September Board Briefing: Principals, Collegiate Academies, and More!

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At a board briefing, our Dallas ISD 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 seven-hour long briefing on September 13th, 2018.



The district has set four student outcome goals. The administration presented on progress for one of those goals.

  • Goal #2 - Student achievement on the third-grade state assessment in reading at “Approaches” or above will increase from 62% to 75% by 2022.

Data from student assessments in Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade show growth in all grades from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018. Below are the results from the ISIP assessment, showing results from the beginning of the year (BOY) compared to the end of the year (EOY).

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The Dallas ISD administration shared the success of one particular school, Harlee Elementary, that has continued to outshine the district over the last four years. Three different sample assessment results show this success below:

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The board’s response to the presentation included questions and comments from Trustees Marshall, Henry, and Blackburn asking how the success from Harlee could be replicated across more district schools.


The P-TECH program is a collaboration between a DISD high school, a college, and an industry partner. Across the state of Texas, Dallas ISD holds more than half of all the state designated P-TECH schools (18).

Dallas ISD Administration reported that these early college P-TECH programs have a high retention rate compared to students who are not in the collegiate academies. In terms of ethnic makeup, the student population is also comparable to students who are not in the collegiate academies.

Below are some data points the DISD Administration reported from two program years of P-TECH (Cohort 1 and Cohort 2) and compared it to students that are not in the collegiate academies as well as to the state average.

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Board discussion included comments from Trustee Foreman asking for the opportunities of the collegiate academies to be expanded to more high schools & students.


Principals are key to success in schools and DISD has seen that turnover rate for principals is growing. To address this issue, the administration is working on a succession plan that includes building assistant principals into principals as well as continuing to coach other staff that are looking for this and other leadership opportunities. The plan is comprised of four pillars:

  • Attract: Define leadership competencies, identify high-potential candidates, provide incentives for continuing education, and provide communication for outreach between leadership stakeholders.

  • Prepare: Provide internal professional development and establish distributive leadership models.

  • Develop: Build and leverage external partnerships for principal development, support the executive directors (who work with principals), and offer districtwide leadership professional development sessions.

  • Retention: Recognize outstanding leaders, offer choices for professional development, grant earned autonomies, strengthen a feedback loop for improved effectiveness, and continue supporting schools with Funds for Racial Equity (FARE).

Board discussion included comments from Trustee Marshall who wanted to ensure we ‘thought big’ when it came to leveraging principal development, as it has great potential to drive improvement.


The Theory of Action describes how to get from the DISD Vision (“to be a premier urban district”) to meeting the student outcome goals (4 goals set by board and superintendent). The Theory of Action has 4 pillars -

  • Standards of Service - All schools should receive consistent standards of service.

  • Managed Instruction - All schools should have a managed foundation that comes from state laws and DISD leadership.

  • School Performance Ratings - Every year, schools are rated with the School Performance Framework.

  • Flexibility and Empowerment: Based on ratings, schools earn autonomies.

The ratings come from the School Performance Framework, which highlights that growth matters, not just state distinctions.

  • 50% of rating comes from state accountability

  • 30% of rating comes from student growth

  • 15% of rating comes stop student, staff, and parent surveys

  • 5% of rating comes from student participation in extracurricular

The framework identifies schools with the following names:

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Currently, the following schools have received Accomplished ratings:

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Board discussion included a comment from Trustee Pinkerton in ensuring that the Standards of Service (as they currently stand in the Theory of Action & School Performance Framework resources) are measurable and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound).


Board members signed off on a document that was presented by the Dallas ISD Administration related to governance. The document is from the LoneStar Governance Integrity instrument and asks board members to agree that they “shall not act in an unprofessional manner when working with staff and administration” and “shall not be engaged in day to day administrative issues.”

There was no board discussion as the board signed the documentation.


The University of Pittsburgh Institute for Learning is providing professional learning and support to 12 DISD secondary schools serving predominantly African American, Latino, English Learner, and low-income students. The purpose would be to partner with schools to problem solve and support student achievement (with attention to literacy).

Board discussion included comments from Trustee Henry to consider adding a South Dallas school to the list of chosen campuses.

#7 STUDENT OUTCOME GOALS FOR 2018-2019 (T0 MEET BY 2021-2022)

The Dallas ISD Administration, under the Superintendent’s guidance, has proposed changes to the existing student outcome goals. The current 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 extra-curricular or co-curricular activities will increase from 59 percent to 65 percent by 2022. 

The proposed changes are:

  1. Student achievement on state assessments in all subjects in Domain 1* will increase from 39% (2016-2017) to 47%. 

  2. Student achievement on the 3rdgrade state assessment in Reading at the Meets* level or above shall increase from 32.5% (2015-2016) to 45%.

  3. Graduates who are college, career, or military ready (CCMR) from Domain 1 will increase from 45% (2016-2017) to 50%. (This entire goal is new.*)

  4. Student extracurricular or co-curricular participation will increase from 59% (2016-2017) to 78%.*

*changes to existing goals

Board discussion from trustees indicated the need for more time to digest and process the goals prior to sharing more feedback.


The Dallas ISD Administration will hold a public hearing on September, 27th to discuss and review improvement plans for Pease, Holmes, Atwell, and Patton.

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