Saturday, May 30, 2009

Honor we uphold: Success is our goal - David W. Carter 2009 Commencement

Excitement ruled at the Dallas Convention Center this morning as parents, supporters, teachers and staff assembled for the 42nd Annual David W. Carter Commencement exercises.

All were proud of the 2009 graduating Senior Carter Cowboys assembled to say goodbye to their years at Carter High.

We heard from Valedictorian Ivorie Walker, Salutatorian Albert Anderson, Senior Class President Shukura Goodson, Vice President Sharonda Drake and Secretary Jarvis Griggs.

We enjoyed music by the Carter Cowboy band.

I was pleased to give remarks and award diplomas to these graduating Seniors as they began a bright new future.

Thanks to Principal Dupree, faculty and staff for preparing our students for this occasion. Thanks to parents and guests for attending and sharing their enthusiasm.

Class Motto:  "Education is a social process.  Education is growth.  Education is not a preparation for life; education is life itself."  - John Dewey

Congratulations to all!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dallas NEA celebration

Enjoyed attending the annual Dallas NEA End of the Year celebration held this evening at Love Field Conference Center.

I was pleased to visit with NEA members, guests and several Dallas ISD  teachers and staff.

NEA Dallas ISD member retirees, representing over 115 years of teaching service, were recognized and given the traditional NEA pen.

Members paid tribute to officers and committee chairs for their service during the past year.

My appreciation to Dallas NEA and President Dale Kaiser for presenting me the Honorine L. Colbert Friend of Education Award for "unwavering support of public education and the students of the Dallas ISD."  

Yvonne Ewell Townview Center senior recognition ceremony

Smiling students and teachers, along with parents, guardians, grandparents and loved ones attended the 2009 Senior Recognition Ceremony for the School of Education and Social Services. These students will pursue education, child related and social services careers.

The ceremony was held at City Place Conference Center at 10:00 A.M. where students appeared in white dresses and suits.  They heard the Class Valedictorian and Salutatorian give their parting words.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority presented a $10,000 scholarship to a deserving Senior.  Several Texas Scholars were also recognized.

It was a pleasure to observe this inspiring ceremony.  I was invited to give remarks to these outstanding graduates.  It ws a memorable event in every way.

My hope is that all of these Seniors will be able to pursue their dreams.

Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of this 2009 Senior Class celebration.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Say it loud, "I teach and I'm proud"

If you are ready,

Stand up and 

Say it loud.

Shout it out.

Sing along with me.

Say it loud,

"I teach and I'm proud!"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Non-Renewal on Monday - Demotion on Friday

On last Friday morning, I was asked to meet with the Chancellor of Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) at 1:00 P.M. for a discussion.

When I arrived, I learned that the discussion would include two additional parties, the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and the Executive Vice Chancellor of Business Services.  I did not know others would be present.

I had hoped this would be a private discussion with the Chancellor where I could finally get an understanding of why this was happening.

Instead, I was offered a radical demotion as follows:

---Two bands beneath my present level of District Director of Educational Partnerships

---Transfer to Business Services in Mesquite from Educational Partnerships at downtown Lamar

---Start over at Coordinator position

---Major Salary cut

---Report to a new supervisor in the Business Services Division in Mesquite - the new supervisor holds the same position title I currently hold.

---The African American Read-In removed from my supervision - the very successful program I fought to establish ten years ago with nothing but hope and a dream.                                                

In essence, I was offered the "opportunity" to start over from scratch at the very end of a 20-year career with the District.

Something is very wrong with this picture.

I believe this was in response to the questions that have been raised by others about my dismissal.  

Apparently, it is intended to provide an answer when asked why my contract is not being renewed - 'We have offered her another position.' 

What has been presented is the choice to leave the district or take a transfer and demotion.

The demotion also might make it very difficult to continue serving on the school board.  

On Monday I was offered nothing.  On Friday I was offered an unjust demotion.

From Monday to Friday - a week of dismay, disappointment and disbelief.

The whole thing appears to make no sense - except for the smell of politics.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A curt 'No Thank You' after 20 years of service

On Monday, May 18, 2009, I was handed this note.  There was no prior discussion or any indication of any problem.   


