Panels formed to boost scores
The Arizona Republic
Dec. 9, 2005

Betty Reid
Mark Dowling, who is temporarily in charge of the Roosevelt School District, said he's forming five committees to help him improve dismal student scores.

One committee will work with student achievement, while another group will oversee the basic function of the district budget. A third will make sure the district abides by a 2004 Office of Civil Rights decree related to English language learners. Others will address repairs for aging school buildings and parent groups.

Last month, the board tapped Dowling to replace Superintendent Grace Wright while she is on extended sick leave. "I would want for people throughout the world" to bring their child here, whether the child is from Vietnam, lives in a gated community or born on 24th Street and Southern, Dowling last week told employees who serve as liaisons between parents and schools. "You want the best there is for our district."

It's a tall feat for a district whose student test scores have not measured up on the state's ranking of schools under Arizona Learns. A number of Roosevelt schools also failed to pass the federal government's report card called Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind.

Dowling, however, said this is the time to "work smarter" and announced the new committees; one is fully staffed, primarily with top administrators, including principals, while the others are pending appointments.

Norma Muņoz, Roosevelt governing board member, said she expects Dowling to make changes.

"Dowling has my support as long as student achievement and bettering Roosevelt School District is in his scope," Muņoz said.