With Preston Hollow Elementary Losing More Rich Kids, Dallas ISD Eyes an IB Program

PrestonHollowElementary.jpg
DISD
Preston Hollow Elementary is losing the battle to woo the middle- and upper-class families who live nearby. It's not unique in this regard. Sanger Elementary, you'll recall, was spurned by the coveted high-level-city-bureaucrat demographic, and other grade schools in Dallas' well-heeled 'hoods draw largely from poorer neighborhoods, while the local kids fill up elite private schools. But the numbers at Preston Hollow are pretty stark.

In 2007, the student body was 19 percent white. Today, it's 7.9 percent. In 2007, 75.9 percent was economically disadvantaged; by 2010, it was 85.9. That's hardly reflective of a school whose attendance zone is one of the whitest and richest in Dallas ISD.

There remains a strong core of neighborhood parents who remain committed to the school -- when I was at Preston Hollow People, I wrote about one who planted and mowed the soccer field -- but more families in Preston Hollow are opting for private school. The figure is above 90 percent in the cluster of half-million-dollar-plus homes at the heart of the neighborhood, according to Census statistics.

See also: The News Says Parents Are Giving Up on This Dallas School, But Parents Say Otherwise

That's a trend DISD is hoping to reverse. The Dallas Morning News reported last week that trustees will consider adding an International Baccalaureate program, along with 100 magnet slots, to Preston Hollow. Franklin Middle School and Hillcrest High School are working on plans for IB programs of their own.

The IB program is a rigorous college-prep program. It's already in place at East Dallas' Woodrow Wilson High School.

"The thought process is that Dealey [a nearby magnet] every year has a waiting list of kids that can't get into it," says trustee Mike Morath, an outspoken advocate of IB programs. "A lot of those kids don't end up at other DISD schools. They end up at private schools."

For each student the district can woo to another campus, DISD gets additional funding from the state. Not that the schools are purely focused on the bottom line. For one, Preston Hollow's enrollment has been flagging despite a flood of out-of-zone kids from Vickery Meadow and the Bachman Lake area, who make up more than half of the student body. The magnet slots would fill up the extra space.

More than that, the reason an IB program might attract would-be private schoolers is that it's a "phenomenally rigorous college preparatory curriculum that gives kids a real detailed, critical thinking-focused education," Morath says.

See also: Sick of Waiting on DISD, Lakewood Elementary Parents Are Raising $15 Million for Expansion

Attaining IB status won't happen overnight. The application and review process is three years and requires intense preparation. Morath predicts it will also take a significant fundraising effort on the part of the neighborhood.

On that front, maybe Preston Hollow can take a cue from Lakewood.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
57 comments
EastDallasDISDfan
EastDallasDISDfan

It would make more sense to have an IB elementary in the J. L. Long Middle/Woodrow Wilson High School feeder pattern as those are the only secondary IB public schools in Dallas (RISD has none either).  I believe that is being planned for Robert E. Lee and Lipscomb elementaries.  However, anyone in the district (or outside) can apply for transfer to those schools.  Woodrow is having just such an open house on the subject tonight:  http://lakewood.bubblelife.com/community/lakewood_reporter/library/3560722/key/35948770

JessMe
JessMe

While all this talk goes on nothing really happens and the great kids (yes mine included) who are above average but whose parents can afford nothing better but to stay within disd suffer. My kid knows she wants more from her education, I wish there was some way I could give her that.

casiepierce
casiepierce

I don't get it.  20 years ago when I was at Garland Senior High we had an IB program.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

While there are many reasons a parent chooses to send their child to a private school rather than a public school, one of the major motivations of parents who have college degrees is to get the elementary student ready to learn, and to give them the platform that provides as strong a chance vs other applicants when they later go thru the admission contest for college.

if DISD can make the schools provide these benefits, the parents will consider sending their kids. if  DISD fails in these areas, the parents will avoid the district.

the IB program sounds like a good step forward.

Threeboys
Threeboys

I am well within the confines of LBJ and well within the confines of the middle class.  My wife and I never, ever even considered sending our kids to DISD schools.

pak152
pak152

why not just give every parent who has school age children in DISD a voucher for each child equivalent to 80% of the per capita spending within the District allowing the parents to decide where and how to spend the education dollars. allow for more charter schools. DISD then becomes nothing more than an administrative HQ

It took the powers that be 6 years to decide to put in an IB program to staunch the exit flow of white students?
when one looks at the PH attendance zone (2010 map is the most recent I can find) http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX01001475/Centricity/Domain/89/schoolinfo/eszones2010/PrestonHollow2010.pdf I wouldn't say that it is that the white students are moving out, but rather that the students are growing up and not being replaced.


