Dansby pleased with direction of Fort Worth school district

FORT WORTH -- The Fort Worth school district is "heading in the right direction," Superintendent Walter Dansby told city business leaders Wednesday.

In the 10th annual State of Education Address, Dansby asked members of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce to keep collaborating with the district to support student achievement.

"We believe we are heading in the right direction, with a purpose. We want you to be a part of it and we want you to be with us," he said. "Because we know, absolutely, that all of us working together and standing together with one single purpose in mind, moving in the same direction, we can change things in Fort Worth for the better. And the most important thing we can change is the conditions that our children live in and the education they receive."

School opened Monday with 74,156 students. By the next day, enrollment surged to 78,959 and is expected to peak later in the school year.

Dansby, who became interim superintendent after Melody Johnson departed in June 2011 and officially took the helm in February, made his comments at a sold-out luncheon of 275 guests at Ridglea Country Club. He showed a video with highlights from the district's 2011-12 annual report.

He noted that the district has implemented consistent middle and high school bell schedules that give students more instruction time.

He also touched on the creation of learning networks and Gold Seal Programs of Choice, in which students pick courses based on their interests.

Chamber board Chairman Whit Smith noted that the city must have a competitive, educated workforce.

"Time and again, our economic development department has mentioned that one of the top deciding factors for companies considering relocating to Fort Worth is access to a plentiful, educated workforce," Smith said.

"In our recruiting, promoting and public policy positions, the Fort Worth chamber recognizes the critical connection between educated students and a skilled workforce and what that means to our economy."

Jessamy Brown, 817-390-7326

Twitter: @jessamybrown

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