Hey, Sharon Grigsby

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someone

Belo ExpectationsHey, Sharon:

Because you and Belo Expectations share such an affinity for cheap shots and have little actual expertise in combing through education data, let us know whether the following press release is true:

“Principal Marian Willard and The Great James Madison High School made astounding gains in Texas successful public college transition rates over the last year in data recently compiled by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Willard’s senior class of 2011 increased their successful college transition rates by almost 30% over the class of 2010, beating out Peak Preparatory, a nationally known charter school.

As a result of this improvement in true college readiness, Principal Marian Willard has been targeted for termination by Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles. Peak Preparatory’s former Director has been promoted in a position of training principals at the Teaching Trust at SMU.”

True or False, Sharon?

How about you, Jim Schutze, on your throne at the DO? Want to take a shot?

Sharon Grigsby’s usual work at Belo Expectations is generally in the category of pabulum and not worth comment, but her latest column that attempts to paint Marian Willard of Madison as a loser principal who needs to be terminated is not only inaccurate; it borders on slander.

Grigsby quotes Jim Schutze of The Dallas Observer, a local rag whose revenue stream is dependent on soft porn. Lately, Jim seems to be pulling a cut and paste job from Commit! and Dallas education PACs who seek to paint some Dallas high schools as total failures with Commit! and the PACs offering their two cents in terms of cures.

Commit! and the rest of the Dallas PACs have no cures for high schools like Madison that must have strong, stable and consistent campus leadership. Miles’ cure in Harrison 2 in Colorado Springs was constant torment of both principals and teachers with few gains in achievement. Goofballs like Mark Melton constantly focus on accountability with no institutional knowledge of what that means at the campus level.

But back to the data and Willard. Grigsby repeats Jim Schutze’s error in comparing Madison’s SAT scores to the state average. Apparently Grigsby and Schutze need an introductory course in education reporting and the AEIS data system used in Texas.

Rule 1:
Poverty is the most consistent correlation to low standardized test scores, and the predictive ability of the SAT falls as the student population being tested becomes poorer. Grigsby and Schutze, in their fervor to prove their points, missed the demographic AEIS campus match to Madison High School supplied by TEA. If the state of Texas were as poor as the students served by Madison High School, we would be a third world country. The demographics of Texas students don’t match Madison, but

Madison’s scores are in line with its demographic peer group.Schutze’s cheap shot at Willard by comparing Madison High School to the state average isn’t just inaccurate. It is character assassination of Willard and her students.

Rule 2:
Growth on the PSAT and SAT from time a freshman enters high school to a final SAT score is typically around 80 points in Dallas high schools. SEM and TAG have growth rates of around 120 points.

Marian Willard’s leadership at Madison puts her right in the norm for PSAT and then SAT growth at her high school. Willard is getting the same gains on SAT scores from the time ninth graders enter her campus as her peer high schools.

Schutze has already been apprised of this. Grigsby would have learned more from reader response to Schutze than from Schutze’s article. Schutze’s responses to accurate information were snarky, sophomoric hysterics.

Willard takes all the students who enter from her feeder pattern. She can’t do what many charters do and refuse to offer transportation, require costly uniforms, offload poor performers in middle school or take only those students whose parents are engaged enough to enroll them in a lottery.

So, what say you Sharon? How about you Miles? What is your response to our press release?

We know our press release is accurate, but we won’t be reading the truth anywhere but here.

Strange how we have two media outlets in town, a “Partnership” of plutocrats and graduates from Harvard’s School of Education, and a hack reporter with the initials of BM, (fitting, we think), and yet there is so little truth in any of the many sponsored discussions on education in Dallas.

We think it’s time we give some of our comprehensive high schools the old charter school marketing spin where outcomes are all buffed up and all the disappointing outcomes just vanish.

Sad how we are preaching to journalists who ought to know better, but the preaching is just starting.

Posted in Teachers Rule Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Concerned Teacher
Concerned Teacher like.author.displayName 1 Like

Wow, I am just blown away by all the information that is coming forth....I am thinking about leaving education altogether, its too much....I know the kids are worth it but teachers are not punching bags and we can only take so much...I am mostly concerned about student behavior, it is really out of control and I teach elementary.  When I have more students with emotional problems, ADHD, ADD, absolutely no self control, there are only so many tricks you can pull out of a hat...if we do not find a way to help students with their behavior, then I believe we will see masses of teachers leaving the field. 

muckraker109 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Well, if we had any respect for Belo, it is gone.

Grigsby's article sits there like a dead flounder, stinking, containing defamatory misinformation, and no retraction, no correction of the AEIS data that was Sharon's centerpiece, borrowed from Schutze. Hey, Texas School Administrators, is it ok with you if Grigsby tells whopping lies to skewer a principal?

Any apologies for its constant biased reporting? Any response from Schutze? No, just another boilerplate article on how school reform is tough.

How about truthful reporting being tough? How about not swaying to the clown show of TFA and Rhee being tough?

How about doing some actual reporting being tough?

 Journalism is dead in this town. Sold to Todd Williams for a dollar.

