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

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

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

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.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1-23-20 TAPR Hearing Testimony: Progress, but not enough! Transparency for Customers.

The 2018/19 Texas Academic Progress Report for Dallas ISD can be celebrated by Dallas, but DISD must do better.

The DISD/Texas Achievement Gap has shrunk to only 5 percentage points, one point better than Houston ISD who has twice the percentage of students NOT suffering from poverty as DISD!  Dallas can be proud, but not for long. 

During the 6 years prior to 2013 the DISD/Texas Achievement Gap had gone from 14 to 8, a 6 point gain, one point a year!  Then the Achievement gap exploded back to 11 points in 2014 as teacher turnover set all time records due to the movement toward TEI.  In the past 6 years the Achievement Gap has finally made progress back to a gain of 3 points past the 2013 record.  Annual improvements are now only one point every two years.

Yes, DISD is still making progress, but we must be careful.

For Dallas ISD to progress more both in achievement and in strengthening community support, and in confidence for a possible 2020 Bond, the level of transparency at all levels inside DISD must improve!

Yesterday I called the 972-925-5555 line, the DISD parent information line, pretending to be a grandparent searching for PK-8 schools. The results were telling! The person I spoke to did not know of any!!  They took my information and said I would be sent an email with all K-8 schools in DISD. 

The email I received only listed one school as being K-8 and listed multiple magnet schools and other schools with a mixture of elementary level configurations, but only one K-8!

This is NOT the fault of the person who wrote the email. It is systemic to Dallas ISD. It was one of those "DeVos hired to run DOE" experiences on steroids! It is as if someone is working to maintain separate middle schools and increase fragmentation within DISD grade configurations as much as possible to weaken and destroy DISD!

DISD Administration has been parroting their agreement that K-8 is superior for about a decade. But their "body language" results a decade later is terrible.  Only ONE K-8 school the public is advised of, and apparently only two available that are not magnets of some type! (Rosemont is a K-8 campus with two schools.)


DISD enrollment is now lower than at any time in the past quarter of a century. 
Yesterday what I experienced one of the reasons with this continuing drop in enrollment. 

Due to the fact that only parents who research education are aware of the K-8 advantage, the two true K-8 schools probably have more parents driving distances to bring their child to them. The K-8 neglect in DISD must change!

Why did DISD not develop a team to attend all public DISD planning meetings about the massive benefits of K-8 schools. Academic results are superior and DISD saves on transportation costs as K-8 are more truly neighborhood schools with a fraction of the behavioral issues of middle schools.

EVERY parent in every Dallas ISD feeder pattern should have a K-8 school to chose from inside their feeder pattern! That goal must drive the 2020 Bond program. Just look at the research!!

Transparency for all academic achievement and financial information by school must be more easily available and easy to understand, and easy to compare schools. One large spreadsheet can achieve that similar to the School Information File under Resources on the Dallas ISD Data Portal. 

See for the current format on the School Information File. 

Such a Dallas ISD All Schools TAPR Spreadsheet would expand this demographic and achievement information for each school in the assigned row for each school.  The variables to be added would all come from the Dallas ISD annual Texas Academic Progress Report (TAPR) files collected at for each academic year.

A separate Dallas ISD All Schools TAPR Spreadsheet for each academic year should be made for each academic year going back 10 years.

It would add many more variables including the 32 financial variables per school showing moneys allocated by school as reported in the PEIMS Financial Reports linked on this page.  Multiple variables from the TAPR report for each school should be added judged on their significance for the academic, parent, and taxpayer community.

A decade of such reports will expose the Dallas ISD record so that corrections can be made, and confidence gained for future bond elections, and for Equity adjustments that would be mandated based on such records. Such transparency would allow DISD to develop a truly effective data-driven Equity & Excellence Program!  

Dallas would really lead the nation!

Thursday, January 9, 2020

1-9-20 Board Briefing: Construction & Maintenance Transparency

(This presentation is listed at 

Three years ago hundreds of presentations were given to the DISD Board about deteriorating conditions in DISD schools, especially Carter and South Oak Cliff high schools. Now SOC is opening to a wonderfully rebuilt high school and Carter will soon follow. Thank you!

But we cannot let building maintenance deteriorate again!

Dallas ISD can save millions annually by having a publicly transparent construction and building maintenance system that allows the public to follow both the work being planned and the contracts being negotiated.  DISD could thereby enlist the Dallas public to help in monitoring the building conditions in our District. 

At the same time the ability to attract the most high-quality-centered contractors would increase as the transparency of the work would expose the best quality contractors providing priceless advertising references.

Dallas ISD probably builds and maintains more buildings than any company fully located in Dallas. A contractor with consistently positive records of quality work done for our school system, work that lasts a long time with minimal maintenance, would have an advertising goldmine in such a transparent Dallas ISD system!

Meanwhile contractors who do less quality work would stay away.

An online public record, by building and by contractor, with all expenses listed beginning with construction contractors, and continuing with all maintenance work, would be the heart of the system.  Once contracted, all expenses for every DISD building are added to the record with updates made as work is contracted, finished, and billed. Totals for construction and maintenance in each building could be tabulated monthly and reflected in annual budgeting. 

Such a public record could provide priceless advertisement for the best contractors as it would reflect construction and maintenance that is of high quality and does not demand frequent repair.

Contractors could search the entire DISD record quickly to show how long work done lasted without any needed repairs and compare their record with other contractors doing similar work. The contractors doing the best and longest lasting work would want to use this data base as an advertising tool, while all contractors would strive to achieve ever higher levels of excellence.

Due to the value of such a public record for contractors doing the best work, a tiny fraction of 1% of a fee would be added to any contract to cover any expense for establishing and maintaining such an ongoing DISD Building Construction and Maintenance data base.

Community members including parents, home owners, and education advocates could easily study maintenance issues at their community schools or any group of schools they may be concerned about. This would more clearly show where bond money and maintenance money is spent, and how much was spent.

Such public transparency should reinforce public trust in the DISD use of the billions in taxes and bond money spent by Dallas ISD.  It would make it much easier to pass future bond programs such as the one being talked about for 2020.