Teachers All Over Dallas Feel Reviled By Dallas ISD and Superintendent Mike Miles

Categories: Schutze

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For several weeks I have been wondering if anybody else was hearing the same drumbeat of deep bitter dissatisfaction from Dallas public school teachers that I've been getting. So now it turns out somebody else has been hearing the same thing. But guess who!

Tod Robberson! Oh, no! Not Tod Robberson! I don't want to be on his side! He's the guy on The Dallas Morning News editorial page who writes all that stuff I hate about the Inland Port and how we should clean up Southern Dallas by running off all sources of gainful employment.

Turns out I need him though. Look, I know this stuff about the teachers is all anecdotal and not very journalistic. But that's how drumbeats start. The teachers are afraid to come forward, certainly to be quoted, so they whisper in our ears. And it means something to me that Robberson has been getting the same whispers.

He had a good piece a week ago on one of those innumerable Dallas Morning News blogs (hey, Wilonksy, I thought you were supposed to clean that mess up): It was about Dallas school superintendent Mike Miles appearing before the Morning News editorial board where apparently he minimized the problem of teacher morale while singing the advantages of firing older teachers.

The attitude Robberson described was unsettling because it echoed some of the less attractive themes I picked up among the big-money North Dallas donors to school reform when I wrote about them last June. For the most part I thought the business group supporting Miles as our new superintendent were pretty enlightened. They tend to be younger with a broader experience of the world than some of their business leadership predecessors in Dallas.

But some of them did have this passion for firing teachers. The problem with that mentality is that it flies in the face of a lot of research and experience indicating it's way more efficient to keep teachers and retrain them. Robberson caught Miles citing some other kind of research, which Miles said proved just the opposite. But when Robberson looked it up, it didn't say what Miles said it said.

I wasn't going to write about this, but then this week I got another raft of calls from some very seriously unhappy senior teachers. I'm not getting it from my own part of town for some reason -- maybe the ones who live near me know better than to talk to me -- but I am hearing a hell of a lot if it from North, Northeast and Southeast Dallas.

They think Miles and the people backing him despise and revile them. That's the message. And they think the district wants to force them to self-deport from DISD so the district can replace them with younger, cheaper models.

They're also picking up a kind of totalitarian culture at DISD headquarters. That crazy stuff with the power words didn't help. Miles went to the same PR company that invented swift-boating and hired them to come up with a list of magic power phrases that principals were then required to use whenever they spoke to parents.

That's just woo-hoo-loony, superstitious-Mussolini, Idi Amin-wacko, batshit crazy crap. Maybe you can pull stuff like that in the software services industry where everybody's stoned anyway, but you can't do it in an institution full of teachers and expect them to respect you.

Anyway, much as I hate being on the same side with Robberson, I have to admit I am hearing the same stuff he is. And, anyway, gosh, you know. Blush. What do you think, Tod? Should we start dating?

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91 comments
speakingtruth
speakingtruth

The charlatan was being exposed in Harrison in Colorado Springs (read the comments for the real story) http://www.coloradoconnection.com/news/story.aspx?id=663580 so our mayor recruited him to Dallas. Couldn't have found a worse candidate. How long before our mayor is embarrassed by the numbers of students sitting in classes with no teachers. No school district in the nation has this number of vacancies. Get it Rawlings--and it's going to get worse.

sophee
sophee

Teachers are being blamed as scapegoats for not educating kids who don't even know how to act in civilized society, much less learn anything.

MisterMean
MisterMean

It seems to me that the DISD can't get anything right.  The more things change the more that things stay the same.

rain392
rain392

If teachers feel like they are being treated like crap then they will vote with their feet when they get another place to go or another profession to pursue.   You think not?   That's exactly what happened to cause the first nursing shortage a little over a decade ago.   Hospital cut executive nursing positions, wouldn't let nurses wear RN on their uniforms so the patients wouldn't know if a licensed RN was taking care of them, a nurse aide or the housekeeper and generally treated us like the wallpaper.   They also gave us too many patients to care for with much higher acuity.   The combination of ALL those things and more prompted tens of thousands of nurses to quietly resign from hospital nursing. 

 

The death rates on Hospital units went up, the hospital infection rates went up and patients were recieving sub-standard care.  The nurses were working mantatory overtime, day after day, they were exhausted and worried they would hurt a patient because they didn't have time to give expert nursing care, including overseeing medical care, watching for side-effects, complications, etc.

 

Nursing research finally convinced the medical establishment that this could no longer go on.  When DISD has 700-800 open jobs and no one is coming to fill them, maybe someone will get wise.  

 

 

Teachers and nurses vote with their feet.  They have the best interests of their patients/clients in mind.   They also must take care of themselves because no one else will if they don't we discovered!!

dallas.por.vida
dallas.por.vida

From DISDblog.com

Thank you, SIR says:

November 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Dear Superintendent Miles,

Thanks to you, the administrators are no longer concerned with discipline and students’ excessive unexcused tardies and absences, or with teachers having sufficient time for tutoring kids and grading student work. Thanks to you, all the administrators really have to think about anymore is what drivel to blather about in the daily 45-minute after-school teacher-torture meetings, DOL’s, kid-friendly versions of objectives on the teachers’ boards, and your ‘new’ MRS strategies which actually are not new, but okay, whatever. It is ironic that one of the core beliefs is that there is no excuse for poor quality instruction; when, in fact, thanks to you, that is pretty much all we’ve got now. Because thanks to you, there is no time for anything else. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

dallas.por.vida
dallas.por.vida

*People are evaluating us that we've never even seen before, and after only spending 5 minutes in our classes. I don't even know their names...

