• Texas Gov. Abbott signs law shutting diversity offices at public universities
  • Politics and education clash as Texas district sees teachers leave: Grapevine-Colleyville teacher explains why she is resigning
  • WATCH: No room for debate in GCISD, Patriot Mobile PAC puppet Pres Ford has silenced experienced trustees & teachers all year

    We can’t risk electing more Patriot Mobile PAC Trustees to GCISD!

    Summary: All year, our experienced trustees were shut down by the Patriot Mobile PAC-backed Majority, and forbidden to comment on issues in their public meetings. We can’t risk having new Patriot Mobile PAC-backed trustees to continue what GCISD Board President Casey Ford started.

    “The Chair does not recognize you” (21 seconds)

    “Please refrain from asking other board members questions” (27 seconds)

    Patriot Mobile PAC-backed Board ignores student voice (27 seconds)

    “All four of you had prepared statements of less than 3 minutes; how did the attorney advise y’all?” (27 seconds)

    “You’re out of order” (24 seconds)

    Examples from the Board Minutes when the Patriot Mobile PAC-backed trustees limited discussion by suspending Robert’s Rules of order

    The pink boxes give context to what is described in the Board Minutes.

    The blue highlighter indicates when New Board Majority President Ford suspended Robert’s Rules of Order to limit discussion of each trustee.

    The yellow highlighter indicates times when the vote was split 4 (Ford, Spradley, Braun, Nakamura) to 3 (Rodriguez, Canter, St. John).

    May 23, 2022: First, the board voted 4-3 to elect the inexperienced trustee Shannon Braun as its vice president, over longtime trustee Becky St. John. Then, they voted 4-3 to nominate brand-new trustee Tammy Nakamura to run for a position on the statewide Texas Association of School Boards. To no one’s surprise, Mrs. Nakamura only received ONE VOTE for the TASB position — from another Patriot Mobile takeover district, of course. The TASB seat long-held by GCISD went to HEB ISD. Less than one month into their terms, the politics game played by Mrs. Braun and Mrs. Nakamura cost GCISD influence and connections on the state level.

    June 20, 2022: The board voted 4-3 to adjust salaries and to pass the budget. Dissent from the 3 was because the budget did not reflect all contracted expenditures, including salaries. The 4 Majority henceforth incorrectly told the community that the budget was balanced; it was not. In addition, trustee St. John asked for a re-do of the vote for TASB nominee because it was done incorrectly last month.

    July 25, 2022: The board voted 4-3 to contract legal services with Cantey-Hanger law firm. The Board President Casey Ford limited discussion about this contract (see video). The taxpayers still do not know how much GCISD has paid this lawyer; we know that the lawyer earns $400/hour from GCISD. With that money that went to the lawyer, classes, programs, and teachers may not have been cut.

    August 22, 2022: The board voted 4-3 to pass a 9-page policy about library materials that goes well beyond state law. Almost 200 citizens spoke at the open forum; the majority asking for the policy to be tabled, since there was no community input. The 4-3 vote happened at midnight. This was the first time the New School Board Majority 4 suspended Robert’s Rules of Order to push through the vote without debate. “Keep debate, comments, questions and answers to 3 minutes per trustee and each trustee may only speak 1 time and proceed to vote without amendment.” The New School Board Majority 4 also nominated the two new trustees as TASB delegates using this suspension of debate.

    September 26, 2022: Once again, the New School Board Majority 4 suspended Robert’s Rules of Order to push through a vote without debate to continue legal services with Cantey-Hanger law firm. The public has already discovered Cantey-Hanger’s other clients are the Patriot Mobile PAC school boards in Keller ISD and Carroll ISD.

    November 14, 2022: Three highlights this month. The New School Board Majority 4 voted 4-3 against using fund balance as aligned with state law, and suspended Robert’s Rules of Order to censure the teaching certificate of a history teacher who quit mid-year under contract. [ Watch our College Impact Panel to find out why she felt she could no longer teach for GCISD! ] And finally, the New School Board Majority voted 4-3 to pass legislative priorities that were friendly to charter schools and taxpayer vouchers.

    February 27, 2023: The New School Board Majority 4 voted 4-3 against supporting the Council of PTAs’ Legislative Agenda, which included a pro-public school statement against charters and vouchers. [ Read more: Why is the GCISD Board not taking a stronger stance to protect public school funding? ]

    April 24, 2023: The video feed in the Board of Trustees meeting was not working, but we do have audio of Trustee Jorge Rodriguez asking Board President Ford why Ford did not include Rodriguez’s agenda item requests. Ford once again did not answer. Listen here on GCISD TV. Then, read/hear the update from Rodriguez that lists the 7 important items that Ford refused to add to the agenda.

    And now — on May 6th, 2023 — 3 more Patriot Mobile PAC-endorsed people want to be elected to GCISD School Board! We can’t find out what will happen if the entire board is managed by Patriot Mobile PAC. Read United for GCISD’s Voter Guide to find out which candidates our kids and teachers deserve. Then vote on May 6th at Grapevine Library, Colleyville Library, or the Euless Senior Center, between 7am and 7pm.

  • WATCH: Patriot Mobile PAC Trustees keep misleading the community about what they are doing to our district. (Everything is *not* fine!)

    When Patriot Mobile PAC trustees took over GCISD a year ago, they promptly started misleading the community.

    WHAT’S TRUE? Click to watch the video for yourself in under 2 minutes! Or read on…

    In the video:

    NOT SO FAST: A Trustee who was endorsed by Patriot Mobile in 2022 states that the district training would provide “lots and lots of clarity for our teachers” on the new policy.

    In fact, the “policy training” was only a 30 minute slideshow of someone reading the policy, verbatim.

    WE KNOW BETTER: The Patriot Mobile Trustee said she was “glad to hear [Advanced Placement (AP) classes] aren’t threatened in any way.”

    Nope! GCISD cut the Director of Advanced Academics and AP Coordinator positions. They cut AP Mandarin, AP Latin, AP European History; high-level math students are teaching themselves; CHHS GT classes were eliminated or had 1 offering only; AP teachers are quitting & retiring; and 18 books are still banned from advanced secondary courses. All these changes are huge threats to the quality of GCISD‘s reputation. [ Watch: College Impact Panel ]

    SAY WHAT NOW?: Next, in the same public meeting, Trustee Becky St. John asks for clarification on the instructional policy, wondering if a teacher could speak about breaking news during a US History, World History, or Government class?

    At 25 seconds into the video, the response from district staff is NO. “That may be the course, but it may not be where they are in their Scope and Sequence.” The new policy is drastically limiting teachers to whatever is scripted in the boxed lesson plan for that day. It seems like a social studies teacher would be risking their job if they mentioned the day’s headlines.

    GCISD deserves better than what Patriot Mobile PAC is offering!


    Check out the Voter Guide from United for GCISD.

    Compare the TEA Recommended vs GCISD Adopted EFB Local policy (YouTube video)

    Watch the 30-minute video “training” that GCISD provided to teachers on the new policy in October 2022.

    Read: Deep Dive on Book Bans in GCISD

    Share this!

  • Voices United: GCISD Trustee Rodriguez speaks about Board Policy Violations

    Before the Board of Trustees meeting on April 24, Trustee Jorge Rodriguez requested several items to be added to the agenda. Board President Casey Ford did not add them. You can listen here to the meeting, when Rodriguez asks Ford why they are not on the agenda.

    Click above to hear the voice of GCISD Board Member Jorge Rodriguez.

    Below are the eight questions that Trustee Jorge Rodriguez asked Board President Casey Ford to add to the public meeting agenda on April 24, 2023. Ford did not add these items to the Board’s agenda, nor did Ford explain why.

    Despite Rodriguez’ request for transparency from Ford, the public still does not know the following:

    1. Update on the lawsuit by James Whitfield against Trustee Tammy Nakamura and GCISD (with specific request that the district’s counsel, Brackett & Ellis, be present at the meeting to answer questions)
    2. The agreement reached in the lawsuit by Mitchell Ryan against GCISD and Jorge Rodriguez as the Board President including an update on the contents of the agreement reached by Casey Ford and his attorney Tim Davis with Mitchell Ryan and Mitchell Ryan’s attorney (along with a specific request that Brackett & Ellis also be present to answer questions)
    3. Report on instructional materials and new books — including a list of books to be approved by the school board and, if any books had been removed from the libraries and the reason for removal.
    4. The two-way dual language program — to continue the discussion from the March 2023 meeting along with a vote from the school board on whether to continue or eliminate the two-way dual language program.
    5. Personnel Report — an update on the job openings and resignations (along with a comparison to the numbers of resignations from last year).
    6. High school schedules — block scheduling versus an 8-period day (continuing discussion from March 2023 meeting and getting answers to questions that were not answered during March 2023 meeting)
    7. Advanced Academics — a GCISD district comparison to surrounding districts.
    8. GCISD evaluation for the previous year (2022) and the district’s 2023 goals.
  • The College Impact: Panel Discussion Another Reason Our Students Need Us To Elect Harris, Phoenix & Sager


    Changes to GCISD school policies include limiting access to upper-level reading, restricting materials for college-level AP courses, limiting discussion around current events. Combine that with the increase in teacher resignations, and our students are facing new challenges in being college ready, and worse…possibly being labeled with a new not-so-flattering district reputation.

    6 Panelists, 1.5 Hours All About GCISD Reputation + College Experience

    You’ll find the entire 1.5 hour panel here, or skip down to scan some of the highlights.

    We even got a few tips from the graduates for students to look to fill in the gaps for themselves.

    Students can explore courses via Harvard’s edX catalog of FREE courses. A great way to prep yourself, or audit a topic to see if it’s an area you want to pursue.

    The event was co-hosted by Protect GCISD and United for GCISD.

    Teachers ARE Afraid, Amanda Guthrie confirms parent fears

    Amanda Guthrie, former Department Learning Leader for the ASPIRE Academy and AP History teacher, shared her personal experience from Fall 2022 that drove her to resign.

