DISD Splits Townview Center Into "Two Schools" With Two Principals, Not Seven

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The Dallas Independent School District sent word earlier this afternoon: It is splitting the mammoth Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center on E. Eighth Street into two schools -- one devoted to humanities; the other, arts and science. The six magnets housed within Townview, among them the TAG Magnet, the School of Science and Engineering and the School of Government and Law, will remain. But five of Townview's seven principals will not.

As of last week's budget-reduction plan, DISD planned to cut 49 teachers from Townview, reducing the number of full-timers from 179 to 130. Says the district's release, which follows in full, eliminating five principals will "reduce administrative costs with the savings applied to keep teachers at the magnet center, thereby maintaining quality programs and leaving each of the magnets intact as much as possible."

Says DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who made the call, "What is most important for the parents of current and incoming students to understand is that the Dallas Independent School District is doing everything possible to maintain our current standard of quality at our magnet schools, and, for that matter, all schools."

DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander tells Unfair Park this afternoon that this proposal -- which he'd learned about late last week -- does not need to go before the board; it is, he says, a done deal due to take effect next school year. "The board has been notified," Dahlander says, "and this has been discussed with individual members of the board. Staffing guidelines, yes, that's something that goes before the board. But in this case, the superintendent has the authority to make those changes."

Dahlander says the district doesn't yet know who will named principals of the two new schools; six of Townviews principals have applied for the slots. And those who do not remain, he says, will be placed elsewhere in the district -- because, if you'll recall, DISD actually needs to add back 16 principals since too many took the $10,000 buyout offers a few weeks ago. And there are new campuses opening next school year that will also need principals.

"Obviously one each one of these campuses, the kids and parents have grown close to these principals, and they've all made Townview what it is -- an incredible school. That's why it's the envy of other schools around the country. So there will be a bit of a gap there that we run into. But we know that more than likely, the two principals who will be selected for the School of Arts and Science and the School of Humanities will come from Townview already, so they will be familiar with those schools and those students. And we hope those who aren't selected will stay on with us, because they are tremendous. And they will be successful wherever they go."

Dahlander also points out: There are, he says, 2,361 students at Townview -- which isn't far off from the 2,212 at Sunset and the 2,173 enrolled at W.T. White. And those schools have but one principal each.

"So when you look at Townview having seven, you realize, well, maybe if we made some changes, perhaps we can save some teaching positions and get us in those federal comparability guidelines. We'd love to keep Townview the way it is, but the magnets will stay intact, and we'll try to maintain the quality each of those has been known for."

From the district:
Superintendent Michael Hinojosa today announced a restructuring of operations at the district's acclaimed Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center that will begin at the start of the 2011‑12 school year.

The school, which currently houses six nationally recognized magnet schools, will be split into two separate schools -- one for humanities and the other for arts and sciences -- with three magnet schools assigned to each.

The move will help the school meet federal comparability guidelines. It will also reduce administrative costs with the savings applied to keep teachers at the magnet center, thereby maintaining quality programs and leaving each of the magnets intact as much as possible.

"From the outset of this unprecedented budget crisis, we have been concerned about maintaining our standards of service, particularly in our world‑class magnet schools," said Hinojosa. "This plan will eliminate the need to have 7 principals on the same campus and reduce that number to two. The funds that this will free up will allow us to keep more teachers at this outstanding campus."

Each of the six magnet schools will maintain its organizational code/PEIMS number with the Texas Education Agency. The executive principal, as well as the six magnet principals, will have the first opportunity to apply for the two new principal positions at Townview, as well as the other open principal positions within the district.

"The principals at each of these schools are clearly at the top of their profession and their results speak for themselves. They have helped make the Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center what it is," said Hinojosa. "We are hopeful and confident that each of them will continue to provide leadership to the district as principals."

The Schools for the Humanities and Schools for the Arts and Sciences will each have their own principal. As of today, the determination of which schools will be assigned to each has not been made.

"What is most important for the parents of current and incoming students to understand is that the Dallas Independent School District is doing everything possible to maintain our current standard of quality at our magnet schools, and, for that matter, all schools," said Hinojosa. "We would prefer not to have to make any changes but, given the current scenarios coming from the Texas Legislature and federal comparability requirements, we have little choice. We think we have put forward a solution that parents, teachers and students will appreciate in the long run. Make no mistake; however, we will still need help from the Texas Legislature to maintain the current services provided by our schools to students throughout the district."

The Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center opened during the 1995‑96 school year with six magnets: the Talented and Gifted Magnet, School of Science and Engineering, School of Business and Management, School of Health Professions, Rosie M. Collins Sorrells School of Education and Social Services and Judge Barefoot Sanders Magnet Center for Public Service: Government, Law and Law Enforcement. The six schools routinely are recognized by national publications such as Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, as well as being named Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

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47 comments
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advinjhonsean
advinjhonsean

The Executive Director and six directors will be loving the first opportunity to apply for two new positions in the sight of the city, as well as other key positions open within the district.

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Rev Josephj Dillard
Rev Josephj Dillard

Joseph J. Dillard rev.josephj.dillard@gmail:disqus .comLaw Magnet Class of 2009 Howard University Class 2013

I am very disappointed in this immature decision that was not well thought out. Mary Rachel, you are very insane for arguing against something that benefits so many students. I'm one of those students that went came from the inner city and I was not the best student but Townview help to mold me into the scholar that I am. Every student has the opportunity to get into this great school. I believe that one the biggest jewels just went down because of the lack of participation of our community. This goes to show that school district are not about education. If the superintendent wanted to save money, then he should have cut his 300,000 salary and stop paying the limo driver more than you pay teacher. The alternative schools spend more money than Townview. This makes no sense at all. But I guarantee that when I arrive to Dallas this summer, this will be heard. Howard and Townview teaches their student to fight for what they believe in. This crap of Michael Hinojosa has got to go! I promise, this will not be last of my many statements on this issue. Just wait to the rest of the former Townview students hear about this. Its funny how they didn't publicize this decision as much. Here is a video on me that shows the importance of Townview! http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/ne...

Student '11
Student '11

The whole thing about cutting TMC in half makes absolutely no sense.. The comparison of Townview to the other high schools with the same amount of students in completely wrong, We may have the same amount of students, the six schools in one is very true, the principals are going to have to learn the different activities that each school is associated with. The no funds is totally wrong, seeing as we have the highest paid Superintendent, in Texas

Mandy
Mandy

I'm not too keen on school board bureaucracy and don't understand exactly what they are trying to accomplish by combining the schools. I somewhat understand the desire to remove what they believe to be "over staffing" by taking out principals and associated staff, but I do not agree with it. Townview is a unique school and should not be dismantled to be like the others. It is set up this way to give the best possible education to the students in each of their chosen clusters and it works.

I have a child who will be a senior next year at TMC Health. What exactly will this "change" bring for us? She will no longer be graduating from Townview School of Health Professions? It will now be arts and sciences? I don't understand exactly how this will effect her ranking she's worked so hard for. Exactly what does it mean for them to still be able keep their PEIMS codes as if they were still individual clusters but force them to merge together?

I have to agree with some of the other posts, instead of bringing down a school that is nationally recognized, one that students are proud to attend, not to mention one that works, we should be trying to model comprehensive schools the same or at least in a similar fashion. We worked hard to get my daughter into a better school. A school where children actually wanted to succeed and are given the ability to work toward accomplishing something greater then is available at their home schools. Not one where it seems most children are dropped off for the free childcare. Believe me, I see this everyday in our neighborhood at the home schools. After two of my children attended our local home elementary school, we had to get them out of there in to something better. Neither of them were to ever step foot in Marsh or White or else we'd have moved for sure and Dallas would have lost all of our tax money. Which brings us to another point. Who would ever want to move to our lovely city with such a terrible school district? Education is not where we should be making these cuts. We need to be bringing in more business and people in to Dallas. Which ultimately means we should be doing all we can to better the education we have available in the district amongst many other things I won't get in to right now.

I really didn't mean to be so long-winded, but really would like to know from other parents in the same situation with children currently attending one of the Townview clusters, how does this change really effect us? What do we really have to look forward to in the upcoming school year? How will these changes come to pass? And how is this going to effect the students ranking? What does it mean to keep individual PEIMS codes yet merge the schools?

