Poll: DISD Struggles From ‘Mismanagement’

Poll: DISD Struggles from 'Mismanagement'
Dallas Independent School District Administration Building | Image by FOX 4

Residents within the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) recently weighed in on issues facing their public schools in a poll conducted by The Dallas Express.

The residents were asked why they believed DISD was among the worst-performing school districts in the state and were presented with a number of choices from which to select.

Some of the choices presented to those polled were: a lack of sufficient funding, lack of parental involvement, lack of charter school options, and a self-focused board or self-focused administration.

The far-and-away highest selected choice in the poll was “mismanagement” by the DISD school board, at 49% of those polled.

That number was even higher among residents who also voted in the May 2022 municipal elections, at 54%.

Kelly Neidert is with Protect Texas Kids, an organization whose mission is to protect children from what it deems harmful agendas and indoctrination. Reached for comment by email, Neidert said, “DISD definitely has a mismanagement crisis. Nothing coming out of that district is positive, and that’s directly reflected on the incompetent board/administration.”

Neidert told The Dallas Express she believes that the school district has lost its focus on “actually teaching students” and is instead more concerned with “forcing diversity and inclusivity.”

“At every DISD board meeting I’ve been to, the word ‘equity’ is said every other minute,” remarked Neidert. Protect Texas Kids is exceptionally active in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The latest Texas school accountability ratings were just released and show that DISD has struggled with students meeting grade levels across all subjects compared to the rest of the state.

Just 43% of DISD students “met grade level” on the reading STAAR compared to 53% of students across the state. Similarly, science and social studies significantly lag behind state performance as well.

Math is the subject in which students, on average, most closely meet state performance, with 39% of DISD students meeting grade level compared to 42% across Texas.

DISD also suffers a dropout rate of 4.5%, nearly twice the state average of 2.4%.

“Taxpayers in the district and parents who previously had children in DISD schools are overwhelmingly disappointed with what they’re seeing,” Neidert commented.

Yet despite these challenges, Cynthia Hawkins-Bowland, a retired DISD teacher and member of the Dallas Retired Teachers Association, believes that the current “DISD teachers and all DISD employees continue to give their best to the students.”

Hawkins-Bowland said she admires current teachers who are “working and giving their all during times of great political uncertainty.”

She cited the renewed discussions on so-called “school choice” policies, poor employment benefits, and a lack of respect from many state legislators as concerns she has for current teachers, as well as those considering the profession.

She believes these concerns may cause people to avoid the teaching profession or leave it prematurely. “It would be a great loss to the state of Texas and DISD,” she added, “or any school district,” if not addressed.

The Dallas Express reached out to each member of the DISD school board for comment on these poll findings, but as of the writing of this article, all had refused to respond.

Neidert called for an overhaul of the current school board. Voters should replace the existing members with those who “want [to] work in the best interest of kids,” she said and vowed, “My organization, Protect Texas Kids, plans on working with parents and concerned community members within the district to fix these ongoing problems.”

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  1. Rene martinez

    Your article is biased and dead wrong. Disd is one of the best run and governed districts in the nation. It has some of the best innovative, magnet school in the US.

    You quoting a MAGA supporter who has no children in disd and only is concerned with race issues is shortsighted. Disd is rated a B by tea.

    Get your facts straight and next time interview volunteers within disd.

    Rene Martinez
    Vp hotchkiss pta
    Member of the Ptech impact council
    Lulac 100 president

    • LoWa

      You might be a bit biased yourself. I see nothing positive coming out of any public schools, especially Dallas!

    • Michele Gulley

      You have got to be kidding. All three of my kids were in the DISD at some point in their academic careers. One even graduated from Woodrow Wilson with her IB diploma. That being said…no matter our level of involvement through PTA and volunteer work, we found the DISD administrative staff and board to be abysmal and pathetic. Teachers did their best with what they had to work with but that ship is a sinking one unless administration is overhauled. The new superintendent is a joke.

    • Lia

      I’m glad you’re supporting your school. Ignore the comments if you don’t like them and think they’re biased. I will say that as a volunteer you don’t see what goes on behind closed doors. As a former teacher, I’ve seen the machinations used to pass/graduate students and protect administrator jobs. Plus, you can’t argue with those numbers.

    • Doretha Reeves

      I agree. Seems aimed at allowing the same GOP ignorance to permeate our district.

    • Vanessa

      I thought the article just said that disd personnel had been contracted but had not responded. So what’s next? Do i detect a little bias from u, all u hear from school boards is $$$. Could there not be just basic pride in the profession to teach our kids the basics, my grandson is enrolled in college prep classes in the 6th grade, Why? If the basics are taught, college will follow it’s natural course, i try not to criticize individual professions or lives bc i don’t live there. I know what is missing is God and Respect, if those 2 elements are missing, something is going to fill the gap and we see what that is happening, it could not be an accident bc it’s all over the country, the common denominator is Colleges and Universities, what are they being taught to pass on to our children. There are so many factors, but work on the most important one and that is educating our children. Teachers are supposed to teach, all the other stuff is a Side-Show.