DISD Teach
DISD Teach like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@muckraker109 The issue, even with an apology, is that the misinformation is already out there.  The public is quick to jump on a bandwagon to persecute someone, but if found innocent of the charges--that ends up on the back pages of the news.  An apology can never repair all the damage done from what was seen on the front page.  Careers are at stake.  A person's family and well-being are at stake.  It's horrible what has happened to Mrs. Willard, but as teachers, we all suffer from this to a degree.  The news reports nothing but how many of us need to be replaced because we have been deemed inefficient according to our new leader and his entourage.  Non-renewals are difficult to explain away.  They're messing with us all!

Waiting for  Belo
Waiting for Belo like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 4 Like

After reading the multiple exchanges between LBart and educators who understand the data, urban children, and have experiences far beyond LBart's scope, it is apparent that whomever LBart is advising (maybe Belo, maybe BoT, maybe Schutze, maybe SMU, Commit!, maybe Educate Dallas, maybe DFK, maybe all) has sadly chosen the wrong person. LBart has proven to be uninformed, unable to understand the math, and unable to admit the errors.  That tells us all that the continued defense of 'Rheeform' and of this egregious error by DO and DMN is to protect one's job. LBart you have just outed yourself. You are a mole. troll, and toad. 

And to Belo, back pedal all you want with today's editorial, but we are waiting for correction.

DISD Teach
DISD Teach

Given a week to decide if you want more scrutiny and professional development along with a longer work day for five bucks a day....and they called that exciting?!?  I don't know who in their right mind would choose that.  Some may have their backs against the wall and have no choice but to stay.  The district didn't sound too committed to trying to place everyone that opted out.  They'll try, they say.  Sure.  Best question during the presentation was would the $1000 be monthly!  That's about what it should take.  They slid it in there, but those schools are going to be the beta testers for the pay for performance pay scale.  WTF!  How in the world! Run!

Release the Toxins
Release the Toxins

@DISD Teach Please clarify and explain this post a little more. I understand the "run" from pay for performance part. However, not sure about who was given a week to decide, what they were deciding, why $5 would be exciting, or the district finding a place for people who opted out. Please explain.

I continue to say - this is when we need to stop passing over opportunities; stop acting like we can't have the desire to make much more money...just sayin'

muckraker109 like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Release the Toxins @DISD Teach 

If Miles was trying to sucker teachers into an early version of his payforcompliance scheme by telling them they would reap $1,000 for being the first to partake of the poisoned fruit, who is really stupid enough to take him on this "deal?"

The RTT plan was a total joke fabricated by someone who doesn't teach. "Opportunities?"

No one in Harrison made $90K, yet Miles continues the blatant lies.

As far you, "Release the Toxins," please jump aboard the ship Pinkston or Lincoln, but do it as a classroom teacher who will have even more layers of micromanagers. Don't come on here as a shill for Miles acting like teachers have hit the jackpot.

This plan is as bogus as everything else Miles brought in his clown show.

Release the Toxins
Release the Toxins

@muckraker109 @Release the Toxins @DISD Teach I clearly was not clear if that is how MY post was read. I, for one, am not even talking about opportunities for making more money in the district - I am referring to outside the district. Also, I am not a supporter of P4P at all - I see between the lines, and know that is a scheme. I have already heard about the dangling $90,000 carrot that can never be grasped - if no teacher reached that level in H2, I know no teacher will make it in DISD - no point fooling ourselves.


Did anyone attend the latest Open Mike session last night? 

GotToFireSomeone like.author.displayName 1 Like

Ok-the Grigsby approach was fatally flawed and may result in a lawsuit, so now Belo has taken the fatherly tone in a new editorial on wny mass executions of educators are necessary for the good of the city.

Now, it's End of Course exams. Many students did poorly.

Really, Belo?

We think our state legislators understood that when they just lowered the number of tests required for graduation. Of course BM has brought Tom Luce on board to tell us no vocational education in high schools because the Chinese will get us if we don't take math and science end of course exams for eternity.

Did Tom Luce just get airlifted out of the cancer nepotism issue where he sat on the board and pleaded innocent to another Perry slush fund? So now he needs to tell us how to run our schools?

How about he and McKenzie ride off into the sunset together? Take Kress with you, and Texans will be blessed.

We don't need massive firings of educators when we have massive openings. We don't need more end of course exams.

We don't care what Bill Hammonds or Kress or Belo think about too much of anything.

Pray for the Republicans in the state legislature to end this testing travesty.

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Jim Schutze:

My friend. You are letting your hatred of black racial politics, and anything J W P touches, taint your journalistic ethics and senses. Sharon, what happened to you, too?

The issue here is NOT about race, since Miles is half-black. Dig deeper. Look at her (Willard's)  paycheck. Look at the paycheck of ANY teacher or principal., over the age of 50---THAT IS YOUR STORY. THEY ARE CUTTING LOOSE SENIOR TEACHERS and EXCELLENT PRINCIPALS.... SO THEY CAN SAVE MONEY FOR THEIR IRKSOME STEPFORD ACADEMY GRADS.

