Thursday, April 30, 2015

Is Rosemont the problem, or is it DISD?

The recent news that Rosemont Elementary principal Anne Brining would not have her contract renewed for next year angered many parents at the Oak Cliff school. It also exposed feelings among many that the school is divided between haves and have-nots, with the latter made up of low-income and Latino students. DISD officials point to a series of low testing scores as the reason Brining was fired.

The situation is covered in a new column by Randolph Bush of The Dallas Morning News. You can read it by clicking here. It is an interesting read.

I personally know a number of Rosemont parents, and there is certainly some truth to the claims that Rosemont is split between affluent white students and poorer Latino students, many of them the children of immigrants who are learning English as a second language. However, as a sibling of both a former elementary principal and a teacher, I also know of the extraordinary challenges school administrators face when you have a large ESL student body. Low test scores are not always the result of poor administration, but they could be a symptom of a greater problem.

It should be the job of DISD officials to take all the factors into account when reviewing school personnel. Unfortunately, we have seen far too many nonsensical decisions come from DISD headquarters, and for all we know, this may be one of them. While it is important to understand that, despite her popularity among many Rosemont parents, Principal Brining may indeed deserve to be fired. But DISD officials owe it to those Rosemont parents, and their children, to justify that decision. A woman's career, and the educational progress of hundreds of children, hang in the balance.  

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