Sunday, January 29, 2012

Exorcise Ghost of Separate but Equal from Dallas

Today's Dallas Morning News editorial is titled: "Wanted: an innovator to nudge DISD out of its comfort zone."   It lists qualities needed by a superintendent for Dallas ISD. 

The editorial was credible and tempting until it said the new DISD superintendent should, "move more quickly on worthy ideas such as creating in-district charter schools ..."

This is a reminder that too many of the efforts to improve DISD go toward some students having educational resources made available to them separate from other students: magnet schools, charter schools, etc...

Such "separate but equal" practices appear to be critical in the Dallas comfort zone.

What would happen if the foundation for Dallas ISD were to become absolute equity among all schools for all students, at least through the 9th grade?

That has been the increasingly firm foundation in Finland for the past 40 years.  Since 2000 Finland has had the highest student performance in the world! Every student in Finland does well.

Finland has a higher proportion of immigrants than 18 states in the US. Immigrants excel quickly in Finland.

The newest book on education in Finland, "Finnish Lessons" by Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, was published in November 2011. It is already sold out on Amazon. New copies are selling for as much as $450.00!

Dr. Sahlberg has a 2009 DMN article by Jim Landers on his web site that summarizes Finnish Education: .

Dallas ISD students will continue to fall below students in Finland for as long as any DISD students are treated differently. The days of separate but equal must be gone in Dallas!

Is the Dallas Morning News willing to be pushed out of its own comfort zone and lead the charge for total educational equity?