    Ms. Guthrie mentions Colle Board AP for All, here’s one article on the topic.

    Going ‘Back to Basics’ is insulting and selfish

    We also heard from two GCISD graduates who offered the poignant comments for listeners.

    Vivek Tanna, Stanford graduate, pointed out how insulted he would be as a student to have adults decide our students can’t handle more than the four basic subjects. Seattle Hickey, currently studying Womens’ Studies at Harvard, gave us another perspective to consider. Adults are being selfish to take the opportunities away from students to develop critical thinking skills and be able to learn how to manage through difficult discussions in a safe space.

    Back to Basics is NOT What the World Wants Anymore

    Study shows employers are prioritizing these three skills in the hiring process:

    1. Problem solving
    2. Analytics and critical thinking skills
    3. And ability to work in a diverse team

    Standing Out in College Applications, Despite a Tainted GCISD District Reputation

    Keeping Up With the Conversation in College

    Tips for Students to Prepare Themselves

    • Build Your Resilience, give yourself time to be a kid, and find ways to pace yourself.
    • Recognizing not all discussions are up for debate, not always a perspective, both in a person’s lived reality, as well as when we look at parts of history.
  • Deep Dive: Innovative Ways GCISD Can Grow, why consider ‘open enrollment’

    Recently in candidate forums, the idea of “open enrollment” has been brought up by both Sergio Harris and Kimberly Phoenix as a way to increase revenue instead of cutting teachers, classes, and programs as our current board majority supports. The concept of “open enrollment” is not new in GCISD. We built amazing programs of choice and could continue to grow them by adding the right kids at the right time, rather than cutting programs and chasing away excellent teachers. Open enrollment is what currently allows Grapevine residents not zoned to GCISD to still attend GCISD schools. It also allowed Carrol ISD to recently open up to the families of first responders, just like GCISD teachers can bring their kids. 

    What is Open Enrollment?

    In Texas, the state allows each district to decide its own open enrollment policies. Open enrollment refers to whether parents can send their children to any public school, regardless of where it is located. It runs similarly to a voucher program in that the school can create its own parameters and is not required to take any child that applies. However, if accepted, the state’s funding for that child follows the child to the new campus. Unlike a voucher program, the accepting school is a Texas independent school district and is accountable for the funds in the same way the student’s home campus would be. It is a much more accountable version of school choice than vouchers and charter schools.

    How is this good for GCISD?

    Open enrollment allows a district to create greater efficiency of operations by determining in advance which programs, classes, or campuses have space in order to maximize their enrollment capacity in buildings that are already being heated, cooled, and cleaned. Adjusting in this way can save teaching positions, keep GCISD from having to apply for waivers when exceeding classroom capacity, and can generate additional revenue for the district depending on where the legislature sets target revenue and the number of students who apply.

    Could we set admissions standards? 

    Yes! In the early days of ASPIRE, students who met the admission criteria were allowed to apply. A few years later, the program hit max capacity and that option closed. With our unique schools of choice, we could set different parameters for each program and even limit what grades we would accept. We could allow it for one year at a time and even make residency a requirement after a certain timeframe, which would allow families to move here after guaranteeing that their child would qualify for a particular program. In ASPIRE, for example, children are required to attain certain testing scores, which we currently do not charge for (but could!) In a tight housing market, it is hard for families to make the choice to move until they know if their student will qualify. This expands our potential applicant pool AND draws more families to our area.

    How does this help with GCISD funding?

    Districts that allow open enrollment are able to set admissions criteria based on seat availability at designated schools and can require that all students accepted provide his or her own transportation to and from school. In Texas the money follows the child so we would get funding for that student. Additionally, GCISD already loses residents to other specialized programs in other districts. Districts with magnet, academy, or vanguard programs often accept outside applications on a space available basis. We lose highly talented families of kids that qualify to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts and Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy because we don’t have an arts focused high school academy. Perhaps instead of cutting our programs of choice, we should expand them!

    There are many additional situations that would have to be discussed at a board level if this were to be explored, such as the impact on UIL rules, etc. But it is an excellent and creative way to keep our amazing programs strong for our community!

    Example: See how the Grand Prairie Kaleidoscope program works.

    Thank you Kimberly and Sergio for offering REAL solutions! Read more about the candidates our students deserve.

  • Deep Dive on the Best Candidates for the 2023 GCISD School Board Election

    One-Minute Summary

    • Pro-GCISD families need to be United for GCISD and support the best candidate that filed in each of the 3 school board races this year. Please show up for our teachers and students and tell others why you will VOTE for Sergio Harris for Place 5, Dianna Sager for Place 6, and Kimberly Phoenix for Place 7!
    • Harris, Sager, and Phoenix are also listed as the best candidates by Protect GCISD, The Book-Loving Texan’s Guide to the May 2023 School Board Elections, and yes, a PAC. But don’t worry, not all PACs are harmful in local elections. In order to raise money for political campaigns, various IRS structures are needed. Texas Nonpartisan PAC is truly local, GCISD focused, and only formed as a PAC to comply with election rules regarding coordinated election campaign efforts.
    • Why is the GCISD School Board election so important? The new school board majority eliminated run-offs, so the person with the most votes wins. This is different from prior years. There will only be one chance to vote. A split “non-Patriot Mobile” vote hurts our chances to restore Independence, Respect, and Excellence. 

    We have One Vote for a Better GCISD, Because Our Kids Deserve the Best!

    E Pluribus Unum: Out of Many, One. Our founding fathers chose this original motto in 1776. It signifies the strength that comes from uniting diverse perspectives into a single voice.

    We chose to use this purposefully in our logo because, when you are trying to support a district as unique as ours, it takes a strong variety of voices representing differing but equally passionate views to make the most educated decisions for our schools. That is how school board races used to be! Candidates ran because they cared about public education and once on the board, the seven elected trustees sworn to work on behalf of our students and teachers used their varying perspectives to decide what was BEST for GCISD. We strongly believe that City Council and School Board races should remain nonpartisan for that reason, so each elected trustee focuses solely on the district without taking political marching orders that follow a party platform or the desires of an important donor.

    Unfortunately, some extremist organizations — defined as far from center and drastically narrower than the views of the majority of GCISD families — have decided to make school board races political across the country, and as a community we didn’t react quickly enough to fend them off. Last year, GCISD made national news as a Patriot Mobile “takeover district” when the candidates they identified, funded, and coached gained majority. Instead of a grassroots election of independent candidates, we instead have 4 trustees that vote as a block virtually every time. The district as we know it has suffered. We have seen a dramatic rise in teacher turnover, families are leaving, our community’s reputation is suffering, and we are losing academic opportunities that once drew families to our district – all due to irresponsible and short-sighted decisions made by an inexperienced board majority. 

    There are so many proof points of the negative effect in the past 12 months, here’s just a few highlights:

    Even more disappointing is that our new board majority is very proud of this destruction and they regularly share their “success” by speaking on the topic of taking over school boards. 

    Why We Formed a Local GCISD Voice

    Many of these same anti-public school voices have been involved over the past decade or more, in various organizations with changing names and lead players based on partisan elections. In the past two years, several LOCAL grassroots organizations began forming to try and combat the damage and get the truth out about GCISD.  Non-partisan, pro-public education organizations like Protect GCISD, Texas Bipartisan Alliance, United for GCISD and Texas Nonpartisan PAC all formed at different times, with different people, and under different tax structures, but all with a similar idea in mind: counter the misinformation being shared about GCISD, defend our teachers from unfair attacks, help our students feel safe and cared for, and educate the public about what was happening to the district we love. 

    Several Facebook groups also formed to discuss issues in GCISD, but they did not file as political organizations so they could not impact elections on the same scale, since that was not their stated intent. All of these groups grew out of a love for GCISD and each has an important role, but to truly beat such a well-funded attack requires all of us being on the same page. Sadly, that didn’t happen. A truly grassroots set of organizations organized bottom up by busy families on a volunteer basis is a far cry from a top down process with virtually unlimited funding and professional consultation down to their color coordinated signs. We tried for months to get as connected and organized as time, money, and volunteer commitment would allow but it unfortunately wasn’t enough to keep good candidates from filing against each other (or, later, reconsidering what was in the best interest of GCISD.)

    With so many school districts under attack and requests coming in for help in other areas, volunteers decided to switch Texas Bipartisan Alliance to supporting any potential takeover district that needed help. Organizers of United for GCISD launched to focus exclusively on GCISD, beginning with the highly successful Scholastic Book Fair raising $10,000 in books for children served through GRACE Christmas Cottage. After that success, volunteers that felt passionately about speaking out against book bans and censorship wanted to keep the momentum going so that as candidates for school board filed, a support group would already exist.

    United for GCISD was formed as an alliance of community members and organizations dedicated to restoring excellence, independence, and respect in the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District by electing board trustees who align with these core community values. We hoped to be a bridge and we reached out for support with that in mind. We knew it would be vitally important to get behind ONE candidate per place. We announced our plans and invited everyone to join us that aligned with our mission to Take Back GCISD in 2023.

    Based on years of collective experience, we knew it would be catastrophic to pledge support to a candidate before the end of filing because you can’t control who files in a democracy! Unlike the anti-GCISD candidates, there was no vetting or interview process to decide who was allowed to file and where, despite lots of people having lots of opinions, in the end no one could make that decision but each candidate filing.

    Looking for Candidates Who Speak for ALL Students

    Despite that, we knew we had to UNITE behind ONE candidate for each race and find the ones with the strongest chance to beat the inevitable Patriot Mobile slate. At that time, it was unclear if any of the incumbents were even running. Since school board filings don’t even start until January, we focused on educating the public on issues relevant to the upcoming campaign through a series of Deep Dives. Many people talked to the candidates as they considered filing. Some candidates said they did not want help or that they did not want to campaign alongside any other candidate. Others agreed that a unified plan was our best chance. All of that was taken into consideration and in the end once filing closed we decided to invite all candidates publicly on our page to reach out to us if they felt their mission aligned with ours.