 

*We're told that no one gets above a 1 (out of 3 points) because we all need to improve on everything. It's like saying, "You've been highly successful for over a decade and all, but over the summer you morphed into an incompetent moron."

 

*No matter what verbs I use in lesson plans to say the students are learning to multiply, it's not going to be right. And it's going to take practice, which the wham-bam-thank you ma'am DOL structure does not encourage. It may look really pretty on a video clip, but day-to-day teaching is continuous.    Wasn't it St. Thomas Acquinas?... "Repeticio est mater studiorum."

geethanks
geethanks

So let's summarize: Dallas teachers are lazy, overpaid, too old, and don't want to change. They only work nine months a year and are complaining about having meetings every day for no good reason. Since they only work nine months a year, they can make up for it by working 14 hours a day and weekends during that nine months. if this were true, then Dallas ISD needs to fill its 400 vacancies in the next couple of weeks because the world must be filled with people who are lazy and old and only want to work nine months a year. And we forgot about the 200 teachers who are retiring in January. That leaves 600 places for old, stupid, lazy people to work. Put a sign out at 3700 Ross Avenue!!!! We have found the solution! We have jobs where there must be millions just waiting to snap them up! However, we predict by January Dallas ISD will have 600 teaching vacancies because teaching is actually very hard work for little money and being micromanaged and denigrated isn't a big attraction and the surrounding school districts also need teachers. There will be a big retirement bump again at the end of May and again each following year til the boomers are all gone. But student growth is predicted to climb very fast in Texas over the next decades, so look at how Dallas will be positioned compared to other districts also scrambling for teachers.

dro214
dro214

IMHO Dallas ISD has a lot of challenges. Many arguments can be made, and assuming these arguments are put forth by relatively intelligent people it's possible to understand both sides. However, I feel that our country's entire education system is antiquated... I hate word reform as it relates to education b/c it seems so "slight", and we need a total overhaul.

Our teachers (Dallas ISD) have been griping about the extended work day, in class observations, the new Supe etc. I like Miles resume and track record but Hinijosa looked good on paper too. The difference is that Miles is getting to work a lot faster and seems to be willing to do the right thing even if it's the unpopular thing among teachers. Let's allow the guy to work... If he fails he'll walk the plank just as the others have. I have no problem with teachers losing their jobs if they no longer pass the cost vs. benefit analysis; which is indeed the case with some of the older/senior teachers who are paid more and burned out. The truth is this is a "blood and guts" matter... things have to be said and done that not everyone has the stomach for. Which is in part why some dentist are dentist as opposed to heart surgeons. LOL! 

I have maybe 8 friends who are public teachers, most in Dallas and from what they share with me... I believe Dallas ISD has 2 major problems. Processes and Personnel. Let Miles work. We need good processes and good personnel to right the ship, which means that some new processes have to be put in place and existing ones revisited and updated and there will be some personnel changes. 

If teachers want over 100 days off a year, it may take working an extended work day. No? Well lets go to year around school? No? Oh you still have crops to harvest. If teachers really want to retain their jobs and improved the quality of our kids education then guess what, we'll need to observe more than twice a year, maybe as much as twice a week. I mean... I work with my boss daily, she sees my work daily, assess the quality of my work daily. 

Be a good, dedicated, reliable teacher or go find another career. We're getting our butts kicked, of course we need longer days, more teacher observations, etc. We can't snap a finger and there be more money to throw at the problem, what we can do is operate Dallas ISD as efficiently as possible with our current resources. I suspect that if this were a failing "ABC Corporation" and we brought in a new CEO to right the ship that more people would be saying "this is exactly what needs to be done". Lets get rid of under-performing teacher, let's allow our principals and admins to thoroughly assess our teachers and lets improve processes and personnel. Obviously not everyone will like that. Especially the teachers who have been hiding in a dark corner... we can no longer afford any dead weight. 

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

To start:  it is my off period.  I am not neglecting kids in order to blog.

 

Bottom line:  We have over 400 teacher vacancies in DISD and the number is increasing weekly.  Even if each of those teachers only taught 20 kids (secondary teachers teach well over 120 each day), that would be A MINIMUM OF 8,000 KIDS WITHOUT CERTIFIED TEACHERS.

 

THAT'S the reality teachers see and the public doesn't.

THAT'S why teachers don't support this superintendent just as we didn't support Hinojosa.

 

Miles:

-has done nothing to attract/retain teachers, to the tune of 400 vacancies (are they relying on full-time subs (babysitters) to save money for themselves?

-has spent millions on hiring new admins but not teachers

-gave SIN a buyout roughly equal to 3 teacher salaries

-asked principals to choose teachers to write positive paragraphs for some publication

-sent/allowed a survey to be sent to teachers, who were told comments should be positive

-has instituted no meaningful change.  Keep our doors open to impress visitors?  Meaningless for the kids.  Write DoLs on the board so visitors know what we're doing?  Meaningless for the kids.

 

He seems all about self-promotion and spending YOUR money.

