• Ashley Paz

A Pledge for Equity

Oftentimes it is easy to lose sight of the "why" that is central to our work. My "why" isn't about Obama, or politics, or self-fulfillment. It is about the belief that every human being in America deserves the opportunity to pursue success, whatever that may look like for them personally.

This was a great day, and it is a great reminder of why I am here. The content below is a repost of a FWISD press release originally shared on my previous website and blog.


Fort Worth, Texas – The Fort Worth ISD today joined with 60 big-city school districts pledging to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color. This Council of Great City Schools call-to-action was made at a White House event featuring President Obama.

The FWISD, and each of the districts involved, supports boosting efforts to prepare males of color for college and careers, to reduce the disproportionate number who drop out of school or who are suspended and to help them succeed.

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved the “Pledge by America’s Great City Schools” at the May 27, 2014 meeting. District nine Board Member Ashley Paz attended today’s White House event representing FWISD. Mrs. Paz presented the motion asking the Board of Education to adopt and implement the pledge.

“I am proud to be able to represent the FWISD on the Council for the Great City Schools. It is the work that this council is doing that is setting the pace for board policies across the nation,” said Mrs. Paz. “They have brought us this monumental effort that we are entering into with the nation's largest urban districts and the U.S. Department of Education. As members of the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education, by signing this pledge, we have attached our names to a commitment to better serve males of color. I feel that this is a vital step that we need to truly shift the culture of our school system.”

In late 2010, the Council of Great City Schools sounded an alarm with the release of an eye-opening report indicating that young black males in America are in a state of crisis.

The widely publicized report – A Call for Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools – led to Council testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families and prompted the organization to release a companion analysis of Hispanic students..

The Call for Change study called for a White House initiative, noting that the education, social and employment outcomes of African American males are equivalent to a “national catastrophe” requiring coordinated national attention.

A copy of the national Pledge and a list of school districts that have joined in promising to carry out 11 specific actions are available on the Council of Great City Schools Males of Color Initiative web site.