Group Therapy: Listen In As Dallas ISD Trustees Discuss How to Be Less Dysfunctional

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Anna's going to swing by Midway Hills Christian Church tonight at 7, where Dallas Independent School District trustee Edwin Flores will host a town hall. The point of this meeting, per a DISD heads-up: "Dr. Flores requests input from the public on selecting a new Superintendent of Schools." Oh, I know, I know -- somebody good?

To that end, on the other side you'll find the entire audio from Saturday's board workshop, during which trustees discussed the three search firms they'll interview at tomorrow evening's called board meetings, where they may well vote to use one of the three to find Michael Hinojosa's replacement. But that's not the interesting part of the audio that follows. What is? Well, early on, the trustees discuss the public perception of the board -- which ain't good, like I need to tell you.

Says board president Lew Blackburn, "We need to speak as one voice, and when we talk about [a] decision it needs to be: 'The board made the decision.' I would like to get to the point where we stop providing negative comments about the decision. I've been on the board 11 years, I guarantee I've lost some votes." Some laughs. "Once the board has decided on a course of action on an item, let's move on."

Mike Morath, the newest trustee, agrees: "That's completely critical. So much of the perception of the district as a whole stems from the perception of us as a team, which is somewhat unfair, since we're unpaid volunteers. We're the only non-employees of the district, yet the district's health and future is judged upon us. But it makes sense since the buck stops with us, and if we can't agree to disagree and move on and accept the decisions of the majority, people will look at this district as non-functional, and that hurts our ability to recruit talent, that hurts our ability to gets parents engaged, that hurts our ability to educate kids."

Flores says, the fact is, the board just wastes time -- whether it's someone repeating himself or herself over and over, or spending far too much time at board meetings discussing things that have nothing do with actually educating children ... which, you know, is kinda the point?

"There is the business of the district," he says, referring to "contracts, buildings, things like that, but if we spend five minutes on data and student achievement and some kind of new effort that's being made by the district and three and a half hours talking about other things, that's what the community sees, and they would be correct in having that impression."

Jump for the whole soul-searching.

Dallas ISD Board Workshop 9-17-11 from DSTV~Dallas Schools TV on Vimeo.

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M. Hagar
M. Hagar

Quit "looking" dysfuntional????  Try being less dysfunctional.

Wstmoreland
Wstmoreland

di·a·logue/ˈdīəˌlôg/Verb: Take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem.. Dialogue is intentional. In this sense, it’s not quite the same as conversation..which can meander from topic to topic.

Dialogue is a shared exploration. It requires us to assume that we don’t have the answer—and that we can work with our fellow dialogists to get closer to it.

Dialogues may not always help us move closer to the reality of the issue, but can draw us into mutual acceptance..

Dialogue requires a clear mind and a listening heart.

from "Why can't we talk"http://www.dialogueventure.com...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Okay, everybody, raise your hands if you were actually THERE? Yea, uh-huh. Well, I was. One of twelve people. TWELVE, in a city of ONE MILLION PEOPLE. In a district with over 12,000 employees. They met to discuss the process for picking the next perosn to run the largest employer in the City of Dallas --one with a BILLION dollar budget. And where were all of you? This city gets what it deserves as long as people do NOT SHOW UP. The agenda was about several things, and it lasted about 3 hours. 7 of the 9 were there. If you ever wanted a chance to see them calmly discuss things--and then talk with you when it was over, this was the time. Try again on Tuesday, or Thursday.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I couldn't go bc I was afraid to be in a church with Flores.1.  Years of frustration with Flores might have caused me to snap due to his proximity to me in such a small setting.  I might have stood up and starting shouting inappropriate comments and names at him.  "You are such a ROCK STAR!" would not have been one of my comments, though.  That's no way to behave in a church.

2. Mostly,  I was afraid that Flores' presence in the church might invite lightning strikes, especially since I see very little difference between the DISD trustees and the despised tax collectors of Biblical times.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

DISD Teacher, you are not so funny after you've been drinking.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

No drinking involved.Just naturally unfunny, I guess.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

It isn't the speaking with one voice the board needs to work on; it's the forked tongue.

The public doesn't like the trustees bc the public perceives that the trustees have sold our kids out for personal gain.

Charter schools, TFA, Broad Prize, anything from Bill Gates--a whole bunch of worthless initiatives that COST TOO MUCH and net us zero.  Of course, the trustees score favor with the hucksters selling these "reforms" but the kids get nothing.

Want to regain the respect you didn't care about until blogs came along to expose the corruption, cronyism, and nepotism?  Make DISD a district the middle class will use.

-End race-based everything--especially hires, fires, promotions, and attendance zones-End the constant testing that pretty much just serves to create jobs for people in the testing dept-End a weak curric that is not written by the most effective teachers in the district-Prosecute the P-card thieves and any other employee who steals from the kids in this district

And, most importantly, get the thugs and slackers off the comprehensive campuses.  Fight, commit sex acts, possess drugs, disrupt classes, sleep, skip AND YOU ARE OUT FOR THE NEXT 365 DAYS.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

Edwin Flores is the poster child for dysfunctional.  So are many of the trustees too.   All for the good of the children they say but I say it is for their good only.   Perhaps a good start would be to keep the DISD out of the papers for the “scandal de jour” that seems to me to be all to common place for the past decade.   After all as they said (Edwin  Flores after the delayed audit report in 2008.)   ‘Good news we are not criminals we are just incompetent!” 

LaceyB
LaceyB

a better picture, perhaps, would be a still of the "concerned citizens meeting" from "Hot Fuzz".

Its so sad
Its so sad

OMG!

And I thought the Bored of Trustees was only there to approve over-priced contracts to themselves and their friends!

Who knew that the education of children was one of their (apparently numerous) responsibilities?

Also,

Glad to see that Ron "Nobody pay me to do this job" Price has been reincarnated!

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