The Journey to Greatness: Dallas ISD – A Premiere Urban School District


The vision of Dallas ISD is to become a premier urban school district. How the district earns that designation depends on several factors, including, the selection of a strong and proactive superintendent, which I believe we have accomplished. It will take some work on everyone’s part, working towards established goals.

Imagine Dallas ISD being on a special plane ride to our destiny, “A Premiere Urban School District”. Are you ready for the ride?

The Dallas ISD plane has several major sections for passengers. The Board of Trustees has adopted nine goals (major sections) to shape Dallas ISD into the operation necessary to move the district to a higher level of performance altitude. These goals address highly effective teachers and school leaders; safe, secure and welcoming environments; shared responsibility; rigorous curriculum; a positive and compassionate culture; professional development; data driven decisions; supportive central services; and, well-maintained facilities. Which area is yours? What part will you play?

Each section of the plane has a purpose, just as each goal of the district has defined strategies. However, goals and strategies without adequate resources for successful implementation are mere words on paper. So, what are our next steps? What will be your purpose for holding a seat on the plane? What benefit will you provide to Dallas ISD?

The Board has set the course for our destination. The plane is fueled and ready to move forward. Several schools are making great strides in many areas. Our graduation rate is the highest it has been since 1983, and I expect it to climb even higher this year. The Council of Great City Schools has declared Dallas ISD one of the fastest improving urban school districts in the nation. But, there is still much work to be done.

Over the next few years, all of Dallas must step up to the counter with your boarding passes, get on the plane, find your desired section and buckle up and get prepared to address our responsibilities to our children; the future of Dallas depends on it. Before we take off, visualize the Dallas ISD as “A Premier Urban School District”; a vision of the destination for our journey on the plane. Use whatever level of creativity you possess to see the district in this new light and believe the vision is possible. Believing the vision can lead to ownership of the goals and acceptance of your role in making the vision a reality. As you look out the windows of the plane, can you envision Dallas ISD becoming “A Premier Urban School District”?

The belief can only become as real as the people who take part in making things happen. Citizens across Dallas, including Mayor Mike Rawlings, have chosen to partner with the district to make a difference. What about you? The opportunities to join the flight to greatness are vast and can begin in every home and classroom across Dallas. Will your business or organization get onboard the plane, taking a seat, doing your part to make Dallas ISD “A Premier Urban School District”?

The Board of Trustees and district staff must acknowledge, accept and put into action our role with purpose and intent, supporting the superintendent’s reforms. Parents and families need to encourage and support their children to strive to be the best in every endeavor. Neighborhoods need to aid their community schools by providing fiscal, physical, and human resources. Businesses and faith-based entities, small and large, must join hands with Dallas ISD schools and administration. Civic and social organizations can mentor and tutor students to greatness. We all have something to offer. It’s just a matter of finding where and how you can make a contribution. Are you still willing to get on the plane?

We cannot continue on the flight path we have been traveling. It is imperative we change course with a higher altitude towards reform and innovation using creative and engaging approaches that helps every student perform at or above their grade level. Combined with other districts, we can set common core standards that are higher than the state standards. Hand-in-hand with area social service resources, we can help meet the multitude of student needs that impact the educational process. Can we count on you to get on the plane?

Every flight path we travel must take our students closer to the ultimate destination; ready for college and career. And we have to do this within the budgetary restraints and other requirements under which we operate. I believe it can be done. Get your board pass! Step up to the gate! Take your seat! Buckle up! Get ready for take-off! Destination: A Premier Urban School District!

Visualize and believe in Dallas ISD. Contact a local school, or call the Office of Community Relations at 972-925-3920 to discuss how you can become engaged.

As always, I am available to meet with your organization to discuss these opportunities and the many successes in Dallas ISD in general and in District 5 in particular. Contact my office at 972-925-3718 to schedule a meeting with your group. And, follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

Dallas ISD, Uncategorized