By Patti Clapp, EducateDallas Board Member
The EducateDallas Board of Advisors met with Dan Micciche last Monday to discuss his thoughts on Dallas ISD and particularly District 3. We were all struck by Dan’s genuineness and kindness. This is a guy that has achieved great professional success, but is as humble as you can imagine. A guy that has never been one to just a write a check or serve on a board, but rather someone who rolls up his sleeves and gets to work on the problem.
With Dan, we discussed a wide variety of topics, including accountability and the Dallas ISD administration. We enjoyed hearing his thoughts on the complex bureaucracy that the administration has created, and his plans for how to clean it up. He talked about the school partnership he spearheaded and has led for seven years with his coworkers and Fannin Elementary, one of the highest poverty schools in the district. He talked about the great teachers in Dallas ISD – many of whom he worked with at Fannin– and how unsupported and demoralized they have been by the district, how they have been inundated by endless paperwork, and yet how they persevere despite all of it. But most of all, Dan talked about kids. He talked about how he was a first generation college graduate, a product of public schools, and a true believer that if our school district lets even one student fall through cracks, we haven’t done our job. He was also adamant that the business community needs to provide more support to our schools.
When asked about District 3, Dan’s quiet demeanor slipped away as he showed some real frustration. He talked about how, according to TEA, eight of Dallas’ “worst schools” are in District 3. Dan was very clear on how unacceptable he finds that reality to be. He assured us that to him, “progress” would mean getting the kids in District 3 better schools and a better education. It would mean empowering teachers and principals and allowing them to have the freedom to be the professionals that they are.
We also saw how motivated and energetic Dan is. He has achieved his own personal success and now he’s ready to give back in an even bigger way. He has the time, the energy, and the knowledge to be an agent of change, and a contributing member to a team focused on real improvements for the district. If you want to see real changes in Dallas ISD – increased support for teachers, higher achievement for students, and a decrease in administration bureaucracy – District 3, you have your candidate.