Tomorrow, Dallas ISD Board to Vote on Adding 45 Minutes to Every Teacher's School Day

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Throughout the week the in-box has been filling up with complaints from Dallas Independent School District teachers who insist they were given no advance warning that trustees would be voting tomorrow on extending their workday hours from seven hours and 45 minutes to eight and a half hour. Writes one: "This does not add any instructional time for the students; it merely increases our work day by 45 minutes each day. No one I have talked to knows anything about this proposal. 45 minutes a day equates to about 18 extra work days or over $5000 for the avg. teacher." The proposed policy change, labeled "Assignments and Schedules," is below.

I asked Dallas Independent School District spokesman Jon Dahlander about it yesterday. He explained the rationale behind the policy change: "The additional time is for teacher planning, professional development and/or tutoring, as determined by the campus administrator." And he reminded: This has been discussed before, since at least November. He's correct. As Leslie noted on November 4, following the debate over school-year schedules, "The calendar changes also include extending school days from seven hours and 45 minutes to eight and a half hours."

Per the Texas Education Agency, the district sets that policy, not the state: "Compensation issues other than minimum salaries are determined by local policies and contracts." 33723801252012081919956
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DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

In the private sector, if you work hard and do extra and work on weekends/nights, you can get a raise.

If you are a teacher, you get more hours but not more money bc the trustees spent it all on TFA and IT schemes.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

In the private sector, if you work hard and do extra and work on weekends/nights, you can get a raise.

If you are a teacher, you get more hours but not more money bc the trustees spent it all on TFA and IT schemes.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Mostly, this looks like another attempt by the BOT to "do something" without actually doing anything (other than their usual MO of passing the buck by implying that DISD's problems must be that the teachers don't work enough).

The good teachers are already putting in the hours. Making bad teachers (and yes, there are a few) stay for another 45 minutes just means you have a bad teacher hanging around for 45 extra minutes.  Mandating a longer workday is like legislating morality. It doesn't work, but it makes people with feel smug.

ardy
ardy

A couple things about this story stand out to me. The first is the overwhelming opinion from teachers that their pay shouldn't be linked to performance (in the graphic). The second is the "average" teacher making $5,000 for 18 days of work. If there are a round 8 hours in a work day, that is about $35 per hour. That is about $72,000 per year for a normal amount of hours worked (approx. 2080 in a year). If teachers get the summer off, then they are making $72k in 9 months, which equates to about $90k a year (if they were to work year round at the same rate). That seems like a lot of money to pay someone and then ignore their performance.

Guest
Guest

you are missing the entire point of the discussion - the point is that the district is trying to do anything with such huge repercussions behind everyone's back. However if you want to talk about pay for performance-tying pay to performance is unfair because a teacher has no control over where the student is when they get to their class. If you have a 5th grader who reads on a 2nd grade level, how in the world are you supposed to get him to pass a 5th grade test!!!  It seems fairer to evaluate based on the growth of each individual student. If he/she comes in on a 2nd grade level and shows one year or more of growth then you have done your job.

ardy
ardy

I understand the main point. And I agree with it. I didn't have any comments on it, other than, "that sucks". Maybe next time, I'll just stick to the monosyllabic commentary. What struck me as worth commenting were the pay tied to performance and hourly pay issues. 

Again, you bring up "unfair". I think I made it clear, after I thought that it was implied, that "unfair evaluations" are indeed unfair. In your argument against evaluations, you've done a good job of brainstorming a new evaluation method. It appears that the close mindedness between the school system and the teachers is not unilateral.

Guest
Guest

you are missing the entire point of the discussion - the point is that the district is trying to do anything with such huge repercussions behind everyone's back. However if you want to talk about pay for performance-tying pay to performance is unfair because a teacher has no control over where the student is when they get to their class. If you have a 5th grader who reads on a 2nd grade level, how in the world are you supposed to get him to pass a 5th grade test!!!  It seems fairer to evaluate based on the growth of each individual student. If he/she comes in on a 2nd grade level and shows one year or more of growth then you have done your job.

XYZ
XYZ

Ardy,

Teachers only get paid for the days we work. We don"t get paid over any of the breaks. And, I don't think I would be upset w/my pay being linked to performance if it was evaluated fairly. How can I consistently have a passing rate of 98-100%, with 56-60% commended, and be considered an ineffective teacher? Maybe you have the answer, since you seem to have all the answers?

ardy
ardy

I wasn't suggesting that teachers get paid for more days than they work. Whether you work one day or 365 days, it's still $35 per hour. 

I agree that fair evaluation is necessary. I guess I assumed that was implied. We can be reasonably sure that the survey didn't ask: "Should teacher pay be tied to unfairly evaluated performance?" If you're suggesting that current evaluation methods are unfair, then that is surely a significant problem. Perhaps effective teachers, through fair evaluations, could show that they don't need to work extra hours to continue to be effective. For what it's worth, it seems like mandating extra hours is a silly "solution". I certainly don't have the answers... just making a couple observations ("commenting", if you will).

ardy
ardy

No it doesn't. That's like arguing that we shouldn't test kids because that assumes that teachers believe data from students. An objective/fair evaluation goes a long way.

