Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Letter to Mayor Rawlings and Dallas City Council re cherry picking data

Dear Mayor Rawlings and all Dallas City Council,

This morning I found online the letter written by the Dallas City Council and 9 of you on 4-30-2015 to the DISD School Board in your efforts to keep Mike Miles in Dallas.  I had not seen it before.  See it at

I do NOT want the cherry picking of data that was necessary in this letter by 9 of you to be necessary in my obituary someday to avoid bad stuff.  God does not go by obituaries!  The Dallas City Council should not cherry pick data when the lives and health of our children and our city is at stake!  Yes, Miles made some positive change, but not enough to counter the changes that chased away 6,000 teachers and too many of our best teachers!

Fortunately, with this letter, I can welcome the 6 new members of the Dallas City Council, and half of the new members are DISD teachers!  That is wonderful!  They will understand educational data better and how Dallas children were generally NOT doing better under Mike Miles!   Cherry picking is not what you want to be happening to find good news.

Look at the percentage of all DISD students who pass every statewide test they take.  Then compare that percentage with the percentage of all Texas students who pass every statewide test they take.  Subtracting the DISD percentage from the Texas percentage gives you the DISD/Texas Achievement Gap.  That gap was on the way to disappearing before Mike Miles arrived in Dallas! 

The gap had been 20 percentage points in 2000 but started to improve as DISD standards improved, especially under Dallas Achieves.  By 2013 the gap was down to 8 percentage points.  It could have been gone by 2020 if Mike Miles’ reforms had not increased teacher turnover over 100%!  The DISD/Texas Achievement Gap is now up to 13%!  This is not cherry picking data!

Dallas normally had about 10% of teachers with a year or less of teaching experience.  Now that percentage is near 30% due to massive turnover in teachers since 2012.

You can see this data and much more at  .

Now that Mike Miles is gone more and more information will be made public about what was really happening these past three years. 

I am also involved in the Title VI Complaint against DISD filed with the U. S. Department of Education ( ).  Hopefully the complaint process will restore resources to the majority of the most poverty stricken schools in DISD that were losing resources illegally being used to fund other projects in DISD.
I am certain that none of us ever want to attend another painful DISD Board meeting such as the one on May 1, 2015.

Again, welcome to the 6 new members of the Dallas City Council.


Bill Betzen