November Board Briefing: TEI, Principal Group, and School Building Plans

Jaime Resendez Quote.jpg

WHAT IS A BOARD BRIEFING?

At a board briefing, our Dallas ISD School Board discusses items they will need to vote on in upcoming meetings. They also hear reports from the Superintendent & the Dallas ISD Administration on ways in which the district is meeting student needs. Below is a summary of the three-hour long briefing on November 1, 2018.

WHAT DID THE BOARD DISCUSS AT THE NOVEMBER BRIEFING?

#1 Local Accountability Framework

Dallas ISD is evaluated by three systems: State Accountability, School Performance Framework, and a Local Accountability System. The Local Accountability System, or LAS, is a new effort to develop a system where DISD has more autonomy in determining how to measure performance at schools. The ratings include: Accomplished (“A”), Breakthrough (“B”), Competing (“C”), Developing (“D”), and Focused (“F”). The six domains considered for generating a score are:

  • Domains 1-3: State Accountability (50% of score)

  • Domain 4: Academics (30% of score)

  • Domain 5: Culture and Climate (10% of score)

  • Domain 6: Student Experience (10% of score)

Board discussion included questions from a few board members (Marshall, Blackburn) on why the new LAS score is needed and concerns on the way in which it may confuse parents & community members when they see two different school scores. Pinkerton and Henry asked about the implications of the district having lower scores for schools compared to the state and the administration responded that the LAS was once an internal measure that raised the expectations for achievement across schools, which accounts for the difference. Resendez asked about the possibility of continuing to keep LAS as an internal measure so that the district doesn’t confuse the community with multiple scores. The administration said it is a consideration.

Screen Shot 2018-11-02 at 6.52.30 AM.png

Across campuses, the district will distribute scores using the following distribution in its first year. After the first year, campuses will not be ‘forced’ into a rating, they will have the ability to move from one rating to another depending on performance from each domain.

#2 Strategic Facilities Plan

The Long Range Facilities Plan that the district uses functions as a database which shares assessments of schools, utilization, condition of facilities, etc; whereas, the Strategic Facilities Plan is a more dynamic plan that changes as the district plans to modify existing schools to meet needs of the district.

For the funds remaining form the 2015 bond, the administration recommended that the board modify the original plans for those funds to consider a new plan. The new plan was created based on two criteria: enrollment and facilities condition. Depending on these two items, a school would be considered for modifications. The schools listed for change included:

  • 2 demolitions: Fannin, Estes

  • 2 closures: Fannin to consolidate with North Dallas High School; Estes to be sold or demolished with students moving to Village Fair

  • 17 new campuses: Hawthorne, Peabody, Hall, Rhoads, Kiest, Geneva Heights, DeGolyer, Hexter, Reilly, Walnut Hill, Urban Park, Pease, Atwell, JQ Adams, Longfellow, Marcus, DESA.

Board discussion included comments from Trustee Solis asking the administration to thoughtfully consider demographic changes in neighborhoods as well as racial equity when generating plans. In addition, many trustees thanked the administration for bringing this plan to replace an earlier version that raised many concerns across the district.

#3 Superintendent’s Principal Group

The Superintendent has a Principal Group whose purpose is to get feedback from some of the highest-performing principals in the district and to give them the opportunity to connect and learn from one another. Selection of the principals is considerate of academic success on their campus and diversity of members in regards to race, gender, and school experience.

There were three principal participants present to share the takeaways from their experience. They agreed that a great benefit was learning from one another and staying current on the work & role of the Superintendent and his team.

Board discussion included a comment from Trustee Pinkerton asking for opportunities like this to be available to others. Trustee Henry asked how the board members could best support principals. In response, the principals shared that trustees should walk a school with them to gain perspective. They also responded that they would like the board to ensure there isn’t a disconnect between the schools and the community. Trustees Solis and Micciche asked about their experience - all three principals began their journey as educators through non-traditional programs and all three principals have a shared vision of focus on students.

#4 Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) Update

The administration began this part of the agenda with a note on two items worth celebrating: 20% of schools on the Improvement Required list (lowest state rating for a school) has gone down to 1% in just four years. Plus, the district is closing the gap between the state’s average performance and the district’s average performance.

In relation to TEI, the evaluation and compensation system for teachers, there are three components: teacher performance from observations, student experience as determined by surveys, and student achievement on state/district assessments.

Teachers are placed in one of four categories - A, B, C, D - and depending on their category, they are rated using the following percentages:

Screen Shot 2018-11-01 at 2.55.22 PM.png

Using this rating system, teachers receive a performance level of: Unsatisfactory, Progressing, Proficient, Exemplary, or Master. Because this system is also about compensation, the administration pointed out that 97% of teachers received a pay increase. Only 3% of returning teachers did not. Overall average increase in salary was 2.9% compared to the market average of 2%.

Board discussion included a question from Trustee Foreman on how many teachers in the district are not evaluated under TEI - the response was a little over 250 out of 10,000. She also wanted to ask that all teachers have a student experience survey included in their rating. Trustee asked if with more funds the administration about the possibility of changing the forced distribution ratings of TEI to ensure more teachers are reaching proficiency levels or above. The administration responded that it is possible.

Trustee Blackburn asked about how the district defines ‘an excellent teacher for all’ - and the administration replied that it would be a teacher with a rating of proficient or higher in every class and equitable distribution of higher-rated teachers for highest-need students. Trustee Resendez advocated for ensuring we support our teachers to receive a proficiency level or higher - despite cost implications - even with potential cost for paying higher-rated teachers - the list cost savings are immeasurable.

#5 Board Self-Constraint, Self-Evaluation, & Training

The board has a Governance Committee whose focus is to review the board’s operating procedures, onboarding training, and board policy. Trustees Henry, Solis, and Resendez and shared some documents with the other board members during this briefing, though there was no public discussion. In addition, the board and administration did not discuss the board self-constraint or self-evaluation.

#6 Update to Student Outcome Goals

The original student outcome goals state:

  1. Student achievement on state assessments in all subjects at Approaches or above will increase from 66 percent to 75 percent by 2022.

  2. Student achievement on the third-grade state assessment in reading at Approaches or above will increase from 62 percent to 75 percent by 2022.

  3. Student achievement on state assessments in two or more subjects at Meets or above will increase from 34 percent to 40 percent by 2022.

  4. Student participation in extracurricular or co-curricular activities will increase from 59 percent to 65 percent by 2022.

The updated and potential student outcome goals for 2021-2022:

  1. Student achievement on state assessments in all subjects in Domain 1 will increase from 39 to 47.

  2. Student achievement on the third- grade state assessment in reading at the Meets performance level or above shall increase from 32.5% to 45.0%. 

  3. The percent of graduates who are college, career, or military ready (CCMR) from Domain 1 will increase from 45.0% to 49.0%. (This is lagged 1 year.) 

  4. Student extracurricular or co- curricular participation will increase from 59.0% to 78.0%. 

#7 Adult Education

Purpose of adult education classes is to remove language barriers for parents. These classes will encourage parents to engage in their kids’ campus experience by eliminating the language barrier.

————

For full video clips of board discussion or for a closer review of each agenda item. please visit the Board Docs site with all public materials. Questions about this summary? Email info@dallaskidsfirst.org.