraud for billing for students they never tutored.

The 40 students are the only ones whose parents signed them up with one of these companies, out of all the eligible students. Districts can't force students to sign up, although they do have to spend Title I funds advertising the services to parents, holding SES fairs, etc. If these "free" tutoring services were dong a bang-up job, parents would be beating down their doors. In fact, though, SES is a program that needs to end - just one more privatization scheme that didn't work.

Lanadev
Lanadev

I agree.  These private companies offering tutoring is a concept only an idiot could dream up.  Federal funds should be used wisely.  It is the people's money that is being tossed out.  What's wrong with our schools is that students run the schools and create disruptions in class, don't pay attention, and teachers cannot teach.  More academies for those poor students who are interested in learning should be created with those funds.  Leave the loafers in the worthless schools; rescew those who have goals.  Presently only a few of them are being served thru academies, and many students are left behind to become like the idiots who create disruptions and bring drugs into the schools.

What ?
What ?

After school tutoring? That would be AFTER the extra 45 minutes of professional development, faculty meetings, and planning they just put in? What do the kids do while the teachers have those meetings?

RTGolden
RTGolden

cruise the bars in Deep Ellum, if they're lucky enough to get into Uplift.

RTGolden
RTGolden

"reconstitute the school into smaller autonomous learning communities to better address the needs and interests of various groups of students."

What the hell does this mean?  The only need of the students the School Board and administration should be worried about is the need for an education.  This is a Middle school here, focus should be on Readin', Writin', and 'Rithmatic.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Instead of just collectively screwing around like the TEA has done, they need to finally jump in the deep end and take over the district. There is no hope for these schools and someone needs  to finally kick the bums on ross out of their jobs...

Sam
Sam

The new UIL enrollment numbers show Lincoln has lost 300 students in the last year, it's down to 712. Nearby Madison is 537. I believe that Lincoln was around 1,400 just a few years ago. This has got to be a factor in any restructuring.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Maybe if Hinojosa and Flores hadn't spent so much time trying to finagle Title I funding to pursue their dream  of wrecking the magnets instead of trying to actually be in compliance with Title I, we wouldn't be in this mess.

Ket354
Ket354

 [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."]Did anybody else read this and think: Wilonsky is a good guy, but should he really be taking over DISD?

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

hey, at this point, why the hell not?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I think Wilonsky should take over DISD.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

We saw that the last DISD graduate did to the district when put in charge. Though, if pressed into services, well, I'd be happy to take the reins. So long as every middle-school student is required to take the course "The History of KZEW."

Ed D.
Ed D.

Throw in "Historic Structure Appreciation" and "Math" and you're hired.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

I'm reluctantly inclined to agree with Mr. Gwinn.  I think the best thing at this point would be to place DISD under some sort of temporary, state-administered conservatorship.

The conservator would have the ability to restructure existing contracts, allowing for a complete "house cleaning" of the central administration function.  During the time of the conservatorship, all options would be placed on the table, including the break-up of DISD into smaller districts, etc.

One thing is certain:  DISD is broken and has been for a long, long time.  While adults dawdle, thousands of children are being condemned to substandard futures, brought on by their substandard education.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Robert Scott won't touch DISD.  Why hang that albatross around your own neck?

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

So we have superintendent Alan King blamed on the "annual ratcheting up of standards" and "of the 29,349 students eligible" for after-school tutoring and remedial help, "only 40 students have received tutoring services to date."

The next sound you hear is the ratcheting up to 41 students found by the sound of King patting himself on the back.  

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