Ashbloem
Ashbloem

As a TAG alumna, I find this very very sad. It was a shame when they put all the programs into one building (that was after my time). This is a myopic tragedy.

I can safely say this is a district I will NOT send my own children to. So long, DISD.

DISD84
DISD84

The six high schools that are now housed in Townview use to be scattered throughout the city. At the time it was opened, Townview was touted as a cost savings, because the six high schools could share some academic teachers rather than each having to staff a full compliment of their own.

DISD has 19 small-enrollment high schools (1,073 students or less) with some of those smaller than the any of the ones at Townview. Each of those programs has their own principal. That the six high schools at the Townview campus each have a principal is not unusual. That the principal knows every student in their program is also not unusual. It's harder for a student to give up and drop out when the principal knows your name and knows your mother's cellphone number.

Of the six high schools at Townview, four of them accept students who score in the 40th percentile on testing (and you can be a B/C student and still get into the other two.) 40th percentile is below average. That's not the "top students" - and yet they graduate their students workforce and college ready.

Enrollment caps for the Townview high schools are set by the District, not by the schools. When you have the budget crisis we've got looming down on you, wouldn't you look for ways to expand high performing programs as much as possible as quickly as possible? Get as many kids as you can in programs you know will work, and focus your now-stretched attention more strategically.

For that matter, how many other mega-campuses could be put on a path to becoming like Townview? If your neighborhood school could change into three high schools with three different job-and-college training focuses, what would you put there?

Sanders Kaufman
Sanders Kaufman

I was a substitute at a magnet for the first time last week.Normally, I'm one of DISD's biggest fans - but this was a MESS.The environment there was one of a prison, where the prisoners are in control.Kids were running around in the halls between classes, running into my classroom to socialize with other students, throwing things, At most schools, during lunch the smoking teachers would leave campus to go smoke.At this school, they just hung out in the parking lot smoking - which is actually illegal.

No one in charge cared. They were just happy that the teachers showed up at all.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

To be honest, I think this might be a change in the right direction. Subspecialization in magnets for college-bound kids never really made a lot of sense to me. Kids going to college need to be exposed to lots of areas and not have options closed down too early because they didn't get certain classes. I would go one further and turn Townview into one big TAG magnet with a single principal, where kids get a world-class, well-rounded college prep curriculum.

Claxxon85
Claxxon85

1. Do you proofread your articles?

2. As a graduate of one of the 6 magnets I can tell you the whole "6 schools" thing is useless; maybe 5% of the kids who attend the "Law" or "Health" magnet go into law or health, for example. Same goes for the other schools. If the whole point of these "schools" is to provide training for lawyers or doctors to-be, then why not just offer the best, uniform, general education to everyone? Furthermore, assuming the magnets WERE as specialized as they claim to be (they are not), how does it benefit a 16 year old who has no clue what they will do in college to limit their education to any given field, granted the above estimate (from experience) of how many people actually pursue a career related to the magnet they attended? If anything, the 6 sector division of that building prevents any sense of community amongst ALL students and instead encourages animosity between the students belonging to each "school". Why not have ONE magnet school with ONE principal that can provide the best, equal education to ALL of the students? 6 principals with six sets of staff IN ADDITION to the "principal" of the whole building and her staff!? Even as a 16 yer old student there it was clear to see how inefficient and wasteful all of this was. There is no greater impediment to education than bureaucracy, and the Townview building with its 6 schools is the perfect example with its inefficiencies, inequalities, and the misguided self-importance and individualism of the leaders of each individual school.

3. 2 schools is just as inane – just make it ONE school, and make it the best school possible.

HSHP Alum
HSHP Alum

It truely is a shame that they are basically abolishing these magnet schools. It's a concious decision for students to want to excell and that is an easier decision when they choose to go to a school that holds itself to a higher standard than home schools. It's not that students that attend such schools don't have the ability, but more that they don't have the drive when they get to where they need to. Personally I saw many of my friends who didn't go to a place with higher standards, but had more than enough potential to succeed, fail or drop out because of poor environments to learn in. It's no different than picking and choosing which college or university you want to attend, there are reasons to want to go to some over others. Students shouldn't be herded into schools they live around just to attempt to bring up the standards of said school. What makes this even more tragic is that these schools all used to be in different locations entirely but decided it would be better for them to be centrally located and now they are being punished for it. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today without these programs being held to higher standards. As many others have stated the other schools should strive to be on the same level as the magnet programs instead of disbanding these programs to make the other schools better.

