Approach and Priorities

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My Approach

I am strong believer in data. As a management consultant at Bain & Company, I developed a strong appreciation for research and analysis. But I also recognize that data is the plural of anecdote – and to truly understand the situation behind the numbers, one needs to spend time in the schools intensely listening – talking with parents, community members, teachers, administrators and children. Only through building a full picture of the situation, can I help make the best decisions for the District.

I also hope to be an effective bridge builder on the board. Divisions between adults only hurt kids. To be a successful Trustee, I pledge to do everything in my power to foster relationships on the board and within the administration based on mutual respect and trust. I hope to nurture these relationships by being a respectful listener and a sensitive communicator who is attentive to the needs of ALL DISD kids.

My Priorities

Early Education

Research is very clear that 85% of brain development occurs in a child before the age of 5 and yet only 5% of education dollars are spent on early education. If students are not reading on grade level by the 3rd grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of school. By investing wisely in early education, we can better prepare our kids for success they deserve, and save money in the process.

Empower Principals

Good principals foster an environment where good teachers can shine. We need more effective professional development programs for district principals. This means implementing cost-effective programs to develop great principals by using partners who are ready and willing to help the district, and giving principals the freedom to do their jobs while holding them accountable.

Racial Equity

All DISD students deserve respectful learning environments in which their racial and ethnic diversity is valued and contributes to their success. We need an intense focus on equity, adjusted resource allocation to overcome challenges, and we need to confront institutional bias that results in predictably lower academic achievement for students of color.

Teacher Development

A high-quality teacher is the most important controllable factor in determining the future of the kids we serve. Our educators deserve an accurate assessment of the quality of instruction they are providing, and a system of professional support. And finally, the time has come to pay teachers what they are worth. Teaching is the most important profession of our time and it’s time to prove it.

Focus on Early Education

Dustin Marshall Campaign Priorities
Kindergarten readiness limits subsequent achievement for all learners – 2014 Academic Scorecard

Research is very clear that 85% of brain development occurs in a child before the age of 5 and yet only 5% of education dollars are spent on early education. If students are not reading on grade level by the 3rd grade, they are four times more likely to drop out of school. By investing wisely in early education, we can better prepare our kids for success and save money in the process. Also according to James Heckman, 2008, “Schools, Skills, and Synapsis” there is a 7 to 1 Return on Investment (ROI) in quality early education from future reduced costs and increased productivity.

Make Sure Every Child Has an Effective Teacher

A high-quality teacher is the most important controllable factor in determining the future of the kids we serve. This means Recruiting, Training, Developing, Measuring and Rewarding the best people to teach in our schools. Our educators deserve an accurate, real-time assessment of the quality of instruction they are providing their students and a system of professional support that develops the growth of their instructional knowledge and skills. And finally, the time has come to pay teachers what we all know they are worth. If we truly believe that teaching is the most important profession of our time, then it’s time we start putting our money where our mouth is.

Dustin Marshall Campaign Priorities
Our teachers are disappearing despite a growing student body – 2014 Academic Scorecard.

Empower Strong Principals

Dustin Marshall Campaign PrioritiesOne of the keys to the success of a school is its campus leadership team. Good principals foster an environment where good teachers can shine. We need more effective professional development programs for district principals. This means implementing cost-effective programs to develop great principals by using the right partners who are ready and willing to help the district. It means giving principals the freedom to do their jobs without bureaucratic meddling, and holding them accountable for student achievement.

A study based on Texas data (Branch, Hanushek, Rivkin, 2013), showed that a highly effective principal, defined as the top 16% of the quality distribution, could raise the achievement of a typical student in their school by the equivalent of two to seven months of additional learning each school year. Full Reference is: G.F.Branch, E.A.Hanushek, S.G.Rivkin,  “School Leaders Matter”,  Education Next, (Winter 2013)

IMAGE SOURCES:

3. Branch, Gregory, Eric Hanushek, and Steven Rivkin. “School Leaders Matter.” Education Next. N.p., Winter 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
5. “Leadership Matters.” New Leaders. N.p., n.d. Web. 2013. http://www.newleaders.org/impact/leadership-matters/

Racial Equity

Dustin Marshall Campaign PrioritiesAll DISD students deserve respectful learning environments in which their racial and ethnic diversity is valued and contributes to successful academic outcomes. To achieve this end, we need an intense focus on equity, we need to adjust resource allocation to overcome challenges, and we need to confront institutional bias that results in predictably lower academic achievement for students of color. As a district we are only as good as our worst performing school.

Dustin Marshall Campaign Priorities

Chart courtesy of Dallas News: http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20150330-dallas-isd-works-to-reduce-race-disparities-for-school-discipline.ece

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