Saturday, March 28, 2020

3-28-20 Coronavirus resources in Dallas County & Texas and data

Online there are multiple sources for accurate information about steps to take to remain healthy and resources available.  Please connect with those you know who do not have internet access and may need information from some of theses sources.

Here are Corona-virus and Covid-19 resources for people in need:
Dallas will not be disconnecting water and many other resources for the City of Dallas are at 
https://dallascityhall.com/Pages/Coronavirus-Resources.aspx

Dallas County Emergency information, precautions to take, and resources 
https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/2019-novel-coronavirus.php

WFAA information and resources: 
https://www.wfaa.com/coronavirus-covid-19

Every school district has resources on their web site.  The best developed web site I have found is on the Dallas ISD web site at https://www.dallasisd.org/coronavirus 
In the left hand column on that page are links to multiple resources including links to videos to share with children explaining what is happening and the science behind it.

Regarding the data as to what is happening, here is a list of all Coronavirus cases verified as of 5 pm yesterday, 3-27-20.  These numbers are constantly changing but verify that the center of the nations infection as of yesterday was New York City.  However, please note that 31 states have a higher number of deaths per 100 verified Coronavirus cases than New York as of 5 pm yesterday.  The number in the darkened column amounts to the number of deaths per 100 cases, either as a percentage of 100 or, for NY, 1.16 deaths per 100 cases verified.  Remember, these numbers have already changed! As case numbers become more accurate there will be great changes! 

I will post another graph like this next week.  I fear we will have possibly 300% more cases verified in our nation and the World as well as deaths, or more.





Thursday, March 12, 2020

3-12-20 Testimony: School Choice, 7th grade Excel Lesson using DISD Family Information file, Single Spreadsheet Transparency Benefits!

Item 6D on today's agenda is about School Choice but fails to address the hundreds of choices Dallas parents have in the over 200 schools that have vacancies in one or more grades that can be filled.  Those vacancies are in effect hidden from the public.  The ability to know where they are must be expanded beyond the need to call the school!  As enrollment numbers are updated daily in the Data Portal, the vacancy numbers in each school for each grade can also be updated using the same data. The daily vacancy numbers should be posted on every schools web page as well as into the School Information File found under the "Resources" tab in the DISD Data Portal.

The School Information File application allows anyone to select which of the 45 variables now available they want included in the spreadsheet that can be created within half a minute with this application in the DISD Data Portal.

If Dallas ISD were to add 14 more data items (Pk through 12) to those available representing the vacancy numbers for each of the 14 grades DISD serves, then parents could immediately know which schools may be available for their child.

With relatively easy computer coding done, the data already posted under the daily enrollment by school and grade under the "Statistics and Reports" would only need to be subtracted from each schools capacity by grade and then posted in the right location for that grade in the School Information File.  Parents would constantly know where they could probably transfer their child after verifying that potential with the school they are considering.

Below is a 7th grade Excel exercise for students to show them the power of Excel using the current Single Spreadsheet Transparency design. It involves trimming down a larger-than-needed spreadsheet to explore DISD Schools using current School Information File spreadsheet information with 14 columns of grade vacancy data added.

Assignment:

Using the School Information file spreadsheet with all data, pretend you are a parent living in Zip Code 75233 but working in 75231.  You want to explore schools both near your home and near your work for your third grade child.  Create a spreadsheet you can fit on one landscape view sheet to include as much of the most useful data as possible about all the DISD schools in these two zip codes, including vacancy data for third grade.

Below is an example only.  You may select other data to include, but you must defend it. With this sheet parents would know what possibilities exist.  Vacancies by grade would increase the value of such a report greatly.

 Data on Dallas ISD schools serving Zip Codes 75233 and 75231

The parents are thinking of the value of time in the car to speak with their third grader as they drive to a school near work versus time saved for school events nearer their home.

What value do you see to an expanded School Information File that may have additional data to use in such considerations?

What data would you want added?

================================

The above exercise is given here as a hint of the power of an expanded Family Information File with 200 more data items, including the 14 vacancy counts by grade, to allow families to fully explore DISD schools and more easily find schools for their child.

Increased Single Spreadsheet Transparency will make Dallas ISD more attractive to more families with a 7th grade ability to explore spreadsheets.  DISD coding staff could probably simply modify the School Information File application more so that even the above erasing of schools and columns would not be necessary for the information the parents were seeking to be available in such a report. Such over-sized spreadsheets for each academic year would increase Dallas ISD transparency over the years dramatically! Public confidence will continue to grow. Anyone with a question could use the current and past year School Information Files to focus on the information they wanted, and changes over time.

