Many thanks for coming to our forum Friday. I am sure you can tell there is a large group of public school parents that want the Dallas Morning News to change their reporting on DISD.

The following DMN editor’s blog reinforces my contention that there are no reporters or editors with children in DISD “I don’t think any of us have children in DISD schools…”

I do respect everyone’s personal education decision, however the print staff’s personal bias against DISD for their children’s education is reflected in DMN’s articles, headlines or pull quotes. By continuously discrediting DISD, you are positively reinforcing a parent’s decision to spend over $300,000 per child for private education (K-12 (FutureValue@7.5%)) or move out of Dallas into the suburbs.

DMN compares the scores of public ISD’s and highlights DISD’s failures, but you rarely illustrate the comparative scores of like cohorts in DISD vs suburban districts. For example, compare DISD Caucasian non-economically disadvantaged to the same at HP, Southlake, etc and you will find DISD on par with them, but that is not reported – only the gross scores or the failure rate of minorities. Message: If you can afford it, move to the burbs because DISD will fail for your child, otherwise you will need to enroll in private school. Fact is: Southlake & HP and privates economically disadvantaged is 0% and privates do not take standardized tests or report AP scores.

DMN only reports on private school indiscretions when they are in the public domain – the Bishop Lynch Athletic Fund theft. There is never any coverage of the cheating scandals, assaults or weapons violations at private schools, because those are handled privately. Message: Nothing bad happens at private schools, they are all safe. Fact is: DISD inherits the privates problems when the private students are asked to leave for indiscretions.

Many of us in the public school arena made our decision after visiting our local schools, speaking to their teachers, administrators and parents, not talking to someone on Ross Avenue. Several if not most, in the private school system have not even stepped into their local public school because it has been trashed in the media and “Its DISD, they cannot educate our children” or “It is too dangerous”.

Your illustrations of corruption or abuse do have a positive effect on the district (it’s amazing what we can get done in our school without wasteful/fraudulent spending), but without illustrating the local school or system wide positives you are perpetuating a private/suburban bias that need not exist. It is my hope that your paper can find a good balance of public oversight and local school support.

Thank you again for your time.

David Look

Note from poster: Picture from Dallas Observer website and is worth a look to read Mong’s quote from 2004.

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