Pissed Alumni
Pissed Alumni

What the fuck, Hinojosa. Arts? Don't we already have Booker T for Arts?What happened to saving money? You're a fucking hypocrite and a failure as a superintendent. You don't even deserve 75% of that $330,000 annual salary. What an ass.

some kid
some kid

As a former Townview student ('07) I can tell you guys firsthand that Townview wastes a lot of money and needed the cuts badly. One of the schools has an electron microscope that's been broken for a while and it still employs someone, semester after semester, who ostensibly teaches a class on how to use it. Another magnet in the center includes a large classroom with six cubicles that serve as offices for six different teachers who are charged with teaching the same class; the class actually requires 1-2 teachers. The nepotism is unbelievable, tons of TMC alumni come back and have jobs created for them. Townview students are taught that their talents--never their privilege--got them into the advanced program, although in practice what students have in common is that their parents were not marginalized enough to be unaware of high school options, not so much their stellar intellects.

TMC Student
TMC Student

As a current student at YAE Townview Magnet Center I personally know how beneficial my school, School of Health Professions, and principle,Dr. Myrtle Walker, was in getting me ready for life after college. To people on the outside who don't understand how TMC functions, it may seem like a waste of money, but like W.T. White and Sunset, each of the six school are faced with their own unique problems. There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to administration in TMC, each principle knows what's best for their students and their curriculum and it shows in how they handle every hurdle placed ahead of them.

Before you make changes from something that's PROVEN to work to make it like something you THINK will work, DISD should really cut what you don't need (and boy is there plenty of it) and save the face of Dallas Schools.

Grateful TMC Alumni
Grateful TMC Alumni

Allow me to say, it was fun to attend the magnet school as it was, and my brother (who will be in the latest class of graduates), as well as my cousin who will still be there attending all feel the same way.

This hits hard to the families who have a full understanding of how the MULTIPLE programs offered there function. It simply can not be combined into just two programs. Hinojosa has consistently gone up to the campus over the years trying to propose something like this and was promptly booed every time. But it took the DISD funding problems that he caused in order to get backing by people who were not focused before it happened. There is already an "arts" high school in DISD anyway so why they decided to try and make that a focal point in the new structure does not make sense to me. I was in the band there and understand just how GREAT the band there is ran by Mr. Dean Hill, Ms. Carlissa Washington, and Jerry Walker, it has become a nationally recognized program with multiple students now getting out of college after participating under there direction, yet it was never a point of importance for DISD.

These decisions should have been avoided, why won't the heads of the departments take a little less money / yr. and then continue searching for ways to RAISE the bottom programs the magnet schools are avoiding and not LOWER those upper programs.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

It's not that the superintendent announced the change, it's that the change is ill-conceived, ill-planned and poorly communicated.

DISD has known since last October, 2010, that Townview needed to be re-thought and re-structured. Too many FTEs had to be moved off campus in order to comply with Title 1 comparability to allow Townview to remain "as is" with one principal for each separate school.

But there has been no strategic planning...no working with parents or the SBDMs or the PTA; no conversations with principals and teachers; apparently no intelligent thought to this new arrangement. Just the district spokesperson saying it's a "done deal". I know, because I speak regularly with many of these folks.

Last night, Monday, April 18th, I asked representatives of the administration at the Citizens Budget Review Commission meeting, for the third time in three weeks because I want a public record, what the time-frame and process is for master schedule creation and school staffing. I was told, again, that the Commission will have approximately 5 more weekly meetings. Next Monday is the opportunity to discuss school budgets on a granular level and the next 4 meetings will be to discuss, debate and attempt to reach consensus on recommendations to the administration and the board of Trustees based on their presentations and requested documents. We were told that the administration won't "pull the trigger" on the budget until the last week of May or the first week of June and that staffing changes will be made afterwards. In other words, there is plenty of time to work through some of these potentially drastic and dramatic staffing proposals - unless, I guess, you happen to be a principal or teacher or parent at Townview.

