By Shawn Williams – Editor, DallasSouthNews.org
In the last week Tawnell Hobbs of the Dallas Morning News has been reporting on the poor performance of 4 DISD High School: Kimball, Pinkston, Roosevelt, and Seagoville. According to Hobbs, the high schools have been deemed academically unacceptable for four consecutive years. This sets up the possibility that each school would remove 75 percent of teachers and reassign at least 50 percent of the students.
She also writes that there are contingency plans to have the four schools act as “Sattelite Magnets” for Townview also known as shuffling chairs on the deck of the Titanic.
These school must all be considered as serious candidates for a Spruce style reconstitution. After being in the same low performing situation a few years ago, it was decided that 75% of the teachers at H. Grady Spruce would be removed and students disbursed to other DISD schools.
As we’ve reported here, Spruce High is making strides under the direction of Dr. Lucy Davila Hakemack. Test scores are up, and even more importantly students feel like that can have a positive high school experience.
It’s important to use any means possible to keep these schools as part of their respective communities for the long term. And while currently these schools represent community underachievement, it doesn’t have to be that way. They could all benefit from fresh ideas, new thinking, and a better approach. The same could be said for DISD as a whole.
While each of these schools could gain from partnerships with entities like TI, SMU, TAMU-Commerce, and El Centro as mentioned in Hobbs column, throwing up our hands shouldn’t be the answer. Reconstitution is painful and costly, and doesn’t look good for the school or district once it takes place. But when you have an example like Spruce right inside DISD, it seem like the option would be fully vetted and seriously considered.
Photo of Dr. Michael Hinojosa from Dallas Elevators