Dallas ISD Will Bus 18,000 Employees for Convocation, and Teachers Are Pissed

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Last week, Superintendent Mike Miles proposed giving teachers $750 in incentive pay for the coming school year. "Last year, we asked the teachers for a lot," Miles said, per the Morning News. "We asked the teachers to extend the number of minutes that they are teaching, and to increase the number of days at the secondary level, we didn't give them a pay raise, and this coming year, the accountability is going to be a little higher."

Extra cash is always welcome, but a one-time bonus isn't exactly causing DISD's rank and file to sing Miles' praises. There are a lot of causes for resentment -- huge executive salaries, a longer work day, pay that remains stagnant -- but a focus of the complaints of late is the convocation slated for next Friday, three days before school starts.

Teachers and staff will be bused to the Ellis Price Field House for one of three identical sessions lasting an hour and 15 minutes. There, they will hear Miles wax poetic about Destination 2020, his long-term vision for the district that now has its own logo. Attendance is mandatory: DISD's website reminds us "Principals and department heads will be taking attendance."

Convocations are standard fare for new superintendents, a way to muster the troops in advance of the school year, and they sound about like every mandatory work meeting ever: boring, pointless, way too long. Of course people are going to bitch, but that's life, right?

What's doubly irritating to teachers this time around is that the convocation is supplanting classroom preparation time, says Alliance-AFT president Rena Honea. Typically, there are a couple of days of classroom prep time built into the calendar. This year, teachers are getting emails telling them when their buildings will be unlocked

"They're expected to come up on their own time and not be compensated to have their room ready," Honea says.

Miles will have a tough job getting teachers behind him. Lest he be tempted to turn to spectacle at the convocation in hopes of swaying them, a word of caution: Don't drive into the room on a bulldozer. That's how former sup Yvonne Gonzalez introduced herself, and we all know where she ended up.


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21 comments
Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

And Leni Riefenstahl isn't even around to film these kind of events any more. What's the point?

darrylrs
darrylrs

God, I am glad that I parted ways with DISD seven years ago. I was there when the thief rode the bulldozer! Down town administrators have always been out of touch as far as classroom preparation goes and they will be the first to complain if everything isn't ready when the students arrive. Same old DISD.

bandito
bandito

After Jennifer Sprague's performance at the briefing on Thurs., could Mike and all his buddies please just slither off into the sunset.

This convocation is totally pointless and a further insult after the administration added days that would be used for teacher preparation to June where teachers will be asked to remediate students who have failed the school year.

Miles cut and pasted the plan for Harrison 2, his former district, directly into the powerpoint for Dallas trustees who are still slumbering through this episode of Find the Sorriest Superintendent in the Nation and Bring Him/Her to Dallas.

The need to waste an entire day transporting teachers and staff 40 miles across town to listen to the man who needs constant adoration and attention---a superb waste of time and resources.

No need for video conferencing. For almost free, send everyone an email of the powerpoint that says little. Have principals, who have had to sit and listen to Miles, explain any details. An hour ought to do it.

EducateDallas
EducateDallas

Eric,

Could you find out how much this convocation is costing the district?  I have heard that, in years past, it has been paid for by donations.  Is that the case this year?  The district needs every penny to be going toward the classroom right now and cannot afford to waste money on fluff.

 

I think Pepperoni has a great idea- this should be done using videoconferencing.  That way, the teachers could still use that day to set up their classrooms and they could even all meet to discuss how they are going to meet the district goals, instead of wasting time commuting on a bus.  By the way, be sure to add in those transportation costs to the total cost of the convocation.

 

And Mikett, the district actually IS in a state of disaster, financially speaking as well as according to their AYP status.  So videoconferencing does make more sense than wasting money on a convocation that will do nothing to move the needle on student achievement.

jerikjonsson
jerikjonsson

AFT thinks teachers are being treated unfairly?  There's a lot of dog-bites-man in this story.

Mikettt
Mikettt

Video conferencing in same city? Maybe during a disaster. Additionally is the very southern edge of the city the only place to have these sessions the intersection of I20 and I35E? It appears also to be in the middle of a transit desert. Why can't we pick a place near a rail line? Is not that why we spent the billions?

