August 30, 2016
Ron Schulz introduced our guest speaker, Dustin Marshall, Trustee of DISD. Dustin is a DISD trustee because he has always been interested in education. Dustin is married with a family and a business. Ron just wants to know how Dustin manages to squeeze all of that into a week!
Dustin knows we hear more negative than positive news about the DISD, but they have great things going on and are headed in the right direction! Superintendent Michael Hinojosa reports to the DISD board. The board consists of 9 trustees, elected every 3 years. Dustin is in District 2, completing the term of his predecessor who took an appointment by the Governor. He was elected in June and will run again in May!
DISD has 157,000 students and is the 2nd largest district in the state. They have 20,000 employees, 13,000 teachers, 232 schools and 384 sq. miles – larger than NYC!
DISD’s 6 Student Achievement Goals:
1) Student performance at or above state average on assessment exams.
2) DISD schools will be the primary choice for families in the district.
3) Close the achievement gap.
4) 95% of students will graduate, with 90% qualifying for higher education.
5) 95% of students entering kindergarten will be school-ready.
6) All students will participate in extra-curricular activities.
DISD key priorities:
1) Early childhood education: by the 5th birthday, 95% of the brain is formed.
2) Teacher Excellence Initiative: pay for performance, just like in business. The best schools require the best teachers! Previously, 98% of teachers were rated satisfactory or above each year; not realistic. Now, they are ranked based on a score card from in-classroom observation, student test scores (are they improving?), and student ratings. The scores are ranked in 8 performance bands and teachers are paid accordingly. Many teachers left, typically poor performers. Now, they can recruit better teachers. The score cards allowed them to find mentors for struggling teachers and offer great teachers a stipend to go to Improvement Required (IR) schools. With this program, 6 out of 7 schools came off the IR list in one year!
3) Public school choice: such as dual-language, single-gender and International Baccalaureate (IB). Collegiate Education is a new option allowing students to graduate from high-school with an Associate’s degree and 60 college hours. These schools partner with corporate sponsors which help develop curriculum and give those students a leg-up in recruiting.
4) Career & Tech education: increase career certifications for students.
“Great instruction makes a difference!”