Friday, April 26, 2013

Together Let’s Solve This Math Problem

There’s a math problem that no one has been able to solve: Far too many students in the United States give up on math early. To them, the subject does not come easy, or they think you must have natural math ability to become really “good” at it. In contrast, students in most other countries accept that math can be challenging. They realize that motivation and perseverance is what it takes to learn difficult material.

Math skills add up to great futures. Research shows those who take challenging math courses in high school get better jobs and earn more money throughout their entire lives—regardless of family background, grades and college degrees.

American employers are demanding advanced math skills. A little over half of all U.S. occupations require a significant level of knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics and their applications. One study found that the math skills required by electricians, construction workers, upholsterers and plumbers match what’s necessary to do well in college courses.

Companies like ExxonMobil  and Texas Instruments are involved in initiatives to recruit prepared students to careers in their companies. Read more about how leading corporations are making headway at

So let’s work together to inspire more of our Mesquite ISD students in math. Let’s don’t accept it when students say they are “bad at math.” Instead, let’s ensure they do their daily homework and use all the resources available to help them improve their skills. Remember, the payoff can be incredible.

Please share positive strides in math skills in your student or math education.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Ways to Help West, Texas Community

As Texans, we often rally to help fellow citizens in times of need. And being community-minded is one of my favorite traits of the students, families and employees in our district.

Our hearts go out to all those affected by this week’s explosion in West, Texas. No formal request has been made by the West ISD administration; however, students will need school supplies to finish out the school year.

Baylor University has organized a West news page and Relief Fund. Blood donations will eventually be needed, so you can provide support in our local areas through Carter Blood Care.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Million Dollar Technology Investment Expected to Reap Infinite iPAD Learning Opportunities

Using iPads in learning can dramatically improve student engagement and achievement. Our district uses these digital devices on a limited basis at some campuses because it has been cost-prohibitive to provide them everywhere. I’m excited to announce that a new program—Innovation Pursuit of Authentic Digital Solutions or IPADS for short—will add even more iPads to our elementary campuses and middle schools.

Our district has earmarked $1 million for our IPADS Project, aptly named because it will pay for iPads and related apps and equipment to operate them.

This spring, our campuses will be competing for IPADS Project grants. Teams of teachers and their principals will be asked to give a written proposal and face-to-face presentation on how they intend to infuse iPads into excellent teaching. It is our hope that these targeted awards will inspire other teachers to adopt innovative teaching strategies as well.

IPADS Project grants will be implemented in early fall of our 2013-14 school year. I’m looking forward to the infinite learning opportunities created for our students. It will also be rewarding to see how through this program our teachers raise the bar in creativity and collaboration.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Please Don’t Remove Funding from
Texas’ Already Under-Funded System

By passing a key amendment to the state budget this week, the Texas House vote may have ended this legislative session’s push for a private school voucher program.

According to this amendment, no state money can be used to support private schools, either through vouchers or tax credits used to fund scholarships.

I am very encouraged by the House action and applaud those who took a stand for public education.  Since Texas currently ranks 49th in per pupil spending after the reductions in the last biennium, it would be difficult to justify any action that removes funding from an already under-funded system.

Have you seen the tips posted on our website on how to contact your state lawmakers? Join the conversation to make sure your voice is heard.