That needs to be a story , guys. Why not do a FOIA request to ge the race, gender, age and number of years teaching of all non-renewals for the last four years..  and then do your job.

BullyingByBelo like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Beer in Hand 

This goes way past age discrimination. Jim's assertions, picked up by Sharon with no analysis or knowledge of the Texas school data system, are a pattern of contemptuous bullying by Jim and Belo. Every day we get a new editorial telling us what to think and how to think--no facts, no analysis, no grey area.

This isn't journalism. It's ideology forced on Dallas by a bunch of education PACs who know nothing of urban education. 

Now it's gone past bullying into pure, unexamined lies.

We are waiting for the retraction from Sharon. No one takes Jim Schutze seriously.

For Belo to print lies and then use the lies as reasons for termination can't be dismissed because of Miles' obsession with young flesh.

When the press is misused in this manner, democracy is gone.

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

Oh, mo. I disagree. Belo will go by the wayside, at lest the paper will--while democracy will survive.

Irony is that if they were more journalistic, and less lapdogish, their subscriptions would go up.

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

Hey, Mike Miles.

How's that studying for that certification going for ya.

I have passed every Texas teacher exam---the first time I took each of them. Wonder how you will do?

Watch DOGS
Watch DOGS

@Beer in Hand

FMM is not working on his certification alone. No human being can do all of the low down dirty work that he is doing like; sneaking around from campus to campus and spying, speaking at many, many engagements, lying and making sponsors like Wal-Mart and others think he is really something special and “Open Mike.”


just finished watching the new roll-out live feed.  miles expects teachers to teach another hour every day and have extra training.  hmmmm......sounds like the previous learning center model which was dismantled when the district applied to be removed from the court ordered desegregation orders EXCEPT we were paid an extra 4 thousand dollars a year.  the teachers in the "new" imagine 2020 will receive 1 thousand extra in pay.  roughly 5 dollars extra for every extra hour of teaching.  yep...mile and company really know how to get teachers to flee....

Release the Toxins
Release the Toxins

@lala This is a disgrace to the educated, certified professionals. I feel sorry for those who will fall for it.

Watch DOGS
Watch DOGS


We calculated a lousy $83 per month. That want cover the cost of gas for a month. I teach at one of the schools. Don’t be fooled! They tried to make it look so good. BS!

I am OTFO! (Opting the _ _ _ _ OUT!)

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

No worries! Our new publicity guy will take the DMN to task and shine the bright light of truth on this! Right?

Team Done
Team Done

And Sharon must have had a hand in this editorial as well:


This states that Nutall voted to close 11 under performing schools, 5 in her own district. These schools were not under performing, but under populated. Some random number of enrollment and building usage determined if a "CLOSED" sign appeared on the door. Again, DMN paints with a broad brush and then tries to appease us with No.So Gap fillers? 

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is beyond FUBAR. I have been here close to twenty years but never this bad.

Disrupted DISD
Disrupted DISD like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

And since when does a "journalist" from the DMN quote from articles in the Dallas Observer as though they are a solid reference? As though they are factual articles, based on accurate research?  The DO is not exactly the New York Times or the Washington Post in terms of reputation.

Did Grigsby even bother to fact check Schutze's article before quoting from it and using it to back up her article? I thought fact-checking was taught in journalism classes as being important.

This is laughable- George Bannerman Dealey must be seasick in his grave from rolling over and over so many times in disgust. (Dealey was the President of the DMN in 1920 and renamed it A.H. Belo Corp. after his mentor, Alfred Horatio Belo)

Disrupted DISD
Disrupted DISD

P.S.  For those who can't read the author's name at the bottom, the inscription over the entrance to the Belo building is a quote from G.B. Dealey.  

Team Done
Team Done

@Disrupted DISD and here is the inscription:



@Disrupted DISD 

Bill McKenzie is the source of the fables regarding charter schools--spews nothing but propaganda and no one at that "newspaper" ever bothers to fact check anything.

Anyone posts anything contrary to McKenzie's slanted viewpoints, and he ERASES their comments. Does BM understand Belo is no longer the single viewpoint on everything, that social media exists to provide feedback?

Now Schutze over at Hustler News is the source of accurate education data? The question left is who is feeding him this bull?

WantSomeMore like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Well, Sharon and Schutze, don’t know why anyone would call you a journalist ever again.

You have committed defamation out of pure laziness and hopping on a bandwagon lead by the Dallas rich and powerful who brought Mike Miles to town.

The 49% you both referenced in AEIS data does not refer to SAT “grades.” It references the passing rate on Advanced Placement and IB exams and it breaks down this way:

30% of students in Texas took an AP/IB course

24% of the 30% were tested

Of those tested, 49.3 passed a test

In other words, 3.5% of the total Texas population passed an AP/IB test compared to Madison’s 1%.

Madison is not a demographic match for the state of Texas, so Madison has a comparable pass rate.

To Marian Willard, whom you have demonized to the world, call Bickel and Brewer. Based on this biased reporting which Sharon Grigsby didn’t even fact check, B&B should have a field day.