    That brings us to today and our campaign going forward. We believe without question that in our 3-way races, Sergio Harris for Place 5 and Kimberly Phoenix for Place 7 stand with us in our desire to Take Back GCISD and Restore the Independence, Respect and Excellence, which at one point in time, we all took for granted.

    How do we know Harris and Phoenix are pro-public education?

    • These two candidates understand the importance of aligning in a way that gives us the best chance of winning back our district.
    • They have the most recent and relevant experience to get us up to speed quickly and are vocally committed to undoing the damage of our current board majority.
    • They are parents of GCISD students, long time public education devotees, and have large community volunteer followings.
    • You will also see Dianna Sager on our materials for Place 6, which is a two person race. She did not reach out to us to show how her campaign goals align with ours, but she is the only non-Patriot Mobile candidate in that race. 

    Three Candidates Stand Out for Pro-Public Education Voices

    We aren’t the only ones that noticed these admirable traits! Harris, Sager and Phoenix are also being listed as the best 3 candidates by Protect GCISD, The Book-Loving Texan’s Guide to the May 2023 School Board Elections, and yes, a PAC. But don’t worry, not all PACs are harmful in local elections. In order to raise money for political campaigns, various IRS structures are needed and a few local GCISD volunteers were willing to structure as a PAC so that we could all have that option for donors. TXNPac is truly local, GCISD focused, and only is formed as a PAC to comply with election rules regarding coordinated election campaign efforts. PACs have different rules than incorporated 501c4s, which are different than unincorporated 501c4s, and all allow more support for causes and candidates due to fundraising and endorsement rules than informational Facebook groups and substantially more than 501c3s.

    To be clear, every well intended organization plays an important role, but the financial and legal structures are vital if we really are serious about trying to counter the takeover. We can no longer vote for our friends, a former classmate, the person who filed first, the parent of your child’s classmate, or the one who wants a do-over. Voting for someone because they’re “from here” has not served our community well in the last two elections. This election will require a much more disciplined and thoughtful vote. All eyes across the country are on GCISD, ever since Patriot Mobile made us their ground zero.

    Why is the 2023 GCISD school board election so important?

    We need more involvement and commitment from all pro-public school advocates in GCISD to make our vision a reality. Until then, outside forces will continue to overpower us. Sadly, as we said to anyone that would listen: school board elections from the days when you could run independently on your own merits and without a built-in support network are over. And anyone who naively thought otherwise before, is clearly seeing the light now, as we are seeing sets of three signs all over town and candidates endorsing other candidates on their campaign pages.

    Regardless of how many well-intended candidates we have, in the end we can only support ONE candidate per place or risk EVERYTHING by splitting the vote, since runoffs were very purposefully eliminated.

  • Deep Dive: Why is the GCISD Board no longer taking a strong stance to protect public schools? 

    Vouchers in the 2023 Texas Legislature: A Timeline

    Newest headlines at the top

    Monday, May 15: Texas Committee on Public Education invites speakers for new voucher bill SB 8:

    Video: Vouchers/Educations Spending Accounts redistribute taxpayer dollars from public schools; yet private schools are not required to provide federal protections for special education students or accept all students:

    Friday, April 7: Texas House comes out against school vouchers in initial vote. GCISD’s Texas Representative Giovanni Capriglione voted in favor of vouchers. The Representative for the Euless area of GCISD, Salman Bhojani, voted against school vouchers. Source: The Texas Standard

    Tuesday, March 29th: Bill that would give parents state funds to pay for private schools moves to the full Senate for a vote. AUSTIN, Texas — (The Texas Tribune) A sweeping public education bill that would allow families to use taxpayer money to send their children to private schools and restrict classroom lessons on sexual orientation received initial approval Tuesday and will now go before the Senate for a full vote. … The bill would give parents who opt out of the public school system access to a savings account with up to $8,000 in taxpayer money, per student, which could be used to pay for a child’s private schooling and other educational expenses, such as textbooks or tutoring.” Source WFAA-TV

    Vouchers in GCISD? A Deep Dive Summary:

    • Are vouchers for private schools a better alternative to “government schools” aka public schools? The answer is no.
    • Some in our community are friendly to vouchers or charter schools, including a former mayor now-school board candidate.
    • Breaking with PTA for the first time in history, the GCISD New School Board Majority removed the annual “no vouchers, no charter schools” statement from its legislative priorities this year.

    What is the thread connecting the former Mayor of Colleyville with the GCISD school board decision to break from a long-standing PTA supported initiative with the Texas legislature‘s move to provide $8K for private schools?

    The answer: School Vouchers to fund private charter schools. 

    And why should GCISD citizens care about these connections?

    Families who value their public school education and the community at large should question why a charter school supporter like Newton is now running to be a trustee of a public school. 

    Part I. As mayor, Richard Newton endorsed a charter school company called ResponsiveEd “that would like to get a school started in Colleyville.”

    The scene is Spring 2021 at a Colleyville City Council Meeting. Mayor Richard Newton, who is a current candidate for GCISD School Board, spoke from the dais about his meeting with ResponsiveEd, a company that runs charter schools in Texas in collaboration with Hillsdale College. Newton says he is a “strong supporter” of Hillsdale College, especially its curriculum of Christian education and the Constitution.

    In the video, Newton says the company’s representative has talked to a few pastors in town because the company would like to get a school started in Colleyville.

    Watch the video and read the email between Newton and the rep, Kalese Whitehurst:

    What is Classical Education? Do you notice that the document titled ResponsiveEd (above), there is no mention of “Christian education,” which is what then-Mayor Richard Newton stated that he liked about Hillsdale/ResponsiveEd bringing to Colleyville. Why does the document not state that a ResponsiveEd school is Christian — is this what “Classical education” means? Yes, according to a cover story by Christianity Today that provides insight into Classical Education and states “evangelicals are becoming the new champions of the pagan classics.” Read more documentation about the Classical education movement on Wikipedia.
    Several community speakers at the GCISD Board of Trustees’ open forum have begun promoting a return to Classical education. Why?

    Part II. Texas Monthly exposes ResponsiveEd for voucher scheme that would divert public school funds to private companies

    Source: Inside the Secret Plan to Bring Private School Vouchers to Texas, from Texas Monthly, by Forrest Wilder, October 18, 2022

    “Political operatives descended on the Hill Country town of Wimberley with a scheme to send taxpayer dollars to private schools. Now they’re shopping the same blueprint elsewhere. …”

    “One of the authors of the plan was Aaron Harris, a Fort Worth–based GOP consultant … along with Monty Bennett, a wealthy Dallas hotelier who dabbles in what he regards as education reform. …”

    “The other author was Kalese Whitehurst, an executive with the charter school chain Responsive Education Solutions, based in Lewisville, a half hour north of Dallas. …”

    “The scheme was complex but it pursued a simple goal: turning taxpayer dollars intended for public education into funds for private schools. The kids would be counted as Wimberley ISD students enrolled at the Achievement Campus, thus drawing significant money to the district. (In Texas, public schools receive funding based in large part on how many students attend school each day.) But the tax dollars their “attendance” brought to the district would be redirected to private institutions across the state. …”

    “The most transformative of a set of policies often described by proponents as “school choice,” vouchers allow students to attend private schools using taxpayer dollars. For more than sixty years, school-choice enthusiasts have tried, and failed, to create a voucher program in Texas. Texas’s first dalliance with vouchers came in the wake of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education case, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ordered desegregation of public schools.

    The Texas Monthly article concludes: “When I spoke to [Joe Basel, the self-styled “systemic disruption” consultant], he conceded that his reputation didn’t help his cause. But he hasn’t given up on passing the voucher program. “It’s still my goal,” he told me. “Other districts are considering it.” He declined to name which ones.”

    Part III. For the first time in history, the GCISD New School Board Majority voted 4-3 to remove the annual “no vouchers, no charter schools” statement from its 2023 legislative priorities — signaling support for the state to take even more funding away from GCISD and abandoning their oath to GCISD families.

    A voucher system gives money to private and religious schools without requiring them to follow the same accountability standards and open admission policy as public schools.

    The Texas Legislature convenes every other year.  The School Board creates a list of legislative priorities to communicate the district’s needs and goals to Texas Senators and Representatives as they write and pass laws. Independently, the PTA will create its own legislative priorities. 

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    Two Years Ago
    February 2021

    In 2021, the GCISD Board of Trustees opposed vouchers and charter school expansion in their legislative priorities.

    Similarly, the GCISD Council of PTAs’ #1 priority was keeping public dollars in public education

    PTAs from every school in GCISD have membership in the Council.
    Enlarge Image from 2021

    Then … the New School Board Majority took over GCISD in 2022.

    The pro-public education verbiage from 2021 is missing in the Board’s Legislative Priorities for 2023.

    Still, the PTA remains strongly pro-public education.

    An opposition to vouchers is the top PTA Legislative Priority for 2023.

    Feb. 27, 2023 – The board reviewed a request from the PTA to support PTA’s legislative priorities.

    The New School Board Majority — Casey Ford, Tammy Nakamura, Kathy Florence-Spradley, and Shannon Braun — voted to table the PTA’s request to support them. 

    Board President Ford said, “It’s still unclear who has been behind the scenes working on this request.”

    GCISD Trustee Becky St. John in her dissenting vote reminded the board that knowingly allowing the state to take away funds from our district in this way violates their code of ethics to work against GCISD and supports diverting public funds.

    Watch the video

    Allowing no discussion, the GCISD Board of Trustees refuses to endorse the PTAs’ legislative priorities.

    Sometimes, seeing events on a timeline helps us understand the bigger picture. What do you see? What questions do you have so far?

