We’ve reported. Now you decide. Is Dallas’ daily newspaper doing right by the city’s school district?Full Story
You really should pop over to Unfair Park and read what Jim Schutze has written this morning about DISD and how the Morning News covers the district. He touched on this Friday. What the paper reported and what actually happened during last week’s board meeting are two very different things. Our own Eric Celeste has covered the same territory, breaking down in great detail how one trustee in particular, Joyce Foreman, is doing her best (with help from the paper) to gum up board meetings and get the superintendent fired. On his Facebook page, Wylie H. Dallas took note of Eric’s reporting, which led to a lengthy discussion that included Foreman herself. She probably commented on Wylie’s post a dozen times. Maybe it was two dozen times. I can’t give you precise count, because Foreman went back and deleted all her comments. But Wylie screen captured one thing that Foreman wrote:
Wylie, I did not know that you had cut and paste this information from Eric Celeste. I thought these were you thoughts. I must tell you I am not intimidate, threatened or moved by Mr. Celeste thoughts about me and other females on the DISD board. The record will show that his vinom is spewed only on the women. I will leave you with this…my loving mother use to say “When the enemy is talking about you, you must be doing something right.”
The typos and grammatical slip-ups can be forgiven. Perhaps Foreman was typing on her phone while running on a treadmill. But the sentiment — that Eric is a misogynist who has attacked female trustees — is hard to overlook.Full Story
Do you know why it’s unfortunate that print media revenue is falling and online media revenue is a pie split so many different ways as to make it difficult to fund any sizable news-gathering operation? Do you know why it’s a shame that we live in an age where most cities, including Dallas, have one only one daily newspaper?
If you don’t, then I point you to Jim Schutze’s take on the same Dallas ISD board meeting that I mentioned (linking to a Dallas Morning News story) in this morning’s “Leading Off.” The Unfair Park account of what occurred is so different from the perspective offered by DMN reporters Tawnell Hobbs and Matthew Haag that I might believe you if you told me they had been filed from parallel universes:Full Story
Winter Is (Still) Coming. The forecast calls for snow this morning, freezing rain tomorrow.
Trustees Interrogate Dallas ISD Staff on Hiring. For more than three hours the board put questions to administrators over whether they told the truth about the purpose of $6.4 million approved in October for the hiring of teachers. Some believed the superintendent’s explanation, some did not.
And the Hits Keep Coming For DISD. The Morning News reports that Texas Education Agency investigators found 60 district employees had not been fingerprinted and that an additional 120 had been fingerprinted but not in the correct way. Proper fingerprinting is necessary to conduct criminal background checks. Furthermore, according to the TEA report, Superintendent Mike Miles submitted a statement saying that DISD was in compliance with fingerprinting requirements even though an internal district audit had indicated otherwise.
Lancaster Police Release Report on Dez Bryant Incident. Rumors of an incriminating video featuring the Dallas Cowboys receiver led to media requests for information about what happened in that Walmart parking lot in 2011. According to the cops, there was no offense committed, and they have no video of what occurred. Could there be any less news in this news?
Mockingbird Pedestrian Bridge May Finally Get Built. The project, providing a path for pedestrians and cyclists over the six-lane street, is a key link in the plan to extend the Katy Trail. City officials have said construction should begin this fall.
Congressman Pushes For Chris Kyle to Get Medal of Honor. Republican Roger Williams of Cleburne introduced a bill Thursday proposing the late American Sniper receive the prestigious award for his Iraq War exploits. He’s probably got a better shot at this than he did the Best Picture Oscar, anyway.Full Story
When I was a kid, I don’t think school ever got called off a day in advance due to the weather. We always had to wake up as early as usual to find out if we were among the lucky districts to get time off.