By the way, Sharon, do you remember taking an SAT test? Do you remember it wasn’t “graded?”

In terms of Madison’s SAT scores, Willard tested almost all her kids. Beeden in Irving ISD did the same and it dropped the district’s scores 100 points from the previous year. Willard’s scores can’t be compared to the state scores when fewer kids were tested and the state is not a demographic match to Madison.

Between the Observer being run by Schutze’s inaccurate rants based on the propaganda being spewed by COMMIT, the Citizen’s Council, the Chamber, SMU’s Bush Institute, Uplift, our comprehensive high schools are being beaten down by a band of liars.

Can our schools improve? Of course. Does Miles have a track record of improvement?

Certainly not, nor does his methodology.

So Belo Expectations and its bias toward Miles at any cost, including the truth, is finally apparent for the world to see. Fair and accurate reporting?  Or sleazy yellow journalism?

As far as Madison being a “turnaround” school, there are indicators it is much healthier than other DISD schools. According to TEA, Madison met federal NCLB AYP this year. WT White and Booker T did not.

Of course, Madison has a large number of African American males it must test each year in math. Booker T has managed to keep its AA population so low for the last three years that its failure in math in that subpop was under the radar until this year. The story there might be why a school name for African Americans has so few and whether keeping the numbers so low was done intentionally to sidestep NCLB requirements.

Want a story Grisby? We doubt you’ll touch that or the many other issues in Dallas ISD.


@WantSomeMore You can't compare to the state but you can compare to "campus group," a group of 40 demographically similar schools, yes?

If I'm reading the data correctly, in 2011 Madison tested 36 percent in AP compared to the campus group percentage of 25. Madison admittedly allowed more to take AP exams, but there is 8.4 percent vs. .5 percent in the "scores criterion" column. Under the column for "examinees criterion," the percentage of students with at least one criterion score on an AP or IB exam, Madison was at 1 percent compared to the campus group of 13 percent. Why this big gap compared to *demographically similar* schools?

That said, I'm not sure you should live or die on AP scores, but a cursory look at the data seems like that shows the biggest gap. Madison's SAT score is a jaw-droppingly bad 742, but they tested dramatically more students than the campus comparison group, 90 percent to 67. 


@LBart. This shows how little you know about probability of passing AP tests. If Madison's total SAT score average is 720, there is no way people would be earning qualifying scores on AP tests with the best AP teachers in the world. According to the College Board, a verbal score of 510-530 has approximately a 50% probability of a qualifying (3) score in Ap English or U. S. History. 480-490 has a 37.5 % probability while 450–470 has a 24% probability. When a score drops to the 430-449 range, we are at 14% probabilty. Below that, you get the picture. Some of the low-perforing schools have average verbal scores in the 380–400 range. That is why qualifying scores at high poverty/low SAT score schools are so low.

Now compare that student population to Booker T, TAG, and SEM where average scores are hundreds of points higher, and. one can quickly see how the difference in scores occurs. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that producing AP qualifying scores depends on one's student population. Your border line kids, in the 480 to 540 range are the real challenges---pushing them to stretch, work at it until they can earn a qualifying score. For kids whose SAT scores are where they are at Madison, for example, exposing them to AP is upping the rigor and the skill level, but the main focus at low performing schools is TAKS and EOC. Most time is spent on that, as they need the basic practice. And the policy in DISD has been to push more and more kids into AP, regardless of their potential to earn a qualifying score. Miles complains about passing rates, but as usual he is totally ignoring the student potential ability to pass these difficult tests. He can pretend all he wants that anyone who takes an AP class should be passing, but it's all nonsense.

To up the SAT scores will take a concerted effort of hard to read materials, much reading, much vocabulary building, and it doesn't start in high school. Kids are NOT reading these days, and SAT scores are either flat or dropping. It's cell-phone and Facebook city, hardly conducive to building SAT scores. Just sticking kids in AP classes doesn't get it. And by the way, blaming the Ap teacher doesn't do it either. SEE ABOVE for explanation of SAT scores again.


@FreakinExpert Madison's SAT scores are low becuase it is a very high poverty school. It's not the principal's fault. It's her student population. I've seen average SAT scores for all the schools; they are available, and in the highest poverty high schools, they are very low. It's not just Madison, believe me. The reading abilities are way below grade-level when they arrive at high school. If the principal has raised them 80 points over 4 years, that's commendable, and it's on par with other schools, BUT they started way behind, so what is she supposed to do? Wave a magic wand and up them 150 points? I'm not blaming the principal at all; I'm attempting to explain to Lbart the realities of what. it takes

Persona non grata
Persona non grata


Careful with your criticism of FMM.

“Your hatred of this man is bordering on the irrational and pathological.”

---LBart response to blogger


@retiredteacher @LBart 

We don't know what the SAT scores are for the high achieving kids at Madison. All we know is Willard tested almost 90% of her students in a very high poverty school.

If we tested 90% of the kids at Hillcrest or Woodrow, we will see the average fall dramatically.