So why the rush Superintendent?

The greater shame is that this behavior on the part of the superintendent now begs the question, "Is the Citizens Budget Review Commission a sham? A time-consuming dog and pony show to appease the more vocal members of the public?"

Michael MacNaughton, CBRC membermike@dfpe.org214-564-5316

www.BudgetReview.org

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

@Rumpunch--I am a magnet supporter. I just think--as do many others in the district--that the administrative staffing at some of the magnets is excessive.

However, I completely agree with you that campus level cuts should ONLY be made after deep, deep cuts in all the off-campus departments you mention, plus about 100 more.

Once all those cuts are made, we should look at excessive numbers of administrators on campuses and ONLY after those cuts are made should we increase class sizes.

As for kids who don't want to be at school learning, maybe you've never read my rants about that topic before.

HInojosa will not lift a finger to get the thugs off campus at comprehensives and then he wonders why people flee to magnets. Edwin Flores does nothing about it, either, and GUESS WHAT? His kids have been at magnets and I'm pretty sure the older one will be at Booker T next year!!

Even Edwin won't send his children to a comprehensive.

Student
Student

This whole thing is not going to work. One principal cannot do the work of three, and if they can, I wanna meet them. Each school has their own necessities, their own thing going on, it's too much for one principal alone. And what about the academic teachers? Who are they going to be under? Are those principals that already have to deal with three different schools going to be able to deal with the academic teacher's needs. And all the electives? Are they going to be split between the two "mega-clusters"? But what hurts the students the most, is their rank. They say the schools will still have individual PEIMS codes, but that code doesn't separate our ranks. I worked too hard to get to where I am to find out that my senior year, I will probably go from my top 10% to who knows what. Even if it is going to be more than 10 kids in the top 10, each school has different levels of difficulty, therefore if my school gets combined with one that has less challenging courses and their rank is also high, I can very likely go down. Why don't they cut programs that aren't necessarily needed. The DISD Police department works 24 hours on a daily basis, yet they can't respond to calls after school hours. That not only makes no sense but I think we can all agree that that is not needed, at least not the 24 hours. And the Test Writing Development Group? That was made for TAKS, but TAKS will no longer exist after this year, yet it was not cut off? I can go on and on about countless of places where it can get cut. But cutting our principals is the same is if it was cut to any other school. Just because we might have less kids in each individual school doesn't mean we don't need the individual principals. Having all six schools in one building is in itself saving money. What all do they want from us? Oh to slowly but surely destroy us, that's right.... :/

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Want to bet that within two years the Townview magnet schools will be blended into the non-magnet school? Yet another one of Hinijosa's backdoor efforts to gut the magnet school program and raise the test scores of the non-magnet schools by blending the magnet students into the non-magnet student body.

Real_Goon
Real_Goon

Wow... never thought I'd see the day... glad I got you enjoy it at it's full potential... R.I.P. Townview

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Related to this article: If they could pare down to 2 principals now, why didn't they do it earlier?Because it's OUR money they're blowing through and not their own?Because it's okay to waste other people's money, no matter how hard those other people work for it?

And don't blame the legislature for not opening up the state wallet so Hinojosa and the school board can keep up business as usual (funneling money to friends and campaign contributors).

As the magnet principals situation clearly shows, there is rampant waste in this district.

Now that the govt has cut the top administrators off, they're wailing and hiding behind students and threatening to shortchange the kids with classes of 40 if taxpayers don't march on Austin and demand higher taxes.

The excessive number of magnet principals is merely the tip of the waste iceberg.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Another question: Why did Arnie Viramontes take the $10,000 resignation incentive when he didn't even finish out the school year as is being reported on DMN?

10 grand here, 10 grand there--it adds up.

It's money taken from children.

And our school board stands by while the taxpayer monies are literally just given away.

I know people who have lost their jobs and are worried about paying their property taxes--taxes that are apparently being given to anyone at 3700.

Guest
Guest

I am all for students getting a fantastic education! But throwing more students into the existing magnet schools at Townview doesn't guarantee that the quality of the education is maintained. If you are going to throw in more students - it takes more resources (such as teachers, equipment, etc.) to give them the education that they are being promised, instead of another broken promise.