    • Why are the extremists pretending they don’t know our Council of PTAs?
    • Why is our Public School Board of Trustees refusing to collaborate with PTA on a pro-public school stance?
    • Historically, only communities with low-performing public schools get charter school approval. Is this why they are cutting funding and creating chaos?
    • Would someone trying to bring a charter school to Colleyville be someone we should elect to serve on our public school board of trustees?
    • Who is eyeing our community for voucher/charter schools — and whose pockets will benefit from the payout potential?

    Part IV. GCISD citizens should ask, as communities all over the country are asking: Can a private school serve students better than a publicly funded school?

    We need to be aware that the same organization and people who wanted to take over Wimberly ISD “would like to get a school started in Colleyville,” said then-Mayor Richard Newton.

    Will private schools be accountable to taxpayers? Currently the State does not require private/charters to administer the STAAR student performance test, to provide financial reporting or accountability, or to comply with Special Education rules.

    Private schools may exclude students because of a diagnosis that the private school is not equipped to serve, such as dyslexia or diabetes.

    Did you know: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination. However, the ADA contains an exemption for religious institutions, including religious schools. Therefore, the ADA does not apply to religious schools or offer students attending these schools protection from discrimination.” Source: American Diabetes Association

    What if a family is suddenly unable to afford tuition, if a parent dies or loses a lucrative job? How soon would the student need to transfer to the free, under-funded public school? Private schools also rely heavily on private donations from families instead of fully rolling the cost of service into tuition, likely eliminating families who can only afford to attend due to the government subsidized education voucher.

    Private schools may reject students who do not adhere to the religious code of the school. It’s already happened in a Colleyville private school. In 2020, a longtime student was expelled from the private religious school after coming out as gay.

    In summary

    A takeover of our public school system by private schools will create an underclass of under-educated people in a single generation.

    Vouchers don’t add up for Texas children. It is a sneaky move to privatize education, will immediately harm our local schools, and in the end, dismantle the right to a public education in America.

    Don’t give up on public schools. Everyone belongs in a public school. We are GCISD!

    Links for more

    School choice bill tries to sway: Will focus on parental rights, increased funding help GOP pass tuition savings accounts?

    Governor Abbott tours private Christian schools (Exclusively) to make the case for vouchers

    Carthage ISD superintendent says vouchers would be detrimental to public schools: “There is nothing conservative about taking public dollars and then providing them to people with no accountability for how those dollars are spent or the outcomes associated with those dollars”

    Billionaires and their investors are impacting education policies in Colorado and especially in Denver Public Schools (DPS)

    Deep in the Pockets of Texas: A CNN Documentary about the big, big money aimed at destroying public schools.

    Jesus Said to Expel the Gay Kid

    High School Senior Kicked Out of Private Colleyville School for Being Gay

    Pastors for Texas Children — Anti-Voucher Talking Points

    March 30 update: What to watch for: The current bill states that current private school students are not eligible, so what is the harm? As in many policy roll-outs, a bill is reduced to what is most likely to be accepted and seems innocuous, but then once the ball gets rolling, it is more easily updated in future sessions. And before you know it, voila, a completely privatized system of education, no longer public schools for public good.

    Click on our Home Page to review all of our Deep Dives and recent updates.

  • Deep Dive: Transparency and Truth in GCISD, 8 Truths

    We’re sorry in advance for how long this is, but here are eight new points to consider. 

    It’s time for the board majority to be transparent about their goals. 

    • If they believe the public wants to rewind to the 80s and 90s and get a basic education just so they can limit costs, they should say that. 
    • If they think parents should be responsible for paying for extracurriculars and not taxpayers, they should say that. 
    • If they want to support privatization through vouchers and charter schools, they should say that. 
    • If they want to run students away from GCISD so they can consolidate campuses to give a property tax cut to people who already got what they needed out of GCISD, they should say that. 

    Why are they not saying that? Because our community supports GCISD and we know how important it is to our cities and property values to restore the reputation of GCISD and voters would never knowingly elect trustees who admitted to these truths.

    8 truths about GCISD you need to know before you vote May 6

    1. Academic Decline: The decline in GCISD’s recent student STAAR scores is largely due to the changing nature of education throughout the world during an unprecedented pandemic and was not an exclusively GCISD issue. The State did not give school districts autonomy in managing their own districts and disallowed any extension of online or hybrid learning. We know from colleges that hybrid in-person/remote learning would have allowed students in quarantine to keep up from home and still be counted present. GCISD had the technology available for interested students, but instead, those students had to miss weeks of instruction.

    In addition, demographic information from TEA shows huge shifts in GCISD’s enrolled students in dyslexia, special education, gifted & talented over the past 10 years. Our Title I enrollment decreased, while our Economically Disadvantaged students remained about the same percentage. GCISD now receives less federal money to serve our students with some of the greatest needs. The added pressures of the pandemic only compounded that impact.

    >> Curious about the related STAAR scores for our district and the misleading assessment that 1/3 of our students are failing the STAAR? >>

    Read The Truth About GCISD Students’ Performance on STAAR Test

    2. Programs: It’s false of our New School Board Majority to say “it doesn’t cost more to challenge our students”. Differentiated learning does require specialized and tiered rigor (on-level, advanced, accelerated, STEM, ASPIRE), which in turn require more class sections and likely more teachers. GCISD’s ability to meet all levels of learners combined with our variety of interest areas is attractive to home buyers, because parents know students are most challenged when they are in an environment for which they are uniquely suited. But the New School Board Majority is now standardizing GCISD’s education offerings and focusing just on core content and test scores.

    Follow up question: 

    • Is the NSBM planning to max out class size? That leads to reducing and constraining flexibility in the schedule, which leads to less specialized programs, less variables to support and ultimately less opportunities for students to excel in their differentiated strengths.

    An example of this reduced flexibility by our New School Board Majority: Despite claims that nothing is at risk of being cut, this week the high school principals announced that they were eliminating Block Scheduling, which gives kids an academic advantage in college admissions. Parents got an email without the Board of Trustees offering discussion or explanation. What will be cut next? ASPIRE? STEM at Colleyville Heritage? Will CHHS get back GT sections of AP classes? Answer: We don’t know what’s next on the chopping block — but we do know it’s not acceptable to assume all kids in the same grade can learn on the same level in all subjects.  We should not expect our teachers to appropriately challenge a packed room of students on varying levels, just so the New School Board Majority can report they are streamlining costs. Our New School Board Majority gloats that they’re getting back to basics, and that it’s just common budgeting sense to have all kids on the same instructional level and learn at the same pace. Except we all know kids aren’t cookie cutter, and GCISD knows it, too! Or has, in the past.

    2021-22 Staff Information (TAPR) GRAPEVINE-COLLEYVILLE ISD (220906) – TARRANT COUNTY

    Source: TEA School Performance Reports

    For reference, this chart from TEA shows how our district supports several programs, meeting the needs of all different kinds of learners.

    3. Block Schedule: A “Straight Eight” school day of eight 45-minute periods that meet daily offers the same number of instructional minutes as a Block Schedule of 90-minute periods that meet every other day. GCISD has tried Straight Eight before and switched back to Block Schedule within two years. The drawbacks to the Straight Eight schedule are many. 

    • First, teachers’ daily planning periods will not perfectly align with other teachers in their academic subject or department. It’s possible two Algebra teachers in the same building won’t ever meet unless it’s during their personal time. 
    • Second, the only way to “offer more” through a Straight Eight schedule is to extend the double-blocked courses (Athletics, Fine Arts or Career & Technical Education) into before or after school time. Would GCISD compensate teachers for that time that is usually built into the school day? 
    • Third, changing to Straight Eight requires a review of all students who have extended time on assignments or tests with 504 plans or IEPs (8% of district or 1,152 students). How do they fit in their extracurriculars and their class work, and have the right support (including paraprofessionals) to be successful? There simply will not be enough classroom time to allow those students to finish, which will cause more before and after school time for those students, as well. Typically, those students have been supported by paraprofessionals, a staffing category GCISD underpays and is at most risk for remaining unfilled. If a student whose IEP allows them extra time, will they have enough time before and after school to finish work in multiple classes each day? We are concerned the Straight Eight plan could keep our students with 504 plans out of extracurriculars entirely.

    4. Curriculum: We’ll say it slowly: GCISD. Has. Always. Had. A. Curriculum. The district has maintained a written curriculum for its core content areas for a long time. It’s false to mix up “curriculum,” “lesson plans,” and “teaching resources.” GCISD has always had a curriculum. It was just different for different student programs and levels. 

    The district has adopted comprehensive instructional materials for every content area on the schedule set forth by the state. Our old curriculum from 10 years ago used a print textbook and followed it in order, regardless of how well it addressed the standards or demonstrated a logical progression of learning. For about 2 years, GCISD has used the TEKS Resource System from the State of Texas, which weaves the state’s teaching guide into GCISD’s curriculum documents. GCISD has renewed its contract for the TEKS instructional materials in math, science, social studies, and English. The “new reading curriculum” that the New School Board Majority recently purchased is not curriculum; it is materials (books) used by some populations of students. 

    5. Finances: Let’s start with the New School Board Majority’s decision –“26 high school teachers that leave will not be replaced.” What if those teachers have a special skill set? Will we force a teacher without appropriate background to teach that class?

    If you have attended past school board meetings you have witnessed Human Resources reports where staffing studies are discussed. So, the fact is this was NOT the first study. The facts we should be hearing about are if the latest audit took into account the unique nature of GCISD and our special programs. There is no evidence to support this.

    Follow up questions:

    • Did it account for the highly skilled staff that support these programs? It’s unclear if the audit results were even helpful. To “absorb” 26 teaching positions and say elsewhere that class sizes will be lowered without losing academic offerings is insulting, and definitely not factual. 
    • How many teachers can we find to teach Multivariable Calculus to high schoolers? (Currently, zero; those students are teaching themselves.) What about AP Research and AP Seminar?
    • How many teachers are licensed to work with our special needs students?