  2. RobertKendallSmote

    CNN and MSNBC blaring nonstop in the DISD administration building lobby explains a lot.

    I’m so sure our billionaire ruling class owners of those networks interests are wholly aligned with inner city kids’ interests. /sarc

  3. Glorias Dixon

    Ms Neidert has her own narrow agenda. There are numerous successes coming out of Dallas ISD. Maybe she just hasn’t taken time to focus on the positive!

  4. Edwin Flores

    I am a member of the Dallas school board and I was never contacted for this story. I will be glad to discuss the many successes in the school district, how this board is focused on students and student achievement, and our many outstanding school choice options within the school district.

    • Lynn Davenport

      I guess your email still isn’t working?

    • Jazmin Stewart

      You can’t focus on the positives when there are so many negatives as I was a disd student and now my children. I can say the system should be changed. I came from Iowa school system the teachers didny base their teachings focused only on one test. They tested us at the beginning of the year to place us in the correct classes. If you were remedial in math but great at reading that’s how you’re placed. Putting all 4th graders in fourth grade math and flunking them because they’re not good as the other kids is ridiculous. And then have the nerve to charge for school programs when most parents can’t afford a place to stay. It’s irritating to know that you all only see the few positives and don’t try to correct the negatives. Like now I believe my kids might have mental issues and instead of switching him to a class that might help because you see the problem, I have to get paperwork from the doctor for any kind of help. The bus system is also not fair if the kid lives within 2mi they can walk home. Do you all not know how dangerous that is, people don’t care about school zones let alone if the parent works, if I don’t leave work everyday early to pick up the kids so now I miss out on money because schools don’t let a 4yr old walk home but they can’t ride the bus either what sense does any of it make.

    • Eric Geist

      Dr. Flores, I emailed you on August 24th with a number of questions about these poll findings. You did not reply. I forwarded that email to you again yesterday after seeing this comment and I have still not received a reply. If you’d like to provide comment, we’d love to have it. Please respond to either email if you’d like to do so. Thanks!

    • Curtis Womack

      Focused on teaching students CRT…that’s the DISD’s only focus.

  5. H E

    DUH…..There’s nothing new here. It’s been this way for the 35 years that I’ve lived here. Never changes.

  6. Deborah Caldwell

    Okay this is the truth from someone who have worked at these DISD schools and that person is me. There is nothing positive coming out of these schools I have worked at 5 different schools through the temp agency in the cafeteria serving the children food. DISD schools will hire anyone to teach these kids and most of them are ghetto. I started working through temp agency in 2018, so that is 4 years of seeing what I see. The DISD worker do care about the no child left behind they talk to the children any kind of way, but they have their picks it is the ones who they know their parents are not concerned about them. They complain about not getting paid enough the workers in the kitchen eat better than the children and the steal the food and take it home. Maybe before 2018 DISD was good positive, but when I started as a temp I saw a lot of Mismanagement even with the children.

    • Deborah Caldwell

      Do not care about no child left behind

  7. Lynn Davenport

    There are two trustees who are not a part of the bipartisan “supermajority” fueled by Commit and their failed reforms. Joyce Foreman and Camile White are the only two not feeding the education machine. All others should be replaced for allowing DISD to underperform at the taxpayer’s expense. DISD enrollment is at an all-time low since Dr. Hinojosa was the superintendent (160K to 141K). He’s running for mayor in May. The founder of Commit funds the Dallas Morning News EduLab so the local paper won’t cover the truth about ongoing malfeasance in the district. It is important to pay attention to the nonprofits and the P3s feeding at the trough, as well as consultants.

  8. Laura Cole

    Your article seems to cover only one point of view. I am not familiar with Protect Texas Kids, but their experience with DISD is very different from mine. As a Dallas Independent School (Private School) teacher, I admire the innovative and proven teaching practices of my colleagues at DISD. The COVID issue is not one caused or exacerbated by them. We all did the best we could for students during that time. Then Superintendent Hinojosa stood strong for what was best for children. I felt proud of my city.

  9. Kristina Jones

    My major concern is sending elementary students to a high school for In School Suspension. Not sure if Gateway Charter is part of DISD, but this was done by MS. Moore the Education Coordinator of Gateway Charter Elementary. When you try to contact her or any of the superiors of the campus in regards to concerns of your child they do not respond. The main thing most DISD campuses are missing is communication with parents. They rather just let you know what’s going to take place and allow the parents no feedback. I felt this to be very disturbing, I still have not received a call back or response. I left my contact information for both MS. Moore & Mr. Edwards.

  10. Pamela Russell

    I have lived in Dallas for 67 years. I did not attend the DISD. DISD is very large for one person to handle. Has anyone considered dividing the district up and hiring two people? This is just a thought!



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