If you want more schools like the 6 housed in Townview - let the rest of the schools in the district have enrollment standards, specialized programs that students want to go to, and that are NOT all the same. In basic economic terms - create demand! Let individual schools find their "market niche" and have to show that they have a superior product (aka educational opportunity) to offer than other schools do. That is how you make this district better, not by saying 'its not fair that these 6 schools are good' and then destroying them! Society can change for the better - but NOT if you accept that the things that are wrong within it at this very moment can never change.

BlackPocahontas
BlackPocahontas

Yet you say all of this AFTER you received your education. I was there when it FIRST opened. I was a part of the FIRST 4 year graduating class.

And no the 6 principals are NOT wasteful and NO it shouldn't be as you said ONE school because that's not what my grandparents fought for. That school among others magnets such as Booker T and new ones like Conrad, were a part of a desegregation order provided to give high level education to a minority population in DISD who at the time were only given schools that white people had then used up.

What I have notice is that, there has been a concerted effort since the school opened to turn it into a regular school or to do away with the uniqueness of the school. If every school was the SAME then there would be no need to even have several schools. We could just have one super campus and all attend.

The purpose of the school is not to prepare you know what you want to do with your life. The purpose is to give students the opportunity to explore some of their interests. And where the hell did you get your 5% number number. Just because you couldn't decide what you wanted to do doesn't mean it doesn't help others.

But the rules have continued to change at the school because the Superintendent and his supporters keep gunning for it. And that class that you speak of is proof positive that we don't get the money people claim. Because if we did, the thing would be fixed.

Mary Rachel
Mary Rachel

I beg your pardon?

Unless you still work at TMC, I am skeptical about the accuracy of your information. '07 was a while ago; can you vouch that the same class with the same broken microscope is still being taught? Or the room of cubicles?

Additionally, what school were you a part of? As an alum, you should know better than to paint all of the schools with the same brush. At TAG, at least, one teacher teaches at least two (often three) completely separate courses, with no overlap. If there are really six teachers teaching the same course, perhaps that is where the cuts need to be -- not this. Not shuffling six distinctly independent schools into two ill-defined amalgamations. What can be gained from that? A little more money for the district to mismanage? The Townview schools don't even use that much money.

In truth, the magnet schools often go without. We have a thriving theatre community with no proper theatre -- we have a lecture hall, where you have to move the podium every time you want to practice, and the "stage" is half the standard size. We don't have any athletics -- the main reason people seem to decide against the magnet schools, even when they get in, is because they want to play sports.

I don't understand your point about nepotism at all. The fact that people are willing to give Townview students jobs is a testimony to their education -- if the students were as mediocre as you imply, people would not give them jobs. They would hire someone who could actually do the work, and move on. And perhaps you missed the application and the entrance requirements for the magnet schools, but there is certainly more to admission than simply knowing the schools exist. Admission is earned.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

"Take a little less money/yr" of your own earnings to support these progams? I thought not, so why ask someone else? Maybe it's not their cup of Tea (party). I just wrote a check to support Marsh Middle School's Jr.ROTC program, because they need the help. Why does everyone want someone else to make the sacrifice?

Somebody said, it couldn't be done, but he with a chuckle repliedThat "Maybe it couldn't," but he would be one, who wouldn't say so till he tried.

So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin on his face, if he worried he hid it.And he started to sing as he tackled the thing, that couldn't be done and he did it.

Go Hinojosa, revision doesn't start by keeping everything the same.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

First thanks for the effort .

The greater shame is that this behavior on the part of the superintendent now begs the question, "Is the Citizens Budget Review Commission a sham? A time-consuming dog and pony show to appease the more vocal members of the public?" Second Ya think ?

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

Fire all the payroll people. Put it on the honor system.

sizzle
sizzle

all of townview is magnet

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

The sad fact to Hinojosa's bs, is that these kids will still be the best. It will be harder, but they still will be the best. Having Hinojosa as one of my principal's in high school at SGP, I succeeded in life and business despite him.

I will share a small secret with you. If your kids want to suceed and you want them to succeed, they will succeed.

Don't tell anyone else, promise me.

