Dallas ISD is Firing More "Bad" Teachers Than It Has In Years, and the Axe is Still Swinging

DISD_FloresMorath.jpg
Trustees Mike Morath (left) and Edwin Flores say the recent cuts are about performance, not money.
With a lingering budget crisis and shrinking enrollment, the Dallas Independent School District has eliminated hundreds of teaching jobs in recent years, and this year will be no different. But in a sharp departure from years past, the district is preparing to part ways with hundreds more teachers for reasons that officials say have nothing to do with the budget.

It's simpler than that, the officials say: The teachers just aren't good enough.

Texas public-school teachers work on one-year contracts. Unless they commit an obviously fireable offense, eliminating them for poor performance means declining to renew their contracts -- an arduous process featuring lots of bureaucracy and billable hours. Two years ago, the board approved just 26 of these "performance-based non-renewals," according to figures provided by the district. Last year trustees approved 52.

This year? It's been a relative bloodbath.

Looking toward the fall, the board has voted not to renew 259 teacher contracts based on poor performance -- five times as many as last year. And that number is expected to grow, as each board meeting brings more votes on removing poor-performing teachers.

"This is a combination of two factors: The board's emphasis on teacher performance and principals hearing the message," DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander told me last week via email.

Changes to board policy have given principals more say over which teachers stay and which go. And the trustees appear more united than previous boards in supporting administrators' decisions.

The board is "giving the principals the power to select who's on their campuses, and sending that message to the system that we're having the best teachers in the classroom," Trustee Edwin Flores said Monday. "Our great teachers? They support this. They want to work with other great teachers. And who benefits at the end of the day are the kids."

That officials speak so freely about firing teachers is a testament to the momentum of the education-reform movement. The rise of charter schools and Teach for America, the existence in our cultural vernacular of Waiting for Superman and The Rubber Room, the space on our power lists for the likes of Michelle Rhee and Geoffrey Canada: It all signals a public that's hungry for a more aggressive approach to hiring, evaluating, retaining and, yes, firing teachers, among many other reforms.

Not everyone shares that appetite for aggression, though. Rena Honea, president of Dallas' American Federation of Teachers Alliance chapter, said Monday that the sudden uptick in unrenewed contracts hasn't gone unnoticed by teachers. "People have blindsided by it," she said, and the culture change is threatening to drive good teachers out of the district.

Honea also argued that the non-renewals are not strictly performance-based: The fired teachers can be replaced by younger, cheaper ones, including troops from Dallas' growing Teach for America corps. "Their motive is to take care of the budget shortfall," she said of the administration and board.

She also said that some DISD principals are simply incapable of evaluating teachers.

"Our understanding is that there are quite of few principals that are going to be released," she said. "Who's to say the principals are doing an adequate job" assessing teacher quality?

And if the district is wrong about who it fires, Honea said, those mistakes will cost it. "These people are fighting for their jobs," she said, referring to the appeals process, during which the union provides dues-paying teachers a vigorous defense. "They feel like they've been wrongfully let go. And they're going to fight with everything they've got."

It's those fights, along with the union's sway come election season, that make removing teachers so precarious for school officials everywhere, including in right-to-work states like Texas. But the district appears to be lacing up its gloves. These aren't budget cuts, officials assured me; those will be handled separately, and those teachers will be invited to an upcoming job fair. These teachers won't. Besides, the officials argued, last year's budget woes were even worse, and the board made few performance-based cuts then.

"I think you're seeing something new in DISD this year, and it is not just a reaction to the budget," Trustee Mike Morath wrote in an email to Unfair Park. "Beyond these non-renewals, about a quarter of the senior leadership team has been removed. I think people are starting to recognize throughout the organization that we only have one chance with our kids, and it's our moral duty to make sure we only employ the most talented, loving adults to guide them through the learning process."

As for Honea's suggestion that firing the teachers will wreak havoc on the district's legal-fees budget, Flores and Morath both said the system is built to withstand the appeals process.

