• Lori Kirkpatrick

The Stakes are High - Vote Nancy

This ad for Dustin Marshall came across my Facebook feed this morning. If you vote for Dustin Marshall it shouldn't be because of Mr. Hale's statements implying TEI positively impacts students, as the data proves otherwise.

I support Dallas ISD and want success for the district. After all I'm trusting them with educating my daughter. To that end, I'm pushing the district to make changes toward best practice education policies. The biggest being the TEI teacher merit pay policy - it has proven a failure. Period.

First, DISD's own data was used by education policy expert Dr. Polikoff of the University of Southern California, who found that using standardized test scores DOES NOT ALIGN WITH QUALITY INSTRUCTION. You cannot get any clearer than this.

Second, the national Intensive Partnership study funded by the Gates Foundation and authored by the respected organizations RAND and AIR, found that merit pay models such as the Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) in DISD do not improve student outcomes and do not result in improved teacher effectiveness.

And finally, since TEI, Dallas ISD has been flat to declining in academic progress as measured on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), widely viewed as the gold standard for measuring educational progress. This is significant because NAEP is a test that no teacher can prep for, unlike STAAR. The only progress

Corbett Smith, DMN 10/30/19 (photo Ben Sklar/NYT)

DISD has seen is in STAAR scores. STAAR is a very flawed test and poor indicator of academic excellence.

I mean no disrespect to Mr. Hale, who I bet is a dynamic, engaging teacher who really connects with his students. He has obviously benefitted from TEI, as only 25% of teachers can, but DISD students clearly have not.

I've met with both challengers to Dustin Marshall, Alex Enriquez and Nancy Rodriguez. Though Alex is a great guy, he too supports the TEI merit pay system.

To give every student the quality education they deserve, we need a trustee setting policies that are founded in sound academic research, not in unproven hypotheses. We need a trustee willing to admit failure, such as TEI. We need a trustee who will act swiftly in the best interest of students instead of their own political agenda.

I get that improvement requires experimentation and I get that innovation can lead to better outcomes. What I don't get is how in the face of all of this data, all of this sound academic research by leading experts, our district and especially our trustees do not admit that the TEI experiment failed. This is a failure in leadership.

Nancy Rodriguez is the only candidate who understands the failure of standardized test focused policies. We need new leadership on the DISD Board in District 2 and the clear choice is Nancy Rodriguez.