About the District
Successes & Challenges at the Dallas Independent School District
I am happy to report that we have a strong and committed majority of reform-oriented Trustees on the board. Both during my tenure and prior to my election, this group of Trustees has passed policies that:
- Evaluate teachers and principals robustly and pay them on effectiveness vs. seniority (DISD is the largest school district in the nation to do so)
- Provide high quality Pre-K to 100% of eligible 3 and 4 year olds by 2025
- Allocate incremental resources to our most high-need campuses
- Expand choices within the district so kids can find their “best-fit” school
As a result of these policies and others like them, Dallas ISD is headed in the right direction:
- DISD has led the state in reducing the number of kids who are educated in “Improvement Required” Schools – we’ve cut that number in half over the
last two years
- DISD led Dallas County in growing the number of students who met college-ready standards upon graduation
District 2 represents North and Near East Dallas and is made up of the following schools:
|Elementary Schools||Middle School
Key Points of Our Program
Better students start with better beginnings.
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 in “Schools, Skills, and Synapsis, 2008” there is a 7 to 1 Return on Investment (ROI) in quality early education from future reduced costs and increased productivity.
Every child deserves effective, passionate teachers.
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.
Leadership development is paramount.
One 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.
Collaborating with the community to create success stories.
All 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.