Colorado teachers brazenly defy administration (by teaching)

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kristen-j-tsetsiby Kristen J. Tsetsi

In January, two figures sneaked into the book room of a Colorado public school after unlocking the door with a key from the ring the principal had given one of them for access to a supply closet.

“We both wanted to get into the book room, but did not feel comfortable asking for permission because we felt we would be questioned and watched,” Melissa* says.

Melissa hid in the room—among pallets of unused textbooks and resources, and cupboards stacked floor to ceiling with neglected novels—while Rebecca*, who had been given the key ring, returned it to the principal before hurrying back to meet Melissa.

“We were ridiculous and hysterical,” Rebecca says. “We looked through the books with the lights off.”

Rebecca and Melissa, who signed confidentiality agreements when they were hired and consented to be interviewed only on the condition of anonymity, work at the middle school. Rebecca teaches 7th and 8th grade Language Arts, 7th and 8th grade Reading Intervention, and Special Education Reading Intervention. Melissa teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Language Arts and Reading Intervention.

That day in the book room, the two were secretly returning Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars, which they’d both read with their respective classes despite the administration’s insistence that novels not be taught. Books have been off limits to students and teachers for about two years.

“The former superintendent believed that at-risk students should be taught skills in isolation and that reading books was a frivolity that they did not benefit from. That is, it does not help test scores,” says Rebecca, who has ten years of teaching experience, much of it with at-risk students.

Adds Melissa, who is on her second year of teaching, “He said, and I quote, ‘Novels are a waste of time.’”

The “he” they’re referring to is Mike Miles, the controversial superintendent who has since moved on to Texas where he now heads the Dallas Independent School District.

Under Miles’ leadership, Rebecca says, teachers were to follow a strict classroom schedule that included setting a timer for each activity (which Rebecca says she refused to do). When the timer went off, teachers were to check for understanding and move on to the next activity. It was all part of Miles’ attempt to “streamline” teaching and raise students’ test scores. (Data regarding his effectiveness has been inconclusive.)

The YouTube video “Superintendent Miles Teaching 8th Grade Math” illustrates the extent of Miles’ streamlining. Each student, upon entering the room, receives an index card from the teacher (in this case, Miles) who greets them at the door. At their desks, they each have a small whiteboard, which Rebecca explains teachers are to use to assess student comprehension: “Can they answer the question correctly, immediately?”

“White boards on three: one, two, three,” Miles says in the video, and the students hold up their answers. In the next scene, Miles, a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, points at numbers projected onto the wall and says, “Do you get me.” It doesn’t sound like a question.

“We get you, sir!” the students shout in unison.

“Each class must have four components,” Rebecca says. “Warm-up, direct instruction, activity, assessment of learning. Every day. Every class. And no concept may be taught more than two days consecutively.”

She calls the system “crazy-making” and says the teacher of that math class had to reteach the lesson after Miles left the room because the students were so confused. It is a system she insists trains “factory workers” who will perform quickly rather than young thinkers who look beyond the fast response. It is also a system that discounts her instincts and experience, crippling her—and Melissa’s—ability to treat students as individuals and create lifelong learners.

That is, it would if they followed the rules. But it’s important to both of them not to.

Rebecca and Melissa teach at a Title 1 school, which means 75 percent or more of the students live below the poverty line and are considered “at-risk.” The students and/or their family members often have criminal records. It was this particularly troubled demographic that drew Rebecca from another part of the country to the Colorado school.

As a child, Rebecca would have been considered at-risk. Her parents were married and divorced several times—to each other and to other people. Sometimes they were extremely poor, other times they weren’t. Nothing was constant. Books were her escape. She read “any and all romances” for their happily-ever-after endings and mysteries for their resolutions.

