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Media Advisory: AISD Honors MLK Wednesday

Superintendent recognizes champions for equal rights and students for gains in performance

AUSTIN, Texas—Austin ISD is holding a celebration to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy as a champion for civil rights and education for all. Superintendent Meria Carstarphen will recognize champions for equal rights—from global luminary Nelson Mandela to local leaders.

What: Honor MLK, honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will feature remarks by Superintendent Carstarphen and essays inspired by the life of MLK by AISD students, Kiara Hopkins from Webb Middle School, Gavriel Rachael-Homann from Garza High School and Josh Rogers and Rondell Hopkins from Lanier High School.

The Fulmore Middle School choir will offer a musical tribute to MLK, performing “I Have a Dream” by Teresa Jennings, “A Dream Within a Dream” by Ruth Morris Gray and “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around,” a traditional spiritual arranged by Rollo Dilworth with additional text by Langston Hughes.

When: 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15

Where: Carruth Administration Center, board auditorium, 1111 W. Sixth St.

Background: 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.

Honor MLK is an event for AISD team members who work at the district's Carruth Administration Center and invited students, community members and guests.