    Before the attack on public schools brought on by partisan politics during the pandemic, our teacher retention rate was exceptional, and every opening attracted tons of applicants. What we are experiencing now is not normal. In a quest to appease their anti-public school supporters, the New School Board Majority announced a (fake) balanced budget, implemented a tax cut, continued to tie the hands of teachers, administration, and support staff and make their lives more difficult when they could have been focusing purely on learning gaps.  

    The nature of public school finances and budgeting doesn’t support a “fluid” budget. When you have set costs, you can’t pretend like they don’t exist and then modify them monthly.

    If you know Gas costs $400 a month for your family, you can’t budget $50 and call it balanced when you know you have to add to it every month! Why do you think our longtime Chief Financial Officer left? Did she know the task being asked of her was impossible? Was she being asked to present a budget that violated her duty to the district?

    6. Teacher Attrition & Teacher Pay: Since our school district was taken over by the New School Board Majority in May 2022, we have seen a dramatic increase in turnover. So much so that it is now being considered “normal!” The turnover in positions in ‘20-’21 and ‘21-’22 is not the same as we saw pre-takeover. WFAA reported that resignations/retirements were 40% higher this year. It is indicative of a shift in culture in GCISD. 

    Regarding pay, past School Boards ALSO voted to approve multiple teacher pay raises and attempted to close gaps in pay relative to other districts.

    More follow-up questions:

    • Is the New School Board Majority committed to adding $5 million to the budget annually? Or are they calling for a balanced budget that requires cutting teaching positions in addition to the administrative positions and support personnel that have already been cut?
    • Have we asked our teachers if a 4% raise is worth the toxic environment that the new board majority has created? Is it worth losing block scheduling? Losing Programs of Choice? Losing our bench of administrative staff and paraprofessionals? Being forced to teach multiple students on varying levels in the same class? Being forced to accept teaching classes outside of their expertise or resign? 

    7. Strategic Plan: Of course GCISD has a strategic plan. A plan that developed award-winning programs, and created an award-winning work environment. A plan that prioritizes public education for all learners. 

    LEAD 2021 and LEAD 2.0 involved dozens of community volunteers, parents, teachers and students and led to Dr. Ryan getting 2018 Superintendent of the Year, our Board getting Board of the Year,  the development of STEM, AVID, ASPIRE, iUniversity Prep, Collegiate Academy, TECC Center, tuition based pre-K programs, and 1:1 device rollout. Those programs improved standings in Advanced Placement, Dual Credit, and Lone Star Cup, increased identification of students with dyslexia, etc. and allowed students to excel in areas that are most important to them. That was not by accident!  

    The “Top 100 Places to Work in DFW” award was a very important indicator of how happy employees were in GCISD and is now being falsely called a “fake award that the district paid for!” The only thing the Dallas Morning News charges for is a detailed copy of the survey results, upon request, after the winners were announced. Read the details from the Dallas Morning News. GCISD used the free survey but did not pay to see the survey results. It is completely misleading for a GCISD Trustee to say in a public meeting that it was an award we paid for, when in fact, GCISD is no longer a recipient of the award due to tanked ratings submitted by the 1800 employees who took the workplace culture survey.

    Read the Deep Dive on the Top 100 Award

    Speaking of strategy, it doesn’t seem strategic of the State of Texas or of the GCISD New School Board Majority to underfund our schools and court private schools to take over. State-level decisions contribute to local funding. We need pro-public education trustees to influence our State Legislators. It doesn’t seem innovative for the New School Board Majority to spend a year writing and implementing a new Board policy requiring Board approval (really) to reorder a lost library book. It doesn’t seem strategic or thoughtful that the New School Board Majority didn’t mention it was cutting Programs of Choice and eliminating block scheduling at their board meeting less than 48 hours prior.

    8. Innovation: It is not innovative for a trustee to further divide the community by referring to “my side” and make the speaker rounds bragging about the destruction of GCISD and how the board majority has purposely not advocated for the entire GCISD population as a whole. It is not innovative to give everyone the same standard education by eliminating programs students find meaningful. That is the factory school model we fought to replace over a decade ago when faced with declining enrollment. Our Special Programs saved us from having to close campuses. Our Special Programs brought new families into GCISD. If we allow trustees to get elected who are pushing us backwards, our students will never be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. It is not innovative to force our students into daily “speed dating” running through eight 45-minute classes a day.

    Follow up questions:

    • If it’s true that bussing will still be offered, how will those kids get to one campus and back without missing half of class? Interestingly, it might have been more innovative to actually consider a 4-day a week schedule, or a hybrid schedule like colleges offer. Seeking input from stakeholders on the dozens of options in between block scheduling and 8-period days would have at least demonstrated innovation through community involvement. 

    It’s also not innovative to falsely claim not to cut important Special Programs but then make changes that so severely harm them they eventually lose support.

    Follow up questions:

    • When students decide they can’t realistically change campus under the 45-minute class schedule, will they then eliminate bussing for lack of interest?
    • When kids have to pick between extracurriculars and extra electives, will they start removing classes with low participation? And add another fact, currently, our district is maxed out in our ability to seat kids in CTE classes.
    • When the board majority claims they are looking to “benefit everyone” does that include people that learn, look, or think differently from them? Their track record to date proves that isn’t the case. 

    Elect candidates who put excellence over extremism

    If you’ve read this far, you are probably tired. We are so, so, so tired of spending our time rebutting the stretttttchhhhhedddd facts shared by the New School Board Majority and those that have run for previous elections backed by the same extremists. But we are doing this to get out the truth. We can take back GCISD in the May 6th school board election if we help our neighbors see the truth and choose candidates who will stand up against the extremist New School Board Majority. We must band together and elect candidates who are committed to Excellence, Independence, and Respect in GCISD.

    >> Want to know who is running for GCISD School Board in 2023? >> Click here!


  • Deep Dive: The truth about GCISD students’ performance on the STAAR test

    GCISD should be proud of the work of our students, teachers, and administrators. 

    They deserve to be treated fairly regarding the reporting of STAAR results, and especially with respect and support for the difficult job they do to meet the diverse needs of their students.

    In a misleading report, one-third of GCISD students were identified as failing the 2022 STAAR test. Performance on the test is defined by four categories: “Masters,” “Meets,” and “Approaches Grade Level.” Texas Education Agency (TEA) states all three of these levels are considered passing scores. The fourth category, “Does Not Meet Grade Level,” is the only category not considered passing.  

    Critics of the district have included the Approaches Grade Level with Does Not Meet Grade Level category on the STARR to support their claim that GCISD is failing one-third of our students. This is misleading and clearly contradictory to TEA’s process and intent in reporting student achievement.  

    Is improvement needed to help students as they continue to attend GCISD schools? Certainly, students come to school with gaps in learning, especially since COVID. However, the STAAR provides “gain scores” to inform students, their parents, and teachers of the progress they make from year to year and identify specific areas that need improvement. 

    The goal of the STAAR is not to quantify students, but instead, help them become self-directed learners who see a pathway to become educated graduates.

    GCISD is a top school district – TEA has consistently ranked GCISD as an exemplary school district as indicated in the Texas Academic Performance Reports and School District and Campus Accountability Reports. 

    • 122 National Merit finalists and semi finalists have graduated from GCISD schools since 2018. They qualified to represent the top 1% of the 1.5 million high school students who took the National Merit Test during the years 2018-2023.
    • A considerable number of GCISD graduates have earned post-secondary degrees in a wide variety of fields. Many of them hold professional certifications and play important roles in the future of our county and the world. Just ask their families, their teachers, and residents of the community. 

    Our district should be proud of the work of our students, teachers, and administrators.  They deserve to be treated fairly regarding the reporting of STAAR results, and especially with respect and support for the difficult job they do to meet the diverse needs of their students.

    The students, teachers, parents, and residents of the GCISD communities have all played a part in providing a first-class education in GCISD, and with cooperation and collaboration, we can continue to do so going forward.  Anything less would be failing our children and our community.

    Why doesn’t TEA use traditional percentages for identifying student performance on STAAR tests?

    When analyzing STAAR scores, focusing on percentiles is common practice. This is because traditionally, percentiles are calculated by dividing the number of correct answers by the total number of test questions. However, relying solely on simple percentages of correct answers can be misleading. For instance, obtaining an 80% on a 30-question test would typically correspond to a B-. However, if out of a pool of 100 students, if 90 students scored below 24 correct answers, this would call into question the accuracy of interpreting your score as a B-.

    Using a scale score instead of a simple percentage would yield a dramatically different outcome. Scale scores factor in the number of test-takers and the distribution of scores, which is influenced by the test’s difficulty. The method used to evaluate performance significantly impacts the scoring outcome.

    Why are STAAR Raw Scores converted to Scale Scores?

    The TEA website provides STAAR Raw Score Conversion Tables that correspond to specific tests, grade levels, subject matters, and years. These tables list raw scores and their corresponding scale scores. The conversion process is crucial because it considers potential differences in difficulty across exam forms and numbers of students taking the tests each year. By converting raw scores to scale scores, passing standards remain consistent across tests on a subject at a grade level across multiple years, even if the raw scores required to pass the test may vary each year. Scale scores provide a way to track subject-specific student performance and growth across grade levels, enabling teachers to identify areas that require targeted instruction. To learn more about the rationale behind converting raw scores into scale scores, visit: Why are the STAAR performance standards presented as scale scores rather than raw scores?