He pulled us off our campuses the day before school started so we could watch him dance and watch all of his movie clips.

 

Dallas:  You are paying taxes to educate kids, but the money is NOT being spent on kids.  Teachers are not being hired.

Edward
Edward

The people who always immediately pop up and start writing about how "the education system in the US is totally broken and no one can fix it" are also people who haven't set foot in a public school in 20+ years.

 

Contrary to popular belief, great things are happening and have been happening in public schools across the US. Could they be better? Of course. Could they be worse? Yup.

 

What's disturbing in DISD is what appears to be a total "us vs them" mentality of the administrators vs. the teachers. Teachers who have committed their lives to their students (many at physical peril and definitely at mental saneness peril) are now being attacked by administrators, who apparently believe everything can be solved by bringing in a 20-something Teach for America kid with a couple of months training while removing those old, professional, obviously overpaid, experienced teachers.

 

That is NOT going to solve the problems at DISD. 

amazingdivershitty
amazingdivershitty

Why do you hate Toad Robberson? He is a total blithering idiot WHITE-GUILT LIBTARD, just like you. You actually agree on just about everything.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

It's not the superintendent.  It's not the teachers.  It's not the board.  

 

It's the system.  The system of education in America is completely and utterly broken.  If he were alive today, even Abraham Lincoln couldn't fix this unless he were given permission to first completely destroy it.

methos1973
methos1973

 @sophee I agree.  It takes teachers, students, parents, and administrators to work together and be on the same page which should be to educate and prepare for the future.  In my opinion here's what needs to happen to improve learning in America.

 

1. Make grades mean something. Do away with curves and grade inflation. If social promotion still exists, stop it. Stand behind the grade and make the student pass or fail based on it.  As a consequence, you don't need standardized tests because the cumulative average of an entire school year is good enough to judge if a student has grasped the material. This also means unfortunately some students will fail and have to repeat.  There are worse things.  A classmate of mine was held back in 4th grade and she went from being a struggling student up to that point, to becoming an honors student in later grades.  She needed the extra year to process the information and was the better for it.  The real prospect of being held back might also lead to students taking homework and out of class assignments more seriously.  This also leads to a discussion of what to do about summer school.  My feeling is if you can't pass after 36 weeks of school, an abbreviated summer session isn't going to make up the gap in knowledge. But I'm open to alternatives.

 

2. Get the trouble making students out of the class room. That's what everyone wants so do it. The only people complaining are the trouble makers and their parents.  If they want to sue, let them.  No jury will penalize ISD efforts to get bad apples out of the system. And if you make the jury award legal reimbursement from the parents wasting court time, even better.

 

3. Get textbooks with errors and political axes to grind out of the curriculum.   Math needs repetition and rote application.  I've seen my kids and the kids of friends who are confused by some of the ways their teachers tried to make math a visual class using shapes in place of numbers.  When they worked with the numbers, they understood the concept. History/Social Studies can be taught without imprinting todays bias on past events.  Why July 4th is important to US history can be explained without adding in how rich white oppressors who felt led by a divine God made a statement that future generations should be both thankful and ashamed by. Save those discussions for AP history or college courses.  Set the foundation of knowledge, then expand on motives.

 

4. I'm not sure why DISD teachers are meeting for 45 mins after school everyday as some have posted on this board but I agree with the teacher who suggested that those 45 mins be devoted to tutoring those students who need it. It goes hand in hand with my 1st suggestion.  Maybe eliminate some of the planning work that teachers feel is useless and use that time for helping students who need the extra help during planning periods.  But I don't know, teachers have a better understanding of the flow of the workday.

 

5. Get the economics straight.  More tax money is flowing in to ISD's but yet some classes are being cut like arts and music as well as some annual field trips.  How come these systems could offer these services when I was a kid with a lower funding base then now?  Where does the money go?  I welcome some answers.

 

6. While we're getting rid of the bad students, get rid of the bad teachers and administrators.  We know there are some, so get rid of them.  Acknowledging that there are bad educators is not an indictment of the entire profession.  Not all educators are angelic and moral just like not all educators are lazy and intractable.

 

These are my thoughts on trying to restore civility, accountability, and scholarship to our K-12 system. Progress is going to require we all take on our sacred cows and make the hard decisions when we find them wanting.

beenthere
beenthere

 @rain392 Your remarks sting because teachers have allowed people off the street to take over their profession. The teacher shortages are decades old, so moneyed interests in Texas just ditched the need for credentials.

Miles is trying to convince the board members in charge of writing his appraisal that filling 95% of vacancies is good enough. Well, 5% teacher openings leaves thousands of kids with no teachers, especially high school students who must pass 5 core tests each year to graduate. We don't even know how many students are sitting in classes with no certified teacher and this board of trustees doesn't seem to care.

 

It seems Miles is running off teachers to make the case to hire more uncertified, TFA teachers and doesn't even care about the kids sitting in classrooms with subs this year. He has already said he doesn't like older teachers, but is he really willing to play with the futures of kids?

 

While nurses can make the threat of death real, something needs to make the threat of no graduation for high school students just as real. Parents whose children have long-term subs need to come to the board meetings and ask how the board will compensate these families when their kids can't graduate from high school.

