DISD School Board Races | One Win, One Runoff

Dallas Independent School District logo | Image by DISD/Shutterstock

Elections were held Saturday for two seats on the Dallas Independent School District’s (DISD) Board of Trustees, yielding a clear victory in one race and a runoff in the other.

Incumbent Joyce Foreman handily won her race for District 6’s board seat, taking in roughly 77% of the vote, trouncing long-time teacher and education activist Stephen Poole.

“Thank you to the voters of [DISD] District 6 for returning me to the Board. … We will continue to work together for children,” Foreman tweeted Sunday morning.

Foreman was first elected to the school board in 2014 after a decades-long career in the private sector, coming to represent DISD’s southwest education district.

Her campaign this election cycle appeared to highlight the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) latest accountability reports for her campuses, suggesting that the schools in her district were relatively strong performers compared to those of other trustees.

“Please remember my long record of success and that District 6 schools are rated by the State and we have no D or F campus. Out of 9 Trustee Districts, District 6 is the only District that [has] that distinction,” Foreman tweeted on Friday.

While her claim may be valid regarding overall accountability ratings, a deeper look into the student achievement outcomes at her campuses suggests that District 6 is not free from the institutional issues and dysfunction plaguing the troubled school district.

The Dallas Express considers student achievement scores, “a composite of … STAAR scores; ‘College, Career, and Military Readiness’ … indicators; and graduation rates,” as a superior metric for evaluating the quality of education being provided to students.

Of the 26 schools in her district, just shy of half (12) received either D or F grades in student achievement for the 2021-2022 school year.

DISD has struggled to adequately educate the roughly 140,000 students in its charge annually. Districtwide, only 41% of all district students scored at grade level last year, and almost 20% of the Class of 2022 did not graduate on time.

Still, not every district in DISD is doing poorly. Only two campuses in District 2 — North Dallas and near East Dallas — earned below a C grade in student achievement last school year.

District 2 is currently represented by Trustee Dustin Marshall, who opted not to run for reelection. Instead, he gave his backing to one of the three candidates campaigning for his seat.

“Representing the kids of District 2 has been the honor of a lifetime. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Sarah Weinberg for the D2 seat,” tweeted Marshall back in February.

Weinberg, the former chief strategy officer for the education nonprofit United to Learn, earned just over 37% of Saturday’s vote, coming in behind real estate investor Jimmy Tran, who nabbed just under 40% of the vote. The third candidate in District 2’s race, former teacher and columnist at The Dallas Morning News Kevin Malonson, received about 23% of the vote.

The Dallas Express spoke with Olga Gonzalez on Saturday at a polling location on Cedar Springs Road. Informed by her background working for a local education nonprofit, she said she was supporting Malonson in the race.

“I know that … [Malonson] is the most qualified candidate. He’s endorsed by The Dallas Morning News, endorsed by several other education agencies, he’s just the best choice. He’s going to do the most work in the community,” Gonzalez said.

To her likely disappointment, Tran and Weinberg are the ones heading to a runoff scheduled for June 10.

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