Fort Worth Independent School District’s (FWISD) new superintendent is making the rounds and surveying her district’s schools following an alarming report that only 36% of public school students within the city limits are performing at grade level, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Superintendent Angélica Ramsey is hitting the pavement, so to speak, and incorporating regular campus visits into her weekly schedule, according to WFAA.
“I spend two days a week out at schools because, for me, it’s really important to want to stay connected. I have a teacher hat on always and [plan] to be in classrooms seeing what our teachers are doing every day to see students,” Ramsey told the news outlet.
Ramsey’s strategy to improve her district involves getting first-hand information directly from instructors, students, and parents in order to identify their needs.
“Our teachers, our support staff, our principals, they can have open conversations with me,” she stated.
Ramsey’s investment in forging lines of communication and trust with her district’s various constituents starkly contrasts with current practices at Dallas Independent School District (DISD), which suffers from many of the same poor student outcomes as FWISD.
As previously reported in The Dallas Express, DISD has been struggling with teacher retention. Instead of supporting the current teaching staff as much as possible, they are focusing on recruiting fresh batches of instructors, both state-certified and not, to keep up with the turnover.
Additionally, DISD’s Board of Trustees recently made Stephanie Elizalde superintendent, who formerly served as superintendent at Austin Independent School District (AISD). In Austin, Elizalde allegedly earned the ire of district parents and teachers during her tenure.
Just a couple of months into the 2022-2023 academic year, it is unclear whether Elizalde or Ramsey will be able to turn their districts around.
“My role is to provide support and to remove barriers for our teachers, to make sure that our teachers have everything that they need and to make sure that they’re well-funded, that the schools have the staff that they need,” Ramsey explained to WFAA.
“Also, my role is to listen to our teachers and to ask them, ‘What do you need from us so that you can be successful?'”