 

Miles wants his appraisal to rest on surveys and is requiring each campus to send in paragraphs of teacher support to pad his appraisals. This is unheard of in terms of lack of ethics, dishonesty, manipulation, and lack of relationship to student instructional growth.

 

It all seems to relate to the big-money PACs whose kids don't attend these schools and whose threat of nonsupport will scare many board members into keeping Miles.

Teachers are simply going to have to vote only for candidates who will remove this superintendent, and teachers and their friends will have to show up in numbers.

Sp1970ret
Sp1970ret

@dro214 you have obviously not spent a day in a classroom. Teaching is unlike any job other than nursing. Try being the perfect instrument for 27 individuals at once. Nearly impossible. And that free 180 days -- unpaid except we've spread our annual salary over 12 months instead of the 10 we work. Before it was automatically spread out, teachers had to have summer jobs to cover rent unless they opted for a 12 month payment. That $6300 in 1970 didn't stretch far. Please speak about what you really know about teachers and teaching rather than what you assume you know.

ruswiftboater
ruswiftboater

@dro214 Is this a paid blog by merrie spaeth? Was that part of the consulting contract for sprague? spaeth pulled this crap with texas tech and our coach and got sued. maybe disd teachers would like to show up for the trial in july to support tech. we'll provide the details.

thankyou
thankyou

@dro214 Ok we get it. You are like a cell phone robocall. Somewhere you have swift boat phrases and you just punch them in at random. We should have never responded. Now we get more robocalls for answering the first one.

geethanks
geethanks

@dro214 Notice all your comments have about 3 threads--old, underperforming teachers, lazy teachers who work less days than private industry, and the CEO who is such a shaker and mover. You are a clueless idiot who apparently can't read. 1. Teachers can't extend their work days to make up for having summers off. Apparently you've never taught, but thanks for the insane idea. 2. The CEO label should belong only in private and public companies. Miles is a district employee, a public servant, and he is filling his pockets and those of his buddies with public funds. His track record in education is laughable and he was responsible for the deaths of 7 while in public service in the military. Great track record. As for his service with the Russians, it appears he was only picking up methodology for use back home. 3. Assessment of teachers legally belongs to principals. Teachers are asking Miles to follow Texas law, not make up new policies. 4. "Teachers hiding in the corner." Please reference you remarks with reality. 5. Processes and personnel sounds like Miles or the lump he hauled in from TFA with no experience. We have 400 teaching vacancies. How about using a company metaphor for that? What company is so poorly run that no one wants to work for it in the middle of a recession? 6. "dead weight" To whom are you referring? 7. Your boss assesses your work daily? Ok--do other people who don't know how to do your work walk through your work place and leave notes for your boss on your performance without speaking or communicating with you? No--that would be a circus, wouldn't it? 8. "we're getting our butts kicked" Are you referring to the Cowboys who are paid millions? 9. snap and throw more money at a problem--describes Miles and his layers and layers and layers of administrators and his decision to pay off SIN 10. don't know what career you have, but apparently it doesn't require logic or analysis

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

 @DISDTeacher What does it mean to be a "certified" teacher?  What are the requirements for the certification?  I keep hearing this term tossed about and have not heard an explanation of what it means.

loveourdistrict
loveourdistrict

@DISDTeacher Miles has already blown the budget to hell. We told the media that bringing a Broad supt blows up the budget. Miles told them he saved $1.5 million. We said he added more high paying jobs at the top. Now with SIN's buyout and more coordinators and asst supt, he is over budget and hasn't saved a dime. Cannot believe the media in this town don't check on a single lie he tells. He is way over budget and intends to keep spending any way he wants.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

 @Edward Great post Edward.  And why isn't anyone pointing out the obvious with TFA -- By and large, this is a program for college graduates to pad their resumes for grad school.  You come out of college in a down economy.  It's hard to find a job anyway.  Make a measly two year commitment to teach.  You have no real intent to go into teaching (otherwise you'd have a teaching degree).  So do your two year stint.  At the end of muddling around for two years, you leave to apply to grad school.  You get to put on your resume that you have "real world experience" and that you did so "giving back to the community."  Grad school admission counselors eat that cr@p up.  Or, if you are real lucky, Miles picks you out the bunch of TFA'ers to get one of his cushy administration jobs.  

 

Someone needs to do some real reporting on TFA and Miles/DISD.  How much money, if any, does TFA get when the DISD hires a TFA teacher?  How much money, if any, does TFA spend to "support" Miles, administrators, and/or Trustees running for office? What are the test scores for students of TFA teachers versus test scores for students of other DISD teachers.

 

Don't get me wrong, I do have some admiration for recent grads going into the DISD to teach.  I bet it is a shock to their system.  But they go into it knowing that no matter how bad it is, they only have to gut it out for two years.  On the other hand, there are DISD veteran teachers that stick it out year, after year, after year.  And they do it for the kids.

 

 

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

 @Edward "The people who always immediately pop up and start writing about how "the education system in the US is totally broken and no one can fix it" are also people who haven't set foot in a public school in 20+ years."

 

Wrong.  Completely wrong.

 

Show me all the great ISD's across America.  Not individual schools, but great ISD's.  One's with improving test scores, decreased spending, high morale and low turnover.  Where are they?  

 

You're asserting that the wrong people are choosing the leader, am I right?  So, who should be choosing?  What ISD should we model in that regard?