What ?
What ?

But that assumes that if "effective teachers, through fair evaluations, could show that they don't need to work extra hours to continue to be effective" that administration and trustees would believe data from teachers.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Old Old Old Quote If you can't Dazzle them with Brilliance,Baffle then with bull shit !

******Collegial ******  okay I had to look it up.

Must play Boggle or Scrabble

The staples add a nice touch .

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'm sure I'm over-simplifying it, but 8 1/2 hours sounds like wonderfully short day for quite a few of us salaried folks.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

An how much of your 8 1/2 day is constant "on"?  You know, no coffee breaks, chatting the big game last night with co-workers, smoke breaks, web surfing (like on this blog right now), etc.?  Yes you are over-simplifying it.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I never claimed my more than 8 1/2 hours was constantly on, now did I? I'm also pretty sure a teacher's 7 3/4 hours aren't as well. I have much admiration for teachers in many, many ways, but my sympathy isn't going to extend to having to work a "brutal" 8 1/2 hours a day.

And smoking is nasty.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

EVERY company is doing this, they want more productivity for the same pay, thus lower the cost burden on them. It was just put to my department that we should all expect to work 50-55 hr work weeks until at least June.  Normally we hire 2 temps for this time but not this year. 

JM
JM

Every teacher I know takes work home. Unpaid work. Papers to grade, grades to enter in whatever million $$ software is the current rage, lessons to plan. Productivity?  Teaching is not a business.

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

Sorry I blew up. Comes from banging my head repeatedly on my keyboard whilst waiting for postings to materialize. All apologies.

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

Yes, I am familiar with the concept of a metaphor. I'm saying that it's a poor metaphor, then, as profit is an absolute, whereas absolute values for success and failure are difficult if not impossible to define for a broad array of students in a large urban district. Success in education is relative to the student that is receiving said education. Rigid standards are great for measuring tangible things, not so great for determining the relative successes of students. It seems to me that that approach is what has gotten us to the point we're at now. We measure the test scores of the students to evaluate the teachers and end up with some ridiculous idea that 3.75 hrs. a week more from these teachers will somehow improve this situation. I don't believe that it will. I'm sure that it warms a few conservative hearts to hear that our teachers are working longer hours, and it really doesn't bother me all that much. Everyone is having to work harder for their bread these days and I don't think teachers, cops, firefighters, politicians for that matter should be exempt from having to do so as well. We're all in this together, AFAIC, so this isn't about that either. To frame it in your terms: I don't believe that this will bring more of the "profit" you seem to desire. I am of the opinion that that approach, attitude and philosophy are detrimental to what the ultimate goal (should be) for DISD or any school system: Teaching children.  So, way to miss the point, completely, though.

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

Yes, I am familiar with the concept of a metaphor. I'm saying that it's a poor metaphor, then, as profit is an absolute, whereas absolute values for success and failure are difficult if not impossible to define for a broad array of students in a large urban district. Success in education is relative to the student that is receiving said education. Rigid standards are great for measuring tangible things, not so great for determining the relative successes of students. It seems to me that that approach is what has gotten us to the point we're at now. We measure the test scores of the students to evaluate the teachers and end up with some ridiculous idea that 3.75 hrs. a week more from these teachers will somehow impove this situation. I don't believe that it will. I'm sure that it warms a few hearts to hear that our teachers are working longer hours, and it really doesn't bother me all that much. Everyone is having to work harder for their bread these days and I don't think teachers, cops, firefighters, politicians for that matter should be exempt from having to do so as well. We're all in this together, AFAIC, so this isn't about that either. To frame it in your POV: I don't believe that this will bring more of the "profit" you seem to desire. I am of the opinion that that approach, attitude and philosophy are detrimental to what the ultimate goal (should be) for DISD or any school system: Teaching children.  So, way to miss the point, completely, though.

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

Yes, I am familiar with the concept of a metaphor. I'm saying that it's a poor metaphor, then, as profit is an absolute, whereas absolute values for success and failure are difficult if not impossible to define for a broad array of students in a large urban district.

Success in education is relative to the student that is receiving said education. Rigid standards are great for measuring tangible things, not so great for determining the relative successes of students.

It seems to me that that approach is what has gotten us to the point we're at now. We measure the test scores of the students to evaluate the teachers and end up with some ridiculous idea that 3.75 hrs. a week more from these teachers will somehow impove this situation. I don't believe that it will.

I'm sure that it warms a few hearts to hear that our teachers are working longer hours, and it really doesn't bother me all that much. Everyone is having to work harder for their bread these days and I don't think teachers, cops, firefighters, politicians for that matter should be exempt from having to do so as well. We're all in this together, AFAIC, so this isn't about that either.

