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AISD Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with Staff Celebration, Parade

Austin ISD is celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this month with a special staff celebration today and a parade on Monday, Jan. 20.

Staff members in the district’s central offices held a celebration in the Board Auditorium today to honor King and his legacy as a champion for civil rights and education for all.

Superintendent Meria Carstarphen recognized champions for equal rights—from global luminary Nelson Mandela to local leaders—the Fulmore Middle School Choir performed a musical tribute to King and AISD students read essays on how his legacy had inspired their own lives.

The students who shared their essays are Kiara Hopkins from Webb Middle School, Gavriel Rachael-Homann from Garza High School and Josh Rogers and Rondell Hopkins from Lanier High School.

The district is also participating in the Austin-Area MLK March and Festival Celebration on Monday, Jan. 20. The parade begins at 9 a.m. at the MLK statute on the University of Texas campus, goes to the south steps of the State Capitol and ends at the historic Huston-Tillotson University.

During the superintendent's tenure, AISD's most vulnerable student groups have seen increased achievement. In particular African-American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students have made gains—from increasing attendance and graduation rates, performance on state assessments, school ratings, college readiness and post-secondary enrollment to decreasing dropout rates and disciplinary referrals.

For example, results in performance show that graduation rates have increased by 13.9 percentage points to 79.6 percent for African-American students; by 14.7 percentage points to 78.6 percent for Hispanic students; and by 17.7 percentage points to 78.9 for economically disadvantaged students. And, dropout rates have declined by several percentage points.

During the past four years, AISD also has decreased discretionary removals for African-American, Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students by between 76 and 81 percent at the high school level.

For more information on AISD’s involvement in the MLK parade and march, please contact Terry Louie Russell at 512-414-0052.