P1Gunter
P1Gunter

In a way, I feel like the poster boy for the middle class white flight from DISD. I was born in 1981 and grew up literally less than a mile from Alex Sanger Elementary (seriously, it was 4 blocks down San Cristobal). Where did my parents send me to school? St. John's (back then it wasn't $30k a year). My feeder high school was Bryan Adams so where did my parents send me? Jesuit. When it came time for college, my parents were not at all happy that I chose to transfer to the University of North Texas from SMU (state schools to them were like DISD). My entire life I was told that smart kids don't go to DISD schools. I qualified for the TAG program and my mother would still have nothing to do with it. White kids of any means simply do not go to DISD schools, and have not since the '70s or early '80s. Woodrow has managed to hold on to a few of them, and Stonewall too (the special needs thing has saved them). I hate to be so blunt, but it is simply the way it is. DISD has some decent magnet schools (Townview, Booker T, etc.) but if your parents can find the cash, they don't send you to a DISD school because they are garbage. Who to blame for that is debatable, but it doesn't change the fact that it is.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

This is the logical outcome of DISD's brilliant "Everybody's Going to College" policy, which has of course created a district that produces next-to-no college-ready graduates. The bottom line is we need to bring back vocational programs at some high schools, and have real, actual rigorous college-prep curriculum at others (not just the magnets, which are not the answer for every student).

lzippitydoo
lzippitydoo

Too little too late - this schiool is way behind many others in the exodus from DISD. It shouldnt be just the rich white kids but others as well. Having grown up in DISD and having my kids go through the elementary schools - before heading to private schools, a steep decline was felt in the district! Good teachers with years of experience leaving as they saw programs decline and tired and old looking schools across the district. With surrounding jewel school systems of Southlake, Colleyville, Lewisville, Frisco, Allen and many more - DISD is lost in a bureaucratic mess of the school board, limited resources and a student makeup with 30-40% single family support - that means no parental involvement, critical to school success and a district so large with so many needs that any funds received will be used in the classroom vs. sprucing up the facilities! As a parent today - I would decide to move out of the DISD district and not go the private school route either. The privat schools are too expensive and by the time they are done there - no funds for college!

knoxharrington
knoxharrington

"More than that, the reason an IB program might attract would-be private schoolers is that it's a "phenomenally rigorous college preparatory curriculum that gives kids a real detailed, critical thinking-focused education," Morath says."

So ... other DISD schools are not engaging in "real detailed, critical thinking-focused education."  What are they doing then?  No wonder parents who can afford it are leaving.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@JessMe Have you even applied for private schools? You should at least apply for slots in private schools that are priced within an acceptable price range. A common misconception is that all students are from wealthy households, and that's simply not true. In many cases, my kids school for example, there are plenty of kids that come from working class backgrounds who's parents receive grants (hello free money) from the school so that their kid can attend; my kid is one of them. We don't pay full tuition, and most likely never will.

dkv_tx
dkv_tx

@JessMe    You can always move!  There are affordable apartments in RISD and Plano.

Dikdik
Dikdik

@sherismith No... that wasn't a similar program. It was a cleverly arranged segregation scheme.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@casiepierce 

DISD is a little slow when it comes to these new-fangled ideas like IB....

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

@mavdog There are really two reasons a parents sends their kid to DISD. They hate them or cannot afford better. Private school is expensive as hell now because no one wants their kids in most of the ISDs around D/FW, They're almost all a raging dumpster fire at this point, and the few that aren't are so damn expensive to live in that you might as well have your kid in private school. As much as I ride Schutze about his 35 damn Mike Miles columns a week, he is right that it needs to be addressed. If you take Highland Park out of the mix how far do you have to get from downtown Dallas for a public school you'd send your kid to?

pak152
pak152

@mavdog instead of implementing an IB program why not get back to the basics of teaching them how to read write and arithmetic in the first 4 grades. leave out the computers, get back to phonics, get back to memorization

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@Threeboys My kids went to DISD. The oldest graduated from Booker T. and is at a Top 20 university, which I can afford because I didn't drop a bunch of money on private school. The youngest is at SEM.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@pak152 

DISD spends approx. $9,300 per student, at 80% that's a voucher worth around $7,250. Don't expect charters can make that amount work, good luck locating a private school with that tuition.

clearly you have no clue about the neighborhoods in the PH Elem attendence zone. 20% (about 18,500 kids) of the pop are under 14 years of age.

there is a reason the very successful KidVille went into Preston Royal Village SC....

