Speaking of Firing Teachers and Rainy Days ...


By now you've read this (I hope), and it now appears the governor's going to allow the state Lege to take $3.2 billion from the Rainy Day Fund to pay down some of that budget shortfall, which may just save a few teachers' jobs. But Michael Quinn Sullivan, president of Austin-based Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, ain't having it: Texas Insider directs our attention to a series of statewide-running ads about to make their Dallas debut in which a school administrator willy-nilly decides how to RIF teachers, the point of which is that administrators needs to go, not teachers. Says Sullivan:
"It's sickening to watch bureaucrats bully parents and teachers into believing that raiding the rainy day fund and hiking spending is the only way to protect the classroom. It just isn't so. Lots of teachers, and classrooms, can be protected with better spending decisions at the local level."
No doubt, Michael Hinojosa's just thrilled with the use of 3700 Ross in the ad above.
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DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

@Trash,Your list of names (or sorority letters) would be even more funny if it weren't true.

I had a friend see a job posting at DISD and she called HR.The call somehow got routed to the senior, senior staffing poobah who literally said to her, "Who told you to call about this job?"

My friend said, "What?" and then the call was suddenly "disconnected".

Friend called me, I told her to go directly to the principal and hand him her resume. By that afternoon, he had her call back to HR. And she really did have a science certification, which I thought the district sort of needed.

This time, she had made sure to say she was calling bc Principal So and So had told her to.

They ass around down there and treat good, solid applicants so badly at the kids' expense until an admin gets involved. Then they're all polite.

Their worthless, knuckle-dragging relatives? They get right in, no problem, and become the terrible teachers imposed upon the schools that drag everyone down. But the HR people feel powerful; they don't give a sh*t about the kids.

StopDISDorg
StopDISDorg

Check out this Satire video on DISD's wasteful spending in demolishing a newly renovated school and the Land Grab against an East Dallas Neighborhood to put in parking lots in-between homes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Justwondering
Justwondering

ff there is a program going on in the schools and you remove teachers, you kill the program. Teachers are needed to actually DO the program.If there is a program going on in the schools and you remove central administration, maybe you postpone the program, but probably not. You didn't need someone monitoring daily, and for a small fraction of that administrator's salary you can get a few of the program's teachers to crunch numbers and write up whether it was effective or not during the summer.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Great ad. Overall, an A.

But to make it an A+ it should be a short Hispanic with a white moustache so that we all know this is actually Hiney.

It also needs a smirking Flores look a like in the background.

It needs the guy writing a few checks to construction companies also.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Preston Holler and DISD Teacher, you're not even trying.

We need a whole video devoted to Claudia Lozano Rodriguez, who once assigned herself Latina on the administrative roles, even though she is as kraut as oscar meyer, descending deus ex machina to be the goddess of HR. Her backside needs to be showing, symbolic of her total lack of credentials, a metaphor of taking her place beside the emperor with no clothes.

In the next scene, Claudia is asked a question at a board meeting that someone off the street posing as an HR Chief could probably answer, and dear Claudia falters, only to be rescued by the emperor whose own backside is also showing. Claudia titters on cue, blond not by nature, but in personality, and takes the gentle assist from Herr Clown.

Next day, when teachers are seen arriving en masse to take a bribe to leave Dodge, Claudia seems to be the proverbial deer caught in a headlights as again, the media asks for a comment, and Claudia seems to be in a quandry as to how to answer a simple question. What can the public expect for less than $200,000 a year? Einstein himself?

To add the appropriate glow, we would need to call up the ghost of Leni Riefenstahl, who could probably add the appropriate symbolism of three fires burning behind the school board as they sit there and let Herr Moustache once again stage an Ode to Popeye while they all clap with glee. Herr Moustache has once again found a few million to slide the way of the board members' cronies, and in a Salvador Dali moment, the board members form a ring and dance a surrealistic movement straight out of the thirties' film, Freaks.

Ok, your turn. Better make it good.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

I'd like to see a commercial where Flores is seen talking about how he knows how it is so much cheaper to pay teachers $10,000 to quit rather than have the District pay $50,000 in litigation costs. Then cut to a bunch of 60+ teachers camped out in front of 3700 Ross cackling over how they were going to retire anyway but now they got an extra $10,000 to do what they already planned to do.