    Assigning Performance Labels and Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) to Scale Scores

    In 2017, new Performance Labels replaced the three level categories (Advanced, Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory) with current four level categories and descriptors (Masters, Meets, Approaches and Did Not Meet) Grade Level. Along with the labels, updated versions of Performance Level Descriptors (PLDs) were created to provide a more detailed explanation of what students must demonstrate to show improvement in a subject area in specific grade levels as they progressed from one performance category to the next. The PLDs reflect the expectations mandated in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), our current curriculum standards. Performance Labels and Policy Definitions developed by TEA are as follows:

      Performance in this category indicates that students are expected to succeed in the next grade or course with little or no academic intervention. Students in this category demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in varied contexts, both familiar and unfamiliar.
      Performance in this category indicates that students have a high likelihood of success in the next grade or course but may still need some short-term, targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to think critically and apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.
      Performance in this category indicates that students are likely to succeed in the next grade or course with targeted academic intervention. Students in this category generally demonstrate the ability to apply the assessed knowledge and skills in familiar contexts.
      1. Note: In 2017, the levels Meets and Approaches Grade Level were created when the previous category, Satisfactory, was subdivided to give more clarity to the progress required of students taking the STAAR. Both Approaches and Meets performance levels are considered Passing scores by TEA just as Satisfactory was considered passing in previous years.
      Performance in this category indicates that students are unlikely to succeed in the next grade or course without significant, ongoing academic intervention. Students in this category do not demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the assessed knowledge and skills.

    For more information about performance labels and policy definitions, visit: 

    To find the Performance Level Descriptors for each grade level and subject-specific STAAR test, visit:

    Converting STAAR Scale Scores to a Percentile

    According to the TEA website, “The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®), a 100-Point Scale allows for the comparison of a student’s performance with the performance of other students who took the same STAAR assessment. The 100-Point Scale is defined using percentiles, which represent the percentage of students across the state who took the assessment and received a scale score less than the scale score of interest. The percentile score does not represent the number of correct answers a student may have based on the total number of questions asked.”

    The mathematical process to convert a scale score to a percentile is described on the TEA website is available here:

    Are STAAR percentiles effective measures to determine if our students are failing the STAAR and if our district is failing to educate our students? 

    Knowing whether higher or lower percentages of students met or did not meet the grade levels from year to year offers us a sense of how students performed in the tests collectively. However, outcome measures such as percentiles are extremely limited in showing the underlying teaching and learning that teachers and students have experienced under various circumstances during that year. Therefore, it requires more than percentiles to decide whether schools are helping students in a more meaningful way.

    How do we know if our students are receiving the quality education that we expect and they deserve?

    The most important information that benefits our students, their parents and our educators is actually the STAAR Progress Measure which is created for each individual student and available to them and their parents after the tests are administered.  According to TEA, This document “provides information about the amount of improvement or academic growth a student has made from year to year by evaluating a student’s gain score – the difference between the score a student achieved in the prior year and the score a student achieved in the current year. Individual student progress is then categorized as Limited, Expected, and Accelerated progress.”  Due to privacy protections, this information is not made available to the public. With this information, our students know what the expectations are for continued growth in each grade level as they move from one grade to the next. For more information, visit: STAAR Progress Measures 2023.

    • Note: Due to a redesign of the reading language arts (RLA) STAAR, the inclusion of new item types in mathematics, a shift to a fully online assessment system, and required standard setting and validation processes, STAAR Progress Measures will NOT be calculated for 2022–23.

    What additional data can be found to determine the effectiveness of GCISD in educating our students?

    • Texas Academic Performance Report (TAPR): According to TEA, “The Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPR) pull together a wide range of information on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas every year. Performance is shown disaggregated by student groups, including ethnicity and socioeconomic status. The reports also provide extensive information on school and district staff, programs, and student demographics.” For more information, visit the Texas Academic Performance Reports.

    Listed below are the most recent TAPR results for GCISD:

    • 2021-2022 – A
    • 2020-2021 & 2019-2020 – Not rated, Declared State of Disaster
    • 2018-2019 – A
    • 2017-2018 – A 

    Note: Earlier years used only 2 performance labels – Met Standard or Does Not Meet Standard to report district performance.

    GCISD District and Campus Accountability Reports

    • 2022 – Overall Scale Score 93 (A), Overall Student Achievement 89 (B) – because at least one campus received a scale score less than 70 in Student Achievement 

    Distinction Designation-Postsecondary Readiness

    • 2021  & 2020– Not rated due to Declared State of Disaster
    • 2019 – Overall Scale Score 92 (A), Overall Student Achievement 93 (A)
    • 2018 – Overall Scale Score 92 (A), Overall Student Achievement 93 (A)\

    GCISD National Merit Finalists/Semifinalists 

    • 2023 – 16 finalists
    • 2022 – 17 finalists
    • 2021 – 15 finalists
    • 2020 –  15 semifinalists
    • 2019 – 26 finalists
    • 2018 – 33 semifinalists

    GCISD Awarded Top 100 Places to Work in DFW – 2018-2021

    GCISD did not win this workplace satisfaction award in 2022 — want to know why? Click here.

    Want more Deep Dives? They’re listed on our home page.

  • Southlake schools now face 8 investigations into alleged retaliation, discrimination
  • Texas Legislature gears up to tackle long-standing and fresh issues in public education. Here’s what you need to know.

    Lawmakers are looking at ways to keep teachers in the profession, make schools safer, give parents money for private schooling and censor conversations about sex and gender.

  • Grapevine-Colleyville ISD projects $6.3M shortfall after 6 months of data
  • Search firm for GCISD’s new superintendent releases executive summary of the community survey

    65% of respondents disagree or strongly disagree that “Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is headed in the right direction.”

    Review the Superintendent Search Firm’s activities and timeline

  • Preparing Your School Board Vote: Focus on the Facts

    We need trustees who will stand up for our students and staff, seek input from our community, facilitate respectful discussion, & make financial decisions with integrity. Who better than involved GCISD parents: a current teacher, a retired teacher, and a management consultant with extensive GCISD volunteerism!

    Here’s a few options for citizens of Grapevine and Colleyville to get plugged into the conversations and to hear how the candidates will be addressing key concerns from our community.

    May 21, Books & Baseball Bring Us Together

    Follow this link to register to buy tickets together with friends.

    Event Recaps:

    Continue to get the facts so your vote restores parent, teacher and student voice in the district.

    We also wanted to outline a few priority areas to be looking for when you talk with your friends, or if you get a chance to directly speak with a candidate.

    Three things to consider when preparing a vote for School Board positions:

    We need TRANSPARENCY in how the school board runs GCISD

    • Will we be able to follow Trustee actions and contribute to decision making through an open, transparent process?
      • Many concerned citizens of Grapevine and Colleyville question the legitimacy of the “balanced” budget. The New School Board Majority knowing not all expenses were reflected, has repeatedly claimed the budget was balanced, even though it is now being adjusted monthly. 
      • Watch the January School Board meeting (starting at 2 hrs 21 minutes) to hear the Interim CFO, describe the challenges and changes needed to manage the current GCISD budget.

    We need to KEEP OUR TEACHERS because they are the key to an excellent education

    • Will leadership make choices and support programs to keep our teachers, so we maintain our track record of excellence in education?
      • Keeping teachers through appropriate raises, professional development supports and a healthy work environment is an option, to avoid the costs of hiring and recruiting and training a new generation of teachers.
      • Since the New Board Majority assumed control, we have lost 175 EDUCATORS AND COUNTING. These spots have been replaced with 140 new hires on one-year probationary contracts.

        View the tracker and see the truth for yourself.

    We need public education to be first priority, including giving students choice within programs

    • What can we do to maintain the differentiated learning programs that bring value for being known as a Destination District?
      • Hasty actions will negatively impact the specialized learning options students and their families current have.
      • Ensure we continue to uphold LEAD 2.0 plans, originally called LEAD 2021. And make sure School Board Trustees keep student success as a primary goal. You can find the full plan here.
        • Students are prepared and informed to participate in programs and activities that align to their interests. Students are supported in growing their potential and making choices about their future. Students feel confident in selecting from our variety of programs and activities.
  • Texas greenlighted a felon to train school board members. Now education officials are examining their rules.

    Dunn hosted a training session in Southlake in the fall of 2022.

  • A Texas superintendent ordered school librarians to remove LGBTQ books. Now the federal government is investigating.
  • Publisher’s Weekly 2022 People of the Year: The Defenders

    “We recognize the librarians, booksellers, authors, publishers, and allies standing tall in the face of an unprecedented attack on the freedom to read.

    “There has been no shortage of extraordinary stories from the book world in 2022. But no story this year has been more extraordinary than the ongoing, unprecedented surge in book bans and censorship efforts being pushed by right-wing groups in communities across the nation.”

  • Charity Has Difficulty Donating Dictionaries to Students Due to New Board Book Policy
  • Retiring Grapevine-Colleyville ISD superintendent reflects on district accomplishments, political battles in education
  • Donating Books to Your Favorite Teacher Isn’t What It Used To Be!

    Our hearts are full. Our community has UNITED over the love of books and over $10,000 in books will be donated to support local readers! Sadly, our excitement was dampened by the reality of GCISD’s excessively complicated new policies governing all book donations, including to teachers for use at school and in classroom libraries. Book fair organizers worked tirelessly to find a way to get the donated books to students through GCISD, uncovering a policy so incredibly cumbersome that it is completely impractical, and not as parent-choice focused as some claim. 

    When we realized how large the donation would be, our distribution goal was to maximize impact and minimize the burden on teachers or librarians. Book fair volunteers worked all week leading up to the board meeting to find a simple process. We landed on donating Scholastic book credits so librarians and teachers could order books from a GCISD approved list, seemingly the least complicated way to get your donations to students. Obviously, it was not that simple. It turned out that the district would not accept Scholastic book credits, seemingly because Scholastic is no longer an approved vendor. The only option was for us to do the shopping and donate physical books, but book donations are subject to the same burdensome acquisition policy governing libraries and classrooms. So we dug into the policy. And don’t forget that even after all of this:

    Any parent can challenge a book and, “Any material removed shall not be eligible for consideration to be added again for at least ten years.”  

    The District Librarian (a position currently vacant) or District Designee (who has a primary job other than this!) would have to read $10,000 worth of books in order to recommend or decline each book to the school board. They would have to then post the list on the district website for a 30 day parental review period, and make the books available for direct review upon request. Board members can request individual copies up to 15 days prior to the board review. The librarian has to acquire them, but can’t buy them, because they haven’t been approved! After the waiting period, the board would vote on any books pulled for individual consideration. Finally, the district would post a list online of approved and declined books, and the approved books could finally be acquired.

