Issues & Platform

Charter Schools 

While there are a small number of good charter schools, the issue with the proliferation of charters schools in our community is that the more charters schools that exist, the less money comes into DISD because they take students from our public school district which means taking taxpayer money away from DISD.

For the last several years, I have fought hard against this private corporate takeover of our neighborhood schools. I believe that we, as a community, need to work to attract students and families back into DISD by improving facilities, safety, and the quality of programs offered. As a DISD Trustee, I would fight for accountability and transparency and fight for a moratorium on charter schools in our communities. It is common knowledge that DISD schools perform better than the average charter school and we need to spread this message across the district and let people know about our successes. 

Community Engagement 

More engagement in District 4 and around the district.  We need more communication towards parents, students, and community members to be informed about what is going on in the district. I will have an open-door policy that includes town-hall meetings each quarter rotating around our diverse area. I definitely will engage in social media and contain an open dialogue with citizens by other means. I would restart citizen commissions that have been cut out by the last superintendent to ensure more trust in our system and hear suggestions for any new ones.  

Teacher Evaluation System in DISD 

Eliminate and or restructure the Teachers Excellence Initiative (TEI) and replace with a stipend system, return to PDAs or another fair system all parties can agree with. This new system is not doing what it has intended to do. It’s an unfair system that became more of a favoritism and patronage way which involved dramatic scores from administrators that grades teachers unfairly. With this new system, we can get more teachers motivated to do their best. 

Testing in our schools

Eliminate over-testing in schools and keep only state-mandated tests. Testing in specials and elementary grades are not useful for the learning minds of children. More students are being taught to a test, and not being taught useful skills that can help them in college and life. When we change the TEI, ACP’s count towards that, and less stress on the student having to worry about there test scores reflecting on a teacher. A few years ago, students final exam counted 25% of there semester grade, and now it’s 15%. That means a final exam could make or break them into passing a class. With this plan, teachers can write a test to there students, and student can work harder and will make it easier to pass. Think of it as more local control to the teacher.

Campaign Finance 

A new limit on school board campaign contributions. Lately, PAC’s are outspending smaller campaigns and candidates that can’t keep up with donations that make it harder for people to run and no way they can beat them. We need races to be fair and sometimes it’s all not for the benefit of the children and the community. Just like with the City of Dallas, I would have the same limits on contributions on all candidates and incumbents. $1,000 from individuals, and $2,000 from PAC’s and other organizations for each election cycle. 

Budget Spending and Watching 

Provide more budget oversight. It is important that the DISD board pay attention to the budget rather than merely being a rubber stamp for the administration. We need to ensure that money is going into the classrooms rather than going to unnecessary consulting and administrative expenses. Students and teachers must come first. I will be a strong voice to ensure that the funds from our recent Tax Ratification Election go towards where they were promised, including for racial equity.”  

Choice and Magnet Schools

Create, improve, and expand our choice and magnet programs. I would like to see this happen and have programs that are not offered in the district yet. If neighborhood schools would like to see something, then by the request of the community I will honor and work with them. This is how we win in DISD by bringing students back into the system.  It’s already happening with our magnet system and choice schools. At the same time, we can’t cut resources that would endanger our great programs in which people are moving into such as our magnets, which I will preserve. That’s how we keep students inside our district, and not losing them to charter, private, or other suburban school districts. We must make sure it’s feasible budget-wise, and that all in-district students get the first choice. 

Post High School Readiness  

Having more resources to prepare students for life after high school. 
We prepare our students and promote a “go to college” culture. However, not all students are ready for college and not all want to go that route. For students that do want to go to college, we need to prepare them for what to expect. For example, we need resources for them such as ACT/SAT Prep Classes and Tutoring Sessions after school and or Saturdays to get them ready for these tests. We need to find a way to help students pay for AP exams as well.

In addition to the above, I would like to see a program with local and state universities where students in DISD who are in the top 10%-25% get automatic admission to certain schools. Also, for students who choose to enter a vocation after high school, we should support and prepare them for those endeavors.

Supporting Dallas ISD

Promote Pro-DISD and Pro-Public School Values.  Many people still think negatively about our school district and ignore the great things DISD is doing. Many of our schools have received national recognition and we need to support continued progress. We need to continue to improve our public schools by providing additional resources and promoting community involvement. Let me just say that I will be a promoter. I will promote our neighborhood schools and oppose the proliferation of charter schools and vouchers which steal resources from DISD schools.

Check out the Facebook Page as I go in-depth with other issues that face the district. Got a question that I haven’t answered, Please send an e-mail to omarfordallas@gmail.com

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