Public support for DISD would soar, but only if DISD Administration is also comfortably confident that they can face unknown patterns and issues that may be indicated by some interpretations of the data exposed.  It will not be easy, but it will help DISD grow and improve more than any district in the nation!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

02-27-20 Testimony Before Dallas ISD Board on Supplantation, 2020 Bond, and Single Spreadsheet Transparency

I am here to pull together three related themes of thought. Please see footnotes and linked sources at www.dallasisd.us. The themes are Supplantation, 2020 Bond, and Transparency

Supplantation is the replacement of Regular funds that come from the property taxes all Dallas residents pay into Dallas ISD.  Regular funds make up almost 64% of all Program Funds used to educate our children.  Regular funds should be equally distributed so that every Dallas student receives the same amount of funds each school year used for their education.  Sadly these funds have never been equally distributed in Dallas ISD.

Five years ago there were differences of over $2,000 between DISD schools.  Now the largest differences are half that, but still $1,000.  Those differences show high poverty schools receiving the lowest amounts and schools with more wealthy student populations receiving the most Regular funding per student.

(To better understand the supplantation history in Dallas ISD please go to
http://billbetzen.blogspot.com/2018/04/government-response-to-4-21-15.html and see the 9 page federal letter on the supplantation complaint documenting the allegations which they stated they would not investigate.  The 15 allegations are clearly documented, true, and have never been disproven.)

The 2020 Bond requires Dallas Citizens to trust Dallas ISD as a good steward of the hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds they manage.  Multiple assaults on that credibility are happening almost weekly.  Another one happened last night at Spruce and a public meeting about the 2020 Bond.  As DISD staff clearly documented the history and damage from redlining in Dallas ISD over the years decades in the past, I looked up the funding for 92% high poverty Spruce and compared it with the funding for 52% high poverty Woodrow Wilson.  Wilson had $310 more per student than Spruce and also had class sizes that were a full student smaller than Spruce!

This was shared at the meeting and DISD staff were quiet.  Current discrimination by race was not on the table.  (See blog posting on this meeting at http://billbetzen.blogspot.com/2020/02/transparency-within-dallas-isd-will.html.  It includes links to data sources so you can do this when you attend a DISD Bond meeting.)

Transparency arguments declare that public schools now have greater transparency than ever in Texas History.  I agree!  But that transparency is fragmented into hundreds of spreadsheet in hundreds of locations.  The most critical data for each school must be gathered into one large spreadsheet including all 261 Dallas ISD schools and academies and 250 of the most valuable and in demand variables, especially funding and expenditures as well as academic achievement and demographics of both teachers and students.

(See http://billbetzen.blogspot.com/2020/02/single-spreadsheet-transparency-for.html for more information on Single Spreadsheet Transparency.)

I applaud DISD for the exposure of racist treatment of our students 30+ years ago.  Now Dallas ISD is doing well enough to also admit, and expose, the racist treatment of our students continuing to happen now.

Please see www.dallasisd.us for more information on these issues.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Transparency within Dallas ISD will continue to be an issue.


But, as this evening's presentation continued on redlining and other "safe" forms of racism today's folks can comfortably distance themselves from, I looked up 2018/19 PEIMS Financial data on DISD, Spruce, and Woodrow Wilson. This is most recent data available. Then I looked up poverty and class size data on the 2018/19 TAPR's (Texas Academic Progress Reports) for Wilson and Spruce.
The results were as sad as I expected!
Wilson High School, with 52% poverty, had $310 more Regular funds (64% of DISD Program Budget) per student & an average class size of one full student smaller than the 92% poverty Spruce H.S.!  
Yes the highest poverty school by 40 percentage points had an average of one more student in the average class than the lower poverty school.
I reported this to the group this evening and did not receive the response that was appropriate to such current abuse. I pointed out that the Dallas poverty map would show the high poverty schools in DISD having the least Regular funding per student.

This is why Dallas ISD needs to embrace Single Spreadsheet Transparency.  It will expose the past decade of such abuse, often much worse than last year.  Believe it or not things have improved significantly since 2015.

Below are the data that I collected during this meeting from the PEIMS Financial Reports at https://tea.texas.gov/finance-and-grants/state-funding/state-funding-reports-and-data/peims-financial-standard-reports
First is the full financial report for all of Dallas ISD:

Below is H Grady Spruce High School

Below is Woodrow Wilson High School

Here is the Texas Academic Progress Report (TAPR) class enrollment numbers for 2018/19 for Spruce H.S..  They are from https://tea.texas.gov/student-testing-and-accountability/accountability/state-accountability/performance-reporting/texas-0:


Here is the Texas Academic Progress Report (TAPR) class enrollment numbers for 2018/19 for Woodrow Wilson H.S.:

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Single Spreadsheet Transparency will continue public education improvement in Dallas and every city!


