Does reform mean throwing out everything, including the kitchen sink, and reinventing the educational wheel? Is it physically reforming by tearing down the school and reforming a new school that we hope will be successful? Does it mean liquidating the staff and reforming the instructional teams with new personnel? It can mean any of these things, and all of these approaches have the potential to net some real results for our kids.
Why should we be cautious? The "change everything" approach that floats around in every education conversation can be very dangerous. You can't say that kids didn't start learning until the mid 2000s. Teachers have been teaching and students have been learning forever. I encourage reformers to learn from the victories teachers have been having in the classroom for generations. Being a reformer also means admitting when something in the past worked better and blending the old and the new to create something sustainable and functional for our students. DISD existed before and after the current board. We need it to continue to grow and improve for future generations.
Whatever the board ends up looking like on May 9th, I hope it is a board committed to creating the best district possible for our students.