What we need to be asking Willard is what she needs to improve the academic outcomes at her school.

Does Miles ever ask that? Did Schutze ask? Does Belo ever ask?

No, teachers and princpals are toads and are to be treated as such.


@retiredteacher @LBart 

Madison's SAT score is low because she tested so many kids, just as she was instructed to do.

Miles doesn't understand the difference between a high growth high school, which Madison may be, and binary pass/fail.

Besides, we all know he has a vendetta against Willard because she is a strong-willed, older female. Her strength has pushed that school out of the AU4 mess it was in when she arrived.

Miles wants toads, compliant, on the knees toads.

Willard is not going to get terminated and harassed for not being a toad.

Sorry, we will use the data given to us by the state of Texas. Miles cannot prove she is incompetent.

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName 1 Like

@LBart @WantSomeMore 

LBart, you are not even in the ballpark. There are three stages to computing the percentage of students who passed an AP exam. Why the state tallies it this way is unknown,except that it appears we have many more students passing exams than we actually do.

The first percentage is how many students were enrolled in AP of juniors and seniors. Then, of that percentage, how many were tested. Of those tested, what percentage passed at least one exam.

Madison tested more kids, so her one percent compared to the similar demographic isn't 1% compared to 13% moron! That's the same mistake Gigsby made. Madison had more students taking the course and more tested, so their 1% cannot be compared to the comparison group with 13%. 13% doesn't mean 13% of the population. It is 13% of the percentage tested after computing the percentage even enrolled in AP.

The actual number of kids at the state level comes out at about 3% of the state population, not 49%!

As far as the SAT figures, unless a similar school demographically tests the same percentage, there is no way to make comparisons.

Irving ISD's average SAT dropped 100 points when they tested the same percentage as Madison, so if we give Madison 100 points, they are in the ballpark of their peers.

Schutze made egregious errors in his assumptions about this data and then Grigsby just printed them again as grounds for terminating Willard.

This is beyond the bounds of just shoddy journalism.

Willard's school was judged sixth most effective in DISD by its own research department based on the growth of her students.

This is not data driven reform. It's gross misrepresentation of state data. If Grigsby doesn't understand it, then don't write about it.

Once again, the media misrepresents public education for its own purposes. Why hasn't anyone looked at the poor results of their favorite charter schools?

Find a comprehensive high school in Texas with the same demographics that is doing much better than Willard is doing. Go ahead. Find one.


@LBart I didn't turn it into a rant at all. I was explaining to you how the AP program works and how the district is wrongly trying to attach teacher effetiveness to AP scores. You were asking some questions that showed you understood little about the link between SAT scores and Ap test results. You said, for example, that you understood the SAT/AP link at TAG but seemed to question it at Madison. Honestly, I had posted on this two other times today and the server kept going down, so my posts were erased. It is also quite difficult to explain the AP program at DISD to someone who knows practically nothing about it.That said, there is an enormous difference between getting a student ready for an extremely difficult AP test (even if their SAT scores are decent) and preparing a student for TAKS or STARR. It takes years of learning, studying, planning, and attending AP Institutes to becomea proficient AP teacher. Yet no one running the District seems to have the faintest idea of how difficult it is. When veteran teachers hear Miles or anyone else complain about AP "passing rates," it beomes abundantly clear that the District is leaderless.You seem to imply that inclusion is a bad thing, but I don't think it is, within reason. While I agree that placing kids in AP who cannot pass the course or who are unwilling to work hard is a fool's errand, going back to having only the very brightest kids in AP is not the answer either. DISD has just gone overboard on AP, so a happy medium needs to be sought. Especially if AP teachers/principals are going to be held accountable for "pass rates " on AP tests. Accountability is like a many-headed Hydra. The heads keep growing back despite all logic,all reason, all common-sense. It sounds good to the public to hold people accountable, especially because the public has no knowledge of the circumstances individual teachers and principals face at individual schools. Lack of knowledge is a dangerous thing, and when FMM makes his pronouncements, he's counting on the public to be ignorant and approve of his shenanigans. I deplore the hypocrisy of the Reform Game.


@retiredteacher @LBart Furthermore, I agree with this: "Thus, if the student body at a low-performing high school has very low SAT scores, most of the.kids placed in AP also have very low scores, precluding the likelihood that anyone at the school will earn a qualifying score."

If the AP class has 20 kids who don't have a prayer of passing and 2 who do, the 2 are going to get dragged down. This is not the AP teacher's fault for all the reasons I pointed out above. It may also be a fault with the philosophy of AP inclusion, which is beyond the teacher's control. Calm down.


@retiredteacher @LBart You turned this into a rant, pretending in your head that I somehow disagree with you when I do not. Several people, including you, have pointed that we do not know the SAT of Madison's high performers, only the total average SAT which includes the lowest, the highest and everyone in between.

