Dallas Teachers No Longer Have to Work That Extra 45 Minutes -- For Now

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Way back in January, over the objections of just about everyone affected, the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees tacked a mandatory 45 minutes onto every teacher's workday. How the teachers used the time would be up to principals.

Not surprisingly, the decision sparked considerable resentment among teachers who felt the move, made without their input, was an assault on their professionalism and a waste of their time.

Their grievances were pretty well summed up by Hobie Hukill, a librarian at Samuell High School, who told the board, to loud applause from fellow teachers, that the policy had led to "a sorry cascade of unintended consequences that we've experienced over the last four months: Less contact with parents and students, more wasted time in meetings, childcare hardships, increased absenteeism, dismal morale, and an unprecedented number of job vacancies."

Those concerns have been addressed, at least for the rest of this school year. The board voted last night to restore teachers' seven hour, 45 minute workday. It was, in Hukill's words, "a substantive gesture of goodwill that might help reestablish positive working relationships with the teachers."

The vote was unanimous, but that's not to say that trustees, not to mention Superintendent Mike Miles, think the extra 45 minutes is such a bad idea. The proposal trustees were initially set to consider last night wouldn't have eliminated the extra time but would have effectively put the decision in Miles' hands. And Miles made it clear that he is in favor of keeping the longer workday, albeit with more flexibility.

Under his proposal, two days per week of the extra time would be dedicated to tutoring and other student-centered activity; two days would be spent at the discretion of the teacher; and only one day would be determined by the principal.

Board president Lew Blackburn supported that and chided teachers for refusing to compromise, thereby setting a bad example for students. But there was general agreement among trustees that, as Dan Micciche put it, "the 45 minutes has not been used in an effective way across the district" and, as Eric Cowan put it, there has been a clear "implementation failure." In the end, Blackburn agreed and cast his vote with the proposal introduced by Carla Ranger to eliminate the extra 45 minutes.

That's not to say that there won't be another try to extend teachers' workdays. Miles promised another push, albeit with more input and better implementation.

"We have to ... involve teachers," Miles said. "We're going to be doing that, we have been doing that, this year, and we're going to be doing that this spring."

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8 comments
MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

This episode reinforces idea that principals as a group are possibly the worst managers in America. Any blockhead should have figured out the real intention. Remove an anomaly in hours while letting the teachers continue doing the tasks they claim to do. For the others, they can stay at school and potentially get something more done. Instead the principals find ways for teachers to waste even more time. Where does DISD find these people? IIt was a big outrage when DISD communications provided talking points to these same principals. Now do you understand? They as a group need to be spoon fed because they obviously cannot use their own judgement in the implementation of policy.

freedomfighter
freedomfighter

Kim Jong has no intention of letting that time go and he was furious last night. He is not accustomed to having a board that doesn't go along with his every wish.

He will reinstate whatever he wishes if he stays. Dallas ISD will have perpetual openings with permanent subsitutes and K-4 classes with 30 children when state law requires 1 teacher to 22 students. They are making money off overloaded classes and Miles is using that money for his pole dancer and overstuffed and overpaid cabinet.

Public might want to pay attention to the audit of relocation expenses that violated policy but was kept secret due to Mike Morath's interference. Morath has showed his true colors on this one. Apparently has severe ethical lapses.

Look for Kim Jong to issue more surveys slanted to the outcomes he wants and offered as proof of his program.

What you won't see is Kim Jong taking credit for lowered end of course exams in the spring since he and Lumpy forgot to get teachers for academic subjects.

Oh well, the kids can just fail those and fail to graduate while we listen to the delusions of a sociopath.

plfarmer
plfarmer

Asking for input before implementation-novel

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Good.  It's outrageous to try to squeeze teachers to death with more work at no increase in pay.

underthebus
underthebus

@MikeWestEast 

Miles' favorite trick is to push principals under the bus when it's convenient for him. The policy came from Edwin Flores and Mike Morath. Flores found out the best teachers at Marsh are on the way out the door as a result of his little snarky way of punishing teachers, so all of a sudden he wants something done.

"An anomaly in hours" is total bullshit swiftboater patter. Those hours had been there for 50 years with no problem. They are the same hours as the top rated districts in the nation. Stop the lying crap doublespeak, and the principals were doing exactly as they had been told to do.

Miles took a big one on the chin when the board made it clear they are still in control. His board in Harrison let him run over the rights of teachers, students, parents, and principals.

It's not going to happen here. We don't care if he drags Arne Duncan in and seats him at his breakfast table. We don't care if our crooked mayor colludes. We don't care if the Regional Chamber blesses the entire mess. It is not going to happen here that this crooked politician from Bohunk Nowhere comes in and drags this district farther down by REFUSING to hire teachers for K-4 and refusing to hire teachers for kids who have to pass end of course exams to even graduate.

Miles is a petty little narcissist who was humiliated in public last night. There will be hell to pay, but the more chaos he provokes through his fraudulent practices, the more blowback there will be to the board.

If this board refuses to protect kids, teachers, and principals against Miles fraudulent practices, they will be replaced. Miles seems to think he is in some banana republic. He neutered his board in Harrison, but this isn't Harrison. 

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Willie
Willie

@freedomfighter You're right on target regarding teachers that are out of their subject area.  For example, two years ago my daughter had a natural science class that was taught by a chiropractor.  I am a scientist and gave a guest lecture on a subject of particular interest.  I had a chance to talk with him for 15 minutes or so and I got the strong impression that he was a lamebrain.  My daughter kept me up to speed on the occasions when she corrected him.

underthebus
underthebus

@Willie @freedomfighter  With the highest paid administrators and more of them than any surrounding district, Miles has made it clear what he worships: highly paid cronies. Miles disdains teachers, so there are hundreds of openings, and besides, a Ph.D. new hire teacher in the science area now makes the same pay as a teachers with a bachelor's degree. DISD's starting pay is way below the surrounding districts.

Miles denigrates teachers to make himself feel big and powerful. He is a  weak, tiny, bully who was accustomed to being a big fish in a tiny pond. He is now in the big leagues and his lack of qualifications is glaringly apparent.

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