Education Briefs

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 2/1/2016, 8:38 a.m.
Dallas ISD pledges action in response to demographic report Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Dallas ISD trustees discussed a recent demographic ...

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Dallas ISD pledges action in response to demographic report

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Dallas ISD trustees discussed a recent demographic report that revealed a slight decrease in student enrollment this year, stating that it was a call to action to determine ways to bring families back to the district.

The student enrollment in 2015-2016 is 158,692, which is down from the 2014-2015 student enrollment of 160,253. The largest enrollment drop – approximately 1,000 students – came at the kindergarten level.

The district’s demographic statistics shows 22.6 percent African American, 70.3 Hispanic, 4.8 percent White, 0.6 multi-racial and 1.8 percent other enrolled. Male students are 74.3 percent, while only 25.7 are female.

Hinojosa said the slight student enrollment decrease is a wake up call for anyone who believes the district can go about “business as usual.”

“We must determine why students are leaving or not choosing to come to Dallas ISD, and we must address the issue head on,” Hinojosa said. “This will take a total team effort to address this issue.”

In initial conversations during this month’s board briefing on how to potentially stop the enrollment slide, trustees suggested the district could more aggressively market and advertise Dallas ISD to show the great things happening in the schools. Other preliminary ideas trustees discussed included continuing to increase the number of choice schools; figuring out what is working well at schools and spreading that information and those practices to other schools; continuing to focus on and expanding pre-K; improving Dallas ISD schools; and continuing to reach English language learning students.

Hinojosa added that the district should conduct an external analysis to help identify what issues must be addressed to stop an enrollment slide.

“We will look at every possible angle,” Hinojosa said. “This information is powerful, and together we can come up with a solution to take our students back.”

National School Choice Week

AUSTIN – National School Choice Week Began Sunday in Texas and across the country. According to National School Choice Week’s organizers, families in Texas can use the Week to look for K-12 schools for the 2016-2017 school year. Parents in the Lone Star State can choose from the following education options for their children: traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, online academies, private schools and homeschooling. In some parts of the state, open enrollment policies allow parents to select the best traditional public school, regardless of where the school is located.

“The goal of School Choice Week is to raise awareness, to let parents know that when it comes to their children’s education, they do have options. And it’s also to give people an opportunity, who might want more options for their kids, to have their voices heard,” NSCW president Andrew R. Campanella said. “Parents know their children best, and they know that when their children have the opportunity to learn in an environment that meets their talents, their skills, and their challenges, their kids are happier. They graduate at higher levels, too, and that is why school choice is so important.”