Single Spreadsheet Transparency for Dallas ISD, and all districts, is the foundation that is lacking for a true public education revolution in Texas.
In DISD it would simply expand the School Information File found under "Resources" in the current DISD Data Portal. It would add columns of data to the 45 columns of data already present for the 261 schools and academies, one school or academy in each spreadsheet row. Single Spreadsheet Transparency adds columns with the most commonly requested and useful data, already public, but fragmented into charts in multiple locations online. Parents do not have hours needed to pull all such fragmented data together when they have a question comparing schools.

Any person with a middle school understanding of spreadsheets will be able to erase the columns of data and rows of schools they are not interested in within seconds in their downloaded spreadsheet. They could quickly drill down to the information they are concerned about. DISD enrollment would grow!

With all the most basic data for every school in one spreadsheet row, with the entire district in one spreadsheet, DISD will enjoy a revolution in public transparency! With the continued confidence of DISD Administration, and DISD's willingness to constantly improve, the foundation for a true national public education revolution will be laid! The public will become involved as drivers in educational reform as never before.
The columns of data to be added would include the 32 funding sources per student for each school from the PEIMS Financial Reports online so advocates can quickly verify funding equity. Additional columns would include average teacher salary in each school for the current year, and the previous 5 years, average teacher tenure and turnover, as well as multiple additional variables, available online but in multiple locations! It is anticipated about 200 columns of data will need to be added to achieve true Single Spreadsheet Transparency.
Each school year that year's data will be added to a new spreadsheet online as it is collected. At the end of the year, when all data is finalized, that year's spreadsheet will be finalized and archived to join the 10-year archive of such data that the public needs to be able to study for patterns.
Spreadsheets for the past decade will be created following the decided upon format so a full decade of history, plus one, will be immediately available to the public. What could lead to stronger public confidence than such ultimate transparency? Without such transparency, or a resistance to such transparency, it appears DISD may have something to hide.
There are probable over a dozen staff in DISD who could create all 10 spreadsheets for each year of the past decade within a week.
Yes, problems will be exposed. But as long as they are admitted and corrected, DISD will be on the way to being the greatest urban school district in the nation! We already have much to be proud of! Now we should have the confidence to be this transparent.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

2020 Bond Program for Dallas ISD needs transparency.

The first report on work done to date on the 2020 Dallas ISD Bond Program was made public with the Board Briefing on Tuesday 2/11/20. The report was given in a 39 page slide presentation, packed with data, that can be downloaded as the attachment to item 6A in the Briefing Agenda. It raised many red flags.  (The real shock is the accounting scandal unfolding, just before the Briefing began as documented, here: https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/audits-raise-questions-about-dallas-isd-construction-oversight/2308635/)

To begin the process toward a more usable set of transparency tools, 2 questions were sent today to the Dallas ISD 2020 Bond Committee.  The comment link used is at the bottom of the page at https://www.dallasisd.org/bond2020. They were sent separately as they would not both fit in the 255 characters allowed:

1) Will a School Information File (SIF) be created, including all data in the SIF in DISD Data Portal, with additional variables of building age & FCI type data, & Bond funds, & school plans for those funds in the spreadsheet as made, so the public can easily follow?

Such a 2020 Bond Spreadsheet, updated monthly with the monthly versions archived, will provide a priceless record of changes and allocations planned as DISD goes through the 2020 Bond process. Additional columns of data could be added with variables in each school that help explain the 2020 Bond process with factors considered and allocations planned of funds raised.

2) Can a DISD map be created with the district divided into 4 quadrants with as equal a student enrollment in each quadrant as is possible with quadrant enrollment number given? Can each school's quadrant number be added to the School Information File for the 2020 Bond?

Yes, there is concern, based on plans heard so far, that all students in all quadrants and in each school benefit equitably. The presentation at the Dallas ISD Board Briefing yesterday suggested many red flags. More transparency in formats like maps and spreadsheets that allow a much closer inspection of the 2020 Bond process are needed.
Currently the 39 page slide presentation is still available in agenda item 6A for the 2/11/20 Briefing at https://go.boarddocs.com/tx/disd/Board.nsf/vpublic?open.  It will soon be archived but should remain available in the archived area of Board meetings on the DISD web site at
https://www.dallasisd.org/Page/35466

Dallas has much work to do to take advantage of this opportunity to continue to grow the best urban school system in the nation!  It will never happen without a very transparent and publicly understood equity for each student.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

1-23-20 TEI Hurts Dallas ISD Student Achievement

Summary of more detailed content below:
1) TEI doubled teacher turnover!
2) TEI led to NAEP Scores suffering greatest 4 year drop on record 2015 to 2019! 
3) TEI led to 9-fold explosion of the average teacher salary difference between the 19 schools with the least poverty and the 200+ with the most poverty! 
4) Dallas ISD is now the best of the worst!