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @blogger And look at all of the comments written in response to that article!  

Teachers are trying to alert Dallas to the plight of the kids.  None of the teachers who comment are complaining that they want a 6-figure salary and someone to peel their grapes.

 

We just want to shut our damn doors so the kids can focus and concentrate!!! 

 

As of today, my principal has received nothing saying that teachers can close their doors so the kids can focus.  

dro214
dro214

 @mcdallas - My sentiments exactly. Why do we still have summer and spring breaks? Antiquated. The things that are necessary to fix schools in this country gets blocked by the teacher unions. Why can't we have merit pay? Teacher unions protect adult workers... their are not for the children but for the adults who pay fees/dues. I tell my friends for every 1 positive that you union has done for you, Ican name 2 negatives. being a bad teacher has become being like a bad politician... you seemingly have to screw a kid to get fired. 

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

@mcdallas

Mcdallas, you are a tiny bit correct and a big, huge part incorrect.

 

Yes, the education system, as a whole, has its problems. 

 

But you are wrong when you say it isn’t the superintendent and it isn’t the board.  Just. Plain.  Wrong.

 

THIS superintendent promoted SIN after scandals.  THIS superintendent hired an HR department head with NO HR experience.  THIS superintendent hired the biggest idiot of a PR rep.

 

THIS board “lost” 64 million in revenue a couple years ago.  THIS board riff’d teachers, paid them money to leave, then hired them back.  THIS board looks the other way on cronyism and nepotism.

 

 

sure
sure

 @mcdallas No, it is the superintendent who is gaming this "broken" system for every dime he can get, and it is the board who allows it.

dro214
dro214

 @geethanks  - Thanks for reading my post. I've posted 4 times in my life on this site... 3 times today, this is today's 3rd. I mostly come here b/c I enjoy reading Jim and Eric. I'll try to respond to your points. But first, I'm no idiot and I can read. We simply disagree. No need to insult. Let's not feed into the idea that only the angry and discontent post of sites such as these. The best and most fruitful conversations that I've had in my life are with people whom I've been in disagreement with.

 

1) I was simply alluding to the idea that so what teachers have to work a little longer. I put up 48-60 every week... all year long. If they were truly committed to improving it seems that It would come as a necessary evil for a salaried city employee who gets many many days off a year for no good reason. 2) My CEO remark was simply me saying that we've replaced the boss. The rest of your #2 I won't address, you can have it. 3) Not enough principals in DISD to effectively assess the performance of each teacher the way that we need and as regular as we need. My job cute jobs about a year & a half ago, we were all measured and I didn't sweat b/c I knew I performed and many were simply hiding in plain sight. I welcomed it, come see how I perform, no worries on my part. I suspect the noise about "law" comes from those who afraid that it could be them who gets cut. 4) What I mean by teachers hiding in the corner is that many current teacher never wanted to teach to begin with, perhaps they'd rather do something else, but in this economy 40K and over 100 days off a year ain't a bad deal, especially considering that even if the teacher sucks, no one will do anything and if the district does move to remove/fire it takes the better part of a year to do bureaucratic bs. 5) "Processes & Personnel" is an pretty common phrase in business/organization, particularly when assessing the org in effort to improve. 400 vacancies speaks to a failing company, who wants to board a sinking ship, especially when some in the crew are responsible for the sinking and have been allowed to remain. I like the moves that Miles has made. Chess not checkers. 6) By dead weight I mean the teachers and principals who are constantly apart of the annual lemon dance, the teacher who get of campus development with pay b/c they suck at their jobs, all the BS that the district has to do and pay for before they can get rid of a teacher. Unless there's a crime of course. 7) Yes my work is assessed daily and yes, sometimes, another "boss" who has nothing to do with my job but is responsible for my performance will sometime suggest, ask or tell me to do something. It can be reasonably assumed that they have the organizations best interest in mind. Everyone has a role. Teachers are spoiled, since the World War teaching has been a haven for a small amount of people who want to hide out safely and pick up a salary. Many smaller less developed countries are out performing us in education, why resist the shift to improve our performance? You scared? Don't want the adult accountability? 8) When I say we're getting our butts kicked... you know exactly what I mean. the US is not even in the top 30 in education. 9) I'm referring to teacher bitching about 45 mins when they are salaried employees. There is no more money to give you all. We're operating with several million less than last year... even worse next year. Teachers aren't getting extra money for Parent - Teacher meetings. I simply question why teacher resist these necessary changes if they are truly committed to our kids education. 10) Today I'm a process analyst for a N. Texas based unionized company. I've been doing it for 4 years now.  My job involves a lot of logic and analysis. Before then I was a software trainer. 

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul Regular certification:  Take the classes (during college or after you graduate), student teach for a semester, take the certification test and THEN get turned loose with other people's kids.

 

Alternative Certification:  Graduate from college, START TEACHING, take classes at night or on weekends, cram for the certification test, pass the test.

 

I'm not opposed to alternative certification as long as everyone realizes that the kids stuck with the Alt Cert teacher don't get a do-over.  They can easily lose a year while the teacher figures out the basics of teaching that other teachers learned BEFORE hitting a classroom alone.  Alt Cert teachers will tell you themselves that they weren't so hot their first year often because they have to spend their off time cramming in classes and test prep.  

 

TFAs follow the Alt Cert route.  

