Don't Worry. Waste, Fraud, and Abuse at DISD Hasn't Actually Quadrupled


Update at 5:19 p.m.: Dahlander provides some additional context for the numbers:

Apparently OPR had not received the campus incident reports previously, which can be as minor as an injury on the playground to an upset parent in the office. Now that they receive them and review each one to determine if more investigation is needed (and 99%--at least--do not), they simply add it to the overall total.

The graph above represents the number of incidents reported to DISD's Office of Professional Responsibility, the arm of the district's administration tasked with internal investigations of employee misconduct, among other things. It was presented to the Board of Trustees last week.

Note the trajectory. The line bounces calmly along between September 2010 through December 2011, then shit hits the fan. The number of reported incidents jumps from 70-something in December to a tad over 310 in April. Sure, school's out for half of December so that number's pretty low, but still: Did the district's employees revolt when they heard Superintendent Mike Miles and performance pay might be on the way from Colorado? What's going on?

Turns out, not as much as the numbers indicate. DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander writes:

There is actually no real spike in the number of incidents. The increase in incidents on the graph is due to tracking of campus incident reports and CPS reports submitted to OPR's child abuse office. This was not done before October 2011 for CPS reports and February for campus incidents. Normal incident reports received via hotline have increased by 10 percent.

Phew. That's a relief. No word yet on why DISD began tracking those reports only now, but a more immediate question: Hasn't anyone at DISD heard of an asterisk?

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What little you people know...First the DMN needs to learn to read Miles has 8 Chiefs not 7 come on do your homework..also they keep tlaking about how he went from 79 positions to 26 yeah right more fuzzy math...he added 20 ED plus 5 Assistant  Sups thats 25 plus each ed will have at least 2 coord thats now 65 plus he added 2 or 3 chiefs up to 68 and will they have staff? oh yeah they will thats another 10 now you got 75 what about the ED's that are being hired.... yep he is busy building a beauracracy bigger than Obamas ears!!!... so that plus others up to 80 all he did was add layers...and his selections...Lusk is the best of that lot...this is the same stephanie elizalde who was hired by hinoposer to be over math and science WITH get this NO Math and Science Certification or experience! buhaahahha...Leslie you got 100000 helps to be a Qdawg!...conger that guy got out quicker than you can say CHEESE!!! and last but not least cordero...come on has anyone ever met this guy?  a short 5 min conversation you realize this guy is more fluff than substance...very pompous and likes to marry his PTA presidents...if this is any indication of talent evaluation by this super we be in trouble...I have one question Mr. Miles how can we expect you to find the best on a national level when you dont post your positions that youare hiring for??? chief communications officer? not posted..chief of operations..wrong again....chief of talen management?  not posted i heard there is a new Executive Director of HR that was paraded around the office and starts on June 1 NEVER posted....

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Many of us in DISD would love to be able to trust the system, but we don't. A program set up to give us a chance to report waste, fraud and abuse is often used in spiteful ways. Anyone can be victimized by a false allegation, payback or vindictiveness. The system needs to be overhauled. The placing of a teacher on leave without giving them ANY information is, in and of itself, harrassment. Many people end up going to the infamous Portable #3 without any idea of what is going on, but they know it ain't good. The teacher has NO idea what to do, nobody answers any questions, etc.... Ask the unions reps how it is to hear a teacher freaking out over the phone on a Monday morning.

THIS IS WHY DISD SPENDS SO MUCH IN LEGAL BILLS. Start treating teachers as human beings. Communicate with them. And hey, when they are cleared, why not put THAT in writing as well? Why keep them on tenterhooks for weeks, maybe months?

The system meant to stop problems is being misused, and it needs to stop. Think about when the teacher wrote an email to a trustee, or one wrote to the TEA. The first, KNEE-JERK reaction of a principal is: PUT THEM ON ADMIN LEAVE.  Stop with the over-reactions. Stop the abuse of power, and please start training people how to treat their subordinates. Teach us all how to work together in harmony, not against each other.

Remember, every time a teacher is put on leave, rightly or wrongly, a substitute must be paid while the teacher  is ALSO being paid. How much worok is getting done with a sub? Is learning taking place, while some investigation takes days, weeks or even months? These OPR people may be--and I suspect they are---overworked beyond belief. How much of it is unnecessary?

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

For the last 40 years the biggest problem at DISD has been the reluctance to count.  And I mean count anything. Number of portables?  Number of square feet of buildings to clean? Number of KWH in electricity used per building/sq.ft.? Number of whatever...When OPR was discussed at the Budget Commission meetings in 2011 I was of the opinion that OPR had acted as Hinojosa's private police force, going so far as to try to investigate trustees who opposed him.  I tried to push a recommendation to do away with the OPR entirely. We got early push back from some trustees who believed OPR (which is made up of a group of ex-FBI guys who are really pretty good at the job they do) was being misused and improperly tasked.   Duh. Moving the reporting from underneath the Superintendent to underneath the Trustees settles most of the problems (as long as you believe the Trustees won't misuse the group).  The Budget Commission asked for better reporting from everybody it talked with and this is one of the outgrowths.  More data.  Now, if only there was a separate evaluation of the data...


Same old, same old. The five selected are nothing but a waste of money. Lordy, when will Dallas taxpayer get a reprieve from waste and luxury from top DISD management.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

I never knew that.... Thanks!!! See, teachers learn all the time! I will fix it.

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