    After all of that, librarians still have to decide where in GCISD to shelve the books based on reading level and content. They have to determine the books that are appropriate for the subject area and for the age, ability level, learning styles, interests, and social and emotional development of the students for whom they are selected; ensure they enrich the curriculum; meet high standards of quality; help students gain awareness of our pluralistic society; motivate students to examine their own attitudes and behaviors viewed as a whole and not excluded because of isolated passages; promote literacy; balance cost with need; incorporate accurate and authentic factual content; align with TEKS to the extent possible to develop civil knowledge; present founding documents in an objective, neutral, comprehensive and unbiased manner appropriately for grade level; and earn favorable reviews in standard reviewing sources. 

    It didn’t take long to confirm our original suspicion that if United for GCISD donated $10,000 in physical books it would have put an unfair burden on librarians due to the lack of clarity in the policy at all levels. In the end, we simply could not use our community’s generous donations to test a system that could take months to process, if at all. For full details, view the GCISD board policies online

    How can parents have choice over what their students read, if the book they need isn’t on the shelf?
    United for GCISD volunteers speak at Nov 14, 2022 GCISD School Board Meeting

    We spoke at the November board meeting to ask again that the board reconsider this burdensome anti-literacy policy and stop removing books from the shelves. We suggested instead an opt-out policy like McKinney ISD passed, accomplishing the same goal with far fewer adverse consequences.

    Join us as we continue to fight censorship and support literacy by putting excellence, respect, and independence back in GCISD.

    Follow @UnitedforGCISD for more updates on the distribution of our community’s generous donations after our online United for GCISD Community Book Fair ends Nov. 18!  Choose our original host location “Grapevine Convention Center” in the drop-down menu. Sales will still benefit local kids who rely on community support to have books at home and all book purchases over $25 ship free!

  • Nine Page Process for Purchasing (or Donating) Books in GCISD “Simplified” to 20 Steps 

    What does it take to add books to a library?

    1. District Librarian or other Designee can recommend to the board, certifying that they have read it.
    2. No recommendations made directly to the Board by District campuses, departments, employees, students, or members of the public shall be considered for acquisition. 
    3. To ensure parental engagement, the District shall post online on the District’s website, on a readily available page, the selection process of library materials for parental review along with a list of all current library materials, and the content of all materials shall be available for direct review during reasonable hours as specified by the District. 
    4. If any Board member questions or desires further information on any proposed new acquisition, whether title or author, he or she shall contact the Superintendent at least 15 days before consideration by the Board. The Superintendent or designee shall then contact the District-level library supervisor to obtain copies of professional reviews of any library material in question. Until approved by the Board, the District may not acquire any proposed New Acquisitions, even for the purpose of Board review. 
    5. The order for library materials in its entirety, including any materials in question by individual Board members, shall be presented to the Board following a 30-day review period
    6. Upon request by a Board member, specific books shall be pulled from the recommended list for individual consideration. The Board shall consider and vote on the recommended list along with any books pulled for individual consideration. 
    7. A list of all library materials recommended for acquisition shall be posted on the District’s website. Following the Board vote, all library materials approved for acquisition shall be added to the District’s website list of library materials. Materials individually considered by the Board or rejected for acquisition shall be clearly indicated on the list. 

      A librarian, or designee, must then consider how the books:
    8. Enrich and support the curriculum consistent with the general educational goals of the state and District, the aims and objectives of individual schools and specific courses, and the District and campus improvement plans.
    9. Are appropriate for the subject area and for the age, ability level, learning styles, interests, and social and emotional development of the students for whom they are selected.
    10. Meet high standards for artistic quality, literary style, authenticity, educational significance, factual content, physical format, presentation, readability, and technical quality.
    11. Are designed to help students gain an awareness of our pluralistic society.
    12. Are designed to provide information that will motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behavior; to understand their duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges as citizens participating in our society; and to make informed choices in their daily lives.
    13. Are viewed as a whole and are not excluded because of isolated passages or illustrations, language, and the like, being taken out of context.
    14. Promote literacy.
    15. Balance cost with need.
    16. For nonfiction resources, a librarian, or designee, must incorporate accurate and authentic factual content from authoritative sources.
    17. Earn favorable reviews in standard reviewing sources and/or favorable recommendations based on preview and examination of materials by professional personnel.
    18. To the extent possible, while ensuring instruction in the TEKS are designed to develop each student’s civil knowledge, including:
    • An understanding of (i) the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government: (ii) the history, qualities, traditions, and features of civic engagement in the United States; (iii) the structure, function, and processes of government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels; and (iv) the founding documents of the United States.
    • The ability to (i) analyze and determine the reliability of information sources; (ii) formulate and articulate reasoned positions; (iii) understand the manner in which lo- cal, state, and federal government works and operates through the use of simulations and models of govern- mental and democratic processes; (iv) actively listen and engage in civil discourse, including discourse with those with different viewpoints, and (v) participate as a citizen in a constitutional democracy by voting; and
    • An appreciation of (i) the importance and responsibility of participating in civic life; (ii) a commitment to the United States and its form of government; and (iii) a commitment to free speech and civil discourse.

    19. When providing instruction regarding the founding documents of the United States, these shall be presented appropriately for the grade level, and in an objective, neutral, comprehensive and unbiased manner that respects the entirety of the document. The founding documents of the United States include the Declaration of Independence; the United States Constitution; the Federalist Papers, including the Essays 10 and 51; excerpts from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America; the transcript of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate: the writings of the founding fathers of the United States; Frederick Douglass’s speeches “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro” and “What the Black Man Wants”; and Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “I have a Dream”.

    In addition to the above criteria, fiction, narrative nonfiction (memoirs and biographies), and graphic novels must each meet the following selection criteria, with the District determining that such materials:

    • Are integral or supplemental to the instructional program.
    • Support the District’s literacy initiatives.
    • Reflect the interests and needs of the students and faculty.
    • Are appropriate for the reading levels and understanding of students.
    • Are included because of their literary or artistic value and merit.
    • If narrative nonfiction, present information with the greatest degree of accuracy and clarity.

    20. Librarians must then check each student’s opt-in form, which some families still don’t have or know that they have, to see if the student is allowed to check out the book.

    And finally, after 20 steps to acquire a book (accept a book donation and put it into a school library), a student can select a book from the books that remain on the shelves and take it home to discuss with family.

    For further analysis of the policy impact, find our article Donating Books to Your Favorite Teacher Isn’t What It Used To Be! 

    Ready for action?

    Let’s connect. You can sign up here on the site, or you can share to your social channels to make sure others are seeing the transparent truth.

  • ACLU Fact Sheet on the proposed policies for Keller ISD

    “The policy is not in any way required by Texas law and in fact
    violates the Constitution and federal law.”

    “The proposed policy is scientifically unsound and is based on a
    misunderstanding of Texas law.”

    “The proposed policy stigmatizes transgender and non-binary

    “The proposed policy violates the First Amendment and will
    restrict students’ right to learn about ideas — especially ideas
    about transgender and non-binary identities.”

  • Call to Action: Speak at Keller ISD Monday, Nov. 14, against a proposal to arm teachers and ban books

    Keller ISD: The extremist agenda is continuing in Keller with two dangerous policies being considered by the KISD board.

    Visit Keller ISD Families Supporting Public Education on Facebook for more information.

    Here is an excerpt from their post from November 12, 2022:

    Keller ISD Community, we come to you as a group of parents and educators in the community deeply concerned about items on the upcoming school board meeting agenda. The meeting is this Monday, November 14th.

    We need the community to show up to the meeting on Monday evening. The meeting starts at 6 pm in the Administration Building (Rock Building). If you’d like to speak, you need to show up no later than 5:45. We expect there to be a very large turnout.

  • Dallas Morning News cuts GCISD from Top 100 places to work; GCISD was 1 of only 2 schools listed every year since 2018

    After earning a spot for four years in a row, GCISD did NOT get awarded a place in the Dallas Morning News Top 100 Places to Work this year. The award is based entirely on feedback from employees, which makes the loss even more devastating. The divisive climate, attacks on teachers and librarians, disregard of student, parent, and teacher voice, and consolidation of jobs following elimination of key positions is taking its toll. And now the metrics are beginning to follow.

  • Grapevine-Colleyville Parents Hold Scholastic Book Fair: After the school district banned the annual reading event, parents across the district are putting matters into their own hands.

    Thank you for Wayne Carter in the Classroom for your coverage!

  • Tuesday, November 8, 2022 from 7-7 is your final day to vote pro-public education for the statewide elections and in several local elections in parts of Texas!

    You can take paper in with you, but you can’t use your phone. Find polling locations:

    Share your favorite candidates with friends and neighbors rated as “friendly” to public education!

    Research the education stances of candidates and officeholders, including Texas legislators, members of the State Board of Education, and certain statewide officials.

    Find out what is on your ballot with the League’s nonpartisan Voters Guide.

    Learn how and when to vote as well as who is on the ticket in statewide races. Confirm voter registration and request a mail-in ballot using the links included.

    View voter information and research candidates.

  • Grapevine student launches a banned-book club
  • Grapevine-Colleyville schools postponed book fairs. So parents organized their own.
  • Student launches banned book club at a GCISD where books have been removed

    “They’re trying to pretend the world is a very different place than it really is,” said 16-year-old Tommy Rogers about Grapevine Colleyville ISD’s Board of Trustees.

  • Parent puts together her own book fair to replace GCISD district-canceled event
  • Hocus Pocus in the Public Schools: The Witch Trials Come to Texas Education

    The scariest part of this Halloween night read by GCISD Alumnus and former GCISD teacher Clint Von Gundy, is that it’s the truth. We can’t fix everything until we #TakeBackGCISDin2023, but we can bring the Scholastic Book Fair to town!

