Friday, September 29, 2017

Dallas ISD Magnet Admission Policy, two change recommendations

Magnet School Admission Policy in DISD needs two changes.  Find them in the text, in red, below.

The most popular DISD magnets continue to be reported as having valuable places denied to lifelong, talented DISD students.  These are places that are instead going to students who have never attended DISD, or who live outside DISD and were able to attend due to fraudulent applications and the renting of vacant apartments inside DISD to gain admission to our best magnets.

The most valuable lesson DISD must make certain all students receive is honesty.  We must design our policy to presume the truth.  Therefore, recommendation number one is to add one sentence on page two of the policy after the number 4 in the text wherein it states:

"For each magnet program, all qualified in-District students shall be served before any out-of-District student may gain admission into that magnet program. Proof of residence shall be submitted each year.”  Then add this sentence: ”If this proof of residence is at any time found to be misleading or false, a student is subject to immediate dismissal from the magnet program."

If anyone complains about this addition, DISD should simply say that if honesty is a problem that needs to be talked about.  Otherwise this change should affect nobody.

After that sentence this addition is recommended:
These two changes will allow the ethnic and racial balance to be regained that at one time was enjoyed at schools like Booker T. Washington before the Federal over-site ended.  These changes will more directly serve lifelong DISD students in the process.  

The second recommendation is on page one of current policy where it states:

“Seats shall be awarded to District students based on the following formula:
1. Thirty percent of the seats awarded District-wide by rank ordering applicants based on overall criteria score. These students shall be chosen solely on the basis of merit without consideration of feeder pattern or sibling status.”
”All criteria scores will be increased by one point for every year a DISD student attended DISD prior to application, including the current year."

This will increase the potential for life-long DISD students to be accepted.  It will lessen the chances of poverty and inability to secure private professional music and art lessons stopping an admission for an otherwise talented student, a student whose interest and talent survived underfunded arts programs in DISD middle schools.