Friday, May 24, 2019

5-24-19 email sent DISD Board: Data driven racial equity in Dallas ISD

From: Bill Betzen <>
To: edwinflores <>; Hinojosam <>; miguelsolis <>; danmicciche <>; maxiejohnson <>; joyceforeman <>; justinhenry <>; dustinmarshall <>; benmackey <>
Sent: Fri, May 24, 2019 12:46 pm
Subject: Data driven racial equity in Dallas ISD

Dear President Flores, Dr. Hinojosa, and members of the Dallas ISD Board:
Racial equity progress must be data driven, like all progress in Dallas ISD, with both cause and effect documentation!

Dallas ISD has a massive history of racial inequities that still in 2019 cannot be openly talked about or documented due to the minimal resources and authority given the Racial Equity Office. These issues are not being addressed by any Dallas ISD Leadership! The issue volatility, and the lack of clear causative data covering the past decade of continued inequity in Dallas ISD, limit such discussions to being weak and opinionated.  Too many civil rights violations have continued over the past 10 years. Nobody appears willing to provide needed documentation to prove such violations have stopped causing inequity. We must be able to speak in terms of documented causative factors here in Dallas ISD. 

You know about the federal complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), Civil Rights Division on 4-21-15 by 15 Dallas residents against DISD for a multitude of civil rights violations. (

During the 2 years and 5 months after the complaint was filed over 300 additional pages were given to the DOE Civil Rights Division documenting these allegations. There were several in-person interviews.  Finally a 9-page letter from DOE, Civil Rights Division, dated 9-22-17 was received to document 15 violations and then close each violation without investigation. That letter is copied at the link given below.

This letter closed the investigation by giving technical reasons for not doing an investigation into each one of the 15 allegations identified. It does not invalidate a single one of the 15 allegations.

The DISD Racial Equity Office (REO) cannot achieve their goals and ignore these 15 allegations! DISD must first resolve these alleged and well documented violations.  DISD must show ample documentation to verify violations have ended, and then ongoing public documentation from this day forward so the public can always verify they are never repeated! The REO does not have needed resources or authority and administrative support for such an effort.

Mike Miles, the superintendent during the 3 years the supplantation situation in DISD significantly deteriorated, resigned 6-23-15.  That was 3 weeks after a comprehensive report on the major Dallas evening news station, WFAA, Channel 8, about these allegations and this Federal complaint. If Miles' resignation had not happened, the continued fighting of this case would have been necessary.

It appears the degree of supplantation lessened significantly in DISD since that resignation. Work must continue to document the extent to which any level of supplantation may continue. One small hint of the progress is on the current Dallas ISD At-a-Glance page. Comments are inserted on a copy of the small chart from the lower left side corner of the current Dallas ISD At-a-Glance page:

Few things reflect the lack of racial equity inside Dallas ISD more than the potential for a hidden, ongoing supplantation of need-based federal funds to be continuing.  Why is data, in a format with which the public could easily verify and/or rule out inequity, hidden? 

Below is the listing of the 15 allegations.  At 
you will also find the the full 9 page letter from the US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.  It closed the investigation of the complaints filed 4-21-15, but failed to invalidate any of these 15 allegations identified in the letter:
  1. The DISD illegally supplants Title Icareer and technical education (CTE)state compensatory education (SCE), and high school allotment (HSA) funding for regular education spending.
  2. The DISD illegally supplants funding for supplemental programming such as programming for special education (SPED)homeless studentssuspended and expelled students,students failing any testand limiteEnglish proficiency (LEP) students for regular education funding for students.
  3. The DISD's planned Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) budgets filed with the State of Texas have not complied with House Bill 5 (HB5) requiring accelerated instruction for all high school students who failed an end-of-course (EOC) exam.
  4. In 2014, the DISD gerrymandered the attendance boundaries for Lakewood Elementary School (LES) to intentionally exclude poor students that could decrease property values for LES. 
  5. The DISD's April 24, 2014 decision to not consider redrawing the attendance boundaries for LES created de-facto segregation to limit LES to wealthy white students.
  6. The DISD denies at-risk and low-income students equal access to equitable education resources with respect to magnet, talented and gifted (TAG), and performing and visual arts programs, support services (e.g., counseling, SPED and LEP resources), adequate facilities, and teacher equity and instructional leadership.
  7. The DISD's principal and teacher hiring and evaluation practices have created excessive turnover and high teacher-student ratios at the DISD's campuses serving majority at-risk and low-income students.
  8. The DISD disproportionately assigns African-American students to exclusionary discipline. 
  9. The DISD denies African American and Hispanic students, special education (SPED) students, and limited English proficiency (LEP) students equal access to equitable education resources with respect to magnet, TAG, and performing and visual arts programs, support services (e.g., SPED and LEP resources), adequate facilities, counseling and teacher equity and instructional leadership.
  10. The DISD's principal and teacher hiring and evaluation practices have created excessive turnover and high teacher-student ratios at the DISD's campuses serving the majority of African American, Hispanic, SPED, and LEP students.
  11. The DISD discriminates against students with disabilities by denying them admission into the magnet and TAG programs.
  12. The DISD discriminates against national-origin language minority students who are LEP by denying them admission into the magnet and TAG programs.
  13. The DISD discriminated against minority students when it flagrantly refused to provide Accelerated Instruction as required by the state of Texas for all students failing an end of course exam in the 2014-2015 school year. The affected minority students were located on the same campuses whose regular education dollars were not comparable to that of magnet school campuses with high percentages of white students, and whose turnover rates in principals and teachers far exceeded that of magnet school campuses.
  14. The DISD disproportionately assigns African-American male students to exclusionary discipline; and this occurred mainly at campuses where no supplemental programming existed because of illegal supplanting of Title I funds.
  15. The funding of non-Title I campuses and magnet school campuses is not comparable to the funding of Title I campuses for the required foundation programs.
Again, how can Dallas ISD try to hide their less than equitable history behind a Racial Equity Office (REO) and ignore these 15 allegations? DISD must resolve these alleged and well documented violations first.  DISD must show ample documentation to verify they have ended, and continue providing such ongoing public documentation from this day forward so the public can always verify they are never repeated with equity maintained.

The last line in the "elevator speech" circulated by the Racial Equity Office is "Our goal is for Dallas ISD to become a national model for Racial, Socio-Economic and Educational Equity." 

That goal will never be achieved without addressing these 15 allegations, and in the process documenting the past decade of inequity evidence, making it public. Using the causal data indicated, Dallas ISD can build a Racial Equity Plan that will be more truly accountable and data driven. They will be able to create a system where the public can check at any time as to how funding of each school is fully equitable, as well as the progress toward more equitable achievement outcomes.

Thank you for your service,
Bill Betzen 

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