Mary Rachel
Mary Rachel

I think you've misunderstood how these schools are funded. The TAG magnet in particular has not had an increase in funding since the 80s; I imagine the other schools are in a similar situation. TAG and SEM get significant funding from outside sources such as TI, who appreciate the education these schools offer their students. The district itself gives roughly the same amount of money per student to the magnet schools as it does to non-magnet schools. The magnets have simply found ways to pick up the slack.

You have every right to be upset about the class sizes of 40 in other schools -- I find that unreasonable. But evening the playing field should go the other way: we should be working to get non-magnet schools up to magnet standards, not bringing the magnets down. We've proven that the magnets work, and produce brilliant students. Why are we messing with that? I would like to see the district's time and resources going into improving schools, not tearing down working institutions.

Jay
Jay

Whatever they were doing...it was working. Why are you so sure that they should be sure this alternative will work better? Idiotic summary of everything that's wrong with the US. If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. What catchphrases can be applied (socialism, big government, etc.) don't mean anything at all.

tracker
tracker

Mary Rachel, your overblown sense of entitlement is showing, My goodness, you HAVE TO MOVE THE PODIUM to practice? Good grief, there are DISD schools that would love to have that podium since it's in your way. Schools that hold music and theater classes in closets.

some kid
some kid

a) My sister graduated in 2010, and she had the electron microscope pseudo-class herself. It was actually functioning when I graduated; don't quote me on this, but I believe it broke the year after. So yes. The room of cubicles is most definitely still running too.b) Townview actually uses quite a bit of money. Seriously, do you really want to make this argument? Do you have any evidence at all, or are you just hoping that typing a sentence will magically make it true? Seven principals. Three floors. Beck's money-sucking ceramics and canvas-painting classes. I could go on. Only the best for DISD's best!c) One thing that could be gained from the shuffling is five principals' salaries. Oh wait, that's five things.b) Look up the word "nepotism" and get back to me on that one. Mediocrity isn't relevant.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Magnet students are not "the best".

There are thousands of diligent, bright, creative, and long-suffering kids at comprehensives.

Lumped in with the thugs and slackers, these kids still manage to stay focused and excel.

They are no less deserving of a safe, quiet, challenging environment.

But every school could afford to be overstaffed if kids were the priority for this school board. Newsflash: kids aren't the priority.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

What is "working" for the magnets is the requirement that kids fill out an application and provide all the paperwork/work samples/test scores/auditions in order to attend.

It isn't the number of principals that's the key ingredient here.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

So you're okay with all the waste?

You're okay with people working hard to pay taxes that are wasted on ridiculous bridges and an irresponsible school district?

Mary Rachel
Mary Rachel

Really? Because it seems to me that the podium is one of the least used pieces of equipment imaginable. What does it do? Add an air of formality as you're giving a speech? If schools are really desperate for that, then they have different priorities than learning.

Also, other schools (though I'm sure not all of them) have theatres that are larger than the entire TAG wing of Townview. At Townview? There is one auditorium shared by six schools, you have to jump through hoops to get to use it, move everything off the stage any back (which is terrible when you're limited on time), and then, if you suddenly want to preform (UIL, or what-have-you), you have to adapt to a stage twice the size you're used to, which completely undermines any work with timing and blocking. And that's not even getting into the lighting situation.

In all honesty, the mention of the podium was to emphasize that these are not circumstances under which theatre is generally done, even at other high schools in the district. I'm sorry that that was unclear in my original post.

Mary Rachel
Mary Rachel

a) Okay. I can say that this has not been my experience.

b) All schools use quite a bit of money. The magnets spend the same amount per student as other high schools. Possibly less, now, since the last few years forced the magnets to accept more students while cutting teachers and not increasing funding. Each school having a principal is not an unreasonable request -- you have to agree that the schools have very different objectives, and therefore different needs, making one principal for three schools impractical. The reason they don't spend considerably more than other schools is because they do not have athletics, which is one of the biggest cash sinks for schools. We spend more per student on academics, but not overall.

c) To the detriment of the students? Honestly, why is this a first priority for the district? Shouldn't they be cutting programs they don't use, like outdated TAKS groups, or the teacher certification program (since they keep complaining that the district has too many teachers)? You'd get more than five people's salaries from there, without messing up a program that works.

