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Grapevine High Students Apologize For Racist Rap

It’s a pretty awful string a words out of the mouth of a dumb Grapevine High School student, recorded two years ago, as the Daily Kos reports:

Two white female students at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas recorded and released a song with dangerous and offensive lyrics about black, Latino, and Asian-American students. As the anger boils out of control in the school, the staff was forced to send the email below to parents.

Here’s the NSFW audio:

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Brett Shipp E-Mail Suggests He Reports DISD Stories With a ‘Miles Is Evil’ Mindset

On Learning Curve, I have a post that mentions Schutze once again criticizing Brett Shipp for his willingness to believe anything bad about the DISD administration and Mike Miles. I’ve written about this many times. But I just thought it would be helpful to let Shipp respond, in his own words, about why he does these things: Because in his mind, Mike Miles is evil.

Okay, I’m exaggerating. But look at the potboiler language he uses and tell me he doesn’t at least see Miles as a cartoon villain.

Below is an email response Shipp sent to a 20-plus-year WFAA viewer. This person […]

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Denton Teacher Motivates Students With the ‘STAAR Test Funk’

Kelli Hauser, a sixth-grade reading teacher at McMath Middle School in Denton, produced this shot-for-shot video parody of Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” ostensibly to motivate students to get excited about the STAAR standardized testing this week. Hauser has previously produced parodies of Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” called “STAAR Force” and Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” called “TAKS Face,” so I suspect she may be doing it to live out a bit of her own American Idol-esque dreams too. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — she’s far from the only teacher to do so.

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Leading Off (3/27/15)

Dallas ISD Approves “Interim Bridge Plan.” At about 1 a.m., trustees voted for a measure that provides $129.5 million in funding for fast-tracked improvements at a number of schools, while expanding pre-kindergarten offerings and reopening several campuses. The final amount was less than the $134.7 million initially proposed after a number of amendments were made. Lakewood Elementary was among the big winners, as the school will get $12.6 million for an addition and renovations. All of this discussion is, of course, a prelude to voters later being asked to approve a comprehensive bond package totaling as much as $1.4 billion.

Bridge Collapse Kills Arlington Man. Yesterday’s accident in Central Texas along Interstate 35 in Salado, in which a tractor-trailer hit an overpass and caused a beam to fall onto the highway below, claimed the life of 32-year-old Clark Davis. I-35 was closed in both directions around the site until well into the night.

Rain May Ease Water Restrictions. The abundance of wet weather the last few months has resulted in some area lake levels rising dramatically and most of Dallas-Fort Worth shifting from darkest red to light red or orange on the U.S Drought Monitor map. Lake Lavon, one of the North Texas Municipal Water District’s reservoirs, has gone from 46.2 percent to 77.5 percent of capacity. If the trend continues this spring, the district may ease tough restrictions on watering that have been in place almost two years.

World War II Vet Recovers Empty Duffel Bag. Waymon Blundell, 94, certainly seemed tickled to be reunited with the bag, which he’d carelessly lost when he’d jumped onto the beach at Normandy as part of the D-Day invasion in 1944.

Keller Student Denied “Promposal.” Sixteen-year-old Casey Akers says her school wouldn’t let her stage a public invitation to the prom because she and her chosen date are gay. The school district issued a statement saying that it doesn’t allow any students to plan such elaborate invites, as they are disruptive. Anyway, when did it become an expectation for kids to treat a prom invite like a marriage proposal? Sounds like an excruciating burden for both straight and gay kids.

Derelict 1955 BelAir Wagon For Sale. It’s up for auction on eBay. You have until 10 a.m. today to make a bid. JFK assassination historian Farris Rookstool III (!) says the car is unique because a fellow named Lee Harvey Oswald once rode in it with his rifle.

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Leading Off (3/13/15)

Legislators Argue Over Letter Grades For Schools. Some in Austin believe a switch to annual evaluations of all campuses in the state on a familiar A to F scale would “drive innovation.” But others, like Dallas’ own Sen. Royce West, are concerned the system would “stigmatize” lower-performing schools. West says additional funding should be provided to those that receive a D or F.

Garland Wants to Supersize Its Side of LBJ. The city’s leaders are pushing for the stretch of the freeway between U.S. Highway 75 and Interstate 30 to get many additional lanes, just as the road west of 75 has with the LBJ Express project. Bills have been filed to authorize the expansion, though it’s not known how the $1.3-billion cost will be funded.

Volcanic Eruption Sends Plane Back to D/FW. Thirty minutes into its flight to Costa Rica, American Airlines Flight 2442 had to return to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport because a noxious cloud was making landings in San Jose impossible.

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Anchia Files DISD Reform Bill That Home Rule Foes are Certain to Love

A lot going on in Austin right now relating to education. Several bills have already been filed that could affect how school boards govern. I’ll write a post on those soon. Also, be sure to voice your support on social media for Rep. Eric Johnson’s pre-K bill, HB 1100, which will be discussed in the Public Education Committee tomorrow. But today a very DISD-specific bill was filed by Rep. Rafael Anchia (D-Funkytown). I’ll have a breakdown of it on Learning Curve when I write about all the ed bills out there, but here’s what you need to know: It’s awesome, and it would dramatically help DISD’s governance problem.

The deets: This bill (HB 2579) affects school districts larger than […]

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How the DMN Misleads People About DISD

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.

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Schutze Was at a Very Different DISD Meeting Than Was the Morning News

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:

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Leading Off (2/27/15)

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.

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Poll: Are Schools Too Quick to Call a Snow Day?

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?

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The Most Clear and Present Danger to DISD: Bernadette Nutall

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.

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SAGA Pod: Jim Schutze on DISD, DMN, and Mayor Mike’s Money

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!

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