"The central office looks over every single one of these performance-based non-renewals," Flores said. "I won't tell you it's perfect; no system of evaluation is perfect. We are using the imperfect system we have now to its greatest capacity. ... There are all sorts of checks and balances in the system, including the very cumbersome appeals process."

Besides, he said, this still isn't that much turnover. Most quality, performance-driven organizations "eliminate between 5 and 10 percent of their work force" in any given year, Flores said. "This year we got to 2 (percent). It's a good start."

And so far, that's all it is: a start.


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69 comments
jenniferoo82
jenniferoo82

To the person that refers to only teaching in English, research the term tolerance and how the most tolerant nations regarding diversity in schools have the most intelligent students. The U.S. is the only country that does not require their students to learn at least one additional language.

jenniferoo82
jenniferoo82

I think a lot of the disconnect with administration and the teachers can be resolved by putting administrators in the classroom. I worked at a very successful Charter School that required the assistant principals to teach part of the day. There were multiple assistant principals to allow for one to be available for administration duties. Another disconnect is a lack of "trifactor minded schools. The parent-teacher-community involvement can only promote the top of this education pyramid, the student.

jane phillips
jane phillips

this isstill not hard; English should be our only language ...

Jane Phillips
Jane Phillips

this is not hard; English should be our only language ...

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

As someoone who worked for DISD for over a decade, I can tell you that most principals are incapable of determining teacher quality. For sure, DISD hires some bad teachers. Hell, many times people were hired simply because they (1) had a teaching certificate and (2) they were breathing. I've seen teachers hired days before the school year started simply to fill a slot, but I've also reviewed the teaching history of many principals and it was a horrible mess. Principals should be required to show success in the classroom before they can take the principal certification test. If a school has more than 10 teachers who can't show success in the classroom, that means the administration is not doing a good job.

jane phillips
jane phillips

this is not hard; English should be our only language ...

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Bad teachers who are good, winning coaches, aren't always let go, because, by God, sports rules the day.

Once they target a teacher, and I have seen it done so many times, they can make you look bad on paper. Kind of like the cop who pulls you over and finds a lot wrong with you--while worse people drive by unchallenged. I witnessed a group of admins once paper a fellow teacher almost to death, literally. The person had a small heart attack. They were visited over 60 times in one year. Come on, now. Others were visited maybe 8-10. in fact, their lawyer found the list of teachers who had been pegged early on--F o I A showed it. Guess what? ALL were let go, papered to death.

Where is our chance to paper a principal? An executive director? HR leader?

So, yes, they are geting rid of some bad teachers. They are also getting rid of some good, but not favored ones. And, many, many GOOD or GREAT one s are retiring or moving on to MISD, RISD, etc...

jane phillips
jane phillips

this is not hard; English should be our only language ...

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

1.  Behind every bad teacher is a principal doing nothing about it.

2.  Until you fire Shirley Ison-Newsome (she of the P-cards and, recently, the $57,000 field trip scandal), principals on up will continue to serve 3700 bureaucrats instead of children and parents.  They know who butters their bread.  These people have mortgages to pay, too.

Instead of getting rid of bad teachers (too messy, too negative), many principals hire TFA to distract and win the favor of the gullible board members.  It's much easier than all that paperwork.  Sucks for the kids who get stuck with the bad teachers, but what can you do, right?  Just keep touting your TFA teachers and no one will notice.

Instead of getting rid of bad teachers (they might be related to Shirley or some other overpaid administrator), many principals merely load up the strong teachers, who then get burned out and leave the district.  But as long as they don't make Shirley mad, it's worth it!

Until you change the power structure, firing teachers is rearranging the deck chairs.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

...

