Friday, November 30, 2018

Kennedy Memorial Mystery in 1872 Dallas Map

Below is part of a well distributed 1872 map of Dallas that shows the Commerce St. Bridge. In the second full block east of where the Trinity was then located you find an image that seems to resemble the current Kennedy Memorial. It is on the north side of Commerce Street, just like the Kennedy Memorial location today.  This 1872 map is from

This larger view below, of the 1872 map above, shows the name Commerce St. to the East end of Commerce Street. If you look closely you can see that Market Street is actually the 2nd street, an additional block east from this strange building shell. 

The Kennedy Memorial is on Northwest corner of Market & Commerce as you can see in the image below. The Old Red Courthouse is on the location of the shell of a building from the 1872 map above. It was the unfinished new Dallas County Courthouse shell started in 1871 after the remains of the old courthouse were torn down.  After the walls were built with $40,000 Dallas County allocated, they ran out of money.  They did not get the money needed to finish this new courthouse building until the 1874 Legislature allocated the needed funds. See this Dallas Courthouse history at

On this page is this photo below indicating it was the 1852 Dallas County courthouse.  That is not correct.   

It cannot be correct that this is the 1852 Dallas County Courthouse.  In 1852 Dallas County had less than 1,000 population and could never have afforded a two story couthouse.  This image may be the 1873 image of the Courthouse mentioned above left without a roof and onlywalls for over 2 years until Dallas could secure money from the Texas Legislature to finish the building.  
Dallas has a fascinating history!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Dallas ISD Young Women's STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School is the best! But some magnets have below average SEI scores!

Dallas ISD Young Women's STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School is the best! It holds two very distinct records.

First, for the past 3 years it had the highest School Effectiveness Indices(SEI) scores of all 33 DISD middle schools for two of these three years.  That third year it had the second highest SEI.

Second, for the past two years it received the least funding per student of all DISD middle schools.

DISD has much to be proud of.  This school leads the way due to the fact that less than 2% of the students are White-non-Hispanic, beyond that it reflects DISD demographics well, and due to the reality of an Economically Disadvantaged percentage of students that is 4 percentage points higher than the rest of DISD.

All of the above data is available on the Dallas ISD Data Portal at

Sadly there are middle school magnets that are far below average with their SEI scores and continue below for years in a row.  One is consistently majority White and below 50 SEI for the third year in a row.  It is recommended all parents study a schools history of SEI scores.  Look at the longitudinal scores:

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Salary Differences Increase 9-fold in 3 years between Teachers in low vs high income schools.

In 2015/16 the difference between teacher salaries in the about 91% of DISD schools with above 70% of students being from high poverty homes, and the about 9% of schools with less than 70% of students being from high poverty homes, was $423. At that time some explained this difference as being due to the higher tenured teachers in these lower poverty schools.
Since 2015 teacher raises have been calculated under the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI is explained and defined at ). By the 2017/18 school year this average teacher salary difference between the 20 "rich" schools and the 210+ "poor" schools had exploded over 9-fold to $3,953.
Is that what TEI is supposed to do?
The data used in this study was the average teacher salary for every DISD school over the most recent 3 school years: 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18. This data verified a massive 9 fold greater increase over these three school years in the difference in salary between the teachers who teach in the 20 DISD schools with less than 70% of students from economically disabled homes, i.e. the highest percentage of higher income students in 2017/18, and the teachers in the 216 schools with over 70% of children suffering from being "economically disabled."
We are looking at average teacher salaries in 2017/18 in the 20 DISD schools with below 70% of students in poverty compared with the income increases for the teachers who teach in the other 216 higher poverty schools, schools with above 70% of children living in poverty.
In 2015/16 there were 19 schools with economically disabled student percentages below 70%. The difference between those 19 schools and the remaining 216 with higher levels of poverty was $423 in 2015/16. In 2017/18, under TEI, this difference had exploded over 9-fold to $3,953!
Here is a link to the spreadsheet file with three worksheets, one for each of the three school years with all 236 DISD schools listed in order by the percentage of students at each school classified as economically disabled. The order was from the lowest percentage to the highest. Then I used only the first 20 "richest" schools for the 2015/16 and 2017/18 years to calculate the figures I posted above. Here is the link:
It has the DISD mean teacher salaries by school for the past three years and was received in an open records request. Other observations are welcomed and encouraged!
Dallas is being told that the most talented teachers must be in the most needy and difficult schools. That is not happening under TEI based on this data! If DISD wants to defend their claims on TEI, why are they not being more transparent with raw data by school so as to prove their points?
Here is the 2017/18 distribution of mean salaries by school in Dallas in the first page of the 7 page spreadsheet ordered by poverty that was used. It shows the "rich" schools, the schools with the lowest percentages of economically disabled students that are the ones getting the "best" teachers as defined by TEI. (Or should we say that these 20 schools have the best students with the most advantages who help teachers look better?)
Page 1 of 7 pages of Dallas ISD 2017/18 Mean Teacher Salaries by School with Salary Average above/below 70% student Poverty
Young Women's STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School remains consistently the middle school with the highest School Effectiveness Indices (SEI) scores over the past 3 years in spite of 91.5% of students being economically disabled. Knowing this exceptionally high achievement, it was very good to see that the average teachers salary there has gone up $5,316 over the past three years. They have certainly earned it.
The sad news is that teachers at Young Women's STEAM Academy are still over $3,500 below the average teacher salary in the 9 "richest" Dallas ISD schools with below 50% of students with economic disabilities.
NONE of these 9 "richest" schools have an SEI average over the past 2 years that is better than the Young Women's STEAM Academy! Townview TAG was close, but most of these 9 "richest" schools are many points lower! Yet, the teachers in these 9 schools on average received $3,500 more in salary in 2017/18 than the teachers in this significantly higher SEI, 99% minority, 91.5% economically disabled school in Pleasant Grove.
(Note: the Townview Science and Engineering Magnet, not among the 9 "richest," justifiably has the highest salaries. They also have the highest SEI scores in all of DISD by over 4 points every year!!)
DISD still has a very long way to go to perfect the TEI system, if that is possible! The bottom line is that if DISD is comfortable in the claims they are making regarding racial and economic equity, why are they not being more consistently transparent? Here is transparency that has been requested but is not yet available from DISD, and many other people may have additional data that should be added to such transparency requests. See Transparency that would help parents is discussed at A more detailed listing of data items is at