DISD's Full of Masochists, Apparently, As It Prepares to Pay $40,000 for Opinion Survey

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So, judging by this sneak peak at the Dallas Independent School District board of trustees' briefing agenda this week, Ron Price has decided to save the district $18,000-plus: He's now recommending giving DISD Chief Academic Officer Robin Ryan a $10,000 raise. Because, as you may recall, Price and superintendent Michael Hinojosa snuck in a $28,225 raise for Ryan, much to the trustees' chagrin after they discovered it a bit too late amongst the consent-agenda items to which they gave their consent. Hinojosa told us last week he was yanking the raise. Still, looks like the board will take another shot at slapping the super on the wrist on Thursday. If they can be bothered to show up to the meeting.

Ah, but fret not: The district has found another way to spend five figures -- on "opinion surveys of Dallas ISD Taxpayers, Dallas ISD Parents [and] Dallas ISD Student (Seniors)." The board won't vote on the contract till its October 30 meeting, but this week we get a sneak peek at how Scott Howell's The Wolf Group will spend $40,000 should the trustees OK the deal: "This set of surveys will constitute both an evaluation and tracking program, with the first set of surveys standing as a benchmark against which future 'waves' of the surveys will be compared to track changes in attitudes over time." The surveys are expected to begin November 2, with the report due on the super's desk by December 4. (Probably ought to file the open-records request now, just to save time.)

Incidentally, I've been asked to moderate a District 1 school board candidates forum at Thomas C. Marsh Middle School on October 19 at 6:30 p.m. All four candidates will be in attendance. Feel free to post suggested questions, but I've already got one: Do we really need to spend $40,000 to find out how people feel about DISD?

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