Two Years Ago She Was DISD's Top Principal. Now, Cynthia Goodsell's Job Is Gone.

cynthiagoodsell.jpg
Cynthia Goodsell
Yesterday, in the comments below, we discovered that the Dallas ISD had summoned some of its principals and executive directors to 3700 Ross for what was described as an "emergency meeting." Last night, I found out why from a Friend of Unfair Park doing some volunteer work for the DISD: District officials fired Cynthia Goodsell, a senior executive director who, in June 2009, was tapped to head the West Secondary Learning Community. Before this school year started she was moved to the North Secondary Learning Community in a restructuring, which put her in charge of Bryan Adams, Hillcrest, Thomas Jefferson, White and Woodrow, among others.

I've been trying since last night to find out why Goodsell was let go. After all, it wasn't so long ago that the district hailed the 30-plus-year veteran as "a visionary educator and administrator" when handing her the district's Principal of the Year award in 2009, when she was still at Bryan Adams, where Goodsell had been in charge since '06. (Sam spoke to her in '08 for this cover story on electronically monitoring students.) I asked district spokesman Jon Dahlander via email: Was it a budget issue, as I'd been told, or something else? And why would the district get rid of someone so highly valued just two years ago?

Moments ago, Dahlander sent this statement:
Similar to hundreds of central staff positions that were eliminated this past spring, the position of North Secondary Learning Community senior executive director has been eliminated effective immediately. School principals in the North Secondary Learning Community will now report to Dorothy Gomez-interim division executive-secondary schools division. As this is a matter involving personnel, it will not be discussed further.
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154443
154443

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Dallasschmenclub
Dallasschmenclub like.author.displayName 1 Like

 The force-placed employees were obviously not going to get a fair shake at their new schools.Most are loyal employees that DISD knows, look at years with DISD,any over 3 years are good and most likley very good. Alot of administrators not supporting employees. THE FAT IN THE DISTRICT IS IN THE LAYERS OF OVER PAID Administrators and half baked programs.

Cgoodsell
Cgoodsell

You know what? I am happy to say, "who cares?

DSMC
DSMC

WE will see! more to come?

Allen Yal
Allen Yal

What are the names of the school board members that would possibly support Goodsel?

ROTC
ROTC

Surprisingly, no one is discussing the 1000+ employees in custodial and hvac who will be let go January of next year.

The documents are posted to the district website under Vendor Opportunities.

Carlos
Carlos

What did she have on Hinajosa?

PDAVIS
PDAVIS

If the tax paying public knew the truth about this person, they would have protested until she was removed. Unfortunately, because DISD has the ability and resources to cover up the truth, most people have no idea what is really going on. Another sad but true reality is that most of the public who would care enough to demand that people like Goodsell be "straightened out" do not have their children in the DISD and have forgotten the DISD. "Out of sight, Out of mind" .  I hear so often, "why do the teachers stay so silent......they are there in the trenches every day.....why don't they speak up? "  They are terrified to speak up because if they do.......people like Goodsell will do anything they can to make life a living hell. It is truly one of the most unhealthy enviornments I have ever seen. The scariest part is that it has continued to get worse especially this year. District policies are being broken on so many campuses and the administrators are saying "You are lucky to have a job" , implying that you will not have one if you speak up. So many teachers are running scared. There are many Goodsell's in the DISD. We are all blessed to know that we have one less now but it is going  take a LARGE AND BRAVE group of employees to  SPEAK OUT with the UGLY details as to what is really going on. I honestly do not think there are enough teachers who would be willing to go out on the limb. It is a sad time. What kinds of abuse of policy are we talking about? Taking away district mandated break or planning periods, overloading classes to a point where control and safety are issues, taking away any right for a teacher to have a student who is out of control and preventing learning from taking place in the class, threatening teachers who write referrals with "inability to manage classroom" write -ups, giving teachers an impossible paper work load, threatening teachers who say they are going to file a grievance for abuse of policy, asking teachers to do illegal things such as teaching classes and saying it is another class.....so to make it look like the school is meeting state requirements and I could go on and on and on!

Another huge problem we are facing is the administrators who are bullying teachers who they do not like personally. I have seen many administrators who have completely ignored Board Policy when it comes to releasing teachers during the two most recent layoffs....They have a mentality that rules do not apply to them. They will continue to get away with these behaviors if teachers do not STAND UP TO THEM. DISD spends a huge amount of money on greivances but very few of the people who have a very legitimate greivance file them.