DISD spends more on attorney's fees than any other school district in Texas, and that includes Houston witch is the largest. The Grievance process is broken and no one in the district will fix it because of politics. At every level of an employees hearings there is usually a lawyer..outside attorney... for the school district present.....payed by the hour. There is no doubt in my mind that DISD is attempting to get rid of tenured teachers, competent or not, because of the budget, but in this case the dollars will flow from one expense line to another. It is so sad that the board of trustees do not have a clue. Maybe Todd Williams the Chairman of Uplift, Chair of the DISD Budget Committee and Executive Director of Commit ...Mayor Rawlins Education initiative, can hire the teachers for Uplift at Hampton Prep :

2010-11 Accountability Ratings:Primary: Academically UnacceptableMiddle: Academically UnacceptableHigh: Academically Acceptable

Pete53
Pete53

It would be interesting to see the salaries of the teachers fired and compare to their replacement I think it has more to do with allies and friends than a so called bad teacher.

Junkgeek
Junkgeek

How do the parents of the kids score?

pam
pam

 A teacher that doesn't know that getting along with cohorts and superiors probably isn't teaching that lifeskill to students.  Getting along with others, especially superiors, is as important, if not more so, than the actual mechanics of any job.    

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

I feel the bad teachers were let go last year under the "budget crunch". This year,  REVENGE TIME!!!   Most of the teachers getting fired this year will likely be the ones in conflict with the principal, or the principal don't like a particular teacher for something petty like the way a teacher wear their hair; who knows why. So,  if you haven't kissed a**, you are fired, regardless to being a good teacher. I'm sure, as with most jobs, jealously, envy, and ego's roam the halls at a lot of schools. If the teacher is  good, they will find another teaching job. If not, well there is always TV Reality School.

cliffhanger
cliffhanger

Of course nobody wants incompetent teachers. The problem is that putting the people at 3700 Ross in charge of designing a system to get rid of incompetent teachers is pretty much turning the job over to the most slack-jawed, brain-dead, mouth-breathing troglodyte in the room and asking him to do the job with a howitzer. Don't expect much accuracy, and there's going to be a lot of collateral damage.

Getinformed
Getinformed

There are a lot of comments on here...but what are you really doing to help make things better for kids, parents, teachers and the education system? Do you contact board members? Do you talk to many different teachers (often) to get a better idea or more information? Do you attend meetings? Do you work with children (other than your own)? How often? What do they say and think about their education? Does your involvement go farther than blogging and spouting off an opinion? Have you been a professional in the classroom? Have you volunteered regularly in a classroom (besides field trips)?

Before we all get upset and say things that could actually hurt kids, I urge you to get informed and then help make things better. Reading about the problems and potential solutions is a good start but that information does not take the place of investigating and finding out information for yourself.

Reading the posted comments is discouraging. School are not like regular businesses. In most cases you can't even compare one business to another business equally due to variables unique to those particular entities, which makes me wonder why some believe they have the answer to this problem. Less negativity is needed.

There are bad employees everywhere, but when trying to solve the problems in schools don't hurt those who do their best and make a positive impact daily. Being lumped together is hurting more than helping. I wouldn't want to be judged based on the work ethics and performace of others, would you? A mechanic overcharged me once, but I wouldn't say they are all dishonest. Make the system more equiltable and fair, the expectations understood and the criteria layed out. That is good start. Be open to suggestions and revisions when those doing the work struggle and ask for guidance, and provide opportunities for feedback about when and why things aren't working. Getting rid of paperwork, and allowing teachers more instructional time will also help. (That doesn't mean teaching to the test.) Provide an opportunity for growth and people will surprise you. Fear, intimidation and micromanaging has never worked for long, anywhere, with long term positive results.

Also keep in mind the teachers aren't all bad here. Board members, employees of central office and administrators have a long history of being untrustworthly, dishonest and self-serving. A lot of the problems you see aren't the fault of the teachers. They don't make policy, screw up funding, or make budgets but they usually get the brunt of the changes. The new teacher evaluation system is something to take a look at for an example. Do you think your child's teacher should use their time to observe and evaluate other teachers, create a portfolio and make a 30 minute presentation as part of the evaluation process? Would you want to do that for your job? When does "teaching" happen in that process?

Keep talking and get informed. This will never be perfect, but it will get better. It has to, for our kids and our future.

