Dallas ISD Trustees Will Cast a Critical Vote on Innovation Thursday

It was a smart move by Dallas ISD to double the number of early-college high schools next year. Kids are scrambling to get into these programs because they get a head start on college, tuition-free.It's the kind of students-first approach aiming to make students more likely to graduate and find jobs that can lift them out of poverty.That's why it's alarming that some board trustees appear headed this week to scuttle a proposed District of Innovation plan. The designation allows school districts to seek some exemptions from some state rules. One change DISD could benefit from: more freedom in hiring industry professionals for its hard-to-fill dual-credit and career and technical, or CTE, classrooms. By any measure, these collegiate academies have been a success story for DISD. The district's partnership with the Dallas County Community College District allows students to earn up to 60 hours of college credit while in one of 19 participating high schools. Many also get valuable internships and mentoring from their school's corporate partners.Trustees need to find ways to keep the momentum going, not slow it down.District staff and a community committee worked for months on a recommendation for DISD to become a District of Innovation, which would give it some of the same freedoms enjoyed by charter schools.   Continue reading...

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