Then cut to the scene of a law library where a fired teacher is meeting with a lawyer. He tells her: "Sure I can get you $49,999. Flores, a lawyer just admitted it would cost more to fight it. LET'S SUE!!!!!"

Then fade to a smirking Flores.

I'm still working on the follow up commercial with the fat cat construction executive lighting a cigar with a $100 bill. Stay tuned.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Geez. No pressure, Trashtalk.

Okay, start with teacher applicant at HR. Staffing Specialist throws her palm up in applicant's face and says, "OH NO YOU DIDN'T JUST ASK ME HOW MUCH LONGER IT'S GOING TO BE! I don't care if you HAVE been here 3 hours waiting. We will get to you and your degree-in-math-from-an-excellent-college-self when we want to! Who told you we need math teachers?"

Cut to Claudia and Staffing Specialist yukking it up on way to parking lot, where they both get into the smallest Mercedes sold by Mercedes and drive off.

Teacher applicant gets into used Yugo.

Next up, now-hired teacher (45 days after school starts thanks to Staffing Specialist) sits in professional development. Table is littered with chart tablets, highlighters filling in for markers, and power points read by Staffing Specialist's granddaughter's husband's cousin's sister who is dressed really, really well and is an Instructional Coach when she isn't at lunch. After the training, new teacher gets in Yugo. Instructional coach who led the training gets into smallest BMW available for sale and peels out of the Buckner parking lot after telling her secretary to transfer all calls to her district cell.

Last shot: new teacher eating a sandwich at her desk while writing summative notes for Cynthia Goodsell's mandatory Meetings binder (not to be confused with the Collaborative Planning binder). Cut to Cynthia, Hinojosa, Edwin, and Ivonne Durant dining at the Ritz. Ivonne Durant is babbling into a microphone as if she's being paid to waste time as a waiter refills her water glass.

Fade out shot: hundreds of kids waiting in line in the cafeteria for their lunch, now inedible thanks to the Nutrition Department that decided to serve food kids won't eat.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Ok- a short personnel training video.

Summa cum laude grad from a good school with science certification mistakenly goes to HR to submt an application and is handed a sheet with a long list of names. The grad doesn't recognize any of the names and hands the sheet back, not understanding the signficance of the sheet.

Grad is invited to take a seat and is left waiting all day.

Next applicant approaches and can barely chew gum and walk at the same time, is handed the same sheet, and lights up at all the names. She engages the Staffing Specialist in family stories about so many of the people she recognizes. The Staffing Specialist takes her into the inner sanctum and asks which job she wants and at what salary. Because the applicant has more than special relationships with so many in the district, in just three years she is annointed Principal of the Year. From there, it is just a short time before she is promoted to special assistant to the special assistant of failing schools (from whence she received her promotion, that is, from a failing school.)

(The camera can now pan to her closet with the requisite designer labels and other phony balony crap that really impresses Herr Moustache.)

Decked out as only an administrator can afford to be, she now spends her day documenting failing schools and attending to the special needs of the special assistant when she isn't grooming herself or admiring her jewelry.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

DISD Teacher is wondering where this group has been her whole life--Texans for Fiscal Responsibility.

DISD Teacher is 100% on board with this. I might just be the only person who wants Sullivan's autograph and a glamor shot of him.

I also believe that public exposure has put the brakes on the DISD gravy train, which is why all seats up for DISD's next school board election are going uncontested. The public is watching and they now know it.

Big thanks to Wilonsky and Schutze for keeping the issues in front of the public.And those big thanks are not for me, they are on behalf of the kids I already miss. I bet none of them are reading and going to bed on time like I told them them to....

gladnotsad
gladnotsad

So where is DISD teacher on this subject? There are, I think, too many opulently overpaid Machiavellian administrators and actually (sorry sports fans) too many districts. consolidation and administrator downsizing is in order. Mac (night law school drop-out) Bernd is an example of one of the Priviledged administrator class in Arlington where he had (laccording to legend) used tax payer dollars to construct a special parking zone for his expensive sports car.

Phelps
Phelps

Even "teacher haters" like me like this.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Funny it doesn't mention how many teachers are ineffective and need to be replaced. Although I guess the fewer administrators you have in there, the less they will feel the need to fill schools with incompetent teachers who are loyal to them. Maybe it solves two problems in one.

dallasmay
dallasmay

Ah, yes. They mythical ineffective teacher rises again.

