Leading Off (1/29/10)

1. I was going to comment on Dallas ISD’s proposed fix for four high schools that face possible closure by the state. They’ll create magnet programs at each of the campuses to attract students that could boost the test scores and graduation rates (the DISD board seems to know it’s about “the inputs.”) I was going to say that this solution sounds like a trick to beat the system. Then I read the final paragraph of the DMN piece: “In addition, state records show that all four schools would not have passed Texas’ academic standards if they did not get statistical help from the state. Various formulas allow for schools to pass the standards even if too many students flunk state tests.” So, since districts apparently have access to a magic calculator, is there really a state accountability system left to trick?

2. Would this middle school student have been arrested any place other than in the Park Cities? Without knowing exactly what the threat was, it’s hard to say. But can we all agree that Fox 4 needn’t have required poor Sophia Reza to stand in the rain last night, outside a closed school, to report on an incident that occurred last week? Let’s free TV reporters from the tyranny of the wholly unnecessary live shot.

3. I was a little amused by the billboard. I find the commercial a little icky. But it’s all pretty sophomoric.

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