The State of Texas could take over all of Dallas ISD, even though only a handful of campuses aren’t meeting state standards. Here’s what you need to know.
Who: Mike Morath, a former Dallas ISD school board trustee, is the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency. He believes that inadequate leadership and policies are the reason that children are underperforming public schools statewide. His solution? Ousting district leaders and school board trustees so that the government can intervene.
“I don’t think we can sit back and armchair quarterback and complain about underperforming teachers at an individual campus when, in fact, it’s the leadership at the district level that sets the stage for whether they can succeed or not,” Morath said during an August 2016 Senate Education Committee Hearing.
Why: Four Dallas schools — Carr and Titche elementary schools, Edison Middle Learning Center and J.W. Ray Learning Center — have not performed well on state assessments for several years. If they don’t make significant strides next year, the campuses will be shut down or the state will intervene.
What’s at Stake: A law passed in 2016 gives Morath the authority to replace school officials with an appointed board of managers if “it has just one campus failing state accountability standards for five years or more.” (This is similar to the home rule charter that Morath championed during his school board tenure.)
What this means is that voters — granted, there aren’t that many — lose their say in electing public school officials. This may be a relief for those who consider Dallas ISD to be dysfunctional, while others would rather have officials be held accountable to their constituents.