On an educational level, the books helped Rebecca develop an advanced vocabulary at a young age and taught her about the world, history, and the universal human condition. As a teacher, she uses books to inspire her students to learn. Before moving to Colorado, when she taught novels to at-risk high school students, Rebecca found it was necessary to read to them for an hour at a time just to get them through the book. But when she reached the last page, the students felt an immense sense of accomplishment and would brag that they had “read a whole book.”

So she reads novels—James and the Giant Peach and Big Friendly Giant, among others—with her 7th and 8th graders even though, according to school rules: novels are not to be taught, she may not read aloud for more than 10 minute, excerpts may not exceed two pages, and students may not read aloud to each other.

“Reading aloud is (good) hard work for these kids. When they are reading, they’re barely comprehending because they’re so busy decoding. The kids who are listening have time to process and come up with the most fantastic connections, comments and questions,” Rebecca says. “After the first one, they begged for another, so we’re all reading our second book together now.”

Melissa had been considering defying the school administration and teaching novels on her own, but it wasn’t until she knew Rebecca was doing it that she mustered the courage. “It felt like we were being punished for wanting to put books in the hands of students. Ultimately, I wasn’t doing (them) any favors by keeping novels out of their hands; in fact, it was hurting them as growing thinkers.”

She says that some of her most troublesome students this year ended up becoming the most eager to know what book they would be reading next. One of her 8th graders said she wished there were extra copies so she could take one home, but the copies they have—several of which were donated after Rebecca put out a call on social media—are limited. Another of Melissa’s students checked out a copy of the assigned book from the public library because he didn’t like having to leave it at school when class ended.

“After reading novels in class, I’ve noticed that my students are learning to stick with something for longer than five minutes and to not base their thinking strategies around a timer on the board,” Melissa says. “Their observations and connections are more meaningful and insightful than ever before. Honestly, I’ve never seen such good work from my students as when we started reading novels in class.”

All of the larger benefits of novel as learning tools aside, Melissa asks a pertinent question: “What else are you supposed to teach in a Language Arts class if you’re not allowed to read books?”

For as long as they remain at the school, the two intend to keep reading complete novels with their students. However, neither will be there much longer. Rebecca, who received scores of “0” on a class evaluation taken while she and her students were reading together, resigned in January and says she expects to be escorted out of the building at any time. She will continue teaching, but somewhere else.

“I can’t stay. It’s all too crazy there. So little focus on the kids and their education, and too much focus on policy and political posturing, are what make that district a toxic place to learn and teach. I have asked myself, should you retire? Are you truly a bad teacher? If you really care about these kids, why can’t you play nice and just get along with admin so you can be there? I have been asked back to three of my prior positions. This district chipped away at my confidence, but the universe and my experience have helped me to rebuild it.”

Melissa, on the other hand, plans to leave the district, the state, and for the time being, teaching.

“When I decided to teach, I thought that I would get to share with my students what made me fall in love with literature and school: reading novels, having deep discussions, and sharing the love of reading and learning with my students. Instead, I’m bogged down by paperwork and a million nonsensical rules to follow, forced to work harder, not smarter. Who knows? Maybe years down the road, when people aren’t so focused on the test anymore and we can rediscover the joy of reading, maybe I’ll come back to the classroom.”

Article written by Kristen J. Tsetsi and re-printed with the author’s gracious permission May 6, 2013.

Kristen J. Tsetsi is an award-winning fiction writer and a feature writer & columnist for a Connecticut newspaper. Kristen is a former instructor of expressive writing, play writing, and screenwriting, a former adjunct English professor, and a former cab driver. Kristen is also the author of the semi-autobiographical wartime novel, Pretty Much True… .

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109 comments
Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

This is a great response to the article that Selim was smart enough to give us a clean link. The first link for the 1st article is dead Selim. Read the last paragraph slowly! Tell me, who was killed for doing just that. I'll give you a dollar.