Hometown Boy
Hometown Boy

This cannot happen soon enough.  For too long a culture has existed within DISD where ineffective teachers were retained and given a raise based on their tenure inasmuch as DISD has a salary schedule that is completely tied to years of experience with little to no adjustment for actual performance in the classroom or the school's overall performance.  As a result, average teacher salary goes up and up and the average tenure of our teaching force goes up as well.  AFT, failing to recognize that they will have much more credibility with the taxpayer by acknowledging that ineffective teachers should be terminated, instead constantly fault the evaluation system or the principals.  They also spend significant dollars with a large staff helping elect a few trustees who can be counted on to uphold teacher grievances to the point where principals just "give up" and choose not to fight the system.  Per a recent study (see http://www.eiaonline.com/Teach..., AFT Dallas collects $4.5 million annually and has a paid staff costing $1.2 million and then has the nerve to complain when a PAC gives $10,000 to a candidate they fear won't uphold teacher grievances?

For too long, adults have protected adults and children reliant on education to break the cycle of poverty get left behind.  Kudos to the board and management for finally saying "enough is enough".  Keep in mind this is a drop in the bucket....if we should have been terminating the bottom 5% every year and instead we were terminating the bottom 0.2%, we literally have hundreds and hundreds of teachers over the years who should have been released and weren't.  Their presence caused great teachers to give up and leave...who wants to work hard in 8th grade math and have to deal with the unpreparedness of the 7th grade math teacher who phones it in every year yet won't be fired because of the "teacher first" instead of "kid first" culture that permeates the system?

Mike
Mike

Situations like these listed are why it is so important to have an on-going process to remove sub-performers. They should shoot for at least 5 per cent per year. No one is 95 per cent accurate in the hiring process. That amount of documented churn over a long period withstands lawsuits and consistently delivers results. Spikes in periods of financial stress signify bad management and are automatically suspect. Make that 5 per cent number something you can base your annual financial planning. Then in financial need, you can build on that level with your RIFs.

Again another lesson long known by other private and public employers.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I'll give the DISD this: They're finally getting the message. While there still a ways off from respect in my book due to them closing high-performing schools to fill out the broken ones, not to mention cleaning up their own middle management ranks, this is a good start. DISDs main issue, from many POVs, is the fact they've kept bad actors for years. Its why I know quite a few teachers who've left the DISD and headed to greener pastures in the suburbs or private schools, as they're given more control over their classroom and what type of behavior is allowed.

Guest
Guest

The Teacher's Union contends that the cuts are budgetary, but firing each of these teachers will be more expensive than paying them because of civil service protections that are available to teachers but to almost no one in the real world.  This will negatively affect the budget.  Even if you think the firings were a bad idea, I don't think there is any credible arguement that there was any effort cut costs.  Hell, it would be easier and cheaper just to lay them off if that's all the DISD wanted to do.

The Teacher's Union contends that principals are incapable of evaluating teachers, and complains that tests are incapable of evaluating teachers.  In the real world everyone has a boss, and if that boss (rightly or wrongly) thinks you do a bad job, you get fired.  Evaluations aren't perfect, but that isn't a reason to abondon them or tollerate poor performers.  The Teacher's Union effectively is arguing that all teachers should be retained indefinitely because we can't identify the bad ones.  This is terrible policy and puts the misplaced priorities of the Teacher's Union on full display.   

The Teacher's Union (speaking through DO mouthpiece) describe firings as "bloodbath," but only the bottom 2.5% will be fired for cause after decades of allowing teachers to hang on as long as they wanted a paycheck.   That isn't a bloodbath.  I'm not even sure that is out of line with normal for cause terminations in the labor market , even if you ignor the buildup of bad teachers from the unwillingness of the DISD to fire teachers in the past.  The Teacher's Union would prefer we return to the good old days of firing less than 0.25% of teachers.  That's right, the Teacher's Union thinks only 2.5 of a 1000 teachers in the DISD are bad enough to fire. 

