Thursday, April 10, 2014

Five Questions for DISD Trustee Candidates

Five questions for candidates for DISD Trustee positions.  Challenges to the numbers behind these questions, and the interpretations of those numbers, are welcomed.   We must get to the truth before DISD children suffer more.   See some of the data used at .

1) Since DISD suffered the first drop in senior enrollment in 7 years this year with the Class of 2014, and it was the largest drop in decades, does the history of even greater drops in senior enrollment (totaling 33%) under Mike Miles during his last 4 years in Colorado bother you?    Why or why not?

2) When you are a DISD trustee, what will you do if such senior class enrollment losses continue to happen in Dallas ISD, especially if they near reaching the 33% total in losses recorded over the last 4 years Mr. Miles was in his district in Colorado?

3) A strict strategy of not passing low achieving students on to the next grade leads to greater student attrition, but also certainly helps to raise ACT grade averages as such students leave.  Do you support such a strategy in DISD?  In other words, when is graduation a priority for you?  When are higher average ACT scores a priority over graduation?

4) Would you demand the creation of a system that would allow every parent to know as soon as the school knows if their child’s teacher is being replaced by a substitute, and whenever that teacher is less than a fully certified teacher in the area being taught?   Should such data be tabulated monthly for public reports and for the trustees?

5) Will you be vigilant and demand more transparency and precision in numbers used when the percentage of students being tested goes down, as happened with a 23% reduction in minority students taking the ACT test this past year, or when the precision of numbers is made less?   (This allowed DISD to claim a full point gain in the average ACT score by using a rounding trick never used before, when the real gain was only 4/10ths of a point.   In 2013, due probably to the 23% decrease in the minority percentage tested, the scores increase from 17.2 to 17.6.   Then, for the first time in history, these results suddenly were reported to the nearest whole number only.   The result was that it appeared the scores went from 17 to 18 instead of the 4/10 of one point improvement that actually happened, going from 17.2 to 17.6.)