BryanJ1964
BryanJ1964

@P1Gunter 

"White kids of any means simply do not go to DISD schools, and have not since the '70s or early '80s." That's not true at all. 

tdkisok
tdkisok

@P1Gunter 


Sounds like your parents were racists. I hope you didn't learn that mindset.

clifford
clifford

@lzippitydoo Frisco, Lewisville, and Allen are not jewels. They're pretty mediocre, in fact.

EastDallasParent
EastDallasParent

@knoxharrington The IB program was actually harder than my college work. It is basically college level text, analysis and testing. The majority of the education curriculum in DISD and many other Texas schools is aligned to the state standards, which are the minimum that every Texas student should learn. If you look at what the state standards require, you would quickly see that a kid who passes these minimum standards would not necessarily be college ready.  As there is more and more high stakes testing, the curriculum has been narrowed to primarily focus on what's on the test.  It does no favor to a kid that is advanced. 

PerryMoore
PerryMoore

Unfortunately, other ISD schools are mostly engaged in transportation, daily nutrition, day care, and sports.

JessMe
JessMe

@TexMarine I wasn't aware of that, I will look into it. Thanks

EastDallasDISDfan
EastDallasDISDfan

@mavdog @casiepierce @sherismith

Woodrow started its application process (with the blessing of the DISD board and administration) in 2008, became a candidate in 2009, and accredited in 2011. J. L. Long Middle School in nearing full accreditation in a few months and has been offering the curriculum for two or three years as a candidate school.

clifford
clifford

@P1Gunter @mavdog White students in DISD outperform their counterparts in many exurban schools. I'd send a kid to Hillcrest H.S. in a heartbeat over Wylie or Frisco.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@P1Gunter @mavdog Booker T is downtown and I had one kid go there. Townview is a few miles from downtown, and I'd be happy with my kid being in any of their programs (he is in SEM).

tdkisok
tdkisok

 @P1Gunter  

There is one reason why rich white folks don't send their kids to public schools; they don't want them around Mexicans and Blacks.  

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@pak152 

good grief, WH elementary school DOES "the basics of teaching them how to read write and arithmetic".

odd isn't it that all those private schools these parents are sending their kids to use computers (some give one to every student), and don't rely on "memorization". they teach them how to think, how to study. they're the building blocks for future success in middle and upper school.

Threeboys
Threeboys

I have a neighbor with one graduate from Booker T and in a top university and one still there. Every rule has an exception and certainly Booker T is an exception.

What's SEM?

Threeboys
Threeboys

I want as little government as possible involved in my kids education.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@mavdog Clearly you know nothing about private school admissions. Not everyone pays full tuition, and I'll take $7250 gladly to offset the cost of my kids tuition.

pak152
pak152

@mavdog @pak152apparently you are unaware of the effectiveness of vouchers
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/local-opinions/2011/02/what_school_vouchers_have_boug.html

http://patterico.com/2011/02/07/a-parent-shares-her-experience-with-vouchers/

you also assume that the number of private schools would stay the same if vouchers were instituted when in all probability new schools would be established. nature hates a vacuum. you also forget that virtually private schools also offer scholarships to students. they also in many cases cut the tuition in exchange for volunteering when appropriate. you would be surprised as to what charters are able to do
do you have a source for the PH Elem Attendance zone number? are you saying that 18,500 kids are under age 14? if so that is amazing since less than 400 students attend PH
http://www.homesnap.com/schools/TX/Dallas/Preston_Hollow_Elementary_School
here is the current attendance zone map for PH
http://www.dallasisd.org/cms/lib/TX01001475/Centricity/Domain/89/schoolinfo/eszones2013/PrestonHollow2013.pdf
http://www.clrsearch.com/School/Preston-Hollow-Elementary-School-Dallas-TX/481623001333/

http://www.edchoice.org/School-Choice/Types-of-School-Choice.aspx

EastDallasDISDfan
EastDallasDISDfan

@EastDallasParent @knoxharrington I know at Woodrow some of the private school kids have not been able to handle the rigor of IB and they have dropped down into AP.  The good thing is that they are staying at Woodrow and not returning to privates - this has made them realize that some privates are not necessarily offering a better education.

