To no one’s surprise, the Fort Worth school board tonight gave interim school superintendent Walter Dansby the job permenantly and wrote him into the history books.  He is the first African American to hold the job.  The board’s two black members, TA Sims and Christene Moss, spoke with unconcealed pride at having been able to help bring this historical moment to Fort Worth.  

Trustee Ann Sutherland, who has been one of Dansby’s strongest supporters, said “Everything I’ve worked for since I was elected to this board has been vindicated by tonight’s vote.”

Carlos Vasquez  praised Dansby as having been the best candidate of the six finalists for the post.  Pointing out that Fort Worth is near the academic bottom in Texas of  all of the major urban districts, Vasquez said that Dansby pledged in his interview to  “turn this district around in a year.”  Vasquez was also impressed with his promise to bring “equity” to the district with its overwhelming majority of of minority and economically-deprived students. 

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Thanking the board for the faith it put in him, Dansby called Fort Worth a “school district on the move” and promised to make it  “the best in Texas.”

It will be no small task. Dansby has almost 30 poor-performing schools to “turn around.”  He has inherited a mare’s nest of expensive whistle-blower lawsuits, a $13 million hiring scandal, a failed $4.9 million computer program and a $50 million deficit just to name a few of the daunting financial issues on his plate.  

Fort Worth Weekly wishes him well. After all, he does return our phone calls. But we also echo Moss’s word of caution as she closed her congratulatory speech to him tonight: “You have our support,” she said, “until you do something wrong.”


  1. we hope he does do what he pledges. we have seen many words come and go and no action. The first step is to make sure policies are enforced and get UEA out of the way. Those that are not willing to teach need to go. Support for administrators needs to happen for those that are doing the right thing and the ones that are still in struggling schools needs to go.
    hard decisions have to be made for the betterment of the students and that begins with letting go of most. We need to stop looking at students by race and teach our students. the more we focus on it the worse we do. An excellent teacher can teach any student. Let’s see what happens, waiting….

  2. SURPRISE!!! I watched the Board meeting and I realized this was a historical momentum in our city and school district. I agree with all Board members!!!

    In a year the FWISD will be the best and high performing urban district in North Texas.

    I would like to see how many administrators are going to be fired who did not follow board policies when dealing with personnel. Dansby will meet them this Saturday and on Monday you will see some people packing. (I forgot that the independent investigators found that the 13 millions was a problem of communication.) Forget this, you are saved!

    I think Dansby was the best choice. Can you name other possible candidate among the District? I do not recall another who could even shadow Mr. Dansby. (Dr. Reyna, Sammy Monge, Robert Ray, Sherry Breed, Dr. Gutierrez, who else?)

    Our 100% support Mr. Dansby until you make your first mistake. The clock is running, NOW. GO…

  3. Why is no one concerned that Mr. Dansby failed the superentendent test TWICE and required a tutor (at Board’s request and tax-payer expense) to pass on his third attempt so he could be announced as the new boss?

    The board made up their mind long ago and forced a square peg into a round hole instead of being honest in the search for the best candidate. WD was their man and he was going to get the job, no matter what.

    And Maria, it will take at least five years to right the ship, not just one. Going from worst to first will take some time, even if the Board had chosen the best person for the job.

    What a clown show. I think I know why private schools do so well in FW now…

  4. You are SO right Jamal B! We need more of your insights blogged on this and many more articles, about this scam being passed off as a “history making endeavor”! They are right about it being a history maker, as in the BIGGEST HIRING SCAM IN THE HISTORY OF FTW! I wasn’t aware he failed the super test a second time and taxpayers fit the bill for him to get “schooled” to pass the 3rd! I should’ve known that Griffin only reported he walked out of the super’s test once to tend to a situation on a campus. I am sure if she had reported he failed the second test, he probably wouldn’t have had the power to sway his supporters like he has! OMG, to hear this, starts to make Reyna look good! And that is saying a lot, considering the mention of her name leaves a bad taste in my mouth! I hope you are right Jamal, b/c if you are; this puts an even bigger spin on the conspiracy top, in regard to Dansby forcing his agenda on this district and not being truly qualified for this job! Reyna wasn’t the answer either, so which one is the lesser of two evils? Obviously the board is joyous (or brainwashed, threatened, promised immunity, etc.); they got the man, who will allow the buried bodies to stay put! I am not buying this whole “yippee crap”, especially from former nay-sayers (you know who you are), who were totally against this man, so much so to the point they blog about their discontent for months, only to now be singing his and the board’s praises!? I am also not buying how some of these evil board members are also singing a different tune, especially when they either voted NO for Dansby as interim, or insulted his integrity over and over in board meetings! Give me a freaking break! This is almost as scary as people being told to “Drink the grape juice”!
    And Maria, I also have a comment for you, but not about how Dansby is going to part the Red Sea or walk on water in one year! My question is this, and I am just guessing you are Hispanic by your name, but if I am wrong…disregard my message. I hope you are right about Dansby being the best man to run this district, and how Tatum’s group (Coalition for the Black, Brown and Tan) has supported him to become super, so he can bridge the gap between minorities. And I truly hope that Dansby turns out to be a modern day “MLK”, as was alluded, when he was named the day after MLK’s b-day! Because from where I sit, and hopefully you sit too; the last time I checked, our more than 80K student pop is comprised of 61% Latino, 21% Black and 13% White, leaving 3% identified as “other”. All this hype better be worth it to some people, but I remain VERY skeptical, about as skeptical as hiring a White person to head a predominantly minority populous district! Taking a page from your last post on the “Dansby?” article; “Let’s wait to be surprised Maria! Surprise!

  5. Frustrated, I support Dansby 100% until he makes his first mistake. The clock is running. Under his watch, a 13 millions mistake in personnel due to miscommunication, another pardoning a folk who admitted pinching nipples and photographing half naked male students. The board did not consider any of these incidents to vote for him. I learned that the other candidate was smart. Do you wonder why is excused himself with a “meeting in Washington?”

    I still believe he is not the right fit for this district. He is a nice person; don’t get me wrong but too many strings attached. He is the perfect match to keep the failing system. He is bringing back the same strategies from Tocco’s reign and using the incompetent people from Johnson. When did he challenge the system when things were going wrong? Where is his leadership?

    People are running in different directions and you continue seeing many bosses saying many things. The latinos are the majority but… Poor kids.

  6. An uneducated populace is easier to steal from and deceive than an educated one. The college and schools protests that occured during the Viet Nam occupation was not pleasing to the military industrial complex so thus they rearanged schooling so that the masses would not be so educated or informed or balsy to protest massive government expenditures. Said action seems to be successful. Have there been any publicized protests during Afghanistan or Iraq? This watering down of the public schools is not just relegated to Fort Worth. Folks this is a calculated ,engineered fact,this bastardization of the public schools. The whites in the know and resources use Trinity Valley,Hockaday,home school. The hispanics drop out in middle school or high school and get to work or go back to Mexico. The blacks in fwisd are the labeled ,lost ethnicity that go to jail,prison,military,or the porch. Walter Dansby is a token puppet that will fall by the wayside too. My recollection of the last good superintendant was Julius Truelson