Friday, January 21, 2011

Project 24: The Jared Williams Story

In October of 2009, Jared Williams, a defensive back for Pinkston High School in West Dallas, was paralyzed at the age of 14 in a game against North Dallas High School.

"I never thought this would happen to me but it did. I don't know my purpose in life. Only God knows."

Jared is the son of Arlenna Williams, a single mother and teaching assistant at Pinkston High School. "I got a phone call from the coach ... Jared had an accident .. That's all he's ever wanted to do was play football .. He is my first born."

"Project 24 began with wanting to bless this family ... We're going to get every school child to give us 24 cents and we're going to build him a home."

Jared's story was mentioned today in the Dallas Observer - Unfair Park.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Make Education a Priority

Texas Association of School Boards  - TASB Winter Meeting - January 15, 2011

The meeting of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) and the Legislative Advisory Council (LAC) last week-end covered a full agenda and welcomed three new TASB members. The seven standing committees tackled issues ranging from planning and development to by-laws and resolutions.

There was one very clear concern -- decisions that the imminent Texas legislative session will make about funding for public education.
TASB Directors are asking school districts across the state to pass the “Make Education a Priority” resolution during January.

On January‭ ‬31st,‭ ‬during the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) Mid-Winter conference in Austin,‭ ‬superintendents and board members will gather for a press conference to publicize the urgency of our united message.

Help protect funding for our public schools.‭ ‬School boards are requested to adopt the‭ “‬Make Education a Priority‭” ‬resolution by the end of this month in order to urge your legislators to do the same during the‭ ‬82nd legislative session.

As of today,‭ ‬473 ‬school districts have adopted the "Make Education a Priority" resolution.‭

The resolution and the list of districts that have already passed the resolution are available at the ‭“‬Make Education a Priority‭” ‬website‭ ‬:‭

Click Here for "Make Education A Priority" Website

"Together - "we" can build this needed sense of priority.  Respectfully, we can practice democracy by coming together to create one unified voice - one message ... "Make Education a Priority"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy 82nd Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929 - the year of the great Wall Street crash that caused the Great Depression and devastated the lives of millions of Americans.

It was at this time that Dr. King started his journey. He grew up to be one of the greatest champions of social justice in history.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an independent thinker armed with a beautiful and brilliant mind. Words were his weapon. He spoke mighty words of equality, justice and the redemptive power of love.

He did not merely speak these words - he gave all that he had in the struggle against segregation and oppression. He was taken from the world by violence while in Memphis seeking to obtain economic justice for sanitation workers.

He was a drum major for justice - a voice for peace. His message was that there is one common humanity - one common struggle against injustice - one common destiny.

I suspect that Dr. King would be pleased with progress but greatly disappointed that many of the same battles must be fought over and over again.

He gave his all for humanity.

His prophetic voice is silent but lives on in the memories of those who heard him speak and act with courage and conviction.

Happy 82nd birthday, Dr. King.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Students compete in 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. oratory competition finals

Eight district students will compete in the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory Competition finals at 11 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 14, at The Majestic Theatre, 1925 Elm St.

The event will feature the fourth- and fifth-grade winners of the semifinal competition reciting their original essays on the topic:
  • How will you carry forward the legacy of Dr. King in your personal and professional life?
The competition is sponsored by the Dallas law firm Gardere Wynne Sewell in cooperation with Dallas ISD.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dallas ISD number 1 in tickets issued to elementary students

"Houston ISD police do not issue tickets to students under the age of 10, but did issue the most tickets to students statewide in 2007. More than 4,800 tickets were handed out, Dallas ISD followed with more than 4,400 tickets, then San Antonio and Austin ISDs."

"Something we started a couple years ago is we gave our officers the ability to issue warning citations," explained HISD Police Assistant Chief Robert Mock.

Dallas ISD issued the most tickets to elementary students.  More than 1,200 class C misdemeanor tickets were issued to Dallas elementary students in 2007.  The second highest number of tickets issued by a school district to elementary children was 355.

