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 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 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  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 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 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
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

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:

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 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  It will soon be archived but should remain available in the archived area of Board meetings on the DISD web site at

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.