http://www.supportourpublicschools.org/about/ is the web site for Support Our Public Schools (SOPS.) Under "Resources" are multiple links that help explain the 1995 law under which this effort is happening. The first question under FAQ's has the following wording that gives reason for concern: "Only through discussions with parents, teachers, and education and community leaders can we identify changes that will free us from the cookie-cutter approach of Austin, and allow us to operate our schools in a manner that better suits our children and our communities." Does not that wording remind you of the wording used 50 years ago to justify "separate but equal?"
The central flaw, repeated constantly by both SOPS and by Mayor Mike Rawlings, is that they describe DISD in terms of a snapshot in time, not progress over time. Such static measurements always place DISD in a negative light! The public was never told how badly DISD was doing for decades! As recently as 2006 DISD staff were claiming in public that DISD had single digit dropout rates when at the same time 60% of 9th grade enrollment was not present at their class graduations. The dropout rate was much closer to 60% than the rates below 6% that were claimed. That is why the current graduation rate that is just now passing a valid 60% graduation rate is both terrible, due to the work we still need to do, and a wonderful celebration, due to the monumental progress made within just 8 years! Any reporting on DISD must report multiple year and show changes over time. Then, at least from 2006 to 2012, DISD looks good. Sadly, since 2012, the numbers are going back down.
http://www.dfpe.org/ is the web site for Dallas Friends of Public Education, a group of professionals, parents, and DISD staff who have several hundreds years of experience within DISD among them. They are against this effort and have collected multiple documents on their web site documenting the multiple reasons for such concerns.
CASE, the Coalition for an Accountable System of Education, is an association of mainly African American Professionals representing well over 500 years of experience within education, mostly within Dallas ISD, who have voted unanimously to take action against the "Home Rule" efforts. They organized a powerful press conference uniting other organizations in speaking out against "Home Rule" the morning of 3-26-14: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20140325-coalition-of-minorities-teachers-opposes-dallas-isd-home-rule-effort.ece
The most powerful collection of data on the "home rule" effort to date is by Professor Julian Vasquez Heilig from the University of Texas. It was only released 3-27-14. It is published online in multiple locations including his own web site at http://cloakinginequity.com/ , and specifically linked here. The Dallas Morning News published the Heilig study at http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2014/03/report-by-ut-professor-questions-motives-of-support-our-public-schools-questions-whether-home-rule-is-necessary.html/
While there are multiple meetings happening across Dallas, the biggest one I know of as of 4-5-14 is the one planned for 4-7-14 7PM at Salem Baptist Church where both sides of the "home rule" issue will be presented. Here is the flier advertising the event:
NOTE: NOTICE WAS RECEIVED THAT MAYOR RAWLINGS WILL BE THERE AT 6:00 pm TO SPEAK DUE TO AN ENGAGEMENT AT 7. THE REST OF THE 7pm PROGRAM WILL GO AS PLANNED.
|4-7-14 7 PM meeting at Salem Baptist Church|
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