Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dallas ISD elementary teacher Joseph Drake will be reinstated

Dallas ISD Central Elementary teacher Joseph Drake is scheduled to be reinstated today and return to work tomorrow.

Celebrating Dallas ISD 2011 Blue Ribbon Schools

Umphrey Lee Elementary School - Exemplary

Umphrey Lee Elementary School nominee for Texas 2011 Texas Blue Ribbon Schools Recognition - Austin, Texas - Monday, January 30, 2012

We celebrated seven Dallas ISD schools that were Texas 2011 Blue Ribbon Nominees in Austin, Texas on yesterday.  Four of them are now Texas Blue Ribbon Recipients.

All were among fifty-two schools from across the state recognized and honored  by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) at the 2012 TASA (Texas Association of School Administrators) Midwinter Conference.  

One of the proud Blue Ribbon nominees is District 6 school, Umphrey Lee Elementary (2011 Rating: Exemplary
) - (2010 Rating: Recognized).

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program of the U.S. Department of Education has honored America's most successful public and private elementary, middle and high schools since 1982.  A Blue Ribbon flag, waving over any school, is a nationally  recognized trademark of excellence and quality in education.

Schools must meet either one of two criteria to be eligible for Blue Ribbon recognition:  High performing schools or Improving schools.

Dallas 2011 Blue Ribbon Nominees:
High Performing Schools
Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet -- Anthony Palagonia, Principal

Improving Schools
C.A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School -- Elena Hill, Principal
Umphrey Lee Elementary School -- Tondolyn Louise Mosley, Principal

Dallas 2011 Blue Ribbon Recipients
High Performing Schools
Dallas Environmental Science Academy  --  Angela West, Principal
Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School --  Vivian Taylor, Principal
Rosie Sorrells School of Education and Social Services -- Alice Black, Principal
School of Science and Engineering --  Jovan Wells, Principal

Interim Superintendent Alan King joined Dallas ISD Blue Ribbon School Teams to receive the awards.

We were glad that State Board of Education (SBOE) member Mavis Knight came to the ceremony to celebrate our schools.

Blue Ribbon Schools will also be honored at a recognition ceremony in Washington, DC later this year.

Congratulations to our Dallas ISD 2011 Texas Blue Ribbon  nominees!
Cheers for our 2011 Blue Ribbon Schools!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dallas ISD Teacher placed on leave after emailing trustee

I read in a news article by Tawnell Hobbs that one of our dedicated teachers - a father of six children has been suspended apparently because an email was sent to Trustee Edwin Flores criticizing his vote on extending teacher hours.

Dallas ISD teacher upset over longer workday placed on leave after emailing trustee

 I was appalled at this report. 

Some employees of Dallas ISD become frustrated by anti-teacher actions of the Dallas ISD Board.  

Trustees sometimes adopt unwise Board policies that harm the teaching profession.

Trustees often know what is being said about them.  An example ...

I was informed that a Dallas ISD teacher and former Vice President of NEA - criticized me on Unfair Park's blog on the day after the Board Meeting.  She seems to think I did a terrible thing because I decided not to walk out on the citizens of Dallas at a public meeting called under the Texas Open Meetings Act.  The meeting was to decide the fate of eleven public schools.

I will stay again if the rights of citizens are violated as they were at the meeting last Thursday.  I will not walk out during an open meeting unless there is a very good reason.

What I observed on last Thursday was a problem caused by the totally unnecessary, mean-spirited actions taken by a Board President in a manner that abused his authority.

Should a teacher be suspended for criticizing a Trustee?

Of course not.

A teacher and father of six should not become a victim of Dallas ISD political injustice and reprisal.



I am disappointed in Carla Ranger. Her staying in the larger room may not have changed the vote's outcome, but by NOT being in the room where the vote was taking place, she deprived her constituents of a VOICE. Even her vote is a VOICE. It is time for her to either get back into the game and ask the pointed questions like she used to, or it is time for her to do something else. Nothing will change in Dallas as long as the same group is in power. I have my gathering group of DISD employees to meet with Roger Melton of the new PAC, "Educate Dallas." I challenged him on D O's blog, and apparently, he read it. So, there you go, they in North Dallas DO read what we say. We are trying to work out  atime that is best for US, the DISD employees, then I can ask him what is convenient for him.

Remember, this new PAC just gave Flores $10,000, even before the filing deadline hit, so they already had him picked. And also know that a teacher has been placed on admin leave for writing a critical email to Flores. You know, maybe my first question will be tying those two things together? Anybody want to be included who is in DISD, FB me.

Dallas ISD Trustees for sale - starting price $10,000.00

Dallas ISD Trustees and facilities are now for sale.

Starting bid $10,000.00

Highest bidder so far - EducateDallas PAC, political action committee with ties to the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Trustees chosen so far - Bernadette Nutall and Edwin Flores - $10,000.00 each (Total $20,000.00).

Who will beat the highest bid of EducateDallas (Dallas Regional Chamber) PAC?

You must have deep pockets to compete - if you want to control Dallas ISD resources, budget and money.

Average citizens who love public education for children need not bid.

You just pay the taxes but you don't count in the money game now coming to Dallas ISD.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Did Deon Sanders Sanders contact Lew Blackburn over the weekend about turning D. A. Hulcey Middle School into a Charter School?

The Board President of Dallas ISD - Trustee Lew Blackburn - is employed by a charter school organization. 

Did Trustee Lew Blackburn meet with Mayor Mike Rawlings on Friday about Dallas ISD school business?

I don't know but I would certainly like to know about this meeting if it did occur.

Has Trustee Lew Blackburn been contacted by Deon Sanders regarding using D. A. Hulcy Middle school for a charter school?

Did Trustee Lew Blackburn meet or talk with Deon Sanders on Saturday or any other time to discuss this?