To frame it in your POV: I don't believe that this will bring more of the "profit" you seem to desire.

I am of the opinion that that approach, attitude and philosophy are detrimental to what the ultimate goal (should be) for DISD or any school system: Teaching children. 

So, way to miss the point, completely, though.

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

Yes, I am familiar with the concept of a metaphor. I'm saying that it's a poor metaphor, then, as profit is an absolute, whereas absolute values for success and failure are difficult if not impossible to define for a broad array of students in a large urban district.

Success in education is relative to the student that is receiving said education. Rigid standards are great for measuring tangible things, not so great for determining the relative successes of students.

It seems to me that that approach is what has gotten us to the point we're at now. We measure the test scores of the students to evaluate the teachers and end up with some ridiculous idea that 3.75 hrs. a week more from these teachers will somehow impove this situation. I don't believe that it will.

I'm sure that it warms a few hearts to hear that our teachers are working longer hours, and it really doesn't bother me all that much. Everyone is having to work harder for their bread these days and I don't think teachers, cops, firefighters, politicians for that matter should be exempt from having to do so as well. We're all in this together, AFAIC, so this isn't about that either.

To frame it in your POV: I don't believe that this will bring more of the "profit" you seem to desire.

I am of the opinion that that approach, attitude and philosophy are detrimental to what the ultimate goal (should be) for DISD or any school system: Teaching children. 

So, way to miss the point, completely, though.

Ed D.
Ed D.

(double post)

Ed D.
Ed D.

Yes, treat DISD like a business.! Got an underperforming campus? Close it. Students below average? Out to the curb with them. We'll right-size DISD by retaining only the brightest students in only the best locations. We'll sell off the campuses to a holding company them lease them back to the district... until Wal-Mart makes us a better offer, of course.

Paul
Paul

DISD does indeed produce a product.  The product is a young adult mind that is capable of functioning in society by being able to read, write, think critically and function within societal norms.  The problem is that DISD is producing way too many nonconforming products, i.e., young adult minds that cannot read, cannot write and have no clue about societal norms.

By any measure of success DISD, is a failure by its nonconforming product rate.  Anything else is sheer whitewash or pearls on a pig.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

You realize that profit is used metaphorically, right? Businesses are in it for profit, DISD should be in it for the appropriate educational "profit."

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

My point is that """Profit""" shouldn't be one of those metrics. It's like comparing the relative weight of a cake, rather than the taste to determine whether or not that cake is a """success""".

I suppose you can compare """tea cups""" to """jetliners""", but that doesn't make it a valid comparison. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

How can one seriously compare it? I just did. It's noting more than an approach, an attitude, a philosophy. There are plenty of quantifiable metrics than can be applied to a school district. DISD being the Blockbuster of education and being unable/unwilling to adapt their approach will not do anyone any good, no matter how many sets of quotation marks you throw into a post.

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

Public educational administrations, much like our government are not "businesses" and shouldn't be administered as such. "Businesses" exist to make profits by producing products or rendering services.

I suppose you could consider a student a "product", or consider teaching a "service", but the similarity ends there. I don't see how you can seriously compare graduation rates or student performance on state mandated criteria with "profit".  Profit is a quantifiable concept. Success for one student or family does not neccesarily equate to success for a different student or family. Success in our education system is relative, in that respect.

Asking our government or our social institutions to become more like businesses risks losing those "relative" successes in the pursuit of some unrealistic business metric like "profit" that has no place in these systems.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Teaching is a business and DISD should be run as one. The profits are the graduation rates and performance on state-mandated criteria. The residents are the shareholders. Your backwards attitude is a huge problem in crappy districts.

Let's not pretend that teachers are the only people in the workforce who take work home or go over 40 hours a week while on salary either.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Let me translate the newspeak for you.  The work day is not being lengthened.  That's a joke, as any teacher can tell you.  Overtime/comp time/extra-duty pay are being cut.

Guest
Guest

You are right Titus - now they don't have to pay for after school tutoring - think of all the Title I money they will save

Guest
Guest

It may have been discussed among the board members and the Executive Leadership Team but  it was never put out there for the teachers. The only thing we were shown were the 5 calendar options and there is nothing on any of the calendars or the highlights that says anything about increasing the work day.  People did freak out at the idea of working 20 extra days with no extra compensation- and that calendar option was pulled.  So yes - we were informed of the attempt to increase our calendar work year but not each individual day.

Paul
Paul

What a ridiculous graphic as it borders on the nonsensical ... I wonder what overpaid administration flunky thought that this was a good communications effort.

It is one thing to add some flair to the presentation of statistical or polling data, but the mixture of shapes and sizes just adds to the poor presentation of the polling data.

What's even worse is some of the questions are similar to:  "Do I love my mother?" .... "The Bill of Rights is important." ... "Beating my spouse is bad."

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