To:       Carla Ranger, District Director of Educational Partnership

From:   W.G. Garland, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs     

CC:        Luis Camacho, Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources           

             Dr. Andrew Jones, Executive Vice Chancellor of Educational Affairs

Date:     May 15, 2009

Re:        Reorganization of Educational Partnerships


Mrs. Ranger,

As a result of budget constraints and the reorganization of the Educational Affairs Division, it has become necessary to eliminate the position of the District Director of Educational Partnerships.  Regretfully, this means that your contract will not be renewed for the upcoming fiscal year and your last day with the District will be effective on August 31st 2009.

Should you have any questions or need to seek clarification related to your benefits, etc.  Please contact the District Human Resources office.

Hand Delivered - Monday, May 18, 2009



I was pleased to have followed in the footsteps of Dr. Mamie McKnight into this position upon her retirement.  She was widely admired as a trailblazer in the District.

I believe I served the District well.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who will be the next Dallas ISD Board President?

                                                                                                                                                                Dallas ISD Blog has conducted an interesting online poll that surprises me.
Click Here!      
Before the Attorney General's ruling of April 30, 2009 that declared "the DISD Board of Trustees was not authorized to change the length of its members' terms after December 31, 2007," it appeared there might have been a plan underway to cancel the May 2009 Board officer elections.                                                                                                                                                                                              
The explanation would have been that the current officers should automatically remain in place until May 2010 - since there would have been no May 2009 Trustee election.              
However, the recent Attorney General's opinion made that more difficult to justify, but not impossible.
Maybe no Board Officer should be allowed to serve beyond two consecutive years in the same position because it undermines the development of new Board leadership.                                                                                                                                             
But politics and power often prevail over principle.                                                                                                                                 
Because of the violation of voting rights in canceling the May 2009 election, the Board now has six elected Trustees and three 'holdover' Trustees.
We shall see if the regular Board officer elections are held at the May 28, 2009 Board meeting.
P.S.  There have been at least three former Dallas ISD Board Presidents who also worked for Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) while serving as elected Trustees - Lois Parrott (replaced by Leigh Ann Ellis), Rene Castillo and Ken Zornes (replaced by Edwin Flores). None of them had a problem because of their service.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

North Lake College Hosts “A Frank Discussion of Race in Black and White”


Members of a local interracial panel will present “A Frank Discussion of Race in Black and White” at North Lake College on Tues., May 19, at 6 p.m. in the North Lake College performance hall, located at 5001 McArthur Blvd. in Irving.

The free event will be moderated by Bob Ray Sanders, columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; the general public and members of the news media are invited to attend.

Panelists are: Steve Blow, columnist for the Dallas Morning News; Dr. Juanita Simmons, assistant professor of educational leadership and policy analysis at the University of Missouri; Herbert Gears, mayor of the city of Irving; and Dr. Ray Winbush, director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, located in Baltimore, Md.

A reception at 5:45 p.m. will kick off the event, which is sponsored by the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce; the Dallas County Community College District’s African American Read-In; Africans and African Americans for Enslavement Reparations; and the Ali Luqman Dawah Committee.

The discussion will commemorate the birthday of Malcolm X, Nation of Islam leader and racial commentator who was born May 19, 1925 and who later took the name of el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz. Panelists will consider recent controversies that have appeared in national news and address those issues.

Participants should arrive early because seating is limited. For details, call the office for DCCCD’s African American Read-In at (214) 378-1723. 

Non-Renewal of my contract at Dallas County Community College District

Yesterday I was informed that my contract as District Director of Educational Partnerships at Dallas County Community College District will not be renewed - effective August 31, 2009.

It appears someone has ordered my removal.  There is also something about it that smells of politics.

This was sudden, unexpected and with no prior warning or reason to be concerned.  I have been an employee of DCCCD for 20 years and looked forward to retirement there in the years ahead. My record has been exemplary.

This is difficult and hard to share.  But when I think of all the challenges so many others must face in this life, I am encouraged.

