Monday, October 5, 2009

So What's Really Happening in Public Education?

On Tuesday, October 6 at 6:00 p.m., Central Dallas Ministries and the African-American Pastors Coalition are co-sponsoring an education forum to be held at the Kirkwood Temple CME Church in Dallas.

Dallas is facing a rather unusual situation in that it there will be an election to decide the representatives for three school board trustee seats. This is an election that should have been held in May of this year, however, there was an effort on the part of the school board trustees to extend their terms of office thereby eliminating the need for the regularly scheduled election.

They forgot to check with the State Attorney General's office...

Having been notified that there were a few steps an elected body has to at least tip their hats to before they can do something like play fast and loose with the people's election of their representatives, we are now looking to replace at least one of those trustees who has decided not to run for reelection.

Normally the AAPC would have a candidate's forum, but it was decided that the aforementioned issue, along with other critical challenges facing the school district call for a more substantive conversation regarding the state of affairs in Dallas Independent School District and the state of affairs in public education in general.

We at Central Dallas Ministries are proud to partner with the AAPC in presenting the forum.
We know that education is the primary pathway to the enhanced quality of life that can lead families out of the grip of poverty.

We will have a panel of participants whose careers and concern with public education and a history with DISD should prove interesting indeed. They are:

Carol Francois - Dr. François, Director of Learning at the National Staff Development Council (NSDC), is a lifetime educator who describes her self as a catalyst for positive change. She began her career as a teacher at age three when she says she taught her dolls on the doorstep of her home. Since that career starter, she has served in a variety of roles including posts as Chief of Staff for the Dallas Independent School; Associate Commissioner of Education at the Texas Education Agency; Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for Wake County Public Schools in Raleigh, North Carolina; Department Director at Region 10 Education Service Center; grade-level principal in the Richardson Independent School District; and Dean of Instruction with the Dallas Independent School District.

Fran̤ois holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Lock Haven University and a Master of Education degree in Education from Temple University, both in Pennsylvania. She earned a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Administration at Texas A & M University - Commerce. In addition, she is a certified Process Manager as well as a certified Retirement Options Coach. She has been awarded numerous honors including being named the Dallas Independent School District Teacher of the Year, a Meadows Foundation Principal Improvement Fellow, and a Texas A&M University РCommerce Alumni Ambassador.

Rose Parker - Ms. Parker is the creator of the Residential Model, an innovative reform model for public high schools, has had successful careers both in public education and private industry.

As the Director of Research at Sevin Rosen Funds, a top tier venture capital firm with $1.6 billion under management, Parker assisted general partners and entrepreneurs in analysis of market research for due diligence, as well as training entrepreneurs at StarTech in Richardson, the University of Texas at Dallas Entrepreneurship Program, the Society of Competitive Information Professionals (SCIP), and the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Previously, Parker served as Research Analyst for an early-stage broadband wireless startup and then moved into the role of Director of Education for an Internet education company. Parker created a model for Electronic Benchmarking to enable real-time data sampling for state accountability testing, developed an entire reading curriculum for a wireless gaming system, and trained teachers.

Parker served as social science department chair at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts and was awarded recognition as Teacher of the Year and district semifinalist for the Cabell Award. Parker was recognized as a Favorite Teacher for many years by Positive Parents of Dallas and received the Gold Star Award by Texas School Public Relations Association. She was also honored by the social science department of Brookhaven College, where she taught sociology and psychology, as Adjunct Teacher of the Year.

Parker has 20 years of teaching experience, curriculum development including writing and piloting the first interdisciplinary women’s studies course in Texas, teacher training, teacher appraisal, and sponsorship of district champions in Mock Trial. She taught social studies, team taught history and English, was the laureate teacher, and created innovative programming while teaching at Pearl C. Anderson, H.G. Spruce, BTWHSPVA, the Health Magnet, and Sunset High School. While at Sunset, Ms. Parker instituted a college preparatory program that produced one of the first Advanced Placement scholars at Sunset.

Parker is a magna cum laude graduate of North Texas State University, where she also earned a M.Ed. in Secondary Education and Social Science and completed all requirements for a Ph.D. in education and social science except completion of the dissertation. Ms. Parker also earned a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman’s University, completed coursework and training in Talented and Gifted Education, and postdoctoral graduate work in the social sciences. Ms. Parker also holds a Supervision Certificate.

Dr. Jessa Jai McNeil - has been a professional educator for 40 years. He has traversed the educational scene from blackboards and chalk to portable, handheld smart boards. He has earned 4 degrees and numerous professional certificates. Having taught Jr. High School music, elementary self contained classes and special education, he has headed Divisions of Education and been Lead Professor for Educational Administration programs at Bishop College, The University of Texas at Arlington, and Texas Southern University. In public school administration he has been Coordinator of Staff Development, Title I – Administrator, Discipline Intervention Specialist, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Deputy Area Superintendent in the Dallas Independent School District. He served as principal at both elementary and secondary levels, receiving Honorable Mention accolades with a Governor’s Educational Excellence Award.

McNeil earned an Ed.D. at University of Massachusetts – Amherst, Massachusetts
and a M.Ed. – Springfield College – Springfield, Massachusetts.

It's a fairly impressive line up being brought together to provide us with their unique perspective on the challenges presented by both some of the changes taking place in public education (for instance school closures due to poor test scores, declining student populations in urban areas; the real meaning of school rankings, what standardized test scores actually measure and discrepancies in test scores, graduation rates and college readiness; the politcization of public education with regard to some of the changes on the state school board).

It should be an interesting and engaging evening.

Kirkwood Temple CME Church is located at 1440 Sunny Glen Drive, in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas. Hope you can make it!


paprgl said...

Sorry... What is the time, date?

Gerald Britt said...

My fault! I've corrected the post. But, the panel discussion will be held on Tuesday, October 6 at 6pm. Thanks...