"February 26, 2013 at 3:34 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

The 'business model' as fraud and theft

The latest issue of Time magazine (of all places) has an incredible and detailed investigation of the overcharges of the "Health Care Industry" (supposedly "not for profit" medical institutions; drug companies). It's by Steven Brill, who years ago trashed public school teachers unions with his "rubber room" nonsense in The New Yorker. But anyone who tries to praise the so-called "business model" as a model for public service is talking nonsense. In the 21st Century in the USA, the "business model" has given us the 12 ounce pound, the packaging that is half air, and, of course, the 2008 financial and housing collapses.

Broad's nonsense is only sustainable because he controls the media (or our brothers and sisters are so craven as to simply repeat, line for line, the talking points of corporate America).

But back to Brill.

And the three dollar aspirin.

Or the other overcharges, buried in complete listings when medical bills are billed. The Time article is too long to share here, but needs to be saved by everyone who is challenging the phony "business model" of theft and deception. That's what Broad is peddling -- and paying for -- in the persons of women and men like Barbara Byrd Bennett, one of the best paid of his mercenaries.

We've caught them in Chicago.

And they continue to prey on everyone to push their profits, even to the point of killing sick people, either directly (by denying payment before treatment) or indirectly (by bankrupting people who are desperate for the medical care and medications that our country can provide).

Socialism is the only answer. Decimation would be justice, but we have moved forward since the days of the Roman Empire. "

blahblahagain
blahblahagain

Amazing how when shit hits the fan, shit flies

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Recent posts by Persona about Broad are excellent. You'll be surprised at how many people

are selling out public education. The articles are well worth reading.

E Kim Selim
E Kim Selim

I found this article about FMM's early days at Harrison2 and they have unions in Colorado!

Http://gazette.com/mike-miles-superintendent-championing-for-better-schools/article/96268

It is a spin article trying to present objectivity but read between the lines. Is he the hard-ass teacher who starts tough to get control, then softens or is he the super intelligent egomaniac who thinks educators are stupid? Some ideas I see make sense when I first hear them then he operatioalizes his thoughts and it is like he is on another planet.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

The most extensive and comprehensive article I've found to date about the names, entities and mission of the school deformation movement. If you're looking for a one-stop primer, this may be it.

"Many of their Superintendents last only a few years in their highly paid positions until communities that want to be rid of them give them six figure buyouts which the Broad candidates are careful to have written into their initial contract. Frequently, other graduates of the Broad Superintendents Academy replace them. The Broad Foundation does not see the termination of a contract as a defeat for its overall objective of privatization of public schools, but part of "churn.""

http://www.substancenews.net/articles.php?page=4016

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Reading Michael McNaughton's superb article this morning that is printed between twin "pilars" of copy from the Chamberpot of Commerce and Dan Micciche's ignore-that-man-behind-the-curtain! 8-point list of the GREAT things going on in DISD, I couldn't help think of Sampson bringing down the temple. Except, that in this case, Sampson's strength is logic and facts. WOW! Well done and THANKS, Michael!

"We agreed that successful districts don't use fear as a motivation but, instead, build a culture based on trust. Only consistent and targeted instruction in stable schools, not churn and disruption, will achieve the results we all want. Miles, however, continues to follow his own path.

We are nearing the tail end of this most recent education reform movement, and Broad superintendents such as Miles are dinosaurs facing extinction. It is time that the trustees admit that Miles is not the right leader for DISD and let him pursue his lucrative consulting career elsewhere."

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20130508-michael-macnaughton-why-miles-market-driven-reforms-wont-work.ece

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Frequent Liar Miles was quick to provide and the DMN was quick to publish a response to the Dallas Achieves letter. What's the delay in responding to the NAACP letter? Did I miss it?

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Yep. He did what I thought he'd do----- get rid of her because she embarrassed him by repeating his words. What a scumbag is FMM!

Time to Go
Time to Go

Looks like Miles has thrown another of his cabinet members underneath the bus.  Holt may not be an official spokesperson, but where else would she have gotten her talking points if they had not been communicated to her from Miles?  He still gets to say I never said that or that's not how I feel, but we know better.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

See the NAACP letter!

