Dallas ISD

Fresh from his runoff win Saturday, Justin Henry was sworn in as the trustee for Dallas ISD District 9 before the school board worked its way through Thursday’s agenda. The district announced preliminary school accountability ratings revealed a significant drop in Improvement Required schools (Photo courtesy: Dallas ISD).

Super nerdy confession: The original title of this piece was “Dallas ISD May Have Just Done Something Miraculous.”

But then I remembered a long senior year where my Honors English teacher insisted that we study S.I. Hayakawa’s “Language in Thought and Action,” a book about semantics so revered it’s currently in its fifth edition.

I may not remember much from high school coursework, but I do remember that book, and what it taught about language, and why the words we choose can impact the message. And miracle is not the right word, really, for what has happened in Dallas ISD.

You see, four years ago, 43 of the district’s 230 schools were labeled Improvement Required in the state accountability ratings — meaning that those schools weren’t just at risk, or struggling, but that they had actually failed to meet state standards. (more…)

electionWhen Justin Henry received the most votes — but not enough to avoid a runoff election — in May, a mere 69 votes separated him and Dallas ISD District 9 incumbent trustee Bernadette Nutall.

Saturday night, with all 47 precincts reporting, Henry won by more than 600 votes.

(more…)

election

Monday, we published a piece regarding the Dallas ISD District 9 runoff election. At the time, we only had responses from Justin Henry.

Tuesday evening, citing campaign obligations and scheduling conflicts that kept her from responding earlier, incumbent candidate Bernadette Nutall responded. We have included her answers in the original story, which can be found here.

Live in District 9? Election Day is June 16. Polling locations can be found here.

election

Only 69 votes separated Justin Henry from Dallas ISD incumbent District 9 trustee Bernadette Nutall in the regular called election on May 6. But Henry failed to get the necessary 50 percent of the vote (although he came close at 47 percent), so the two have been forced to hit the campaign trail again for a runoff election June 16.

Early voting starts today and lasts until Tuesday, June 12. For information – including polling places – on early voting, click here. For information on voting on Election day, click here.

So far, early voting is a mere trickle — something many worried would happen when it became apparent that a May 5 school board election followed by a May 20 primary runoff followed by a June 16 school board runoff election would be in the offing. As of Sunday’s report, 3,592 people have voted in runoff elections in Dallas County. (more…)

election

Early voting began Monday for Dallas ISD school board elections (Photo courtesy Flickr/Vox EFX).

In this month’s budget workshop, the drumbeat got a little louder: a Tax Ratification Election would be needed (and an increase passed) to continue some of the vital programs that have kept Dallas ISD’s academic trajectory on a laudable level.

And now, just a couple of weeks before a school board trustee election, many look to the outcome as an indicator — a litmus, if you will — of the fate of that potential TRE. (more…)

Property Tax

(Courtesy the Center for Public Policy Priorities)

Yesterday morning, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees met for several hours to review next year’s proposed budget.

It ain’t good.

And yes, being able to maintain the great strides the district is making is going to cost money that may only be available through a tax ratification election — meaning superintendent Michael Hinojosa is proposing for the third time (maybe three times is a charm) that the board consider sending a 13 cent property tax increase to the voters come November.

I mean, you can only cut so much before you have, as Hinojosa said yesterday, cut your way to the bottom.

It’ll be an uphill climb. People will blame the district. People will ask what the heck the district does with all its money, and how it can afford to open new schools and start a transportation department and still apparently poor mouth the taxpayers.

So let’s talk about that. (more…)

NAEPDepending on who you talk to, Texas’s score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, was either better than expected, flat, or horrible.

Often referred to as “the nation’s report card,” the NAEP assesses a sampling of fourth and eighth graders every two years. Roughly 7,500 students in Texas participated in the 2017 NAEP.

“NAEP scores offer something rare in education policy: data that are standardized across states and across time,” the Urban Institute explains. (more…)

DeVos

Dade Middle School principal Tracie Washington, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Urban Specialists CEO Omar Jahwar listen to Dallas ISD trustee Bernadette Nutall talk about Dade’s successes (Photo by Bethany Erickson).

Embattled U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made a surprise visit to the Dallas-Fort Worth area Thursday — so surprising that it wasn’t even on her public schedule.

Not everyone was thrilled about it, though. DeVos visited Urban Specialists (a privately funded group partly funded by Stand Together, which funded by the Charles Koch-led Seminar Network), Billy Earl Dade Middle School, and 16 Streets Center.  She began the day in North Richland Hills’ Birdville ISD. (more…)