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Eric Cowan DKF Questionnaire Responses

Eric Cowan DKF Questionnaire Responses

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Dallas ISD trustee Eric Cowan's responses to Dallas Kids First questionnaire for May 2013 election.
Dallas ISD trustee Eric Cowan's responses to Dallas Kids First questionnaire for May 2013 election.

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Published by: The Dallas Morning News on Mar 29, 2013
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Eric CowanDistrict 72013 DKF Survey Responses
Pol.Adv., Kids First PAC
2
Please describe your involvement in Dallas ISD or public education issues over thelast five years.
 
I have served on the DISD Board of Trustees for one three-year term representingDistrict 7.
3
Please explain leadership positions and responsibilities that have prepared you forschool board governance.
As the DISD Trustee for District 7 these past three years, I served as liaison to theCitizens Budget Review Commission, chaired the Board's Audit Committee for twoyears, and was chosen by my fellow trustees to serve as 2nd Vice President of theBoard.
4
Please identify three specific issues that you think should be addressed in order toimprove the quality of education in Dallas ISD.
We need a strong, supportive central administrative office dedicated to the success of individual schools. We need to improve campus leadership. We need to improvecommunication focused on parental and community involvement.
5
If elected, what would you do to address each of these issues?
 
The board hired a superintendent who is focused on improving these three issues, aswell as many other problem areas. The board needs to continue to guide and supportthe superintendent while holding him responsible for improvements.
6
Do you think Dallas ISD faces a teacher morale problem? If so, what do you thinkare the primary causes, and what would you do as a Trustee to improve morale?
I believe there are pockets of morale problems. The board can improve moralethrough policy management. The superintendent can improve morale by improvingcampus leadership.
 
Eric CowanDistrict 72013 DKF Survey Responses
Pol.Adv., Kids First PAC
7
Do you think Dallas ISD teachers and principals receive effective professionaldevelopment?
 No, but I expect the superintendent to improve this area.
8
Please rate the following Dallas ISD practices in terms of effectiveness.
VeryWeak WeakSomewhatEffective Effective StrongNotSureTeacher recruitment
 
Principal recruitment
 
Teacher professionaldevelopment
 
Principal professionaldevelopment
 
Retention of highperforming teachers
 
Retention of highperforming principals
 
9
For any of the Dallas ISD practices rated "very weak", "weak" or "somewhateffective" in the question above, please explain what you will do as a Trustee toimprove the practices.
The board hired a superintendent who is focused on improving these issues, as well asmany other problem areas. The board needs to continue to guide and support thesuperintendent while holding him responsible for improvements.
Text Block :
Please indicate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following three statements.
 
10
Parental and community involvement is extremely low, which prevents Dallaspublic schools from consistently generating high-achieving students.
 
 
Eric CowanDistrict 72013 DKF Survey Responses
Pol.Adv., Kids First PAC
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly AgreeComment:
 It's low but I think we recognize its importance and are focused on seekingsolutions.
11
Dallas ISD's college-readiness failures (i.e., the district's SAT/ACT scores are in thebottom 25% of all U.S. test takers) are the school board's ultimate responsibility.
 
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly AgreeComment:
 The college-readiness failures of DISD are the collective failure of many participants. An important first step for the board is to remain focused onconstant improvement until we exceed our expectations.
12
Students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds cannot consistentlyperform at high academic levels without first addressing poverty and other socialissues.
Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly AgreeComment:
 I've met many students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have graduatedfrom DISD and gone on to be successful after high school. Poverty and other social issues need to be discussed in a manner that focuses on helping childrenovercome their individual hurdles.
13
Dallas ISD's superintendent has identified the following structural problems thatnegatively affect student achievement. Which three issues should be "toppriorities" (please highlight exactly three top priorities)? Similarly, which issues areless important? Please label at least one issue as "not critical".
 
NotCriticalImportant ButNot a TopPriorityTopPriorityTeacher morale is at a long term low.
 
Principal evaluations are routine and

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