Mad letter, mad!

See the PR man!

Spin, man spin!

See the mean boss man!

Mean! Mean! Mean!

See the boss squirm!

Squirm boss, squirm!

Advocate for Teachers
Advocate for Teachers

Congratulations Skyline,Madison,Molina andAdamson High Schools for being the ‘Best Urban Comprehensive High Schools’ in North Texas!

You won’t get any congratulations from idiot Miles.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

It appears FMM's words and actions can't take the light (integrity)! Where has all the bravado gone?

back·ped·al (bkpdl) intr.v.

3. To retreat or withdraw from a position or attitude: The senator later backpedaled on the issue.

"Decision to remove some Dallas ISD principals could once again be delayed; list of targeted principals shortened"

"Blackburn said this week that he believes the list of affected principals has shortened, and Miles confirmed that was the case. Miles did not elaborate but said it’s always been “a moving target” and the process is being followed.

Linda Isaacks, executive director of the Dallas School Administrators Association, said the district has offered some principals “options that previously were not on the table.” She didn’t elaborate, but said the process has been so secretive it’s hard to always determine what’s going on.

It’s possible that some demoted principals could be moved into assistant principal positions, as has happened before in the past.

As for his feelings on the possible delay, Miles simply said, “We’re following our processes.”

http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/decision-to-remove-some-dallas-isd-principals-could-once-again-be-delayed-list-of-targeted-principals-shortened.html/

South Dallas Community
South Dallas Community

Thank you “CHILDREN AT RISK” for recognizing 4 Dallas ISD schools as ‘Best Urban Comprehensive High Schools’ in North Texas!

Children At Risk is a nonprofit organization that drives change for children through research, education and influencing public policy.

  • #2 – Skyline High School
  • #3 – James Madison High School
  • #4 – Moises E. Molina High School
  • #5 – W. H. Adamson High School

“Congratulations”

http://childrenatrisk.org/about/about-us/

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

NAACP votes "NAY"!!

"The group, led by President Juanita Wallace, reinforced its stance in a news release Tuesday and included new concerns made public by three leaders of a previous DISD reform effort, Dallas Achieves."

"When Holt was asked if the plan has the support of trustee Bernadette Nutall, in whose district Lincoln and Madison reside, the letter states that she said: “No, but community support and her support are unnecessary since we have a 6-3 board majority.”

Wallace took issue with the responses, calling them “the most arrogant echo” of Miles.

“Miles and Holt you are in for a fight!” the NAACP news release states."

"The NAACP states that it has never seen so many highly-paid administrators “bail out.” The group says that the DISD school board has enough information to fire Miles.

Miles has not yet responded to the NAACP’s concerns. But he has said before that he plans to stick to his reform efforts despite any backlash."

http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/dallas-naacp-critical-of-superintendent-mike-miles-leadership.html/

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

This article is just too delicious in hindsight! Pick your favorite laugh line now that you have the benefit of 18 months of living history!

" Cynicism about the DISD is understandable, but give the district a chance"

"Published: 24 October 2011

Big decisions by the DISD have an unhappy propensity to give even the sunniest optimist an uncomfortable attack of bilious cynicism. Expectations are not high.

Small wonder, since the modern history of the Dallas Independent School District isn’t an especially heroic tale.

Faced with the problems endemic to most big-city districts — underperforming schools, suburban flight, more students disabled by poverty — district leaders have too often responded with infighting, obliviousness or clumsy attempts at misdirection in the form of overblown promises of great things to come.

“Buckle up, everybody, for newest edition of the DISD Thrill Ride that, after many exciting twists and turns, always ends where it started,” reads one bitter comment posted to a Sunday story about what trustees say they’re looking for as they launch a search for a new superintendent.

Another comment pointedly warned not to expect too much from “bickering, politicized” district leadership.

I heard much the same from readers a month ago, when I timidly suggested that it might be possible for the next administration to enact significant reform.