I am scared to say much of anything myself because I have witnessed many of our best educators be horribly abused in the past few years and admit I am guilty of putting my tail between my legs and just walk off shaking my head. This in and of itself tells me that bullying is at an all time high because we are all so scared to demand we are treated as human beings. Most of us care a great deal about public education and we know that if this kind of abuse of power continues, public education in the DISD will continue to fail our children and communities.

guest
guest

Very well put. She was instrumental in hiring the current principal of one middle school, because she was well put together. That principal has now managed to bully teachers with far too much paper work, ridiculous demands and has been very clear that spanish speaking teachers are preferred, even when there are excellent non spanish speaking teachers in the building.  The fear of most is fear for your job is you do not have a Spanish surname. 

Emilyray2
Emilyray2

Having had contact with Ms. Goodsell while working at the District, I can say that I witnessed the woman's behavior. She was the "Queen of Mean!". She would not have lasted had it not been for Hinajosa! Let us not forget that she was engaged to him many years ago.

In rebuttal to the person who lauded the BOT, perhaps he should know their function. The BOT's function is to hire the superintendent and to make policy. They are not to be in the everyday operations of the District. Currently, they are making all the decisions.

The new word on the street is they have done away with the competitive bidding process and are very much involved in the selection programs. Another item is the BOT is involved in the textbook selection, this could imply kickbacks!

DISD-Seriously? WTF.
DISD-Seriously? WTF.

As someone who is married to a Bryan Adams employee, I am absolutely elated that this crook has lost her high-paying position. Under her rule I heard countless horror stories about the atrocities she created for not only her students but her staff as well. The only reason she was appointed principal at Bryan Adams HS was because of her affair with Dr. Michael Hinojosa, former DISD Superintendent. Her husband found out about their tryst and as "hush money," the husband demanded his wife, Goodsell, be promoted to a higher paying position, thus she became Bryan Adam's principal.

She was supposed to be the beacon of hope for a once remarkable high school, but she left a path of destruction in her wake. She would put on a fake smile for parents and students, yet behind closed doors, she would try to manipulate the system and numbers so that all things Bryan Adams would directly benefit her own personal agenda. 

My husband was and continues to be miserable at Bryan Adams. I am also a teacher and I cannot imagine what a beating it must be to work at a school where you take one step forward and two steps back. The school has the worst possible hangover from Cindy Goodsell and no amount of Alkaseltzer can ease the pitiful state Bryan Adams is in.

Under Goodsell's command, student enrollment was drastically reduced due to students being kicked out for no apparent reason other than, they were the wrong color, gender, sexual orientation, etc. And while this action did help improve TAKS scores and the overall atmosphere of the school, Completion Rates (Graduation Rates) dropped tremendously, allowing a school already deemed "Academically Unacceptable" to fall lower and lower on DISD's list of High School-further damaging any potential Bryan Adams had or has to pull themselves out of the slump Mrs. Goodsell created.

My husband was recently chastised for his CEI scores (an index that shows student improvement, his was a 49, Bryan Adams wanted it to be a 50) by which Goodsell lived and breathed. He teaches Pre-AP kids- the best of the best- and yet it was a strike against him when a student who made a 95 on their first exam made only a 98 on the next exam. Because there was only a 3 point improvement on a student's test grade, this was a negative factor in his CEI! This index was used as an evaluating tool by Goodsell and DISD. How can you reasonably justify evaluating teachers based on CEIs when their students are already meeting and exceeding expectations?

Yet, despite the fact that his index (49 and remember, Bryan Adams wanted a 50!) was higher than the school's average and the DISTRICT'S average, he was still put on an Academic Monitoring Plan.  Please tell me how a school that is deemed "Academically Unacceptable" for years in a row should set their bar any higher than the district's average? If you want to improve your school, take small steps back to acceptable and THEN work on exceeding the average!

The school has gone to hell in a handbasket and most employees I know see a pin-hole of light at a seemingly endless tunnel. Teachers are ill-equipped to deal with the issues at Bryan Adams and hopeful, optimistic teachers are hard to come by. I am sure that this lack of morale trickles down to the students. How can Bryan Adams or DISD expect the students to be excited to come to school when the teachers themselves hate coming to work?

I will continue to be baffled by the mismanaging of the majority of DISD schools and pity those who get wrapped up in the money-hungry, self-important personal agenda of the dim-witted and seemingly oblivious assholes who run the show.

Education is for the kids, not your wallet.