Most TFA teachers would say they weren't so great their first year (their "student teaching" year).

Veteran teachers are burdened with having to teach TFA teachers how to teach.  This burns out veteran teachers, especially when the process has to be repeated every 2 years.

 

Principals have ZERO incentive to protect their veterans from burnout.  In DISD, every principal who has loaded up on TFA gets promoted or gets to keep their job despite the performance of their campuses.  They can ignore bad teachers, burn out the veterans--but as long as they embrace TFA, they win.  They move on.  

 

Principals have lots of incentive to tell everyone how great TFA is; their promotions and pay raises depend on it.  

 

In reality, TFA and non-TFA 1st year teachers perform about the same.  TFA costs the kids about $3 million, though, and can decimate the campuses with turnover, veteran burnout, and the lower standards that come with accommodating unprepared teachers.

geethanks
geethanks

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @DISDTeacher Teach for America used their political clout and money to define "highly qualified" as a teacher who has a degree in something (TFA is known for sending teachers to teach in areas where they don't hold a major) and is taking classes to become certified. No other profession (law, medicine, dog grooming, hair styling) allows people to practice the profession with a degree and no certification.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

 @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  As I understand, a certified teacher is one that has a "teaching certificate."  Kinda of like a license to be a teacher.  They are the bread-and-butter teachers in any district.  Many districts, however, are short of teachers.  So, they hire people who have a college degree and are going to school at night and working towards their teaching certificate.  They aren't yet "certified" but working on it.  The fact is, your kid might be being taught by someone who has absolutely NO college classes in education but had just started (essentially) night school to start taking classes.  

 

I may be wrong but I imagine that the vast majority of TFA'ers are in this category.  I'm sure DISDTeacher can shed more light on the topic.

dro214
dro214

 @PrestonHoller  @Edward  @p - If you've never held a real world adult job, you shouldn't be allowed to go straight into teaching. My friend is a department head at her school in Cedar Hill where she's worked since graduating from college. Good friend, bad teacher, we'd never allow her to be our child's teacher. 

 

CornyDogs
CornyDogs

 @mcdallas  @Edward So you're saying even Richardson, Plano, Southlake, Frisco and Allen districts aren't pretty good?

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @dro214  @mcdallas Please read this slowly:  WE DON'T HAVE UNIONS IN TEXAS.  UNIONS HAVE NO POWER IN DISD. 

 

Unions aren't blocking anything in this state.  Wake freaking up.  Miles & Co point at the invisible "teacher unions" so you won't pay attention as they do whatever they please.  And you fall for it.

 

Geez.  

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

 @dro214  The reason that teachers union blocks merit pay is because it is usually based on test scores.  But in many large urban districts like the DISD, basing merit raises on test scores is unfair.  It is unfair because you can be the best teacher on earth, but if you are stuck with a class full of unmotived kids, kids whose homelife is in a shambles, or just a bunch of thugs, the kids aren't going to school well.  And nothing the teacher does can fix that.  

 

Find a merit system that is a fair measure of a teacher's ability and I think that the opposition to merit pay by the teachers will dissolve.  I just don't know if there really is any way to realistically design a fair and accurate system.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

 @PrestonHoller So, I GUESS what everyone advocates for is if we JUST get the right leader in there, all will be well.  I'm TELLING you, it won't.  

 

And I'm ALSO using ALL caps in RANDOM places.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

 @sure Walk into any city in America and I'll find you 50 people who will tell me exactly the same thing about their local superintendent..  Therefore, it's not the superintendent.  Now, could this one be worse than others?  Yes.  But would a good one cure the ills of DISD?  No way.

itchyjack
itchyjack

 @dro214  @geethanks Go away - you obviously don't work in a very stressful environment, or one with great oversight..  You may be able to write software (unlikely though; however,  I'd bet you can probably talk your way through a 'training class') but you can't write a sentence worth a hoot.  Please retire.  I'm sure you've earned your social security, but not necessarily your medicaid.  And, you're lucky that you'll get a union pension [however large or small (and likely paid by Fed. ins.)]. 

Enjoy the eventual news that Miles is just another charlatan.

As for the U.S. not being near the top in education, as compared to many other countries - it's because of voters like you.

thankyou
thankyou

@DISDTeacher @ DISD Teacher: dro214 is sitting at a call center in Bangladore punching in phrases in a similar fashion to the random generator produced for Jennifer Sprague. The verbiage becomes more nonsensical down the page. Dro has a list of favorite sayings and she is just punching them in over and over. It appears she ran short later in the script. Down the page, it kind of blows up.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @dro214  @DISDTeacher Nope.  I'm going to stay in place and bang the drum as loudly as possible to let everyone know that Miles is a dancing, movie-clip-obsessed sham of a superintendent.

 

I am definitely NOT on board with this current supe, so I'm going to do all that I can to publicize his incompetence and get rid of him.

 

I pay DISD taxes and I expect teachers to be hired for the kids.

 

So, no, we're not going away.  Sorry, Floyd.  

Itmuststop
Itmuststop

 @dro214  Well if you really care than know that what Miles is doing is only hurting our children. To lose a year in core subjects like math and science can make so much of a difference for our students. The district is currently sitting at over 400 openings (teaching positions) and he's so concerned with "observations and demonstrations of learning" that he's missed what really matters here- OUR STUDENTS!

