From the Comments: DISD Trustee Flores Chimes in on Teach for America's Success

EdwinFlores11.jpg
Edwin Flores
Below, Dallas Independent School District trustee Edwin Flores hopped in the comments to underscore something he said during yesterday's discussion concerning Teach for America. Said the trustee yesterday, TFA corps members in the district "outperform two-thirds of all our teachers in math and science" -- not just first-year teachers or second-year teachers, but all teachers. Brother Bill Holston asked if that was correct; I wrote that he likely meant first-year teachers, at least based on this chart presented to trustees.

To which Flores said: No, he did not misspeak. "My statement is correct, the CEI data reported yesterday compares the TFA Cohort II teachers to ALL teachers in the district, not just first year teachers." He also noted:
The data from last year's TFA cohort was also very impressive, but the total number in the evaluation pool last year was too low for the p-value to be significant. This year the numbers where high enough to make that determination.

TFA has years worth of data to show the effectiveness of its corps members, the Cohort II data validates and adds to that body of data.

Finally, I think that the comments from the principals are the most significant because: they are on the front line, they have the experience as teachers and administrators to evaluate the effects of just a handful of TFA teachers, and they listen to our many great teachers who also support the program as one source of great teachers.
I rang up Flores to make sure that was his comment, then we spoke further about TFA; I'll save that some of that for a later occasion. But Flores is a big fan of Wendy Kopp's corps, and did want to point out to those who question the cost of the contract -- $3 million over five years for a max of 100 new teachers a year -- that it isn't as expensive once you dig into the numbers and keep in mind TFA pays DISD $3,500 per teacher so each each can get his or her alternative certification.

"If you actually net it out, if you take out the money we get back -- which we can't include in the contract -- the total contract price is $1.2 million if we maxed it out over the five years," he says. "You know much we spend just to clean athletic facilities? $1.3 million every year. And this is less than that to get great teachers for five years. And look at Houston. They're up to 500 TFA corps members. They're gonna eat our lunch, man."

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DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The new rumor is that wherever there are TFA math/science teachers, CEIs are elevated for all teachers in the department.  That way the non-TFA teachers in the department won't cry foul, risk their bonuses, and complain. 

I hope this is not true.I hope the CEIs have not been rigged to mislead.

We need a list of all math/science teachers (not by name), their students' TAKS scores from last year, and the student load per teacher.  ACPs are not secure--cheating on them is widespread--so they need to be left out of the equation.

Since 6th and 7th grade Science don't take a Science TAKS, this will make the comparison at those grade levels invalid bc those teachers CEIs are based on Math scores and the unusable ACPs.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

A question for MacNaughton:

If we keep TFA, does that mean we have to keep the entire Alternative Certification department as well so that the TFA people can get certified?

How much is it going to cost us to keep the Alternative Certification department solely for TFA?

How are we going to cut $30 million if we have to keep these departments that would otherwise get cut?

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

As a member of the Budget Review Commission we formally recommended, and I wholeheartedly agree, that the Alternative Certification Department be eliminated.  Page 3 #4.ahttp://www.dfpe.org/PDF/CBRC-R...

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Yes, Alt Cert can be eliminated.  I spoke with AFT and two Trustees today to make sure.  Although the TFA folks used (and are using) the DISD Alt Cert program now, it is not a requirement.  There are quite a few Alt Cert programs that are available locally.  Currently it appears that the DISD Alt Cert program is about $1M in the black.  In the past it has usually lost money or been quite close to break-even.  It is my personal belief that DISD shouldn't be in the certification business and I believe that the Alt Cert Program will eventually be phased out.  But, that is a Trustee decision.

SueMe Ohwait YouCant
SueMe Ohwait YouCant

Flores is so full of shit and of himself.The CEI is a bogus number and he knows it.Spending one dollar on TFA takes that money directly away from our kids.If TFA wants into the District so bad, and they are so great, why aren't they covering the whole cost of certification?  Why, oh WHY is DISD (and you and me) being stuck with the bill?

East Dallasite
East Dallasite

Trustee Flores should read the Performance Pay Project Final Presentation from September 20,2011.

- "There is an UNACCEPTABLY" high correlation between achievement (status) and effectiveness indices as reported by the District's value-added model."

- "The net effect is that the value-added model currently in place does not differentiate between achievement and growth - either for teachers or at the campus level."

- "The current model requires complete reconstruction and not incremental improvement."

DISD's own study condemns the CEIs yet Trustee Flores is basing the decision to sign another contract with TFA based on bad data.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

"does not differentiate between achievement and growth "Can you explain that. If I'm understanding that, it means, to properly evaluate a teacher, you need to examine how much the student improved, not how they scored. Because a great teacher may have students whose scores are low, but they took them up several levels. Am I reading that correct?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The CEI is so, so broken.

Magnet teachers who have a student who score a 99 one year but a 98 the next year see their CEIs plummet as if they are no longer effective teachers bc, after all, the student didn't show "growth".

Basing a multi-million dollar contract in these tight times on CEIs is a bad idea.

I'm sorry to see that TFA would use them to generate income.

A little birdie
A little birdie

Flores' basis for these comments wouldn't be those internal faulty DISD metrics that have triggered those lawsuits would it?  Hmmmmmm.  I wonder.

RTGolden
RTGolden

Put the cost of cleaning athletic facilities, indeed the total cost of athletics, back on the parents whose kids participate and just think how much of our 'education' money we could actually spend on education.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

sorry bro, if you want athletics to cover its own cost, then band and any other extra-curricular activity would have to do the same. 

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