While I do not fully understand it, I am reminded that somewhere in the good book it suggests that "Good soldiers must sometimes endure hard things."

If anyone knows of an opportunity for a career veteran like me, please let me know.

Monday, May 18, 2009

'A gift to share' at the dedication of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

Just like their school song, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) has "A Gift To Share."  

In fact, this outstanding high school, one of the very best in the nation of any kind, has many "gifts to share," and the students and staff delivered a few of their 'gifts' at the official dedication of the excellent new performing arts facility on Saturday, May 16.  

The dedication planning committee produced an inspiring program.  To all assembled, they gave outstanding dance, visual, music and dramatic performance - a total artistic experience.

This is a splended place of arts, action and activity.

It is clear that this is a very special high school where dreams are not deferred but encouraged to become a future reality.

Many thanks to all who made the dedication an enjoyable afternoon in the Dallas Arts District. Even more appreciation is due to the many donors for their generous gifts, without which this dream come true would not have been possible - especially Mrs. Nancy Hamon.

Best wishes to Principal Tracie Fraley, faculty, staff and all the great students who will study at this grand place of excellence in the decades to come -Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.

Keep sharing your gifts with the whole wide world and all of humanity.

"A Gift To Share"

All people have a splendor they can share

and dreams must follow a clear path.

A school for artists has that certain flair

To grace a glisten into life.

Sing a song, dance a dance, be an actor if you wish,

Paint a picture that all dreamers can pursue.

Beauty beckons here for all, for me and for you,

And for me, and for you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Will Dallas ISD commit fraud upon the court?

Judge Barefoot Sanders is no longer on this side of the mountain, but his words remain.

Dallas ISD intends to violate the agreement it made with a federal court in order to convince a federal judge to end a decades old struggle.

Nothing lasts forever, but agreements do have more meaning in a federal court than at the Dallas ISD horseshoe where deceit sometimes prevails.

It appears Dallas ISD is about to commit fraud upon the federal court that released it in 2003 - but only on the condition that it fulfill the agreement made with the court.

Lawyers for DISD have now told them they can violate this agreement with disdain - that the agreement automatically expired after three years - that the required 7-vote majority can be ignored. Superintendent Hinojosa is now actively spreading this information.

There is a big problem here - the district made a written agreement with a federal court. Violating this agreement might be a bit more serious than people who want to destroy these programs want to know.

The Declaration of Commitments and Covenants shall be subject to a "review" after three years. Dallas ISD has never conducted this review. This has been a continuing avoidance. The agreement has also remained as a fully active Dallas ISD policy (AE Local). Only now do we hear the new self-serving and false claim that the Commitments and Covenants mysteriously expired.

Fraud Upon the Court

Right in his court judgment, Judge Barefoot Sanders stated he would be "gravely concerned" if Dallas ISD violated these Commitments and Covenants. Judge Sanders also noted Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which states in subsection (d) - Other Powers to Grant Relief:

Rule 60(d)
This rule does not limit a court's power to:

(1) entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order, or proceeding;
(3) set aside a judgment for fraud on the court.

In other other words, it appears Judge Sanders was putting Dallas ISD on notice that violating the Declaration of Commitments and Covenants might land the District back in a federal court.

What Dallas ISD is about to do appears to be fraud upon the federal court that released it from supervision in 2003.

We have seen this before with the Trustee term extensions. Certain lawyers tell certain Board members and Superintendent Hinojosa what they hope to hear.

This is a destructive agenda that is not progressive at all. It is an agenda grounded in the most extreme self-serving notions.

An effort might have to be made to re-open the desegregation case or an independent lawsuit filed to seek a federal court review of the actions now being taken to destroy all special programs that grew out of the desegregation lawsuit and the violation of the Declaration of Commitments and Covenants upon release from court supervision.

It is doubtful that Judge Barefoot Sanders would have released Dallas ISD from court supervision if he had thought that a Board and Superintendent would deceitfully ignore the written Commitments and Covenants made on behalf of Dallas ISD and later seek to destroy every special school and program that they agreed to continue.

That is not what Superintendent Mike Moses and the Board represented to the Court.