EastDallasDISDfan
EastDallasDISDfan

@Cliffhanger @P1Gunter @mavdog  Lakewood, Stonewall, Long and Woodrow are about a 10 minute drive from downtown (or less). Lipscomb and Lee are also becoming much better schools and Mata is being turned into a Montessori school (magnet).

Dikdik
Dikdik

@Cliffhanger @tdkisok @P1GunterThere was a Houston ISD board member Donald R. McAdams who found what the White middle class community wanted. It was okay with diversity... as long as it wasn't too much and as long as it was middle class. After there were too many minorities, the white enrollment collapsed.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@tdkisokisamoron

Listen jackass, I've tutored plenty of kids in this city, the RICH kids because their parents could afford me. ALL of them, every one of them didn't want their kids around poor minorities. Even your sorry ass sent your kids to private school. You can't even practice what you preach. 


And thanks for making up a whole identity in honor of me.    lol

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@tdkisok @P1Gunter That's true, only I usually hear it couched as "Well, I don't want him/her to be the only white kid in his/her class." Even though a) they love to brag about how diverse their school is because some other parent was fine with their kid being the only black/Hispanic/Asian kid in the class and b) being the only white kid in his class hasn't had any negative effects on my kid when it's happened

tdkisokisamoron
tdkisokisamoron

@tdkisokYou say: “…they don’t want them around Mexicans and blacks.”  But you are wrong.  Dead wrong.  In reality, they don’t want them around behavior problems – whether those behavior problems are white, black, brown, or otherwise.  I know.  I sent both my kids through the DISD.  Kramer Elementary and Franklin Middle School.

One of the major reasons I sent them was BECAUSE there were “Mexicans and blacks.”  I wanted my kids to have some diversity.  I grew up in the Park Cities and didn’t want them around that homogeny.   In the early years, it was great.  Fabulous.  My kids had tons of great friends of all races, religions, and backgrounds. 

As they move up in grades, their ability to learn was compromised by the increasing behavior problems from other students disrupting class.  These kids don’t get suspended much less expelled.  It’s too much paperwork for teachers and school officials. 

In the later years, the “Mexicans and blacks” regularly called my kids “white boy/girl”, “gringo”, and worse. 

Despite this, I seriously considered sending them to Hillcrest High School.  I ended up sending them to private schools instead.  After going with them to Hillcrest High School football games and seeing many members of the student body in the fans acting like animals (including dry humping) in the stands, there was no way I was going to continue to send my kids through the DISD.

I kept my kids away from select soccer and basketball teams and made them join the school teams.  Several of these teams I coached myself.  I got to know kids and parents from all types of backgrounds.  I can say that most of the “rich” white parents didn’t turn their backs on the DISD and the “Mexicans and blacks”.  With few exceptions, the DISD, “Mexicans”, and “blacks” made it plainly clear that they wanted the “rich” white folks to move on.

EastDallasDISDfan
EastDallasDISDfan

@clifford @Threeboys Many of the private schools in the Dallas area were formed solely for racial reasons. They aren't good schools, they are a method to avoid certain people.

clifford
clifford

@Threeboys If you live within the confines and have never heard of SEM, then I'm sure you've found your level elsewhere. Even just watching the news should tell you what SEM is. Don't be so ignorant.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@Threeboys One of the other exceptions--Science and Engineering Magnet.

Certainly, every parent has the right to do what they feel is best for their child. However, I think that categorically rejecting all DISD schools is a mistake. In our case, we checked out a number of private schools and our local elementary and were very comfortable with our DISD school. Yes, for junior high and high school we went magnet, which some parents consider the equivalent of turning your back on DISD. I would just say that parents should look at DISD on a case-by-case basis and make their decisions accordingly. There are certainly some DISD elementaries I would not have sent my sons do, and others I would have without hesitation--but that's true of private schools, too.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@clifford Name a 3rd rate private school. I'll name a 3rd rate ISD; DISD.

clifford
clifford

@Threeboys I'd choose a magnet ranked #1 or #2 in the country over some third-rate private, but that's just me. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TexMarine

wow, sure wish I had a remedial reading site that I could send you to. it would really help you out...

for the basis of the $7200, see the above. that is 80% of what DISD spends per student it's the discussion that you've jumped into, apparently you're memory can't quite reach that far back up the page.