The opinion was based on the expert observations of educational policy leaders, both locally and nationally, but several writers told me my hope was childishly naïve.

Sadly, a revolving exit door of beat-down, failure-ridden and occasionally straight-out crooked superintendents has some people thinking this school board and this district just cannot do better.

I think it can.

Reflexive cynicism, under the circumstances, is understandable — but it’s not entirely fair. Not yet.

There’s a serene little flame of good sense in trustees’ apparent desire to attract quality candidates by portraying themselves as united in the desire to secure what trend wonks describe as “transformational” leadership.

“This board is working very well together,” trustee Edwin Flores told The Dallas Morning News, adding that he hopes the next superintendent will be a “compilation” of the qualities all nine board members think most important.

So far, the quest for the next superintendent has not devolved into a pie fight over race, which is what the grouchy-cynic lobby in this city fully expects.

Trustees are not talking — out loud, at least — about whose “turn” it is or whose “community” needs to be represented in the superintendent’s office.

Attentive citizens with long memories will recall that, during former searches for new DISD superintendents, that’s what we’ve gotten.

The 2005 superintendent search, which ended with the hiring of Dr. Michael Hinojosa, culminated in bitter exchanges between black and Hispanic leaders.

After a board vote unambiguously split by race, too many in the audience either crowed or sulked solely on the basis of ethnicity.

It’s unrealistic to remove race from the equation. We are human beings, actuated by our own experiences and beliefs.

But so far, the board hunting for a new leader has not reduced make-or-break qualifications to his or her ethnicity.

In this town, that’s progress.

Personally, I have zero interest in the ethnic background of the next DISD superintendent.

What I have interest in is whether the board will make good on its stated desire to hire somebody who might actually be able to improve this district, restore public confidence, make it a better place for kids to go to school.

Trustees say they want somebody “transformational,” “innovative,” “collaborative,” somebody focused on student achievement.

They say they want somebody who can run a huge organization, cope with the tough realities of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, reach out to uninvolved parents, keep a sharp eye on finances, motivate classroom teachers.

Not an easy job. There probably aren’t many people out there who are up to it.

But before we retreat to our habitual, eye-rolling cynicism, let’s consider just the possibility that board members mean what they’re saying.

An opening at the top provides an opportunity for the DISD to enact serious and meaningful change.

Let’s don’t turn our backs on the chance."

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/columnists/jacquielynn-floyd/20111024-cynicism-about-the-disd-is-understandable-but-give-the-district-a-chance.ece

 Rear View Mirror
Rear View Mirror

Maybe we should be concentrating on the poverty in the military? Miles says he had a speech impediment and he was a child of poverty. His father was in the Army, am I correct? And they managed to send 8 kids to college, probably on the GI  Bill. I googled this information, but can't find too much on it. But really, that poverty, poor kid who needed a teacher role model doesn't cut it when he had a strong family on a US Army base.  I'm sure they weren't well off, but they did have food and a roof, more than some of our kids do.

CrayolaMan
CrayolaMan

....and if MagicMike asks me or the ED does, I'll tell him.....word for word.....scared of what??

CrayolaMan
CrayolaMan

Well, I hate to tell you this but Kristen.....you rock!!! As the department head of a school that just achieved 8th grade reading scores at 82%...six points above the district average and 1st in our division in test scores....we did it all with the study of NOVELS........'nuff said.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Some of you still think that gringolandia is so strong and free. Go and read what the right (PP) is doing in Spain as we speak to public education and medical services. That is the model that will be here soon enough. I have a funny question. Do you wonder why you cannot find any 5.56mm bullets? Do you understand why the NRA and the National Association for Gun Rights are fighting like MAD DOGS in the US Senate?

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Why would I log in and put my personal e-mail to read this C_R_A_P_I_O_L_A. I am not that stupid.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

BTW, I am unfamiliar with Micciche's communication style. His DISD "Happy Gram" list with no commentary read like something an overpaid PR guy would compose for the corporate web page in an attemp to divert the public from pollution scandals, outrage over child labor in foreign countries, etc.

oh please
oh please

He could just as easily be the village idiot. 

