Dynette Davis


provided by Dynette Davis

Dynette Davis is one of two candidates running for Place 4 on the Board of Trustees.

Harley Classe, Editor-In-Chief

Wingspan: The State Legislature is considering bills that would require the Texas Education Agency to develop curriculum for use in Texas public schools. Frisco ISD has a history of writing its own curriculum with local teacher participation. Should the state mandate use of the state curriculum? Why?

Davis: “I do not believe that the state should mandate the use of state curriculum because it takes local control away from each district. The state already mandates that we follow the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS); how each district teaches the TEKS has always been left up to them. Removing this type of control and mandating a statewide curriculum will place an undue burden on our teachers who are already overburdened. Frisco ISD has always done a great job of ensuring that our curriculum meets state standards.”

Wingspan: The State Legislature is considering creating Education Savings Accounts that would provide families with taxpayer-supported funds that could be used to offset private school tuition. What are your thoughts on this?

Davis: “As of right now, public education has won this battle and we thank those legislators who voted to continue the support of current funding models.”

Wingspan: To date, Frisco ISD has maintained a “Student Opportunity” model that keeps high school populations in the 5A UIL classification (generally targeting 2,100 students per high school). As we continue to grow, should FISD continue this effort? Why?

Davis: “A survey was conducted in 2017, asking this very question. Parents overwhelmingly supported the small-school model. With UIL realigning every two years, our numbers will continue to increase. As a district we will continue to assess where we are and make a determination that is best for FISD going forward.”

Wingspan: Frisco ISD has a history of engaging in unique public-private partnerships with the city of Frisco yielding shared use of facilities like the Ford Center, Toyota Stadium, Comerica Center, and PGA Frisco. Have these projects lived up to their promise, and should we continue to seek new opportunities? Why?

Davis: “Frisco ISD students have long enjoyed the benefits of having access to state of the art facilities because of the public-private partnerships that we have with the City of Frisco. Having these partnerships will continue to give our students access while as a district, we remain fiscally responsible. Looking at the cost of what our neighboring districts have had to pay for similar facilities, I believe that our public-private partnerships are most beneficial.”

Wingspan: What is your understanding of Standards Based Grading? Is it having a positive effect on student learning of the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills? Is there evidence to support your assertion?

Davis: “As a district, we just moved to the Standards Based Grading model this school year. The original plan was to roll it out prior to the COVID pandemic. I have heard a wide range of feedback from all stakeholders. What I’ve learned is that the policy is applied/practiced differently across the same level. Meaning that one high school may have one interpretation of the policy while another high school has a different one. Should we continue with Standards Based Grading? I’d like to better understand why the policy has not been implemented and applied the same way for each level. The district is putting out a survey, where this question will be asked. Upon reviewing the data from all stakeholders, we will be able to determine the best course of action going forward. As with any new initiative there will be kinks that need to be worked out. The data we gather and evaluate will tell us what we need to do to make the best decision.”

Wingspan: School library books have garnered attention over the past year both nationally and locally. Frisco ISD has removed and reclassified books in our school libraries and gives parents access to their student’s checkout history. What are your thoughts on this issue?

Davis: “As a district, we have acknowledged that there were errors with our former practice. As a district, we have made necessary adjustments to make significant progress in our book reconsideration process. Our review committee has put in a lot of hours to make sure our new policies and practices are being followed. Parents having access to our system and the ability to assist their students with book selection is key. This will avoid any misconceptions.”

Wingspan: Property taxes and school funding are big topics of discussion in Austin right now. What do you think of the current system of public school funding?

Davis: “Our public schools are not adequately funded. We made history with funding four years ago. However, due to record inflation, we have fallen almost a decade behind in the value of our education dollars. State Representative and former President of the Austin ISD Board of Trustees, Gina Hinojosa said it best, ‘Texas teachers are paid $8000 below the national average. Everyone wants a tax break, but not on the backs of students and teachers.’”

Wingspan: For some employees, living outside of the district is a choice, but for others, they can’t afford to buy a home in Frisco. What are your thoughts about many of the district’s employees not living in the district? 

Davis: “Many of our district employees have shared with me that living within the district boundaries would be beneficial for work/life balance. While we are not able to control the cost of living as a district, I do like that our employees can enroll their children in FISD schools. I believe that this does give them a sense of security, knowing their students will have the same breaks and days off from school.”

Wingspan: There has been a lot of talk about teacher shortages both nationally and here in Texas. While there can be many reasons for this, one of the common reasons often cited is pay. According to a ranking from the National Education Association, Texas public school teachers made, on average, $57,641 in the 2020-2021 school year which puts Texas at number 28 in the country. What are your thoughts on what Frisco ISD can do to retain its teachers?

Davis: “While the old adage is true that teachers get into education for the outcome and not the income, Frisco ISD has always tried to offer competitive salaries. Our pay in FISD is comparable to surrounding districts. Anytime we are able to pay our teachers more, we do. And while compensation is a key component of retention, it is not the only one. We must do a better job of valuing our educators as the professionals they are. We must also do what we can to limit the amount of additional things we ask our teachers to do. Our educators already work above and beyond their contract hours. We must continue to do everything we can to honor their time. When teachers feel valued, respected and appreciated their students are the ones who benefit the most.”