Maybe I’m misremembering, but it seems to be a phenomenon of the past several years to have shutdowns declared before a storm has even arrived. I’m probably misremembering. But what do you think?Full Story
If you read the Morning News, you might think that former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins investigated DISD trustee Bernadette Nutall and determined that she did nothing wrong. Really, you should read that story. Because then you’ll be able to appreciate a post that Eric just put up on LearningCurve that lays out what has actually happened here. Eric’s post is not short. Gird your loins before you click. But it’s worth the effort. After reading it, I can’t help but wonder if Nutall is the single biggest problem at the district. She is simply amazing.Full Story
Tim mentioned in this morning’s “Leading Off” that Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins is pushing for legislation that would allow school districts like Dallas ISD to pay their board members. What do you think?Full Story
Jim Schutze stops by the World SAGA Pod Headquarters to discuss all things DISD: the current HR scandal, a huge DISD effort not covered by the local media (warning: I say bad words), and how Mike Miles has survived every attempt to run him out of town. Then we segue to talk about the squishy accounting system used by Mayor Mike Rawlings and endorsed by City Hall: where sitting officeholders can take as much money as they want from rich people, but the folks running against him are limited on how much they can take. Nice gig if you can get it!Full Story
Park Cities People reports that the complaint against David K. Shipler’s The Working Poor: Invisible in America has been dropped by the Highland Park High School parent who had filed it. It is once again safe for the district’s students to learn from this book.Full Story
James Ragland wrote a column the other day that said (as summarized by his headline writer) that he was against DISD drama but for game-changing ideas in education. And I thought, me too! (Semi-related, things I’m also for: game-changing ideas in politics, religion, space traveling, weight losing, ninja training, tile laying, #longforming, Tim irritating, and gaming.) Ragland then pointed out some game-changing ideas that are to be discussed today in the game-changingest venue one can imagine: a joint DISD-City Council task force meeting.
Now, I’m all for making the city more accountable in fixing DISD’s problems. (Thus, the 10k-plus words I spilled over on Learning Curve in making suggestions to the Home Rule Commission, some of which dealt directly with ways to make Dallas and the other 15 cities that DISD touches have more skin in the game. But that ship has sailed.) But I also want to make sure the city is focusing on helping in ways that make sense. So I just wanted to provide a little context for today’s meeting. […]Full Story
Eric had to marinate in the DISD brouhaha before he could write something about it. Now he’s nice and tender and super flavorful. One suggestion: “They must use this instance to hire an outside law firm to completely tear down and reconstruct the HR department from the ground up.” Go read the rest.Full Story
It would be hard to say that we and just about anyone even glancingly familiar with Prime Prep did not see this coming. But there it is: Prime Prep is insolvent and will cease operation immediately. I feel for the families that trusted the school’s founders.Full Story
High-Speed Rail Line Likened to Berlin Wall. Judging by the responses we’ve seen in the comments of previous articles about the possibility, Dallas residents seem generally excited about the prospect of a high-speed rail line being built that will mean Houston is just 90 minutes away by train. But WFAA spoke with several Ellis County landowners who are none too excited about their property being divided by the project.
Prime Prep to Merge With Another School. The struggling charter academy, co-founded by former NFL star Deion Sanders, will reportedly hook up with another Oak Cliff campus, Triple A Academy. It’s not clear whether Triple A’s recent 117-10 basketball win had anything to do with the decision.
Cowboys Fan Sues NFL For $88 Billion. Terry Hendrix is upset about the officials’ reversal of Dez Bryant’s catch during this year’s playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, claiming damages for the league’s “negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and also reckless disregard.” The hand-written lawsuit was filed on Wednesday. Also of note, Hendrix is incarcerated in a Colorado correctional institution.
Dogs Mysteriously Disappearing in Wise County. And there’s “not one shred of physical evidence that proves the dogs were taken.” Has the pet rapture begun?Full Story
Throughout 2014, D Magazine held a series of giveaways for some pretty great prizes. In December the contest was centered around the “Season of Giving.” The winner would get to choose a charity to which a $2,000 donation would be made via the Communities Foundation of Texas.
The folks at CFT — who work with the people raising money for many worthy causes — were so moved by the story of the winner of our contest that they suggested we tell you a little bit more about her and her family. So that’s what I’m going to do.Full Story
Last fall, Highland Park ISD superintendent Dawson Orr suspended seven books following parent complaints. Amazingly, he did this during Banned Books Week. That decision, and its timing, probably would have gotten national attention on its own, but Orr made it even easier by making David K. Shipler’s The Working Poor: Invisible in America one of the books. An incredibly rich school district effectively banning a book about poverty in America — throw in some B-roll footage, leave some space for a little Jon Stewart riffing, and The Daily Show segment is almost locked. Orr subsequently reinstated the books, and the district’s policy on how it selects books and how it handles challenges to those selections is being reviewed. (Thanks to the Morning News‘ Melissa Repko for covering this story so well.)
It seemed like the incident was coming to a mostly positive conclusion. But now it comes out that one parent is still unhappy that Shipler’s The Working Poor is being taught to juniors in Advanced Placement English III.Full Story