If Madison's population includes some students who have an SAT that would seem to put them within shot of passing an AP exam but they are not, that may be an issue. It may not be. Even IF -- if, if, if, for the sake of argument -- there is a disconnect between the relatively few students who scored decently on the SAT but did not pass an AP exam, it does not mean the principal needs to be fired over it. It does not mean the AP teachers suck. It may mean AP teachers have not been given adequate training or resources. It may mean they are great, but are young and inexperienced. It may mean that Willard has been burning up the phone lines begging for an AP teacher but hasn't been able to get anyone other than a sub. It may mean that she decided her strongest teachers needed to focus on getting the marginal cases to pass TAKS/EOC. 

Find me where I said ANYTHING about AP other than that it MAY mean Madison needs to beef up its program. You're taking this as some kind of slam against AP teachers when I said nothing of the sort.


@LBart How does anyone know what the average SAT was for test takers? It depends on the school. LBart, I don't think you understand how much AP has grown in the last 10-12

years, all pushed becase of "rigor" and because AP enrollment and sitting for the exam is part of a principal's evaluation. So it has mushroomed with little to no attention paid to SAT scores. Some.high schools have many, many, many sections of AP, while others have a few.

The number of students placed in AP has had little relation to potential for earning a qualified score; it's merely ba numbers game. Thus, if the student body at a low-performing high school has very low SAT scores, most of the.kids placed in AP also have very low scores, precluding the likelihood that anyone at the school will earn a qualifying score.

Let me illustrate with an example. Teacher A has an AP class of 30 students, and her BEST student has an SAT score of 450;!the rest of the students are below that. What aren he chances she'll have any qualifying scores? Zip. That describes many high schools in Dallas.

TAG students are enrolled in multiple AP courses and sit for multiple exams. Remember their average verbal SAT score? 650. What are the chances they'll have high numbers of qualifying scores? fabulous.

Whether or not everyone at Madison who takes the SAT sits for an AP exam is irrelevant.

THe SAT/AP link is still there. The probability ratings I gave you from the College Board that predict AP success are NATIONAL probability percentages. You can easily find Madison's SAT scores, so once you see them you'll know unequivocally that their low SAT scores do not bode well for AP success even if they had the best AP teachers in the state. It is not a matter of taking the SAT that matters; it's the score that matters.

AP has what is called "the teaching range," and it starts at about 460, but I've already shown you that that score has only a 24% probability. Not very good odds. Throw into the class many kids below that range and you can ascertain quickly what happens. No qualifying scores. Understand now how absurd and unfair it is to judge a high poverty, low SAT school

based on AP pass rates? It's the height of insanity, as College Board data tells you exactly what the odds are for success.

DISD should continue trying to upgrade kids' skills by having AP classes, but they can't harshly judge teachers and principals when their students statistically don't have a prayer of earning a qualifying score on an AP exam.

I hope you understand now, LBart, and if you don't I give up.


@retiredteacher @FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMoreWhat is the average SAT of the students who took the AP exams? Not the average SAT of the whole school, just the ones taking the exam or even just the ones in AP classes.

Every student at TAG takes the SAT and every student at TAG takes at least one AP exam. The SAT/AP link is clear. It is not clear for a school like Madison where everyone takes the SAT but far fewer take an AP exam.

retiredteacher like.author.displayName 1 Like

@FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore This is exactly what I'm talking about. When we so highly praise teachers for AP performance at schools where SAT scores are much higher than average district scores, we are being more than a bit disingenuous. High passing rates at such schools would be expected. When TAG has an average verbal score of 650 (not current numbers but numbers from a few years ago) wouldn't those kids be expected to earn qualifying scores on AP exams? You bet they would, as probability of earning a qualifying score in the 650-670 range is 97.6%. Even if Booker T were 40 points lower, which I doubt, 610-630 probability is 91.8%. While I know full well that all the "expert leaders" we have in the district and on the blog refuse to acknowledge reality, the continued blame of AP teachers at low performing schools for poor AP performance is more than disingenous. It's comical. PSAT/SAT scores are huge predictors of AP exam success. Only fools would ignore these statistics, expecting schools where the average verbal score is 380-400 (there are quite a few schools in this range) to produce qualifying exam scores. Quite frankly, I'm sick of the hypocrisy that in such cases "high expectations" alone will make the difference. It's a lie that "reformers" should quit repeating.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

If Madison is making gains, all things considered, according to DISD's own reporting, the high rate of experienced teachers could be one of the positive correlating factors in that success. If true, an inconvenient truth for this administration.

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Disrupted DISD @LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore 

There is a math opening at Madison, but Miles is in the middle of creating chaos over there, so probably there will be many openings next year and the year after.

Wonder why great teachers don't want to come to Dallas and be abused?

Wonder where we will get teachers in the future when we use standardized test scores to judge them when they don't have standardized students?

But we have high paid administrators coming out our ears.

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName 1 Like

@LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore 

How many openings in core academics at this point in time?

Why wasn't the school staffed on opening day?

There was no problem in recruiting every high dollar low performing administrator in the nation, including one with his own pcard offenses.

Where were the teachers when school began this year?


@FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore It doesn't say how many teachers are in core subjects, but Madison does have a very high number of teachers with more than 20 years experience, almost 30 percent compared to the district and campus group average of 18 percent, as well as teacher longevity with the district.

