Mike Morath was a Dallas ISD board member who represented Preston Hollow schools for four and a half years before Gov. Greg Abbott appointed him to be Texas Education Agency commissioner. His children weren’t yet school age when he lived in Dallas, but when he moved to Austin, Morath was faced with the same decision that every parent faces: Where would he send his daughter to school?
This week’s episode in our podcast, The Uninformed Parent, is a conversation with Morath that explores how the person in charge of overseeing 1,200 schools in Texas chose the one his child would attend.
If Morath had stayed in Dallas, “his dilemma was where he eventually would send his 3-year-old daughter” among all the great choices, noted a piece we wrote soon before his departure. He lived in Lakewood, so he was considering schools in East Dallas.
Would he send his daughter to Dan D. Rogers Elementary, one of the district’s choice schools with “personalized learning” curriculum, which Morath branded “high-tech Montessori”? “Or perhaps to Mata Montessori, if she could snag a lottery spot? Or to the all-girls Solar STEAM school at the former Bonham campus (again, lottery willing), which [is] intentionally socioeconomically diverse? Or to Robert E. Lee or Lipscomb elementary schools, with their International Baccalaureate and dual language curriculum?
“Lakewood and Stonewall Jackson were notably absent from his list of top choices. He didn’t say why, but it’s safe to say that the caliber of those schools aren’t the reason.”
Until this episode, The Uninformed Parent has focused on Oak Cliff families and schools, but we’re considering expanding the podcast to other neighborhoods in the future. Subscribe, give it a listen, and let us know what you think — would you listen to episodes about your neighborhood? What questions do you have about neighborhood schools? Email editor Keri Mitchell or tell us in a comment below.
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