DCS

(Photo courtesy Dallas County Schools)

[Editors Note: CandysDirt.com reached out to both Dallas County Schools and advocates for ending Dallas County Schools, for his thoughts on the upcoming proposition regarding DCS. Dustin Marshall provided his thoughts last week, and DCS trustee Kyle Renard provides hers this week. Early voting began Monday, and continues until Nov. 3. Election Day is Nov. 7.]

By Kyle Renard, M.D.
Special Contributor

By now, you have probably heard one side of the story for what weighs in the balance for the vote on Dallas County Schools, which operates school buses for several districts in North Texas. As a DCS trustee, I want to present the other side for Proposition A. (more…)

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Late Wednesday night, Kyle Renard did get back to me regarding my question about her stance on charter schools, since it appeared to change. I’m going to print it in its entirety. I still think that it should’ve been mentioned in her response – after all, the question was about charter schools, with no distinction.

I think it was a great opportunity to be open. After all, openness is something we do require of our board members. All it would’ve taken is a, “Hey, I thought it was an interesting concept at one point, but it never got put on the agenda. I know this seems like I’m contradicting myself, but here’s the difference between the thing I liked and the thing I don’t like.” When you do that, you don’t have reporters emailing you about things they find while they’re vetting candidates.

And it seems like something that you’d want to have included in your list of things you’ve been affiliated with. Such open-minded thinking about the potential avenues of learning would bode well for a potential board member, right? So why scrub your name from the website? Why not mention it?

Anywho, here is Renard’s response:

(more…)

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Photo: Kyle Renard for School Board, DISD 1

Kyle Renard, who is running against Edwin Flores for Dallas ISD Board of Trustees, District 1, wasn’t having a really good day yesterday. Called out by the Dallas Morning News, she then got a few questions from me after I uncovered a few more things while doing my rundown of candidate endorsements last week. In short, I noticed something when reviewing her questionnaire with the Dallas Morning News that stuck in my noggin, but being on deadline, I made a note to figure out why later. And Tuesday was later. First, let me point you to her response to the question, “How do you envision charter schools working within boundaries of DISD?” Renard responded, “We do not need outside charter schools within our system, as we already have all the tools we need for innovation to move our students into 21st century learning. Dallas ISD has the resources and the capability to be the preferred choice for all children and can be the model other schools attempt to emulate. That is my goal and my mission.”

Kyle Renard's name was listed as a board member and supporter as recently as Tuesday afternoon, but was removed early Tuesday night.

Kyle Renard’s name was listed as a board member and supporter as recently as Tuesday afternoon, but was removed early Tuesday night.

Why did this jump out at me? It jumped out at me because as recently as Tuesday, Kyle Renard was listed as a supporter and board member of a potential charter school – the School for Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Sciences. So I asked Renard about it, via email. I asked the following questions:

  • Is your position in the Dallas Morning News questionnaire in conflict with your position as a board member of the School for Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Technology?
  • I noticed your bio was removed from the school website as well. Was this an attempt to deceive, or a sea change in your position regarding charter schools?
  • Also, why was this post not listed in your affiliations on the questionnaire?

Renard responded with this statement:

“I resigned from the board of the School of Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Technology on October 31, 2013. I asked to be removed from the website at that time. If I am still listed somewhere on the site as a board member, that is an error.

I have asked them multiple times to remove me from the website, and I thought that they had done so.  I am sorry if they have not and that this is still causing confusion.
There is no attempt on my part to deceive anyone.  It was not listed on my affiliations as it is no longer active.  This was a concept for an in-district, open-enrollment charter school under Senate Bill 2 from the last legislature.  As far as I know, it has not gained any traction and I’m not sure if the board is still active.
I hope this clarifies the issue.”
I did email her for clarification on when her opinion regarding charter schools changed. At the time of this post, Renard has not replied to that repeated question, which was issued at 4:41 p.m. Tuesday.
What does this all mean? I don’t know. I mean, anyone can change their minds about a topic based on new understanding, and I don’t fault anyone for that. And, fair enough and beyond her control, the webmasters missed a spot when scrubbing her presence from the school’s website. But what is somewhat disingenuous is not mentioning the fact that she was on the board of a potential charter school within DISD when answering a question about charter schools within DISD.
Does Renard owe voters an explanation?
Photo by Bethany Erickson

Photo by Bethany Erickson

Did you know it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of one million dollars – $1 million of our tax dollars – for Dallas ISD’s portion of a May election? And did you know next to nobody votes in May elections?

Because it’s true.

That being said, it is ridiculously easy to vote (provided you have a photo ID and are actually a registered voter). Early voting begins April 27 and goes until May 5 and you can vote anywhere in the city during that time. For real. Anywhere. You can vote on your way to work, during your lunch hour, on your way to the gym, between clients. Or you can wait and vote on Election Day – May 9, at your specific polling place. You and well, four of your neighbors because again, nobody votes in the $1 million dollar school board election that happens in May.

Again, $1 million dollars. One. Million. Dollars.

Feel you don’t know enough about the candidates and issues to vote? Well, that’s why we are here. Beginning today, the Candy’s Dirt crew will begin breaking down the election for you (because in addition to DISD elections, there are also mayoral and city council elections happening), and pointing you to concise places to go to get more information about individual candidates.

But today we start with the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees races. Three districts – 1, 3, and 9 – are up, with incumbents Bernadette Nutall and Dan Micciche facing challengers, and Edwin Flores and Kyle Renard facing off for the seat from which Elizabeth Jones is retiring.

So first let me explain my methodology for coming up with this scoring system. Experience, I think, should be given some weight. So it is assigned a number value of one. Endorsements should matter too, so those are also given a value of 1. While it may not seem fair that incumbents have a head start, as you will see when I break down each district, if an incumbent is facing a favored challenger it doesn’t make a huge difference.

I considered six sets of endorsements in this system, largely because the organizations providing them have a regular history of endorsing candidates. Those endorsements are: The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Kids First, Educate Dallas, the NEA, Alliance AFT, and The Real Estate Council PAC. (more…)