 

Also I don't mind working another 45 min a day, just don't ask me to sit in a meeting everyday when I could be using that time tutoring those students  that need that extra assistance. Elementary schools in Dallas ISD dismiss at 3:15. Teachers then have to report to meetings from 3:30-4:15. EVERYDAY WE MEET!!! For those parents that allow there children to return to the campus, I tutor from 4:15-5:15. Many parents won't allow their children to come back therefore those students that truly need the extra help are left to suffer. 

 

My heart goes out the the students who Dallas ISD. The parents don't understand the impact that these changes are having on their children. 

 

I'm okay with change, but its not fair that in the process of this change our students have to suffer. When will it end??? Miles has to go. 

dro214
dro214

 @ludicrous  - Ok ok ok... Glad you're paid well and your'e so awesome. Your name here is Ludicrous. I'm sure you're living the American Dream and doing every bit that you can to help Dallas ISD. See you on the 12th? 

dro214
dro214

 @DISDTeacher  - You ever make an omelette or play Chinese checkers? We have to bring in the talent to turn this around. I'm not here to insult or belittle. Just reading and trying to learn and share. But some of the responses here have been more argumentative than an exchange of thoughts, ideas and opinions. S. Newsome deserved to be fired but alas she was allowed to retire but best believe she was pushed out and if it cost DISD 140K to cure a 37 year old problem then so be it. The system created that problem as well (Newsome). Good news is that she's gone. I just think the teachers should wait until May and reassess their careers, if you're not on board with what our current supe believes is necessary to fix things then leave, or if you have a solider fighting the good war attitude, then take your marching orders and go do the best that you can, after all, it's the kids that you're serving right? Right?  

ludicrous
ludicrous

@dro214 @geethanks You know, on reviewing your little rant against teachers, your real problem is you don't appear to be doing well professionally. You don't take vacations and continually whine about your pathetic circumstances. I love my job, am extremely well compensated with weeks of paid vacation, and I loved teaching long time ago when we were treated as professionals. Since I went to training each summer, the difference between my work time now and then isn't much. Maybe you are just having a hard time making it in the cruel world and want to dump on those you consider your inferiors.

ludicrous
ludicrous

@dro214 @geethanks Having worked many years way beyond your paygrade after having a very successful career in teaching, I can safely say your remarks are condescending at best. It's much harder to teach in public schools than it is to work in business. While the seat time doesn't match, the actual work week is much more grueling for teachers. As far as competitiveness in the world, other counties don't try to educate or graduate 100% of their students with the huge percentage of poverty the US has. It seems the largest number of teacher bashers come from the segment of the work force who haven't accomplished much.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @dro214  @geethanks "There is no more money to give you all."

"We're operating at several million dollars less..."

 

And yet we can somehow afford to pay Miles, A PUBLIC SERVANT, hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in a salary.  And he gets to dictate the terms of his own performance review.  I'd bet he "earns" a bonus.  Wanna bet that I'm wrong?

 

He decided to pay Jennifer Sprague a salary THAT EXCEEDS THE SALARY PAID TO THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SPOKESPERSON AND THE SALARIES OF MANY DOCTORS.

 

We're out of money, but Miles cut a deal with SIN to pay her $140,000 even though she will NO LONGER WORK.

 

How in the world can a sane person defend this man?

 

thankyou
thankyou

@dro214 @PrestonHoller Dro214 sounds like Jennifer Sprague on acid--totally nonsensical-bouncing off the walls while popping gum and using all these little personal sayings while continually mouthing platitudes from Miles. "Accountability is key." ROFL "Our district has to be efficient." no shit "Good v Evil" again--??? Troll from 3700 Ross Avenue--be gone

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @dro214  @PrestonHoller 8000 kids without teachers should give Miles "another year" to rake in the cash while they (the kids) don't get taught chemistry?  Even though they have to take a Chemistry EOC after their year with the sub?  And if they fail it bc they had a sub for the year or half the year, too bad for them?  We need to give Miles "a chance"?

 

And, yes, DISD is a corrupt cesspool where relatives and friends can make a killing.  Please tell me how Miles has changed that.

 

Because he hasn't.  

dro214
dro214

 @PrestonHoller - I don't think that a 21-22 year old kid should be allowed to go straight into teaching. But as I explain to my little sister sometimes, everyone knows what to do when the choice is Good vs. Evil. The tougher decision is when you're left with Evil vs. Evil. Lets give it a year guys... and see what happens. If he sucks... walk the plank, if his plan works... awesome. Geez! Do you all think that things are fine as is??? Changes need to be made, process need to change and people need to go. The choice however won't always be Good vs. Evil. Our district has to be efficient. A simple example is that last year DISD had several school janitors who nearly doubled their salaries via overtime. I've been a project manager tasked with managing such things, when a janitor can clear 70K there is a definite process problem. Accountability is key. 

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

 @dro214  @PrestonHoller  @Edward Also, if you've never been a teacher, you shouldn't be allowed to get a real world adult job.  It just makes sense.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

 @dro214  You say that people who have never had a real world adult job shouldn't be allowed to go straight into teaching.  Elsewhere in these comments you say that we should give Miles a break.  But Miles is increasing the hiring of TFA'ers -- people that not only have no real world adult job experience but who also have no education training.  Why are you wanting to give Miles a break when he is engaging in the very processes you condemn?

geethanks
geethanks

@dro214 @PrestonHoller @Edward @p Do you make leaps in logic like this everyday? Ever heard that water seeks its own level? People who come in from "real world" jobs can't believe the low salaries, lack of a career path, and horrible conditions in teaching. So all of those issues would have to be changed in your example.