Superintendent Mike Moses said:

"In November of 2002, the district's Board of Trustees adopted a list of commitments that would be followed if the court were to release supervision from the desegregation order. The Superintendent said the district will continue to meet the terms of those commitments. We are humbled, honored and ready to keep our commitments."

It would not be surprising if concerned stakeholders seek a new federal court to review this matter of violating the Declaration of Commitments and Covenants after the Board and Superintendent complete their agenda to willfully destroy as many magnets, vanguards, learning centers, etc., as possible.

That might very well be "fraud upon the Court."

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Apology to Dallas ISD voters for removing your right to vote

Today thousands of qualified Dallas ISD voters, taxpayers and stakeholders will not be able to vote for a Dallas ISD Trustee.

This was through no fault of their own but the sole result of the self-serving agenda of current Trustees.

America is a great nation because every citizen, young and old, poor and rich, powerful and powerless, have an equal right to vote for the representatives of their choice.

It is the most precious right - a right that brave young men and women have been called upon to protect in distant places in the name of freedom.  

It is a right many have fought for, been beaten on bridges for, and died for with no reward but the honor of service and sacrifice.

While this deed cannot be undone, one Trustee can offer a sincere apology, and I do so in the name of the nameless people who gave this most precious right to us all.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Dallas ISD Board also violated its own legal policy by changing trustee terms

The Dallas ISD Board's own legal policy was violated by extending trustee terms after December 31, 2007.

Read Dallas ISD Board policy BBB (Legal).  Find it online here:

BBB (Legal)-Click Here

In plain English, Dallas ISD Board legal policy states: 

     TERMS - ..."Not later than December 31, 2007, the Board may adopt a resolution changing the length of the terms of its trustees.  (Education Code 11.059) (issued 10-4-07)

Read it for yourself if you are buying the current spin that it is just a difference of opinion among lawyers who differ.   The Texas Attorney General is not just another attorney.

No, it is also stated in plain English.  It is Board legal policy.  And it was violated.

Because of the Board's clear violation of its own legal policy as well as the Texas Education Code, thousands of voters have been deprived of their right to vote tomorrow, Saturday, May 9, 2009.

It is shameful, and it is wrong.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Board elections are the only right choice

Two options have been placed on the table for the current Board created election mess, but there is only one right way to proceed.

The right of voters to hold Trustees accountable must be honored.

The approval of a November election should be the easy part.  

Damage already done to voting rights of citizens cannot be undone, but the right to vote must be restored.

There is no other right choice for an elected Trustee to make.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Special Election to fill a vacancy in office

As indicated below, the Texas Education Code § 11.060 (c) provides that Dallas ISD "may call a special election to fill a vacancy."

Section 11.060 (d) - Texas Education Code sets a deadline of "not later than 180 days" to hold an election to fill a vacancy where more that one year remains on the term.

The Texas Election Code Section 201.052 below states that "a special election to fill a vacancy shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date."

The next authorized uniform election date in Dallas will be the first Tuesday in November after the first Monday.


Texas Education Code Section 11.060. VACANCIES.

(a) If a vacancy occurs on the board of trustees of an independent school district, the remaining trustees may fill the vacancy by appointment until the next trustee election.

 (b) If the board is appointed by the governing body of a municipality, a trustee appointed by the governing body to fill a vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term.

 (c) Instead of filling a vacancy by appointment under Subsection (a) or (b), the board or municipal governing body may order a special election to fill the vacancy. A special election is conducted in the same manner as the district's general election except as provided by the Election Code.

 (d) If more than one year remains in the term of the position vacated, the vacancy shall be filled under this section not later than the 180th day after the date the vacancy occurs.

Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, § 1, eff. May 30, 1995.


Texas Election Code - Title 12. Elections To Fill Vacancy In Office

CHAPTER 201. Determination Of And Election To Fill Vacancy

Sec. 201.052. DATE OF ELECTION. (a) Except as otherwise provided by this code, a special election to fill a vacancy shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date occurring on or after the 30th day after the date the election is ordered.