Disrupted DISD
Disrupted DISD like.author.displayName 1 Like

@LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore

 "Maybe they just need to beef up their AP department/teachers. "

How about they just hire some teachers for the classes that they have?  Remember the Madison student at the board meeting just last week who told the public that he STILL didn't have a teacher for AP English?  In APRIL, with the AP tests next month. So maybe having 1% of the kids who take the test pass it is pretty good for having been self-taught.

Why can't Glover get them a teacher?  And remember, these kids don't have a math teacher, either. What other teachers are missing? 

And this somehow is the principal's fault?  What, she's supposed to run HR, excuse me, HCM,  in addition to being a principal?  Principals can only hire candidates presented to them by HCM.


@LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore 

It's much more complex than that. Free and reduced lunch begins at around $40K for a family.

What happens when the critical mass of students are from families of less than $20K?

Or when there has been four generations at that level with little movement?

There is more social mobility in our new immigrants than in our neighborhoods with critical masses of deep poverty.

Yet, we have one-size-fits-all testing, curriculum and methods.

And we judge principals and teachers as if we sent them all the same exact students.


@FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore "Her peer group needs to be matched on race and income."

Well yeah, maybe, but that probably gets into some larger sticky questions. If you're saying that *poverty* is the biggest factor in low scores, then it's fair to include old Muleshoe ISD in the campus group list with the same poverty rate but far higher numbers of whites and Hispanics.


@LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore 

Her peer group needs to be matched on race and income.

Also, do not underestimate what may appear on the surface to be inconsequential percentages in testing. Move up 10% more poverty in a school and test 20% more on the SAT and substantial differences occur. These variables of poverty and race have huge impacts on test scores.

As far as comparison groups, we also need to know how many core academic teachers are missing. Lumpy wants us to believe it doesn't make any difference if a sub is in the room.

Who is he kidding?


@FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore Yes, she tested a larger percentage but not a dramatically larger percentage. She's not testing 100 percent and getting a 1 percent passing rate compared to a school that is testing 1 percent and getting a 90 percent passing rate.

Look, I agree that it is unfair for Schulte to compare Madison to the state average or even the district. Madison and Lincoln should not be in any pool that also includes Highland Park and Townview. But you can compare Madison to demographically similar schools and when you do, it largely appears about the same, with maybe an area or two that need improvement.

Incidentally, correct me if I'm wrong, but I looked at the campus group schools, the ones that Madison is considered to be demographically similar to. It looks like group is largely based on *poverty*, not race AND poverty. In other words, if I'm reading the list correctly while they all have the same economically-disadvantaged numbers as Madison, Madison has among the highest numbers of African Americans in the 40 schools. If I'm looking at the right list, is the comparison group just based on economically disadvantaged numbers?

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName 1 Like

@Btwhspvamom @FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore 

Their audition process comes after very carefully screening applicants. Their incoming students on the PSAT in Reading score about 40 points less than TAG.

That didn't happen accidentally, nor did the low number of AA kids tested for AYP.

This isn't a random universe, and these are not accidents. Many in district students are not accepted to take test scores from Plano. Where do you think those National Merit Scholars came from.


Persona non grata
Persona non grata


Here's a response LBart gave to a previous post: "Good lord, you're not the sharpest tool in the shed, but you do mean well and you're diligent, I'll give you that.”

Kinda funny at the moment...


@FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore

For the record, BTWHSPVA does not really filter on academics. Their screening process is 100% audition. They even used to be able to waive the minimum academic requirements to apply (40th percentile).

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName 1 Like

@LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore 

Or maybe she needs an AP English teacher since they lack one.

We did a previous blog where a teacher from south of I30 had abysmal AP pass rates and then transferred to Booker T. His passing rate went up 20x!

Now what does that do to the accountability of a school like Madison on AP scores? The teacher just drove across town to a school that filters on academics. He/she didn't get any better, but at the old school, bad teacher. New school, great teacher. Same teacher.

See, all this school stuff is complex. It can't be boiled down to any simple explanation as Miles is trying to do.

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName 1 Like

@LBart @FreakinExpert @WantSomeMore 

No LBart. 

Let me explain it SLOWLY. Not every student was enrolled in AP. If she had more enrolled, then tested a larger percentage, her 1% can't be compared to other groups that may have had small percentages taking the course, a smaller percentage tested, and a larger percentage of the smaller percentage pass.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata


Isn't this something our new highly paid cabinet level communications guy should jump on? A DISD school appears to be falsely accused. Will DISD run an editorial response defending the school?


@FreakinExpert @LBart @WantSomeMore What? Madison had 36 percent take at least one AP exam and of those 1 percent made at least one passing scores. Demographically similar schools had 25 percent take at least one AP exam and of those 13 percent made at least one passing score. It's an apples to apples comparison.

As I said, I wouldn't necessarily fire a principal over this. It looks like in all other areas Madison is in line with the campus group numbers. Maybe they just need to beef up their AP department/teachers. 