PepperoniCalzone
PepperoniCalzone

Hasn't Mike Miles heard of videoconferencing? Wouldn't that cost a hell of a lot less than busing 1800 people back and forth to a convocation?

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

We will be used as backdrops for photo ops of "VIPs".

 

Meanwhile, our classrooms will sit empty.  Kids will come back to teachers stressed and exhausted.

Why don't we get started in our rooms earlier even though we aren't being paid?

1.  Often the AC isn't on in the building; only in the offices

2.  Often the custodians are still waxing floors and need us to stay out

 

www.disdblog.com

When a Bonus Isn't Really a Bonus

bandito
bandito

 @Cliffhanger

 Good one. Could try to substitute Jennifer Sprague for Leni, but while the gum popping bimbo Sprague does her best to please the Fuhrer, her talents are extremely limited.

Maybe an aerial opening shot of the convocation hosted by the Regional Chamber as Miles ascends from the heavens? A trifectica of Belo, the DCC, and the Mayor presenting their latest attempt? Could Bain Capital be far away as they attempt to assist the DCC revolutionize education?

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @EducateDallas Even if donors are paying for the buses, who is paying the lights/AC at the Field House?  Who is paying all of the employee salaries?  Who is paying for the lights and ac at the empty schools?

 

So, yes, tax dollars are being wasted when teachers are not on campus.

 

I need to get my room ready for the kids.  They show up Monday morning.  If we have to waste a whole day going to and from freaking Waco for a rah-rah and then have to work all weekend to get our rooms ready, we will start the year worn out!

 

Who wants that for kids??  

 

THE FRIDAY BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS AND MILES PULLS THIS.  

NEWSFLASH: IT ISN'T ABOUT YOU, MILES.  IT'S ABOUT OUR KIDS AND WE NEED TO GET READY FOR THEM.

bandito
bandito

 @jerikjonsson

 No, there is a lot of classical narcissism in this superintendent and a description of a huge waste of taxpayer funds.

You have apparently never spent a week on restarting school in a public school. Imagine going to your workplace and having the air conditioning turned off while you try to prepare for instruction.

Oh, and on the way to your non-air conditioned office, please spend $200-$300 of your own money on supplies while the supertindent hauls in enough central administrators for 3 school districts.

And those teacher vacancies----still climbing. Wonder why?

cynicaloldbastard
cynicaloldbastard

 @Mikettt You mean like the American Airlines Center?  A place where a previous superintendent gave up the DISD property taxes in exchange for two free rentals a year?

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

Well said, DISD Teacher.  WTF is Miles doing wasting my tax dollars (again) with some kind of convication BS.  The public yells at teachers for supposedly not teaching.  Here, we have teachers practically begging to have access to their rooms so they can get ready to teach.  What does Miles do?  Instead of letting them in their classrooms, he is wasting tax dollars busing the teachers across town for some photo op.  TYPICAL DISD BOONDOGGLE.  "Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss."  -- The Who

jerikjonsson
jerikjonsson

 @bandito He cut half of senior administration staff.  What on earth are you talking about?

bandito
bandito

 @jerikjonsson

 Gosh--old JEJ--might want to check the verity of "he cut half of senior administration" because he is rehiring for those positions every single day. Academic coaches, directors of everything under the sun. Pretty soon, he'll not only have spent the $1.2 million he lied about saving, but Miles will surpass the original overloaded, top heavy central administration. Same thing Hinojosa used to pull. Downsize the administration for a couple of minutes or weeks and then reload all the cronies through the back door.

An apologist like you isn't going to get far when the new org chart is printed and the new salaries are available.

 

bandito
bandito

 @scottindallas

 Miles has to save money somewhere because he's rehiring for all the administrative positions he cut. Doesn't matter how many students begin school in classes of 50 or with permanent subs. Miles and the other administrators won't say a word about the lack of classroom teachers when school starts on the 27th. Gotta pad that budget someway.

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