I just now, 4 PM 1-23-20, called Colorado Springs and verified they have stopped using Mike Miles' TEI Teacher Evaluation system due to constant and continued teacher turnover.


***
1) TEI doubled teacher turnover!

Many changes happened since Dallas ISD began the movement toward what is now called the Teacher Effectiveness Indices, TEI, in 2013.  While there was much experimentation with payment incentives for teachers based on student achievement during the decade before 2013, the attitude of DISD changed significantly by the time the move toward TEI started.  Teacher input came to be virtually ignored in anything more than a symbolic fashion during the 2012/13 school year causing a major teacher exodus, doubling teacher turnover rates until the 2013 turnover alone equaled both 2010 and 2011 together!  

Dallas ISD teacher turnover that had been 2.8 percentage points below average Texas teacher turnover for 2006 through 2011, jumped to 3.7 percentage points above average Texas teacher turnover for 2013 through 2018!  In 2019 that turnover increased again from 18.4% in 2017/18 to 19.1% in 2018/19.


2) TEI led to NAEP Scores suffering greatest 4 year drop on record 2015 to 2019!  




The NAEP is considered "The Nation's Report Card." More details on NAEP scores in Dallas ISD can be found at http://billbetzen.blogspot.com/2019/12/since-tei-started-in-2015-dallas-isd.html.


3) TEI led to 9-fold explosion of the average teacher salary difference between the 19 schools with the least poverty and the 200+ with the most poverty! 


Following an open records request last year the average teacher salary data per school for the three years 2015/16, 2016/17, and 2017/18 was received.  This salary data does not support the claim that more resources are going to the more needy students. The opposite is true! 

In 2015/16 there were 19 schools with economically disabled student percentages below 70%. The average teacher salary differences between those 19 schools and the remaining 216 with higher levels of poverty was $423 in 2015/16. By 2017/18, under TEI, this average teacher salary difference had exploded over 9-fold to $3,953!

More details about this study, which includes a link to a Googledocs copy of the three years of salary data used from Dallas ISD, can be found at
http://billbetzen.blogspot.com/2018/11/dallas-isd-teacher-excellence.html.

Another study on this data was done focusing on the three WHITEST schools in DISD, Lakewood & Mockingbird Elementary, and Travis Middle School, with over 50% White-non-Hispanic enrollment. 

The average teacher salary in these three schools had gone up from 2015/16 to 2017/18 an average of $9,607. This has resulted in average teacher salaries that are over $11,200 higher than the average of all the other schools in DISD. The average school in DISD only had an average teacher salary increase 2015/16 to 2017/18 of $2,099.

Tragically, this study shows that the school with a significantly higher School Effectiveness Indices (SEI) had salary increases that were half those of the three mostly White schools. 
 
Here is the definition of SEI from the Dallas ISD Data Portal: "School Effectiveness Indices 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."

Enlarge the chart below to help illustrate these numbers and see the two main conclusions made:

More details about this study can be found at 
https://billbetzen.blogspot.com/2019/11/dallas-isd-pays-teachers-of-wealthy.html.

How can DISD claim that they are focusing more resources on the most needy students?


4) Dallas ISD is now the best of the worst! 

Texas replaced Mississippi at the bottoms with the worst NAEP scores, but within Texas Dallas ISD is one of the most improved districts.

Dallas ISD succeeded in 2018/19 in shrinking the DISD/Texas Achievement Gap another percentage point, to 5 percentage points, the lowest in history! Given that only 17% of DISD students are not living in poverty, this is a fantastic achievement! Houston ISD has significantly less poverty with over twice the percentage of students, 36% of HISD students, not living in poverty. In spite of that advantage, HISD has a one percentage point bigger (worse) HISD/Texas Achievement Gap than DISD!

The problem for Dallas is that DISD NAEP scores dropped again documenting continuing decline since the start of TEI in 2015. This drop was even worse statewide in Texas! Now Texas is at the bottom!

These results suggest that the Texas STAAR tests are in their own bubble, not reflecting national standards. 

Teachers being taught to script to STAAR testing are taking time from other more broad education that leaves students vulnerable to worse scores on NAEP, The Nation's Report Card.