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  • Lori Kirkpatrick

Facts Matter

There have been a couple of articles written recently in the local papers that just weren’t quite accurate and omitted some very important facts. My daughter and I are back from a much needed week off and I thought I’d take this opportunity to remind you all of these very important facts.

I have personally spoken with Corbett Smith at the Dallas Morning News and told him I was never endorsed by the Texas Democratic Party during the District 2 Trustee campaign and yet he continues to write otherwise. I told him that I was endorsed personally by Gilberto Hinojosa. If you don’t work within the realm of facts how do you keep a job? Oh right, it’s the DMN. Enough said. But truth, facts, and reality matter.

Now Jim Schutze, that’s just a whole other level of fantasy; he clearly has a man crush on Mike Miles. They say love is blind. Take his recent love letter to Mr. Miles written in the Dallas Observer June 20, 2017. Again, facts be damned. There’s no mention of the fact that turnover of quality veteran teachers went from 12% prior to Mr. Miles’ arrival to 17.8%, 21.9% and 21.2% during his short but deadly tenure. That’s quality veteran teachers gone. Adios. Sayonara. Auf wiedersehen. Why did the teachers leave? TEI mandates sameness in the classroom. They were (and are) made to teach to the metrics of TEI, get the boxes checked off or risk a poor evaluation. Teachers know what quality education is all about and many weren’t willing to teach to one more set of standardized metrics. Some teachers complied, were promised rewards and then were not given them. TEI is extremely costly in financial and human resources. Dallas ISD through TEI has cultivated its own teacher crisis. Anyone within DISD knows this - will anyone have the strength to admit it and right this wrong? In terms of student achievement the most impactful factor is socioeconomic status, followed by teacher experience and teacher credentials. Thus there is nothing more effective for educational impact on impoverished children than a quality veteran teacher. Nothing. These are the facts.

Let’s talk more about data. The American Statistical Association (ASA) has formally stated Value Added Models (VAM, of which TEI is) are not sufficiently sensitive to make the determinations they are being used for. These are the statistics experts!

We are talking about our children, ALL children. We can and must do better by them. Do the research. Listen to the real experts. Teachers. Education organizations. Statisticians. The continuance of this TEI experiment could ruin education for a generation of children in Dallas. How do you reconcile that for yourselves? How many of your children will be affected? Is the answer none? It sure is for my District 2 Trustee. Let's stop relying on millionaires with investment agendas and no education expertise, private school parents with no skin in the game, charter school proponents who benefit by weakening public school and real estate councils. Public education is the foundation of our society and our democracy. We have everything to lose by experimenting with it and our future generation. Let's stop pushing VAM/TEI without peer reviewed analysis to prove it. When you have that analysis, then we’ll talk. Otherwise let's stop experimenting with the children of Dallas.

Citizens of Dallas - we can do better and we MUST. In the coming weeks and months we will be listing ways you can get involved. I hope you will seriously consider joining this fight for public education. Go to to add your email address.

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