  • United for GCISD Book Fair

    Parents in GCISD are speaking out against the censorship takeover in their district. You know what they say about a small group of thoughtful committed citizens changing the world. Never doubt them!

    Thank You

    Thank you to the Grapevine Convention Center for hosting our in-person book fair on November 4th & 5th

    Thank you to all the shoppers, online and in person

    Thank you to our incredible sponsors, donors, and volunteers

    The Flyer

    The News Cameras

    Thank you to the local affiliates from CBS, ABC, and NBC who took the time to do a story about the book fair and book bans in GCISD:

    [ NBC DFW ] CARTER IN THE CLASSROOM: Parents Hold Book Fair After School District Banned ‘Scholastic Books’ Over Content Concerns
    CBS DFW ] After Grapevine Colleyville ISD cancelled its book fairs, parents organized their own MORE AT CBS DFW ]
    WFAA ] Parent puts together her own book fair to replace district-canceled event. Book Fair organizer Kristine Leathers is interviewed by WFAA’s Scoop Jefferson. MORE AT WFAA ]
    Watch the clips of of United for GCISD speakers from November 14, 2022

  • Anti-public school candidates target Round Rock ISD school board

    In some parts of Texas, school board elections are running alongside the mid-terms. Many are at risk of being flipped by anti-public school candidates as we saw in Keller, Southlake, Mansfield, and Grapevine Colleyville. Make sure you reach out to friends in those areas so they are not surprised to see those races on the ballot! Here is just one example (read below or click to read on Facebook):

  • Message to young voters: Please vote!

    Parents of school-aged kids need to get out and vote for pro-public education candidates at the state level Oct. 31-Nov. 4 (early voting ends Friday!) between 7am and 7pm if they want any chance that the “schools they moved here for” will look anything like they envisioned. Right now the people showing up to vote have not been in a school for a very long time.

    Source: Texans for Public Education:

  • Inside the Secret Plan to Bring Private School Vouchers to Texas

    INSIDE THE SECRET PLAN TO BRING PRIVATE SCHOOL VOUCHERS TO TEXAS: Political operatives descended on the Hill Country town of Wimberley with a scheme to send taxpayer dollars to private schools. Now they’re shopping the same blueprint elsewhere.


    The same players involved in Wimberley are actively involved in GCISD:

    1. AARON HARRIS ($15,000 donor to Casey Ford’s election PAC)

    2. MONTY BENNETT (Dallas Express owner/publisher, and donor to Tammy Nakamura)

    3. KALESE WHITEHURST(met with Mayor Newton and presented the plan for a Responsive Ed charter campus in Colleyville)

    Seems like those sounding the alarm on the plan to destroy GCISD and bring in charter schools have been right to be worried.


    From the Article:

    “In a document obtained by Texas Monthly, stamped “Confidential” and dated May 3 … a Republican political operative and a politically connected charter-school executive laid out an explosive proposal for [Wimberley] ISD. Apparently, the plan had been in the works for months and had been vetted by the outgoing superintendent. … One of the authors of the plan was Aaron Harris, a Fort Worth–based GOP consultant who has made a name for himself by stoking—with scant evidence—fears of widespread voter fraud. In June, he cofounded a nonprofit called Texans for Education Rights Institute, along with Monty Bennett, a wealthy Dallas hotelier who dabbles in what he regards as education reform. The other author was Kalese Whitehurst, an executive with the charter school chain Responsive Education Solutions, based in Lewisville, a half hour north of Dallas.” Read more

  • NYT podcast The Run-Up mentions GCISD trustee board takeover
  • New York Times coverage: How a Christian Cellphone Company Became a Rising Force in Texas Politics
  • Southlake Carroll removes Education Foundation director

    Fear and intimidation worked for fascists in their rise to power. Extremists taking over North Tarrant County ISDs think it will work for them too. But we won’t let history repeat itself, will we?

    May be an image of text
  • Learn how to be a Texas Voter
  • Video: Tammy Nakamura disparages GCISD
  • ‘This is a witch hunt’: Grapevine-Colleyville school board members’ latest feud played out in public
  • Former Educator Speaks Truth Regarding State of Affairs in GCISD

    At last night’s school board meeting, a longtime resident and former GCISD educator and board member spoke candidly about the current state of affairs in GCISD. His assessment of the dire situation in which the district currently finds itself is accurate — GCISD is now the district that “used to be a great school district.”

    🚨It will take action on the part of everyone to right this ship in May 2023. Please contact us about how to get involved.🚨

  • GCISD School Board Meeting – 9/26/22 – Video
  • Candidates vow to replicate Southlake CRT resolution in Round Rock
  • Keller ISD student questions public prayers at Board of Trustees public meetings

    Why is the new KISD Board of Trustees, led by Charles Randklev and 3 Patriot Mobile backed Trustees, discriminating against other faiths and non-faiths in the KISD community?

  • Nominate a GCISD employee for STARS OF GCISD award
  • GCISD Superintendent Robin Ryan Announces Plans to Retire

    Call to Action! GCISD woke up to learn that their award winning Superintendent announced his “retirement” while interestingly the three experienced trustees are attending the TASA/TASB Convention and none of the four inexperienced members are in attendance- despite voting themselves delegates and pushing out far more experienced trustees.

    How long has President Ford and the new majority had this planned?

    The next phase of the master plan to take down GCISD as we know it has commenced. DM us if you are ready to join the fight to elect the trustees that GCISD deserves in May.

    Message to GCISD parents:

    GCISD Families,

    I’m reaching out to you today to share some bittersweet news: After 38 years in public education, I am making plans to retire from GCISD in 2023, pending Board approval. While I will continue to serve as Superintendent through the remainder of the fall semester, and remain an employee through next August to assist with the transition in leadership, I am making this announcement now to allow our Board of Trustees time to begin the selection process for a new Superintendent. This announcement will be listed as an agenda item for Monday’s Board meeting, and I wanted to ensure you heard this news directly from me.

    It’s been an honor to serve the incredible families and community of GCISD the past 13 years. GCISD is a true destination district with outstanding programs, facilities, and staff, and our students have reached tremendous heights as a result. As we begin to plan for this next chapter of our district, I am looking forward to seeing GCISD staff and students continue to achieve excellence.



  • The Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation STAR Grant applications are due September 30th

    Calling all GCISD teachers!

    Grant application:
    Grant guidelines:

  • Conservative ‘takeover’ of North Texas schools start of new playbook to expand GOP power?
  • Here’s how to vote in Texas’ Nov. 8 midterm elections
  • Will Texas parents opt out of school book fairs, library offerings and more?

    Keller ISD parent Laney Hawes is quoted: “We want to see policies that allow parents to make decisions for their children without infringing on the rights of other children,” she said.

  • Carroll ISD declines ‘In God We Trust’ signs with rainbow colors, written in Arabic
  • Grapevine students stage walkout in protest of ‘transphobic’ policies; school trustees adopted sweeping new rules on pronouns and bathroom use.
  • GCISD School Board President, Casey Ford, Silences Selectively
  • Mobile phone company makes mission of Christian nationalism in schools
  • Christian nationalist target school boards to advance agenda
  • How a far-right, Christian cellphone company ‘took over’ four Texas school boards
  • Letter From a Former Teacher: New Grapevine-Colleyville school trustee says educators are ‘poison’? Our kids suffer
  • Southlake school named after grandson of former slave is reviewing if his biography is ‘appropriate’ to teach
  • ‘Don’t Say Trans’ Policy Passes in North Texas School District
  • A North Texas school district now lets teachers reject children’s pronouns — even if parents approve of them
  • The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum: Statement on Access to Books in Schools
  • Keller ISD adopts new ‘library content guidelines’ for books
  • Social Media Post May Have Played Role In Book Fairs Being Canceled From School District
  • Grapevine-Colleyville schools postpone book fairs, wants to review list in advance
  • US Holocaust Museum Weighs in Keller ISD Pulling Anne Frank Diary from Library
  • GCISD: Highlights of July 2022 school board meeting in under 4 minutes.
  • Texas district pulls the Bible, Anne Frank adaptation as schools face more book backlash
  • More Outside Influence in GCISD: Consider The Source

    Before you get too far into dissecting the inaccuracies included in the Op-Ed that Shannon Braun “wrote,” make sure you consider the source: Dallas Express – a news publication owned by Monty J. Bennett (yes … that same Monty Bennett).

    1. Monty Bennett donated $5,000.00 in April 2022 to get Tammy Nakamura elected to the GCISD board of trustees.

    2. In June 2022, Monty Bennet, Chris Putnam and Aaron Harris formed Texans for Education Rights Institute.

    3. In October 2020, Aaron Harris donated $15,000 to a PAC supporting Casey Ford.

    Why do we continue to find evidence that the new GCISD board majority are being influenced and controlled by individuals outside our district who have no real interest in improving GCISD?

    But, rather, are cavorting with individuals who consistently push to destroy public schools in order to make way for school vouchers and charter schools?

    Join now to get engaged to help save our public schools.

  • GCISD Teachers Are Under Attack: Video
  • Texas school board member admits a high school’s first Black principal was fired for being a ‘total activist’
  • School Board Member Says Black Principal’s Activism ‘Got Him Fired’ From School
  • Texas Official Admits Beloved Black Principal Was Fired for Being Against Racism
  • Patriot Mobile PAC Spends over $400,000, Finds Success in Tarrant County School Board Races
  • 2022 Election Results for GCISD and Colleyville City Council
  • GOP leaders point to North Texas school board wins as strike against CRT 
  • With piles of campaign cash, Christian activists make North Texas school board races a state battleground
  • Southlake, Texas, rejected diversity lessons in schools. But a federal probe may demand them.
  • The ‘Southlake’ Podcast Is a Troubling Look at the Race Debate Tearing Apart a North Texas Suburb
  • Federal investigators launch civil rights probe into Southlake, Texas, schools
  • Southlake: an NBC News Podcast, Episode One Began