d) Why not? Nepotism is generally about advancing friends or family members, with a "favor for a favor" mindset. What does an employer get out of hiring a Townview student? Especially if they are as mediocre as you implied in your original post. I admit I'm struggling with this argument because you were a little vague in your post: does "come back and have jobs created for them" mean that they are returning to Townview? If so, you may see it as nepotism, but I can see the benefits of having someone who knows the system and went through it on my staff (and would, in fact, prefer such a person to one who knew nothing about it). I also fail to see why this perceived nepotism should affect the fate of the schools in any way. Could you please explain the point you were trying to make, here?

some kid
some kid

er, that last point is D. See, Townview even accepted some idiot that doesn't know the alphabet!

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

I will agree with part of what you said. No matter where the kids are from, what country their parents or grandparents were from, what their neighborhood is or how much money their parents have, they can succeed at townview.

I will take exception to calling them thugs. They are not thugs because they are rising above their situation.

Townview '09 Grad
Townview '09 Grad

Its funny to me how people think TMC doesn't have thugs, the same kids that live and grow up in Oak Cliff, South Dallas, Pleasant Grove etc are some of the same kids that have the abilities to apply and go to TMC. The majority of the kids I graduated with home schools were SOC, Kimble, Lincoln, Roosevelt etc they just made the decision to not waste time going to a school that is known to be troubled and went to school were the challenge was there and prominent. If I wanted to I could've went to White but I decided I wanted to get away from the things that were easy and comfortable for me and apply to a place were I would have to fend and fight for myself. Every child has the ability to go to TMC, it just depends if they take advantage of that ability or not. I know plenty of kids who made the decision to stay at their home school simple because being Val or Sal was easy as pie, and as good as theirs.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

I didn't mean to offend. I should have said that the programs will remain the best. Yes, I agree that there are thousands of awesome students outside the magnets, however the thugs as you call them that share the halls with them number in the tens of thousands. I went to one of those schools (Hinojosa was the principal no less) I want better for my kids.

All my Woodrow neighbors complain that I am just to cheap to send my kids to private school. I know private school kids, I would rather my kids meet high performing kids from various racial and socio-economic groups. I will not have my kids share the halls with the violent no ambition thugs.

The real point is Hinojosa is not managing his budget like the taxpayers would. When we cut our home budgets we stop eating out or going on vacation. We don't start with pawning our cars. Cut 3700 Ross before you cut campuses.

I have a crispy $100 bill that says Hinojosa will take the $10k incentive, retire with TRS benefits and then have a job at Uplift.

Townview '09 Grad
Townview '09 Grad

I am personally an '09 graduate from TMC and the reason behind why we have 6 different principles is because each principle connects to what we want to do with our lives, on top of their help with networking in our prospective job professions. The money we do receive from the district does nothing compared to the money we shuffle out and or raise ourselves. I remember selling candy and other things to make sure we had busing to go to our internships across the metroplex. The application process is more than just test, applications and auditions it's preparation for the real world. At any ordinary school you can't graduate being an EMT or a CNA, at any ordinary school you don't get the opportunity to have internships at major hospitals, or at the mayors office or at law firms across the county. DISD teacher before you bad mouth my school learn the facts about the things our teachers and principles instill in us and the hard work we put in to be the best. I applied to TMC to better myself and to really get a taste for the medical field and since then I have met so many different people apart of the medical field and really experienced some life changing events. What Hinajosa is doing is heart breaking because the staff members and principles that will be losing their jobs are the same principles and staff members who helped me graduate and prepared me for life post- high school graduation.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

There are so many other waste areas the district could cut first. While this would make sense as a third or forth round cut,we should be looking at the horribly overstaffed internal audit and legal department who outsource anything of significance. Don't get me started on the superfluous police department whose budget is greater than each individual campus except for skyline.

Hinojosa is the master of shifting the blame. Everyone is buying into his story that the magnets are to blame for everything that is wrong in DISD. If you do the math, very little if any extra money is going to the magnets. Hinojosa argument that it takes good kids out of the neighborhood schools is another idealist rambling. If it were not for the magnets me and my family would be gone.

DISD teacher, you should blame the schools loaded with kids who absolutely do not want to be there. Those are the same whose parents could care less about them being there, outside of the free childcare it provides.

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