In 2012, Dallas Kids First created the first-ever of its kind Candidate Scorecard for the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) Board of Trustee candidates running in the 2012 DISD Board Election. Our goal was to provide voters with insight and visibility into the experience, awareness and perspective that each candidate brought to the table -- and ultimately, whether they would best serve in putting the interests of our children first.

DKF candidate scores were designed to give voters a recognizable candidate benchmark -- a well-rounded assessment of each candidate's ability to positively affect the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees by advocating for and implementing policies that would lead to tangible district-wide improvements in student achievement.


What information is considered in a DKF Candidate Scorecard?

DKF has given each candidate a score from “A” (very strong) to “F” (very weak) based on:

(i) school board voting history, if available;

(ii) written responses to DKF’s Candidate Survey;

(iii) in-person interviews with DKF’s interview committee; and

(iv) demonstrated problem solving success in governance. DKF scores were designed to give voters a recognizable candidate benchmark.

Critical traits valued on our scoring rubric are:


Does the candidate have a history of successful experience with related problem solving?

Does the candidate bring a valuable perspective to the Board?


Board Governance

Does the candidate appreciate the distinction between setting policy for administration vs micromanaging administration?

Is the candidate clearly anchored by an awareness of the challenges facing DISD?



Will student achievement unequivocally drive the candidate's decision making, or will non-student factors play a disproportionate role in the candidate's decision making?



Does the candidate approach Dallas ISD's student achievement challenges with a sense of urgency?

Does the candidate have a tangible action plan for improving DISD performance?


Community Awareness

Does the candidate understand the Board's job relative to the work of others and know the tools at the Board's disposal?

Does/will the candidate actively and meaningfully learn and share information with the community to improve DISD performance?



Does the candidate fundamentally understand Dallas ISD's student achievement challenges? Is candidate knowledgeable about potential solutions and related arguments? Is the candidate well-informed about school governance issues?


Who determines DKF endorsements?

Dallas ISD's challenges affect the entire community, which means solutions must come from the community. In 2017, over 40 community volunteers (DISD parents, graduates, teachers, and principals) participated in candidate interviews, viewed candidate questionnaire responses, the candidate's positions, and, for incumbents, voting history on key issues. Our annual endorsement survey follows, providing additional Dallas ISD stakeholders questionnaire responses and candidate scorecards, letting them vote in the survey to determine DKF endorsements. All on our email list are invited to participate and the endorsement decision is determined by advisory board votes (50%) and general member votes (50%).  The role of advisory board consists of parent leaders in the District, former and current teachers, and engaged citizen volunteers who engage almost daily with Dallas ISD.

Also, to ensure that every stakeholder's voice is heard, any member who donates more than $200 cannot vote on DKF endorsements.