If Teacher's want the respect they rightfully deserve, they have to drop this shit.  People won't respect a profession that protects its worst members, particularly if the protection comes at the expense of children.  I do think a few bad apples make good teachers look bad, but if good teachers stand up for those bad apples then I guess they are only getting what they deserve. 

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Only a union has the resources to fight for the rights of a teach recommended for termination because he doesn't get along with a principal that was appointed to that position by her brother-in-law in the DISD administration.

cliffhanger
cliffhanger

The same gang that already endorsed Flores without even interviewing the other candidates.

It's not that they're so obviously trying to corrupt the process. It's that they're not even good at it.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

And note that Kamalia Cotton still has a job.

DMN reports that 20 teachers at Halliday (where she was principal) rec'd some form of discipline for mistreating kids.

But was she fired?  No.  Thanks to her ties with someone (Shirley?) she will simply be moved.

Good teachers see the unfairness and don't even bother with DISD anymore.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Ask Royce West how much money he makes off of this.... Ask him.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

Like everybody else.  Beer and lies.

Getinformed
Getinformed

Pam, respectfully speaking you are wrong, and it is evident you work in the business world and are more concerned about bean counting than real, live people. Getting along with others is NOT the most important part of any job.

For example: I would hope my doctor was highly and properly educated by a varied range of people; very knowledgeable about past, present and future techniques and treatments; honest, moral, ethical and actually passionate about what he was talking about and able to make difficult decisions; had a great deal of training and experience for his particular specialty. Getting along with others, or kissing a superiors behind is not at the top of the list at all.  

You have no idea, but that type of thinking is how bad teachers, administrators, board members and bosses at Ross are able to stay in the first place. Kissing butt shouldn't be a used as a yard stick to measure your value to others.

Please, before you post, get informed. Spend some real time in a classroom...substitute teach if you need to.

Oh and one more thing...how sad that you compromised yourself and felt the need to "kiss ass" at all (much less as like the next person). What was it for if you were terminated anyway? What value is that to teach to anyone?

biscuit98
biscuit98

Wrong, Pam.

Ever taught middle school, Pam? "Superiors" as you arrogantly put it are typically absent all day for weeks at a time. What IS important is being an isolated adult who can control and teach kids.

Take your arrogant attitude and use it to kiss your boss's ass. Apparently you are in a job where competence is nowhere as important as subservience and manipulation.

Being subservient in an urban classroom can get a teacher fired and kids hurt. We aren't in an office environment playing political games for promotions and raises.

As far as "superior" in any other sense, administrators don't get their jobs by demonstrating superiority. They more frequently share DNA or are willing to compromise their ethics for the good of old 3700 Ross Avenue. That means they are very willing to throw parents, teachers, and students under the bus.

Dlduxbury-cba
Dlduxbury-cba

Seriously? You're so cynical that you actually think adults spend 4-6 years going to college and meeting state certification requirements so they can be the poorest performing member of their profession. How long has it been since you were in school?Students lie, cheat, and steal and they learned how to do that from their parents. Teachers spend a great deal of their time doing damage control for the anti-social behavior too many parents have ingrained in their own children. 

biscuit98
biscuit98

Homie-Teachers didn't hire those teachers who are poor performers. They didn't hire the principals who refuse to do their jobs and get rid of the poor performers by documenting their poor performance and mandating appropriate training. So what if teachers grieve getting fired? Principals in many horrible schools don't hang around long enough to clean house because the district promotes them into central administration.

Your tirade, Flores or charter operator or Morath, is filled with inaccuracies.

-."As a result, average teacher salary goes up and up and the average tenure of our teaching force goes up as well.'"-In exactly what profession is it expected that salary won't go up and experience won't increase? How darned stupid. Would you prefer two year rotations of totally inexperienced TFA folks who rely on experienced teachers to make it through the day?

The fallacy in your thinking is that even with outstanding teachers filling every school, salaries will still  increase over time and filling every school with great teachers doesn't increase the revenue of the schools. This is not a business.

