DISD May Have Found the Key to Finally Closing the Achievement Gap for Black Kids

One of the vexing problems that confounds Dallas ISD is the fact that its black students persistently lag behind their Hispanic and white peers.The achievement gap has stubbornly endured for years: third-grade reading scores show a deficit as high as 36% with no sign that the trend will turn in a positive direction. It’s no wonder so many black parents have jettisoned the district in favor of charter schools and the suburbs — taking state funding with them. The district has to do something dramatic to finally make a difference for these kids. DISD leaders are smart to put their efforts behind getting more kids into prekindergarten, something proven to give students a better shot at success.That’ll come in the form of scholarship offers to hundreds of students who are among a student group that is the lowest-performing on STAAR exams or whose parents earned above the income limits set by the state to qualify for free pre-K.We were happy to see the Legislature put more money into free full-day pre-K, but too many kids who would benefit from pre-K still weren’t eligible. The state’s income limit for a family of four to receive free pre-K is up to $47,638; it’s up to $77,251 for that family to be eligible for a scholarship. Tuition slots are offered at $525 per month.  Continue reading...

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