V. Decena
V. Decena

Wow, I am in shock.  My children graduated from Bryan Adams and where there when Ms. Goodsell took over.  Ms. Goodsell was exactly what BA needed and did wonderful things to start it's much needed turnaround of improvements.  I cannot believe the district would let one of their prized educators go.  This is a Sad day for DISD.  Please wake up and look at what you are doing to our children.

BA Parent2001-2009

TD
TD

I started to feel like I was the only one that liked her.  My daughter graduated from BA and was there every year that Goodsell was and I thought she was great.  She cleaned up the school and made my daughter feel safer at school.  Now I had a son graduate last year and totally hated each year that Ms. Walker was there....talk about "fake".  Just glad my last child is going to Townview.

DISD delinquent
DISD delinquent like.author.displayName 1 Like

Good sell, she sold it well, to the top and now she fell

East
East like.author.displayName 1 Like

You don't know what it was like to work for her...

DISD born & bred!
DISD born & bred!

The district will NEVER tell the true story behind her firing....but this firing is a GOOD thing for DISD!! As a parent when she was in her 1st year @ BA, my first impression wasn't good, there was just something that made you say,"Hmmm"....NOW, this sums it ALL up! There was always something about her "snakey smile"....genuinely FAKE!!

WW
WW

PETER PRINCIPLE ??

The principle holds that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently.Eventually they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent .

Carlos
Carlos

Her management style is catching up with her. Now she's thedeadwood. “Live Die the Sword, Die by the Sword”. What goes around comes around.If you wait long enough good things will happen to bad people.

To quote the Wizard of Oz: “Ding Dong The Witch is Dead” 

“Ding Dong The Witch is Dead” 

Now what's going happen to her Flying Monkeys? Will see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dancing With Wolves
Dancing With Wolves

The writings were on the wall yet BOT was color blind to see it. Why did they wait until Hinojosa was gone to do the firings and reorganization? I hope they are not making any mistake with the interims they appointed. Dorothy Gomez didn't even warm her seat as ED now she's the senior secondary sumthing. Jackie Landry interim curriculum chief knows jack about curriculum. Vincent Reyes, shufly needed to be splat a long time ago. New math director who also knows jack coz she's not certified in Math. The list goes on and on.

Alan King, please review the principals 'appointed' by the ED's. If they are same fraternity with the ED's or went with the same church, or former buddy/classmate in their superintendent class, then favoritism and subjectivity played a role in their hiring. Let's face it, who among our high school principals were selected based on their special leadership abilities and skills to lead a campus? Let me know if you know of one solid, non partisan and voted by the selection panel and I will think about changing my mind on how DISD principal hirings were done. I betcha the answer is none.

Another other DISD teacher
Another other DISD teacher

Never been a fan of Gomez's leadership skills, neither have a large number of teachers under her. I know there have been issues with her in the past with her, I hope she does well and lets the principals do their job.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Regarding the BOT "waiting until Hinojosa was gone"... it took 18 months of electoral politics, ending with the last Trustee election in May, to begin this sea-change.  Hinojosa could count to five (meaning 5 votes on the board) as well as we can. When it was clear Hinojosa no longer had unconditional support he bailed. If you want transparency and public input to the budget then help re-elect Parrott and Nutall (I don't know if Flores is running or not) this next May.  The board needs your vote as much as you need theirs.  They need your support, they need your money to mount a campaign.  If you do not want to give directly to a candidate (since that is a public record), you can give to the DFPE PAC with instructions on which candidate you want to support.  They will report your donation as required by law but the report does not show candidate affiliation.

Wilma
Wilma

Do Parrott and Nutall support the firing of Goodsell?

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

There are to many high paid executive jobs at DISD.What is a Director? Who reports to Director.What is Division executive secondary school division,isn't high school and secondary schools the same? Kids cannot learn because to many Employees between Principles and Supertendant. Such a waste of money and Board does not seem to care about that silo of people doing nothing but taking up space.

DSMC
DSMC

 Alot of administrators not supporting employees. THE FAT IN THE DISTRICT IS IN THE LAYERS OF OVER PAID Administrators and half baked programs.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Executive directors are unnecessary.

They supposedly oversee principals, but as I previously posted, there are no consequences for principals who do nothing about problem teachers, facility issues, and crimes on the campuses.  So it doesn't seem the EDs are doing much overseeing.

They do come up with a bunch a stuff for teachers to do, like book studies.  As if we don't work long days with a 1/2 hour for lunch already.  And now we're supposed to read books they probably get a kickback for making the district buy so teachers can be forced to read? 