"AFT Dallas collects $4.5 million annually and has a paid staff costing $1.2 million and then has the nerve to complain when a PAC gives $10,000 to a candidate they fear won't uphold teacher grievances?" Well, wah, wah, whine, whine. You are apparently a board member hated by teachers. Teachers also get to vote unless you are forming your own banana republic which is why AFT exists. AFT's power in this city is nothing compared to the Citizen Council idiots who did the following during their Dallas Achieves reign:-blew up the school district budget by hiring a crony friend of Don Williams with no experience in school finance and a refusal to listen to those with experience-blew up the school district by hiring someone kicked out of the armed services who then decided after the Broad academy exposure she should be supt.- refused to do anything about rampant nepotism and cronyism in the top ranks-spent the school district into a hole it will probably not recover from in the next five years-sponsored the trustees who wanted to extend their own terms of office (illegally)-had no problems with a board member doing business with the school district

Do you really think top teacher talent wants to work in a district filled with constant chaos, corruption, and nepotism in a city where business leaders have a worse track record with their attempts at reform than the teachers? Where the trustees are also vendors? Where certain trustees openly exhibit pure contempt toward the teachers in the district?

The teaching conditions in the district are miserable and getting worse. Not one trustee had done anything to change them. Think you will draw the best teachers in math and science to a district that is constantly in the news for corruption and stupidity on the part of the board and administrators? Think again. The next superintendent will make a three year run through Dallas to gorge themselves on the pay and then it's on to another place.

Dallas ISD is an "administrator first' or "crook first" or  "arrogant, piss ant trustee first" place. Teachers and students are of no consequence.

ParleyPPratt
ParleyPPratt

Other employers can pick their clients...

ParleyPPratt
ParleyPPratt

Bad actors, meaning bad kids and parents.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Good teachers do not want bad teachers protected.The union and good teachers do want the kids protected.  But using dishonest, invalid measurements that somehow always protect anyone related to Shirley Ison-Newsome is NOT protecting kids.We need the good teachers to have 60% of the final say on what constitutes a good teacher.  We need the good teachers to write the rules, not some admin who will hand out jobs to incompetents in exchange for God knows what.Teachers want tamper-proof evaluations that sort the wheat from the chaff and hold principals and 3700 admins accountable for the damage nepotism and cronyism hires inflict on the kids.  

Let the good teachers write the rules and the bloodbath would be much, much worse and much, much more accurate.  

Phelps
Phelps

If the teacher is truly competent but still can't get along with that particular principal, then there shouldn't be much problem getting hired on in another district.

pam
pam

Get informed, read your first paragraph again. Perhaps you'll see the irony in your words. fAnd, because you were respectful, I'll respectfully submit that "getting along with people" is not the same as "kissing ass." 

 It's an oldie, but maybe you'll recognize it; remember the show "Leave it to Beaver"? Can we agree the "Eddie Haskell" character kissed ass but "Wally" got along with people?

Since you asked, in two positions, I was terminated, because everyone was terminated; it's called "liquidation" in the business world and I knew going into the jobs that they were only short term. *Each lasted just under five years. ) In two others, "reorganization" bankrupticies, each organized company was bought by an out an of state competitor, one in California and the other in Maine. The Maine investors never considered relocting anyone from Texas; The California folks offered me a job, but I turned it down (wanting to stay in Texas.)

By the way, in the latter job, I recognized that insurance claim accounting was being handled incorrectly by the company. I went to my boss, the CFO, and explained, respectufuuly, why it was wrong. He didn't like hearing it, but recognized I was right.  He told me talk with the Chief Accounting Officer about it. Again, he really  didn't like hearing that for years they'd been doing insurance accounting incorrectly. He went to the outside auditors, who also didn't like the news. But again, they all recognized I was right.

And within two weeks of my first raising the issue, there was a new accounting procedure in the company. And I got a very strong recommendation from the Treasurer which lead to a job offer from California.