I don't know, but I would certainly like to know if  Trustee Lew Blackburn is discussing D A Hulcy Middle School in District 6  with Deon Sanders.
The eventual sell-out of Dallas ISD real estate to charter schools is one likely result of what was just done by the Board on last Thursday night.

Destroy public schools and privatize them with charter schools.

The push to privatize Dallas ISD schools with charter schools started with the so-called Ad Hoc Charter School Committee composed of Edwin Flores, Nancy Bingham, Bernadette Nutall, and Lew Blackburn (conflict of interest)

The Ad Hoc Charter School Committee was then sponsored by the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Trips were taken a chamber expense and it pretty much became a committee orchestrated by the Dallas Regional Chamber.

Trustee Bernadette Nutall then appointed Todd Williams to be her appointee on the first Budget Commission.  Todd Williams -Vice-Chair Uplift Education - formerly with Goldman Sachs - assisted with the creation of Uplift Education's Williams Preparatory - a charter school with his last name.

Todd Williams now serves as the head of the Dallas ISD Budget Commission and Executive Director of Commit - Dallas Regional Chamber.

The first head of the Dallas ISD Budget Commission was Phil Montgomery - also a leader of charter schools - Founding Chairman of the Board at Uplift Education.

So the Dallas ISD Budget Commission has been headed from the beginning by Charter school promoters.  Decisions about our budget are being made by Budget Commissions headed by charter school operators.

Of course, final decisions about our budget are supposed to be made by Trustees and only Trustees. 

The game now is to start commissions, dilute and divert the authority of the Board and call it reform.  

All the clutter created will be inherited by the new superintendent who just might have a different vision of what ought to happen in public education.

Lew Blackburn hopes to escape to his new superintendency somewhere - leaving behind the damage done to public education.

From L to R: DRC Chair Mike Baggett, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Donna Halstead representing the Dallas Citizens Council • President of the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees Dr. Lew Blackburn • Elaine Agather representing JPMorgan Chase • Linda McMahon representing The Real Estate Council • Richard Holt representing Bank of America, Clint McDonnough, Chair of DRC’s Education Advisory Council

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lew Blackburn's conflict of interest - PROACT Search and East Baton Rouge Parish School System

The disclosure that Dallas ISD Board President Lew Blackburn applied for the open Superintendent position of East Baton Rouge Schools (43,000 students) which is represented by PROACT Search - the same firm hired on September 20, 2011 to conduct the Superintendent search for Dallas ISD - raises not only conflict of interest but abuse of Trustee Blackburn's position as President of the Board.

This raises a clear conflict of interest but that didn't stop the ambitions of Trustee Blackburn.

There was no official disclosure to the Dallas ISD Board by Trustee Blackburn or PROACT Search. The
application deadline for the Baton Rouge position was December 1, 2011.

The Dallas ISD Superintendent search with PROACT will now have a cloud hanging over it because of the Board President's self-serving conflict of interest.

It now appears the Board President is using the Dallas ISD Superintendent search to campaign for a Superintendent position for himself.

The Dallas ISD Superintendent search is being dragged on too long.

We need a Superintendent - not a Board President seeking to land a Superintendent position for himself at the same time with a school district represented by the same search firm - PROACT Search.

It shouldn't take a year to find a Superintendent for Dallas ISD.

One of the search firms interviewed last September stated they would have a list of candidates for the board to consider in January 2012.  That firm was not chosen.

The Dallas ISD Superintendent search will continue to be tainted by the the Board President's conflict of interest and current campaign to obtain a Superintendent's position for himself.

And the compromising of Dallas ISD will continue.

PROACT Seach - http://proactsearch.com/
East Baton Rouge Parish School System - http://ebrschools.org/

East Baton Rouge Parish School System Applicants
Blackburn, Lew Vice President Texas Can! Academies! Dallas TX

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Five Dallas ISD Teachers honored for national certification

This evening we celebrated five teachers who completed requirements for National Board certification.

The 2011 National Board Certification Honorees are:

Edwina Nicholson - James Madison High School 
Theresa Oriabure - Hillcrest High School 
Ruth Torres - Pleasant Grove Elementary School
Georgianna Wood - Preston Hollow Elementary School
Mary Ellen Young - Emmett J. Conrad High School

National Board certification is the HIGHEST professional credential in the field of teaching.  

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) established this voluntary  certification process which involves a rigorous performance-based assessment.  Completion can  take up to a year of documenting, reflecting and demonstrating.  Through the assessment process, teachers provide evidence that they are knowledgeable, know how to teach most effectively and have the ability to manage and measure student learning.

The eight other previous Dallas ISD National Board certified teachers were present to welcome and congratulate their new peers.  

Family and friends joined staff in the traditional ginger ale toast to our five National Board certified teachers. 

Thanks to the Professional Development Department and the Teaching and Learning Division for hosting the reception, held at the Buckner Building--School Support Service Center. 

Congratulations, teachers Nicholson, Oriabure, Torres, Wood and Young!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thanks to Dallas Central Appraisal District

For the past two years I had the privilege of serving one (two-year) term on the Dallas Central Appraisal District Board of Directors as the appointee of the Dallas ISD.  Generally, the Dallas ISD Board President nominates a Trustee to serve and the Board confirms the nomination.

My thanks to former Board President Adam Medrano for nominating me.  I asked for the opportunity to serve because it was brought to my attention by a District 6 citizen.

It turned out to be a very good experience.  The staff at the Dallas Central Appraisal District were professional , transparent and helpful.  There were no hidden agendas, no games being played.

Board members were kept fully informed and provided thorough details and background information on the issues brought before us. There were no surprises.

It was a positive experience.

Thanks to the Dallas Central Appraisal District for making it so.