Dallas ISD Gets More Funny Business From the DMN

Here are the facts: the superintendent of a school district forms a special investigative unit to crack down on corruption. In six months, by all measures, the unit, led by a former IRS special agent, has performed well, generated good results. Seventy-five cases have been closed. “A large percentage” of the investigations have resulted in exonerations. But some skulduggery has been detected and dealt with — including the theft of 20 cases of cobblers, worth about $1,600.

So you decide to run a story about the above in your newspaper, on Sunday, on the front page. How would you write the headline? Here are four choices.

a. “DISD Cobbler Crook Gets Just Desserts”

b. “DISD Stamps Out Corruption, Busts Cobbler Thief”

c. “Corruption Unit Cleans Up DISD — One Cobbler at a Time”

d. “DISD Is Doing a Great Job”

e. “Dallas School District’s Corruption Investigators Keeping Busy”

The paper went with “e” for its story.  Now, the point of the multiple-choice quiz is this: you gotta work “cobbler” into your headline. More important, though, this story brings us positive news. The district is doing a good job. But the headline the DMN used makes me think the opposite. If I live in Plano and don’t care to follow the jump on a long story about the Dallas ISD, then I read that headline at my Sunday breakfast table, and I think: “Man, oh, man. I’m sure glad I moved to Plano. Because DISD continues to be a miserable excuse for an institution that educates children. Because there is so much corruption that investigators are keeping busy.”

Is it just me? Am I crazy? It’s them, right?


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14 responses to “Dallas ISD Gets More Funny Business From the DMN

  1. DA says:

    A dull, boring headline from a dull, boring newspaper. Is it just you? No. Are you crazy? Perhaps, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t correct in your take on the headline.

  2. Louisa Meyer says:

    It’s THEM indeed.

    DMN’s launching a blog tomorrow to discuss education issues but THEY will chose the topics. So I plan to stick to Frontburner and Back Talk for my blogging.

    Speaking of Back Talk, I love this from my friend at Hillcrest. http://backtalkprestonhollow.typepad.com/back_talk_preston_hollow/2008/01/letter-to-bob-m.html For photo credits, I added a link to an old Observer article by one Eric Celeste.

  3. Belinda Gelhausen says:

    It’s them!!!!!
    Just one more validation that it was a good thing to NOT renew my DMN subscription this year. I just couldn’t take the constantly negative DISD related headlines – even when the story was positive.
    When a recent editorial referred to kids in urban schools as “unlucky enough to attend,” I threw my renewal in the trash.

  4. Peterk says:

    and you missed out on
    DISD cobbles together investigation

  5. Bildo says:

    Is DISD really doing jack about corruption? After millions were embezzled via the credit card fiasco, only a few wrist slaps have been handed out. They can bust all the cobbler thieves they want, but until some heads roll over the taxpayer funded shopping sprees, nobody’s going to be happy.

  6. Louisa Meyer says:

    Bildo, Don’t be a Bozo. Your misinformation on the credit card loss is exactly what Belo wanted you to believe with its dozens of stories, billboards etc. But you’re off by millions:

  7. Karl Marks says:

    My son went to DISD schools, and he got a great education. He is doing great at SMU, too. There are great teachers in DISD and great students. I have nothing against people who live in Plano, but I wouldn’t move there because of the schools are all so peachy and swell. The whole idea is a scam by real estate agents and those who are too scared to live in a real city. Good riddance.

  8. Bildo says:


    Keep your head buried in the sand, please.

    $71 million, no matter how small of a total budget percentage, is a huge number, and your defense of the indefensible is rather pathetic.

    The sad part is that no one is being held accountable for issuing those credit cards to begin with. When employees are issued company credit cards, they have to provide a report supporting every purchase made on those cards. DISD apparently didn’t require jack.

    We should have seen more heads roll over this than with Enron. These are public funds, not your personal trust.

    DISD keeps trying to sweep this obvious corruption under the rug. You’re just trying to carry the rug out, hoping that no one sees what’s wrapped up in it.

  9. Louisa Meyer says:

    Bildo. My genuine apologies for calling you a clown. Perhaps you would have read the details if I hadn’t.

    $71 million was the total expenditure by 1,400 card users. NOT the total theft. Of that, $200,000 was theft and by two people from an organization of 20,000. (Note: Bishop Lynch High School had one employee recently take off with $90,000.) The remaining $70 million were valid expenditures from a $1.8 billion budget for 160,000 students. http://www.dallasisd.org/about/geninfo/0607factsheet.pdf

    Because of all the fear and DMN hype of a huge scandal, the district then spent $1 million on the investigation.

    Two thieves. Several others who violated policy. One is a crime. The latter is a performance issue.

    Sadly, you’re in the majority, thanks to DMN Headlines, who think the district lost $71 million vs. a fraction of that.

    As for the Enron analogy, stay tuned to the story of a major newspaper that overstated circulation figures. As I remember, DMN took a $30 million hit for that and remains in litigation with shareholders. But where will you read about THAT?

  10. david look says:

    Please let’s don’t get into name calling. We all know Belo is always correct in their reporting and editorial goals. That’s why they make the big editorial push to “Develop South Dallas” while they built their new plant in Plano several years ago. Oh Bildo, when was the last time you entered a DISD school, or have you been at the circus all of your life?

  11. a concerned parent says:

    Lets Talk About Being Original.

    They have “borrowed” their slogan, “Our Students Our Future,” from the University of Alabama’s capital campaign. See the attached link: http://ourstudentsourfuture.ua.edu/

    The flyer being sent out by the vote yes group.

    Take a look at it:

    Take a look at the pictures of the children.

    Does it look representative of the district to you?

    First of all, where are the uniforms that the elementary school students are required to wear in the picture of the classroom setting. It is nice that every student has their hand raised. What school is this? Is this an actual school in the DISD. If so, why was it not listed under the picture? Do these children attend school in the DISD or were they just paid for this advertisement?

  12. a concerned parent says:

    Check this out:
    Exclusive!: One-on-One With Dr. Edwin Flores