The report was prepared by Texas Appleseed.

Click Here

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wilmer-Hutchins parents participate in community forum

Curious parents and students filed into the J.N.Ervin Elementary School auditorium this evening to participate in a community forum for District 6.  The large crowd with its vitality, warmth and energized Q & A session completely overcame the frigid temperatures outside.

Showing their support, several Dallas ISD elementary and middle school principals and staff also attended.  Parents and stakeholders were there to learn about attendance boundary changes and the feeder pattern for three schools to open at the beginning of the 2011-2012 school year.

New Dallas ISD schools -- Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary School, Kennedy-Curry Middle School and Wilmer-Hutchins High School -- will be neighborhood schools for many students who live in the former Wilmer-Hutchins School District, along with students from Dallas. A result of the successful 2008 Bond program, the elementary school is under construction, while the former middle and high schools are being renovated/rebuilt.

Wilmer-Hutchins Elementary and Wilmer-Hutchins High School are both located in District 6. The campuses occupy separate locations on the same property.  There is sufficient distance and land that separate the two.  However, with the high school in full view, parents can regularly help students to visualize staying in school and setting an early goal to go to and graduate from the High School.

Parents are encouraged to contact Dallas ISD with questions, comments and suggestions about attendance boundary changes related to these three Dallas ISD schools.  Dallas ISD Trustees will vote on the Boundary Changes at the February 24, 2011 Board meeting.

Much appreciation to parents, students and District 6 stakeholders who attended.

Thanks to Central Staff for setting up and facilitating the informative meeting and to all principals and staff who were there.

Thanks to J. N. Ervin Principal Paris for being a gracious host.

Parents, students and supporters who came out this evening and those who were unable to attend are important to the success of Dallas ISD!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New study shows African American students go to court more for classroom misbehavior

A new study from Texas Appleseed indicates that African American students in Texas are referred more often to the court system than other students.

The report states:

"Misbehave in a Texas classroom and, chances are, you won’t find yourself scrawling rote across a blackboard after eighth period. Instead, the criminal justice system is increasingly the destination for mischief-makers — some as young as 6 — in the state’s public schools, according to a new study from Texas Appleseed that analyzes data collected over a five-year period between 2001 and 2007. As school districts face deep funding cuts during the 2011 legislative session, the report sheds light on what is a rapidly growing part of public school budgets: campus security.

For children in many districts throughout the state, conduct like disrupting class, using profanity, acting up on a school bus, fighting in the hallway and truancy is enough for a class C misdemeanor ticket — an offense that can carry a fine between $60 and $500 and remain on a student’s criminal record. And those students are disproportionately African-American or in special education classes."

Texas State Senator John Whitmire: “It’s just nuts,” he says, “There just has to be a recognition that this is out of control.” ..."I think we need to go back to the drawing board,” he says, “In an effort to have safe classes, we've gone overboard.”

Click Here

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

It’s 2011 -- Happy New Year!

Each end is preceded and followed by a beginning. Life is divided into increments: days, seasons, years, milestones, etc. That moment following the end and preceding the beginning of each of these is another opportunity to start over. This is the birthplace of eternal hope.
--365 Meditations for Teachers

The Christmas holidays of the last two weeks provided a break from the daily school schedule. In addition to enjoying festive moments with family and friends, there was also time for rest, relaxation and renewal.

Here’s hoping there was also the occasion to remember or reserve time to help or serve families or individuals less fortunate or in need.

As we begin the second half of the school year, we are expectant and we wonder . What will this New Year bring?

That which comes may depend on what we look for, ...what we are willing to work for ...what we are willing to stand for.

Mainly we must look out for, work for and stand for excellence in education for the children -- the students of Dallas ISD.

They need you. Teachers need you. Schools need you. Dallas ISD needs you.

I invite you to be there for them in 2011.