By Jennifer Lindgren

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW) – Improving Fort Worth ISD’s lowest performing schools is on the agenda for Tuesday’s school board meeting.

Earlier this month, the Texas Education Agency sent out letters statewide to school districts on the ‘improvement required’ list.

In Fort Worth ISD, that includes John T. White, I.M. Terrell, and Maude Logan Elementary Schools, and Forest Oak Middle School.

The TEA requires districts with schools that need improvement to come up with a turnaround plan and take the state agency’s guidance, otherwise the schools risk being shut down, turned into charter schools, or taken over.

In response to the TEA, Fort Worth ISD Superintendent Dr. Kent Scribner sent a letter stating that the school district accepts TEA directed governance training for the Board of Trustees and Superintendent in its turnaround and implementation plans, and that it will fully implement the governance improvements set forth in the agency—directed training and in the training’s implementation rubric.

District 6 Board of Trustee Ann Sutherland disagrees.  Sutherland says on an issue this significant, she feels the superintendent should have discussed his intentions with the board prior to sending the letter.   She is against actions that would weaken teacher and parent protection.

“While we can always do better, the system which labels schools based on a formula cannot correctly determine what is reasonable. Careful recent research indicates that poverty is a powerful influence on student achievement.  In addition to this, reading and talking to very young children to build their vocabularies is vital. These factors matter more than what happens in school for the average child, so labeling a school a failure when the reasons for poor student growth are outside the ability of our staff to change is unfair,” Sutherland told CBS 11 News.

The issue will be discussed at Tuesday night’s regular board meeting, at 5:30 p.m. at the Fort Worth ISD headquarters.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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