FreakinExpert like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

@LBart @WantSomeMore 

For a school wanting to look good, here is the formula.

Enroll only the top 10% of kids in AP.

Test only the top 10% of the top ten percent enrolled in AP.

Get a 100% passing rate.

WOW! A 100%. How many students in the school actually passed an AP test, LBart?

1%, get it?

Want to game Jay Matthews bullshit Challenge School index to be a top rated school nationally?

Find a charter where no one wants to go to high school, so there are only 35 kids in the senior class, all Hispanic and mostly native Spanish speakers.

Give these kids 7 AP tests including one in AP Spanish.

Most will pass AP Spanish.

Wind up on a list of the nation's best schools.

Send these kids to college.

Massive fail.

But don't tell Bill McKenzie. It would shatter his dreams of YES and Uplift.


@WantSomeMore Booker T is 49.2% Anglo, many of whom are from out of district.

I think it has the highest Anglo population of any high school, and I don't think the poverty

rates there are high. I don't know about their AYP results, but something seems wrong with that concerning their population. They probably missed on one of the sub-categories, of which there are many, many.

WeKnow like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

@retiredteacher @WantSomeMore 

This would have been the third year Booker T missed AYP because of AA math scores, but the other years didn't count because they had fewer than 50 AA students.

This might be a story, but too many of Belo's reporters and too many DISD administrators use the school for their kids. The cloak of silence on recruiting out of district and taking out of district students rather than in-district AA students is never discussed. The North South divide starts at Booker T, but it is never discussed.

When Marian Willard can't remove the AA students who fail math, that becomes a big deal. Booker T has cleansed itself of AA and low income students, but no public discussion will take place.

The bias at Belo is now beyond the boundaries of their own profession's ethics.

We want a formal retraction of Sharon Grigg's article stating she included extremely damaging, incorrect information concerning Willard and that her lack of fact checking provided damage to Willard's career. That would be a start.

Recent Comments

  • Loading...



Saturday, October 17, 11:00 a.m.
Unique Visitors: 238,976
Visits: 1,073,418
Page Views: 2,117,786
Avg. Duration: 00:02:58

User Metrics
37.50% male
62.50% female
3.35% 18-24 yrs
12.54% 25-34 yrs
28.33% 35-44 yrs
25.80% 45-54 yrs
22.45% 55-64 yrs
7.54% 65+ yrs

You may make comments with your privacy completely protected! Click HERE for Detailed Instructions with Pictures

We know words are powerful and ideas even more so. Profanity isn't really necessary for emphasis or a substitute for passion here. Thank you.

Foundation for Empowerment (FCE) released 3 papers:

1. Disruptive Change: Mike Miles and the Crisis In Dallas ISD, which has been prepared with consultation by education academics, extensive research, review of data and education literature, and meetings and interviews with people of Dallas holding varying and sometimes conflicting points of view;

2. Digging Into Data and Evidence: Mike Miles, Dallas ISD, and Trickle-Down Education Report, by Dr. Julian Vasquez Helig, Lindsay Redd, M.A. and Dr. Ruth Vail; and

3. The Challenge of Disruptive Leadership in Dallas ISD, by Decoteau J. Irby, Ph.D. and Matthew Birkhold, M.A.

"You will see from these papers that, after much research and discussion, we believe the current Superintendent [Mike Miles] lacks the pedagogical, leadership and integrity qualities necessary to lead Dallas ISD and recommend the Board terminate his contract."

Citizens wanting to speak at regular board meetings and briefings must sign up by calling Board Services at (972) 925-3720 no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the meeting.

Contact the Superintendent and Trustees:
3700 Ross Avenue, Box 1
Dallas, TX 75204

Interim Superintendent Mike Hinojosa
Email coming soon

Lew Blackburn, 2nd Vice President
District 5
Term Expires May 2016
(972) 925-3718
Oak Lawn, West Dallas, Wilmer, Hutchins and portions of East Oak Cliff

Miguel Solis, 1st Vice President
District 8
Term Expires 2017
(972) 925-3721
Love Field, Northwest Dallas, and Central Dallas

Eric Cowan, President
District 7
Term Expires May 2016
(972) 925-3721
North Central Oak Cliff and parts of West Dallas

Nancy Bingham, Secretary
District 4
Term Expires May 2016
(972) 925-3722
Southeast Dallas, Seagoville, Balch Springs

Edwin Flores
District 1
Term Expires 2018
(972) 925-3722
Northwest Dallas, including North Dallas, Addison, parts of Carrollton and Farmers Branch

Mike Morath
District 2
Term Expired Dec 2015
(972) 925-3721
North and Near East Dallas

Dan Micciche
District 3
Term Expires 2018
(972) 925-3722
Northeast Dallas

Joyce Foreman
District 6
Term Expires 2017
(972) 925-3722
Southwest Dallas

Bernadette Nutall
District 9
Term Expires 2018
(972) 925-3721
South Dallas and parts of Downtown Dallas, Pleasant Grove, Deep Ellum, Uptown, and East Dallas

"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people in order to betray them." --Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833