You are right, GetInformed, we do exist in different worlds. But, I feel pretty confident that disagreeing respectfully and striving to get along with others works in both.

pam
pam

Biscuit98, just so you know, my back ground was corporate finance and I specialized in in companies that were working through bankruptcy, either liquidation or organization. I know how difficult it is to work in an environment where people are being laid off; I worked at two companies that liquidated, and was one of the last 10 people to be terminated. I worked at two other companies that were in reorganization.

I didn't kiss ass any more than the next person; to the contrary, I once told a company president that he couldn't take another company person to lunch at the company's expense. What did he do? He never did it again. Shortly thereafter he acted upon my recommendation about seeking out a replacement banking relationship; at the end of the liquidation I was one of five people who received a post-separation bonus for the work I did. 

 I was called on the carpet many times and gave honest criticism where it was appropriate. I wasn't particularly well liked, but I feel I was respected.

Do something right now; re-read your posting. If you had to choose someone to be laid off, and your choice was between two equally qualified people, one of whom wrote your posting and one who knew how to disagree respectfully, which one would you termiante?

Phelps
Phelps

Not only do they do that, but education majors are also the ones who consistently score lowest on standardized tests.  People become teachers right our of college because they grew up incarcerated in a mind-numbing indoctrination center, and they liked it and can't wait to go back.  That situation isn't going to attract the best and the brightest.

Hometown Boy
Hometown Boy

I never said the teachers made the poor hiring decisions.  I said that administrators did and then compounded the problem by failing to terminate them, with these decisions protracted by AFT personnel raising money and supporting trustees who helped create a grievance culture within DISD thru where ineffective teachers not only served their kids poorly but also caused great teachers to leave because who wants to work in an environment where its clear being a great teacher is not valued anymore than being an ineffective teacher...you get paid the same if you have the same years of experience?

And I know of no successful industry that pays its employees lockstep according to tenure.  That is a feature reserved for government.  Great teachers should be paid meaningfully more, not less.  Teachers working in effective schools that are outperforming should be paid meaningfully more, not less.  We have to create a culture where every teacher in a classroom is great, is treated like a professional, and is rewarded accordingly.  What we have to day is far from it based on the actions of adults...administration, AFT and their paid-for trustees.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Or another school.WT WHITE had a policy that people related could not work for District it was a good policy.Eliminated all problems.

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Because of course all DFW area school districts are in a hiring binge, with a particular desire for highly experience / highly compensated tearchers?

Getinformed
Getinformed

Pam, so there are no moremisunderstandings please read the following...

I said that I respectfullystate you are wrong. I still believe you are wrong. I don't believe there isanything really ironic in that statement. 

Please read the post again.I never asked why you were terminated. It isn't my business and honestly ithappens or will happen to everyone at some point. I did however make areference to termination because you mentioned it in your post. I wrote "Whatwas it for if you were terminated anyway?" I posed a question that I feltwas important to ask because you wrote to Biscuit98 and stated "I didn'tkiss ass any more than the next person;" I wanted to know why youcompromised yourself by kissing ass at all? In the end (by your own comment)you kissed as much or little butt as the next person and still lost your job. Icontinue to believe that is not a value to teach.

I also continue to disagreethat striving to get along is more important than the mechanics of the job. Youseem to contradict yourself...striving to get along is different than beingable to disagree respectfully.  

I would also ask that you pleasedon’t make assumptions about what someone does or doesn’t teach in theclassroom without much more information. Just because someone doesn’t agreewith a superior doesn’t mean they don’t teach about compromise.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I would want to know who taught better. The DISD would do its magic and come up with a number based on test scores. Some at the top would countermand your logic because they are related to, go to church with or play around with--so and so.

It is a different world in DISD, so your attempt to use business pysch won't work...

Frank
Frank

Pam, I couldn't agree more.  I hope biscuit98 retires soon.  Hard to get excited about someone that bitter about her working environment being placed in front of kids every day.  She will claim she can separate the two...I would find that hard to believe.

