April Briefing: TEI Updates, Summer Reading Program, and More!

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WHAT IS A BOARD BRIEFING?

At a board briefing, the 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 5-hour briefing on April 11, 2019.

WHAT DID THE BOARD DISCUSS AT THE APRIL BRIEFING?

#1 CREATING ACCELERATED PERFORMANCE - CAP (LINK TO BOARD DOCUMENT)

Admin Presentation:

Dallas ISD administration has a plan to address two student groups that underperform: 1) rising 3rd , 6th , and 9th grade African American students 2) English Language Learners. The plan is to put in a place an intensive, targeted summer experience for students that includes touchpoints throughout the year. There are 750 eligible students (based on multiple measures of student achievement data).

The intention is to start small and target the following schools for Summer 2019:

  • Rising 3rd graders: Carr, Dunbar, Ervin, Pease, Rhoads, Truett, McNair

  • Rising 6th graders: Burleson, Dunbar, Ervin, Pease, Rhoads, Thornton, Truett, McNair, Wilmer-Hutchins

  • Rising 9th graders: Dade, Kennedy-Curry, Atwell, Browne, Holmes, Pinkston

The rising 3rd graders will be meeting at O.M. Roberts + R.L. Thorton. The rising 6th graders will be meeting at Dade MS + Atwell MS. The rising 9th graders will go to UNT Dallas.

By May 10, Dallas ISD admin plans to select the teachers who will participate (those with ratings of Proficient I or higher and experience in Reading and Language Arts). Included in the teacher selection is a commitment to include specialized dyslexia teachers to address student needs in a targeted manner. By May 17, the District will determine student acceptance into the program. Once students are selected, the district will crease student profiles with multiple measures to identify specific needs. Finally, the District will prepare professional development for teachers during the week of May 31-June 6.

Board Discussion:

  • Trustee Marshall: Want to make sure we take the opportunity to identify and diagnose students with dyslexia.

  • Trustee Foreman: Will students be broken out or in same class? We will have a dual language class and general education class. Please keep the 12:1 ratio. I’d like to know how many 3rd graders have gone through PreK program and are not on-reading level. Want to make sure 9th graders have intensive focus.

  • Trustee Micciche: There are summer loss programs that are part of the City of Dallas, let’s work together to make sure we get as many students as possible into high-quality programs.

  • Trustee Henry: Want to ensure students have values/soft skills they can transition back to home school when the school year begins.

  • Trustee Blackburn: Glad to see we are explicitly addressing African-American students. Need to engage families.

  • Trustee Flores: Working with Racial Equity Office? Yes.

#2 TEI UPDATES (LINK TO BOARD DOCUMENT)

Admin Presentation:

Dallas ISD admin is working to address four areas of concern:

  • Continuous and ongoing review of TEI appraisal tool components to ensure transparency and equity.

  • Revise distribution of teachers to recognize 1) teacher growth and 2) improved student outcomes.

  • Conduct annual review of compensation model structure to ensure market competitiveness and leverage strategic compensation for retention.

  • Expand communication efforts to deepen system knowledge for all stakeholders

Proposed Changes for System Components:

  • Updated teacher performance rubric; expand training for evaluators

  • Updated version of student survey in April 2020

  • District assessments for kindergarten will not be required (teachers will go from category B to D)

Proposed Changes for Evaluation Ratings:

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Proposed Changes to TEI Effectiveness Levels:

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  • Allow effectiveness levels for to remain frozen for one additional year for those seeing a decrease.

  • Grandfather salaries for Exemplary II teachers, expand Master Teacher role.

Proposed Changes to Compensation Levels:

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  • Increase compensation levels to align with market

  • Teachers will receive greater of a) increase based on effectiveness level, b) increase based on change to compensation, or c) board-approved increase

The budget for 2019-2020 is $17.1 million and the administration is asking the Board to accept a proposed $30 million.

A part of these recommended changes is to ensure strong communication plan for all stakeholders to understand the elements of TEI. The District plans to leverage TEI experts who will partner with campus leaders and provide on-campus training for system changes. In addition, the District will launch teacher-focused deep dives and expand the DTR Ambassador Program.

Board Discussion:

  • Trustee Foreman: Concerns with forced distribution where bottom 3% of teachers receive low ratings. We are changing the rubric too often. Please share changes to student survey. How many DTR teachers? 2,100. DTR teachers do not have to apply every year. DTR teachers are Proficient II or higher. Salary schedule for experienced teachers? Ability to negotiate salary to match what they received outside of District.

  • Trustee Pinkerton: Very happy to see changes to Kindergarten teacher evaluation. However, TEI is not a best-practice system. I ask the Board to consider a different system.

#3 COUNSELOR TO STUDENT RATIO (LINK TO BOARD DOCUMENT)

Admin Presentation:

The counselor to student ratio in 2018-2019 is 1 counselor for every 399 students. The projected ratio for 2019-2020 is 1 counselor for every 377 students.

Historically, Dallas ISD’s highest ratio has been 1:651 and its lowest ratio 1:201.

The District is working to assess and diagnose the following: review job description and duties, prioritize responsibilities, conduct flow chart analysis of counseling accessibility, and propose recommendations to superintendent.

Board Discussion:

  • Trustee Micciche: Want to see what we can do to bolster number of counselors we have.

  • Trustee Pinkerton: Want to recognize connection between counselor support and student outcomes.

  • Trustee Marshall: Definitely an area we want to invest in.

#4 BOARD GOVERNANCE (LINK TO BOARD DOCUMENT)

Presentation from Board President Flores:

Trustee Flores proposed amendments to the Board Policy for Board Member Ethics (see link above). Trustee Flores shared that the purpose of the policy is to reduce bullying by Board members of Dallas ISD staff.

Board Discussion:

  • Trustee Flores: Existing ethics policy has not prevented that behavior. The policy would give the Board a tool against these items, including censure.

  • Trustee Foreman: Do not believe Board members should go to Board President when they have concerns about Board member performance. Need to be cohesive, not divisive.

  • Trustee Pinkerton: Could strengthen ethics policy. Do not favor including a censure mechanism in policy. d. Marshall: Currently do not have a mechanism for holding Board members accountable and not engaging in inappropriate behavior. Would want a tool.

  • Trustee Henry: If we can’t do it on our own, then we need a policy to set high expectations. Kids should be able to come to our meetings and say, this is a high functioning board. They respect each other, they remind me of my teachers. We should be a body that can act respectfully in agreements and in disagreements. Have we built a culture and environment to work issues out and talk to one another? The way this policy is written now, this is not going to work. There has to be enough respect to be able to sit and talk to work through whatever issue it may be.

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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/Comments about this summary? Email info@dallaskidsfirst.org.