"what's wrong with that?" good grief, you ARE an idiot. the only thing "wrong with that" is other revenue sources must make up the difference. without these other revenue sources these subsidized tuitions aren't possible. daft just doesn't go far enough in describing you!

let's review a few items: you mention that your kid is in private school, you don't "pay full tuition", you're being helped by a "grant" due to the family being "working class" with a lack of income to pay full price. now you claim to have "the brains and income" in "bleeding edge tech". uh huh.

quite the contradiction there. we all know why it doesn't make sense. you've no credibility.....

TexMarine
TexMarine

@mavdog 

"if a private school charges every student $7200"

...false premise. Who the fuck said anything about tuition being $7200?

"m
eans they get the difference from somewhere else: money from their reserves, their endowment, and part of the money a full paying student pays in tuition goes in that pot"

...whats wrong with that? Rich parents already know they're paying to help others afford this opportunity. You act like its a bad thing.

"
you're an idiot, you are so locked in your closeminded rhetoric you fail to grasp what I said."

...again, you come into this with a false premise. So if I'm an idiot, you're a fucking drooling invalid.

"
good luck to your kid, hopefully he got his mother's brains. if he got yours, he's going to need much more than what that private school can possibly provide"

...unfortunately, my wife is the private school and liberal arts educated one; I'm the one with the brains and income.  Good luck to your kids, who'll soon find out that their parents had led them down a path to failure and a life destined with petty jealousy for those who've done more with less, like me.  My line of work is very high functioning (bleeding edge tech) which I mastered without listening to any pantie wasted liberal fucktard like yourself. Enjoy your anonymity while it lasts.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TexMarine

I sure hope your kid can understand the written word better than you do....

if a private school charges every student $7200 and their cost of operating is greater than $7200 (almost certain in a good school), they are operating at a deficit. they'll not survive.

the fact that some schools can subsidize a portion of their student body tuition, which is being done with your kid, means they get the difference from somewhere else: money from their reserves, their endowment, and part of the money a full paying student pays in tuition goes in that pot. One of the factors private school costs are higher today is the number of kids on scholarship in these schools. they seek a student body diverse in incomes.

you're an idiot, you are so locked in your closeminded rhetoric you fail to grasp what I said.

good luck to your kid, hopefully he got his mother's brains. if he got yours, he's going to need much more than what that private school can possibly provide.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@mavdog What makes you think that $7200 is all that will be spent on tuition genius? Did it ever occur to you that this money can be used to offset the cost of tuition? Did it ever occur to you that $7200 going towards $17,000 in tuition may make the difference for a middle class family?  Did it ever occur to you that the $7200 can be used to cover a large percentage of a Catholic schools $9000 tuition? 

No, it didn't. Because you are an elitist douchebag who can't think past your keyboard.  I'm fully aware of the numbers game, but unlike you I can see how $7200 and school choice is a better option for lower income people than to be held hostage by liberals in failing public schools. The tide is turning, your sacred cow is dead.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TexMarine

You are wrong. I've had 2 kids go thru one of the best private schools in DFW. I also sent 2 kids to a couple of the top liberal arts private schools in the country. I know all too well what schools cost.

typically 10% of the students of these private prep schools are on full scholarship. another 10% have subsidies. so in most of these schools that's around 100 kids on full scholarship and 100 kids with subsidized tuition.

if your kid is academically inclined enough to get admitted, and if you have financial difficulties in paying, the school may help.

it's a numbers game. how much does the school want the kid? are there others who they see as better candidates?

back to my point, if you think a private school can charge a student $7200 in tuition  and operate without a deficit, you're dreaming.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@pak152 

my response has zero to do with "the effectiveness of vouchers".

look at the dollars. students go about 40 weeks a year, at the number above that means the revenue per student would be about $180/wk. not enough to keep a school open without additional source of money.

18,500 kids within a 2 mile radius of Walnut Hill/Edgemere. that is greater area than just the school zone for this school,  it clearly shows a density of youth inside the loop. you are wrong in saying there aren't any kids in these neighborhoods.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...