Here's some news for you. There are as many ineffective teachers in our public school system as there are ineffective mice in a the lion's exhibit at the zoo. The job is so hard, and so frustrating, that ineffective teachers get eaten up and spit out fast. The attrition rate for teachers is incredibly high for just this reason. Believe me, I was a pretty poor teacher for two years. I got sick of putting in 60-80 hour weeks every week, got tired trying of working with teenagers, got tired of teaching to the test, and got out. Now I've got a job in the private sector doing 1/10th the work, with 1/10 the stress for about the same about of pay.

There simply aren't that many ineffective teachers, because the work is too hard. They leave very quickly.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Sorry, you are just absolutely incorrect about the number of ineffective teachers. There are plenty of them. The good teachers turnover because they are sick of killing themselves for the same pay and recognition as the crappy ones. The bad ones use those first couple years to figure out how to effectively skate by and make sure they avoid the few ways that they would actually be fired.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I wasn't trying to refute your point.

I know there are terrible, ineffective teachers.

The fact that they exist isn't the teachers' fault and that's the point I was making.

All problems with public schools start at the top. For years, no one paid attention.I think that's changing, though, and not a moment too soon.

My belief: every bad teacher is an indictment of the principal and/or the higher administrator who is keeping that teacher protected and in place.

Anonymous
Anonymous

@DISD teacher- I agree with most of your points, but this doesn't refute my point that many ineffective teachers remain. People complain about the difficulty in coming up with some evaluation system whereby teachers would be fired, promoted, given more pay for performance, etc. The reality is that we know for the most part which teachers are bad, and we definitely know which ones are truly awful. Involved parents know - they request the OTHER teachers. Look, it all starts at the top. Crappy administrators don't have an incentive to fire bad teachers because they see the writing on the wall and they know that if they fill a school with good teachers, they will wonder what the hell they're doing working for such an incompetent boss. It's how the system perpetuates itself. It's how any company or organization works, whether it's public, corporate, or nonprofit. There are just some checks in the private and nonprofit sector that usually lead to the demise of ineffective organizations. I'd argue that the public is DISD's check on incompetence, but there's a fairly well funded status quo to keep that at bay.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

-Many ineffective teachers cannot be touched bc of who they know. If you're a crappy teacher but one of your relatives is friends with one of the top admins, you stay.

-There are racial balances that must be adhered to. If the last 2 teachers to be shuffled out of a school were of the same race, teacher 3 of that race, regardless of effectiveness, will be left alone until a new principal comes along. I'm pretty sure RIF numbers will reflect an even racial breakdown.

-Principals get their evaluations based on test scores. It would seem that a principal would have an incentive to replace bad teachers with better ones. Ahhh, but don't forget the principals who are themselves crony/nepotism hires--no matter how bad their test scores are, they get a free pass AND a bonus. This leaves them free to hire and fire based on whom they like.

Yes, there are plenty of ineffective, lazy teachers and those of us who work hard want to GET RID OF THEM. But guess who stands in the way? Our own school board and administration.

A bad teacher is an indication that someone higher up isn't doing their job.

RS1963
RS1963

THANK YOU for bringing a real-world perspective to this.

As the child of a teacher, I'm continually stunned by people who don't know any better commenting on how easy teachers have it, "they only work half a day and off all summer and a month at Christmas!", "if I did that at my job...". Puhleeeze! A majority of corporate cube dwellers couldn't survive a day as a teacher.

RS1963
RS1963

@Anonymous - No need to go into vitriolic hyperbole. I wasn't commenting on anything you wrote - I was commenting on people IN GENERAL who repeat what I think are incorrect statements about the lives of teachers.

I don't particularly agree with some of your statements, but I wasn't responding to any of them, so you can calm yourself down.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Maybe you can ask your parent to give you some reading comprehension lessons? I didn't say teachers have it easy - even the lazy ones probably don't enjoy coming to work every day. I also did not mention that they are overpaid. Please read a criticism before you jump to the defense of a worthy profession that unfortunately defends a minority of worthless teachers and thereby sullies the entire group.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Eating that elephant one bite at a time is gonna take years but things will change for the better. Trustee-elect Morath will certainly be a catalyst.

LaceyB
LaceyB

They should take their act down to South Beach and go night clubbin', whereby thrilled DISD parents can then do the clubbin'.

Raydan
Raydan

Love this. Perfection.

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