The deadline has now passed for candidates looking to throw their hat into the race for the three seats on the ballot for the Dallas Independent School District’s (DISD) Board of Trustees.
Elections for DISD Districts 2, 6, and 8 will be held on May 6 and could serve as a referendum on the troubled school district, which respondents to a poll conducted by The Dallas Express back in September see as suffering from mismanagement.
Additionally, the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) accountability report on the district last school year found that only 41% of students were testing at grade level on their STAAR exams, and almost 20% of graduating seniors failed to earn their diplomas on time.
If last year’s metrics are any indication, whoever ends up filling the seats that are up for grabs this year will have their work cut out for them.
The most crowded field is in District 2, where sitting trustee Dustin Marshall has decided not to run for re-election. Three candidates are running for the seat: education advocate and real estate investor Jimmy Tran, executive director of Teach Plus Texas Kevin Malonson, and former chief strategy officer for United to Learn Sarah Weinberg.
The Dallas Express reached out to the candidates for comment on the race, eliciting responses from two out of the three District 2 candidates.
“As a current DISD parent of 3 school-aged children, I believe I have the perspective, energy and experience to make DISD the top-rated urban District in our State. We will do that by focusing on student success, ensuring governance & transparency and eliminating barriers to student success,” stated Tran in an email to The Dallas Express.
For his part, Malonson told The Dallas Express:
“I’m about common sense solutions and getting back to the basics in our schools. We need to look at transfer policies and address overcrowding and safety in our district. We need to include and trust the teacher perspective in the decision making process on our path forward. We need to be responsible with the tax dollars everyone pays into our schools.”
Weinberg responded to The Dallas Express’ request for comment, stating:
“[W]e still have a long way to go to ensure every student is prepared to enter the workforce, college or the military when they leave. I am running to ensure that we continue to let data, best practices, and innovation lead the way to success for our Dallas kids. I know that a great public education starts with good governance from the Board of Trustees.”
Requests for comment were also sent to District 6 candidates incumbent Joyce Foreman and her challenger, veteran educator Stephen Poole, but no responses were forthcoming.
District 8 trustee Joe Carreón, who is running unopposed, also did not respond to a request for comment.
Both Districts 6 and 8, according to TEA accountability reports, each have three campuses that earned failing marks in student achievement outcomes last school year.
DISD’s total number of failing schools — 29 — dragged the district down in a recent ranking of the top six big-city school districts, coming in dead last, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
The stakes in this year’s election are high for the district, given that a recent court ruling could allow the state to take over failing and dysfunctional school districts like DISD and the Houston Independent School District.
How is it that I vote in District 1 yet all the children in my neighborhood go to primary, junior high, and high schools in District 2?
It is weird how the districts are drawn– Sometimes they can be divided right down the center of the street!
I admit I have NOT done a good job looking into who has been elected for School Board– BUT that is changing THIS Year! Thank you for the People’s Paper XO