(b) If a law outside this code authorizes the holding of the election on a date earlier than the 30th day after the date of the order, the election shall be held on the first authorized uniform election date occurring on or after the earliest date that the election could be held under that law

Acts 1985, 69th Leg., ch. 211, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1986.

Texas Election Code - Title 4. Time and Place of Elections
Chapter 41.  Election Dates and Hours for Voting - Subchapter A.  Election Dates


(a) Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, each general or special election in this state shall be held on one of the following dates:

(1) the second Saturday in May; or
(2) the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1070, Sec. 49, eff. Sept. 1, 1997.



(a) This section applies only to:

(1) a city with a population of more than 450,000 in which all members of the city's governing body are elected at large;

(2) an independent school district or public junior college district with a service area that is primarily the same as that of a city described by Subdivision (1); and

(3) a metropolitan transit authority with a principal city described by Subdivision (1).

(b) A general or special election of officers of a political subdivision covered by this section shall be held on the spring uniform election date.

Added by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1219, Sec. 6, eff. June 20, 1997.

Mike Moses: 'We Are Humbled, Honored and Ready to Keep Our Commitments'

Dallas ISD News Release - June 2003

DISD Superintendent Says Court Clearance of District Big Step For Moving Forward

Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike  Moses Thursday said that the district is "honored, humbled and ready to keep our commitments," in response to Federal Judge Barefoot Sanders ruling that the district has been lifted from the 33-year old desegregation order.

"We have always said that we give honor to the desegregation order," Moses said.  "Judge Sanders has releaseed the district from this case and we are humbled, honored and ready to keep our commitments adopted by the Board of Trustees in November of 2002. We are deeply appreciative of the comments the judge made about the District operations and its board.  We share the judge's belief that there is still much to be done in our district to make it a premier district.  We take the ruling today seriously and are dedicated to ensuring that conditions would not arise again that would require such court supervision."

In November of 2002, the district's Board of Trustees adopted a list of commitments that would be followed if the court were to release supervision from the desegregation order.  The Superintendent said the district will continue to meet the terms of those commitments.

"We want those in the communty who are uneasy with this ruling today to know that we are dedicated to ensuring that all children in the Dallas Independent School District receive the best education possible and that the district is commited to ensuring that all parties are treated fairly and equitably," Moses said.  "This is a new day for the district but we will continue to work to provide the best education possible for all students.  We know it is important to all citizens of this city to see the DISD operating in a manner that builds confidence and working relationships with those in our community."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dallas ISD seeks court approval for special election at called board meeting Tuesday

It is a serious matter to take away the voting rights of citizens.

Showing no intention of immediately complying with the decision of the Attorney General, Dallas ISD has now posted the following item on the Agenda for a special called board meeting set for Tuesday, May 5 at 3:30 P.M.:

"5.  Consideration of motion to instruct board counsel to seek court approval for special election and to secure Department of Justice approval on election issued for the District."

Agendas are prepared by the Board President and Superintendent.

This means Dallas ISD intends to go to Court and the intention has already been determined by the Board President and Superintendent and others before the Board has even met to discuss the matter.

This is simply an effort to undermine the Opinion of the Attorney General (GA-0712) stating that Dallas ISD has violated  Section 11.059 (e) of the Texas Education Code.

The same Board and lawyers refused to get official written approval of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Secretary of State Elections Division before taking away the voting rights of thousands of Dallas taxpayers and citizens.

Now that the Attorney General has ruled against the Board action, it is being proposed to spend more money on lawyers seeking "court approval" to restore the voting rights the same Board took away from thousands of citizens who would have been electing their Trustees on next Saturday, May 9th.

Seeking "court approval" is not required in order to call a "special election," but it serves the purpose of providing a new reason to fight the decision of the Attorney General in court.

The Department of Justice always has to clear election matters but that has nothing to do with going to court.

What is really intended is to find a court that will approve the term extension from three to four years that was found by the Attorney General to be a clear violation of the  "plain meaning" of Section 11.059 (e) -Texas Education Code requiring any changes to be made "Not later than December 31, 2007."

Instead of setting the special election, the Board is being asked to go to court.

It appears to be another self-serving agenda of political deceit, defiance and delay. 

See Agenda Here