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

@Enough is Enough On second thought, enough IS enough. Imagine that this teacher is in DISD instead of Duncanville... maybe she got repeated beat-downs and poor spot evals because the new Superintendent wants young TFA people, not veterans who will question ineffective leadership and teach young people to do the same! While it would be inexcusable to teach by handing out a bunch of packets, perhaps that day her morale was just at its lowest point, and she could not muster enough genuine enthusiasm and positive energy for every student all day.

Oppressive, discriminatory, and abusive "leadership" can affect the resulting interface between teacher and student. It is not ideal, but teachers are human beings as well as professionals.

So sure,  I'll say it: NO MORE.

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

@Enough is Enough Enough is enough of what? Perhaps the kid is right, but perhaps that was a pre-planned or staged YouTube opportunity. I am guessing you have never taught, since you immediately assume that his accusations are accurate. You jump to the immediate conclusion that the righteous party is the student who is pontificating, with all the fury of youth. If there were only the amount of crappy teachers that people like you imagine, fixing education would be ohhhh sooooo easy. For the sake of the children, I almost wish that was true.

Unfortunately, The Blame the Teacher stance is not only immensely tired, worn-out, and overused, it is also unfair and inaccurate in its presumptions. Just because you saw part of Waiting for Superman on Netflix doesn't mean teachers here in Texas even have real unions! 

I remember early in the school year. The only professional development afforded us was repetitive drilling on MRS DOL LO... and mandatory viewings of the video of Heroic Mike MIles "teaching." See him zazzing his way through a class. Marvel at the use of white boards. Thrill to the lack of a wasted second, since those seconds ended up on the cutting room floor. Nevermind the fact that it was edited to lightspeed-short mini-moments... nevermind that the whole thing was staged and produced... THIS was the answer, This was how teaching was supposed to be done.

Show that video to this kid and let me know if he connects with that.

Retaliation Time
Retaliation Time

@retiredteacher But Miles reassigned her, he didn't fire her. Holt's salary is still $130,000. He disrupted her for letting the cat out of the bag too soon. She was too transparent.

oh please
oh please

Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!! 

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

BTW, my favorites:

"Trustees say they want somebody...“collaborative..."

"They say they want somebody who can...motivate classroom teachers."

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@CrayolaMan I think most teachers are ignoring Miles.  And the principals are ignoring that teachers are ignoring Miles.  Everyone ignores him until some "visitor" shows up and then the text messages start going off and everyone performs for the "visitor."

Miles doesn't get it: if his methods worked and improved student learning, teachers would be all over them.  But they don't work, so teachers ignore them.

Enough is Enough
Enough is Enough

@Quo Qu ohhh Far be it for anyone on this blog to acknowledge that ineffective teachers do in fact exist and should find another career.  It's always someone else's fault.   That is what is killing the teaching profession...this unbelievable desire to protect the bottom of the bottom, which only kills the perception of the profession overall.  Great teachers are true artists, and should be celebrated as such.  But just because you bought a paint brush doesn't make you a teacher, and our schools of education are all about selling paint brushes....zero selectivity...if you can fog a mirror and pay the freight, then welcome to our school of education!  It's a cash cow and we know it!  Thanks for playing!

disgruntled
disgruntled

@Quo Qu ohhh Cat disrupted class and was asked to leave. None of the students went Dead Poets Society to his pre-planned Breakfast Society rant.  Videographer and other students scoff at him.  No one has a packet on their desk/table.  The former drop out can rant all he wants.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Yes, but as others have noted it's a lose/lose situations for teachers. If scores go up, FMM trumpets the strumpet, MRS. DOLLO. If scores go down, he blames the ridged experienced teachers for not following his mandated destruction instruction method.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

For the record I have no problem showing my DD214. I wonder if Mr. Floyd Miles Miles is willing to do the same.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

I read it from top to bottom.