Phelps
Phelps

Actually, I'm doing much better than the average college graduate.

hatemonster
hatemonster

Phelps, where did you get educated?   You come off as a stupid, ignorant, trailer-park educated jackass.  I'd be willing to bet you're trash. Trash thats pissed off at society because "you didn't get yours..."

Dlduxbury-cba
Dlduxbury-cba

It is not that complicated. As a community the insanity must stop. Letting the students and their parents dictate that disruptive behavior will be tolerated or teachers, administrators will face outraged cries of discrimination must be stopped. Women can be as good as men. The problem is blaming teachers and administrators that actually do a good job, instead of identifying those that rely upon their minority status for job security. Tolerating behavior that is culturally based, but detrimental to meeting state educational standards. A few students and their parents do not have the right to disrupt the education of the majority. Yet this is happening far too often in classrooms across the district and around the state.

guest
guest

@83d641bf501a40bc146eb802ba04d1fd:disqus , then what you have to do is create a culture where every student comes from the same socioeconomic background, same living conditions, same eagerness from the parents to be involved and value education, same resources at the school, same level of competent administrators, same learning environment (i.e. building and technology access), etc...I agree that the pay system is outdated, but you have to understand why it was put in place to begin with, at a time not so long ago, the few male teachers in the profession were paid more than there female counterparts because it was the males that were more likely to be administrators in a female majority profession. The pay scale was put in place for fairness and equity. If you want to reward teachers, then begin by rewarding teachers that choose to work in some of the most difficult schools or neighborhoods and do amazing things with students that many have given up on. If we as a society are really serious about a system overhaul, then we would go as far as allowing teachers to be the ones who determine who is entering and leaving the profession just like any other profession for higher levels of accountability among it's peers and providing the adequate resources at some of these campuses where the gap is already so wide when they enter kinder, that it takes almost 3-4 years to close the gap and try to maintain it.As far as the grievance process, its the only guarantee that teachers have to due process when you have incompetent administrators that don't understand their role as instructional leaders and believe they are managers at a restaurant, where you can turnaround a staff and retrain them all in a few days to hit the right buttons and smile. Part of the role of being an instructional leader is to help the teachers find their deficits and develop them, and when you come across some that just can't or won't , then you show them the way out of the profession. The sad part is that there is not a peer review process to ensure that really bad administrators and teachers never set foot in another classroom, instead, they just become the problem of another district and problem just recycles itself. There is serious discussion that needs to be had, and the unfortunate part is that not enough teachers are part of the discussion and we are left with people who don't have a clue about public education and extreme diversity that exist within our student population within a classroom, school, district, state and in the country. There is no easy fix to this, but what is being done to public education currently is headed in the wrong direction until the majority of teachers say "enough is enough"! This wouldn't be happening is the profession was male majority instead of female majority!

biscuit98
biscuit98

The same argument could be made that the Chamber congregates together and does things that ultimately hurt the district. The boys that typically make the secret, top secret decision about the superintendent generally field a total loser. Yet, they again congregate in secrecy and make another appointment with no input from teachers or students or parents.

Your comments about paying great teachers more won't work. The pie doesn't get any bigger because there is a critical mass of good teachers. The pie stays the same. If a district managed to get the highest quality of teachers in the nation, the pie doesn't grow, dumbass. This isn't a business. Of course, this a feature of government. The only revenue is government revenue and it doesn't increase in proportion to the quality of teachers. Ask teachers what they would want changed first in the district, and it won't be pay. Working conditions are demeaning and insulting and counter productive and getting worse. Under the current regime, conditions are getting more punitive.

Teachers working in the most effective schools in Dallas hand picked their students who can be returned to their home schools. So they should get paid more?

Pay is not the priority. Ethical administrators who actually stay on campuses and do their darned jobs would be first. A board that doesn't constantly shoot itself in the foot and doesn't allow corruption would be nice.

Phelps
Phelps

Yeah, actually.  Isn't that the slam on Perry, that all the hiring he did was for more cops and teachers in response to population growth?

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