TurdFerguson
TurdFerguson

@loveourdistrict Good points. Perhaps we might consider giving serious consideration to white candidates next time. Excluding non- minorities greatly diminishes the pool of qualified applicants.

loveourdistrict
loveourdistrict

@mcdallas @CornyDogs @Edward You can add Lewisville and Coppell to the list--places where real estate agents sell homes based on the school districts..and superintendents stay for decades. Look at the lunatics brought to Dallas--Yvonne Gonzales, Rojas, Hinojosa, and Miles. Crooks, drunks, crooks, and more crooks. Yes, it is the people doing the choosing. You even shared the wealth with El Paso and look what happened there.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

 @CornyDogs  @Edward You mean at football or at academics?  Let's ask the parents/students in those districts.

thankyou
thankyou

@dro214 For everyone's safety and well being, please keep your spawn at home with you...forever.

dro214
dro214

 @PrestonHoller - I agree that merit pay shouldn't be based solely on test scores. But Chicago Public Schools is a good example of unions shooting down any proposal for merit pay, even ones that involved many other measurements that teachers can more directly control. The unions protect adult workers... unions are not to benefit your child or his or her public education. I would hope that we could agree on that part at least. I freaking hate standard test, again, this site can hold all of my thoughts reading public education, I believe the whole system need to be blown up and rebuilt... with year around school. :-) 

Also unions politic a lot, scaring parents into believing things that aren't true. Our child will never set foot inside of a Dallas ISD school. 

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @Urbandweller203  @DISDTeacher  @mcdallas  @PrestonHoller 

UD:  So you say the kids in HP do better bc of money, right?

Well, SAT data backs up your very commonsense observation. Except in a couple of demographic groups, scores seem to increase with parent income.

 

But in DISD, nothing is done to address the reality that kids from low-income, unstable, dysfunctional homes need intervention and reforms aimed at mitigating their circumstances--circumstances that affect their academic achievement and their behavior.

 

In DISD, Miles wants to tie teacher pay to test scores.  Are our kids smart?  Yes, but they have incredible challenges that teachers alone cannot overcome.  Miles wants HP-level scores on those state tests but Miles doesn't want to provide the real resources the kids need.

 

In DISD, only the teacher is blamed and berated for showing up to teach in very challenging schools.  Hence the 400 vacancies and the 8000 kids with subs right now.

 

Nothing is wrong with new teachers.  What's wrong is the board and the superintendent are channeling money to TFA and the kids are getting stuck with a new teacher every other year.  We have way too many new teachers who leave after 2 years. Instead, we should hire, train and retain excellent new teachers regardless of their age.

 

As for not wanting your child in my class, that's fine.  I have plenty of parents who request schedule changes so their child will be placed in my class.  

 

 

Urbandweller203
Urbandweller203

 @DISDTeacher  @mcdallas  @PrestonHoller

 DISD Teacher, your comments are really screwed. I would hate for my child to end up in your class, If you hate DISD this much...just leave. The BS will still go on when your blood pressure is too high for you to teach. See, the difference with HP and DISD are parents and M-o-n-e-y.  Every teacher has to start at some level. Even you had to start at the begining, so what is wrong with a young teacher. Fresh ideas maybe. 

loveourdistrict
loveourdistrict

@mcdallas @PrestonHoller No one has said the right leader will waive a magic wand, but could Dallas have one that understands we need an experienced HR person, we don't need his "baggage" from Colorado Springs, and we need an environment that can recruit and retain good teachers. Instead, the citizen's council and the board choose lunatics. It's apparent to everyone else that they are choosing supt who are killing the district. It's like plan to kill public education in Dallas.

DISDTeacher
DISDTeacher

 @mcdallas  @PrestonHoller Our board is the problem.  Miles is and Hinojosa was a problem.  Our board ignores teachers completely, hires complete losers, and 150,000 KIDS SUFFER.

 

Look at the difference between DISD and Highland Park.  It's the board and the superintendent they choose.

 

Betcha 8000 kids in HP aren't spending their year with subs.

 

TFA, Broad, Uplift, Bush--there's a lot of money in "reforming" education and they are getting their hands on it.

loveourdistrict
loveourdistrict

@RTGolden1 @sure @mcdallas Kress slithers between Austin and Dallas because neither place wants the slime. His influence is felt on a persistent basis. Bill McKenzie can't pee without taking his picture of Kress with him.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

 @sure  @mcdallas The Bush Institute?  Really?  How is an institute that has only been around since September 2009, responsible for choosing DISD superintendents, only one of which has been selected in that time frame?

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

 @sure Show me the generals who have won in ISD's across our fruited plain.  Using your logic, this should be a long list.

sure
sure

 @mcdallas Really--seems some generals win unwinnable wars and some are total losers who game the system and go down in history as total losers.

But Dallas superintendents are chosen by the citizen's council, Kress, the bush institute, and other immoral power brokers. They choose on the same level as their morals.

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