Monday, November 14, 2016

Time Capsule Project Achievements Since 2005 - a focus on the future!

  • The oldest Time Capsule Project DISD middle schools (Quintanilla 2005 & Greiner 2009) now have the highest 3-year average SEI* scores of all 31 DISD middle schools!  
  • The 5 middle schools with newer Time Capsule Projects have achieved an average 3-year SEI gain of 6.7 points per school!  
  • The 24 middle schools with no Time Capsule Project suffered an average 3-year SEI loss of 0.7 points during the same years.  
  • Sunset, with the oldest high school Time Capsule Project, has now changed one of the worst DISD graduation rates a decade ago into the highest of all 22 non-magnet high schools! (Calculated as the balance between 9th grade size and number of diplomas given within 4 years without corrections allowed in state calculations.)
  • See charts & details in October 2016 blogs at

Annual goal-focused letter writing is now recommended for all grades in Time Capsule Project schools. It is also recommended that the request for parents to write a letter about their dreams for their child come directly from the student in a personal letter. This was first done in May 2016 with the result that the old 30% parental response rate almost tripled! As many as 85% of parents responded with a potentially priceless letter to their child.  
The third Quintanilla 10-year reunion will be this year, scheduled as planned before Career Day.  The 8th grade class of 2007 will return to pick up their 2007 letters in time for volunteers to be secured for Career Day. Eighth grade students were told a decade ago to be prepared to give such talks. They speak with current students on Career Day about life after middle school, their employment and preparation for it, and what they would do differently if they could be 13 once again. Is it easy to understand why the SEI is rising?   
* “School Effectiveness Indices (SEI’s) are Dallas ISD's value-added measure of the academic performance of a school's students. The SEI model is an alternative to evaluating school performance with absolute measures such as passing rates. SEIs are a fairer method for determining a school's effect on student performance because they take into consideration known factors over which school personnel have no control, such as socio-economic status, language proficiency, and gender.”
      From with 18 years SEI data by school.     

Monday, November 7, 2016

Review of 2014 & 2015 Texas Education Agency Snapshot Data for Texas Charter Schools compared with ISD’s

This review uses data from the Texas Education Agency Snapshot pages for 2014 and 2015, online at This data is inserted below in three three-pages containing all 98 data items from each year for all charter schools and ISD’s in Texas, and for Dallas ISD, for these years. Items that are identified as more significant have an “X” to the far right.  Here are some of the more critical items.  They are identified with the number in the far left-hand column of the spreadsheets, starting with page 1 below.

Items 3 through 16 cover basic demographic information. While economically handicapped minority students are over represented in charter schools, items 6 and 11, this is mainly due to the fact that charters collect in urban, high poverty areas.  Within those urban areas they focus on areas like District 6 here in southwest Dallas where about 50% of school attendance is in charter schools.

Items 18, 19 and 20 indicate that the charter dropout rate is over three times that for ISD’s while charter graduation rates are between 20 and 30 percentage points worse than ISD’s.

The percentage of charter students passing all statewide tests, item 23, remains about 2 percentage points lower than in ISD’s in Texas.
Page 1 summary Texas Education Agency Snapshot Data for years 2014 & 2015 with Dallas ISD
On page 2 below, item 36 indicates a positive trend in charter school of higher percentages of children classified as economically disadvantaged & passing all statewide tests.

Items 37 through 40 indicate that while between 17 and 20 percent less charter school students are taking either ACT or SAT tests, this select group is still testing below the ISD students for Texas.

Items 43 and 44 indicate that charter schools invest about twice as much in administrative and leadership positions in their schools.  Item 46 indicates they spend over 5% less in teachers. 

Item 52 shows that the average charter teacher salary is $6,000 less than the average ISD teacher salary while the charter teacher has an average of between 1 and 2 more students in each charter class, item 55.  Items 56 and 57 show ISD teachers have over twice the average teaching experience of a charter teacher and less than half the turnover.

Page 2 summary Texas Education Agency Snapshot Data for years 2014 & 2015 with Dallas ISD
On page 3 below, items 81 through 85 show again how more money is invested in charter administration, leadership, and building expenses and less in charter school instruction.  This distribution apparently varies state to state.  In Massachusetts, this is apparently not true based on the 11-6-16 article “Schools That Work” posted in the NY Times about Boston charter schools.  This article by David Lionhardt stated that Boston charter schools “devote more of the resources to classroom teaching and less to almost everything else.”  If that is true, it is the opposite of charter schools in Texas.  (I wrote on 11-7-16 to Massachusetts education staff asking for similar data from their state to compare charter funding of classroom instruction in Massachusetts. No response received as of 12-10-16.)

Page 3 summary Texas Education Agency Snapshot Data for years 2014 & 2015 with Dallas ISD
This fast review only starts a conversation about the 98 TEA Snapshot data items for 2014 and 2015.  

11-7-16, Bill Betzen