They are also experts at throwing away resumes of qualified candidates for principal jobs and making sure that the "right" person with the "right" connections gets the job instead. 

Lanadev
Lanadev

you're absolutely right.  principal selection committees are a sham and the area director, or whatever he or she is called today, has already decided whom to give the job to.  why waste employees' time?  first hand experience with this.  believe me:  it is a sham.  Also, book studies are the going waste our time thing.  each staff development, the a.p. has the teachers report on chapters.  what a bunch of b.s.  and waste of teachers' time.  some high executive went to some far off conference and grabbed this idea.  someone is making money off the sale of selected books. 

DSMC
DSMC

Well done!

Another Dallas ISD Teacher
Another Dallas ISD Teacher

Amen!  Not one to have pleasure in seeing a person lose their job, but I am ELATED that she is gone.  Working for her was very stressful, morale at my school went down when she decided to take away things were would look forward to (like weekly/monthly jean day) saying that jeans would only be worn on special occasions.   And the whole book study thing?  Waste of time and money because the practices that we were reading about weren't being implemented.  On top of that,she wanted her teachers to put together these binders for whatever reason.  While I do feel that Goodsell was competent, it seemed that a lot of the things she mandated for staff was excessive, unnecessary, and had nothing to do with instruction; more like administrative/pushing paper.  I've said it before and I will say it again:  What comes around.........

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

Sad FBI  need to come down Ross when they leave Dallas County. All of that is illegal.

Sam_Merten
Sam_Merten

What a shame. She was a diamond surrounded by poo poo.

cougar
cougar

Not a shame at all. She was Hinojosa's cronyism pick over the unanimous pick of the selection committee 5 years ago.  She was a narcissistic phony and many are glad to see her canned.  Ding dong the witch is gone.  Cheers to Allen for cleaning up Hinojosa's messes.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

-Hillcrest complaints about chronic problem teachers with apparently no result-Franklin complaints about chronic problem teachers with apparently no result-BTW complaints about same-ED Walker complaints that out-of-town principal was hired while excellent in-district APs were not even interviewed-Marsh complaints that out-of-town principal was hired even though teachers signed petitions to have existing APs considered.  APs were not even interviewed-Woodrow complaints about facility and staffing issues-AC issues at most schools   *maybe don't let your child take the SAT at BA-Bond work issues not resolved at Hillcrest, Franklin, Woodrow -Other MS and HS almost beyond hope, but very few staff/admin changes being made

-HUGE issues at Bryan Adams.  HUGE.  Can't believe the whole Goodsell's asst story investigated and resigned story didn't make the news.  

Just remember that in the midst of all of this, there are children.

If EDs get to pick the principals, EDs need to be held acct for what happens at schools.  To children.

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

DISD has that contract to hire teachers and Principals from that Good School group that name is wrong but some of you know the group Hiney recommended to board.

Kevin H
Kevin H

Love the way "senior executive director"  can simply replaced by "interim division executive"....

John2247
John2247

Frankly I love both titles.  Or how about Senior Executive Division Provost?

Do printed job descriptions exist for these positions?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

My understanding is that there have been many complaints about principal hirings under her made by parents, teachers, and other administrators.  

The public needs to understand that EDs have a lot of power to hire principals (the 2-Goats-and-the-Coached interview panel is a sham).

Kids, parents, and teachers get stuck with the aftermath of what can be nepotism and cronyism hires.  Halliday Elementary's recent issues have raised many questions about the relationship between that area's ED and the principal appt to Halliday (since moved in spite of allegations).

EDs need to understand that parents, teachers, and other administrators are no longer willing to put up with incompetent crony/nepotism hires who stand by and do nothing about chronically bad teachers, facility issues, and thugs.

Principal spots are not party favors to be handed out based on who you know.  Teachers and parents  need a forum to evaluate weak principals.  Bad teachers stand as an indictment of weak principals, but so far there have been no consequences for the principals.  Or the EDs who give them their plum spots.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

Ugh, just when I think blog comments are tough here, I go visit DMN's DISD blog. Poisonous. And bloody. Reminds me how much I don't miss it.

Justknowing
Justknowing

She allegedly covered-up the multiple DUI's of her former vice-principal that she recently promoted to principal. That and being hated by probably everyone,  including 90% of the secondary principals didn't help.

Cbhagg
Cbhagg

They are out of their minds.

HildiDes
HildiDes

Way to tighten the talking points and inspire confidence in the taxpayers, DISD.

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