Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SKY Partnership Presents at Grand Prairie Symposium

If you were school-aged prior to the 21st century, you can attest to the fact that school choices were extremely limited.  Standard in most households, was that you either went to your neighborhood school or to the private school that your parents insisted that you attend.   

How exciting to know that those times have changed!  The new standard in education now is Choice.

Grand Prairie ISD recently held a one-day symposium at the University of Texas in Arlington to bring awareness to the growing need and desire for choice in education. 

The UT-Arlington event titled, “Choice: Its Role in Public Education Today, “ attracted state leaders, school superintendents, principals and national experts in education reform.  Speakers at the symposium included SBISD SKY Partnership’s Mandel√© Davis, Project Manager, Mike Feinberg, Ed.D, founder of KIPP Houston Public Schools and Grand Prairie Superintendent, Susan Hull, Ed.D

“Folks want to make choices, they want to be responsible for their student’s education.  Meeting the needs of our parents is what we have to do,” Dr. Hull said.

Susan Hull, Ed.D, Superintendent of Grand Prairie ISD and
Mandele Davis, Project Manager, SKY Partnership

Grand Prairie ISD currently has 39 district schools. Thirteen of the 39 are Schools of Choice that include Garner Fine Arts Academy and Dubisky Career High School, both of which are highly sought after programs. 

In addition to Dr. Hull’s keynote talk, the SKY Partnership team presented insights and a first-hand look into the benefits of a public school district partnering with charter organizations. "Simply put, adding charters increases choice.

Charter schools alone are not the answer, but a great opportunity," Dr. Feinberg said.

SBISD through its SKY Partnership now offers middle school charter programs at two campuses. KIPP Courage College Prep is housed at Landrum Middle School; YES Prep at Northbrook is based at Northbrook Middle School. Over time, these programs will offer a high school charter program at Northbrook High School.

In other compelling speeches, speakers noted that we are no longer living in the days of yesteryear, but we must live in the now and hardwire our students to be successful in whatever career path they choose.

Other symposium presenters included Texas State Senators Royce West of Dallas and Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills; J. Puckett, senior partner and managing director of Boston Consulting Group; Todd Williams, executive director of Commit!, a Dallas-based, nonprofit educational group; and David Anthony, CEO of the Austin-based nonprofit, Raise Your Hand Texas.

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