1. What is the Main Idea?

2 List some details to support the main idea?

3. Conclusion.

BTW, I am going to have a hell of a time getting this assignment back. One thing is for sure, I will get a lot of faces with the look, WTF?

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

I read it from top to bottom.

1. What is the Main idea?

2 List some details to the support main idea?

3. Conclusion.

BTW, I am going to have a hell of a time getting this assignment back. One thing is for sure, I will get a lot of faces with the look, WTF?

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

@Persona non grata Yes. It is, after all, Teacher Appreciation Week. You deformers have so many solutions for bad teachers, but what about the good ones? Why do all your plans treat us collateral damage? "True artists" don't grow on trees.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

" Great teachers are true artists, and should be celebrated as such."

Celebrations are cheap. Where's the money?

DISD Teach
DISD Teach

I haven't heard anyone on this blog say that bad teachers don't exist. We all know there are bad apples in the bunch. But, it's not the rampant epidemic reformers would have you believe. Further, if you believe that teaching by a philosophy other than MRS DOLLO, that does not make you a poor teacher as an FMM evaluation would suggest.

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

Far be it for anyone on this blog to acknowledge that ineffective posters do in fact exist and should find another venue for their easily-harpooned nonsense.  It's always the teacher's fault?   That is what is killing the teaching profession...this unbelievable desire to protect the bottom of the bottom, the faux-reformers, which only kills the perception of the education system overall.  Great leaders are true artists, and should be celebrated as such.  But just because you bought a paint brush doesn't make you a superintendent, and our schools (especially Broad) are apparently all about selling paint brushes....zero selectivity...if you are willing to use smoke and mirrors and call that activity "disruptive change,"  and pay central staff 3 or more times what they're worth, then welcome to our school of superintend-ing!  The "reform" movement is a cash cow and we know it!  Thanks for playing Mad Libs, Troll Edition!

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

This blog must be hitting some nerves if the trolls are rolling out this kind of [insert expletive of choice].

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

@Enough is Enough  Indeed. But this video does not exhibit enough evidence for the viewer to come to a true conclusion. It is convenient propaganda for those with the mindset that ineffective teachers are running rampant. Your critical thinking seems to be off on this one - perhaps your education consisted of too many unproven methods. If the factual interpretation of this YouTube clip was a test question, you just failed.

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Persona non grata Dallas teachers have been put in lose/lose for so many years now.  How long can the system perpetrate itself with this kind of energy?

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Foundation for Empowerment (FCE) released 3 papers:

1. Disruptive Change: Mike Miles and the Crisis In Dallas ISD, which has been prepared with consultation by education academics, extensive research, review of data and education literature, and meetings and interviews with people of Dallas holding varying and sometimes conflicting points of view;

2. Digging Into Data and Evidence: Mike Miles, Dallas ISD, and Trickle-Down Education Report, by Dr. Julian Vasquez Helig, Lindsay Redd, M.A. and Dr. Ruth Vail; and

3. The Challenge of Disruptive Leadership in Dallas ISD, by Decoteau J. Irby, Ph.D. and Matthew Birkhold, M.A.

"You will see from these papers that, after much research and discussion, we believe the current Superintendent lacks the pedagogical, leadership and integrity qualities necessary to lead Dallas ISD and recommend the Board terminate his contract."

Citizens wanting to speak at regular board meetings and briefings must sign up by calling Board Services at (972) 925-3720 no later than 5 p.m. on the day before the meeting.

Contact the Superintendent and Trustees:
3700 Ross Avenue, Box 1
Dallas, TX 75204

Superintendent Mike Miles
milesfm@dallasisd.org

Lew Blackburn, 1st Vice President
District 5
Term Expires 2016
lblackburn@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3718
Oak Lawn, West Dallas, Wilmer, Hutchins and portions of East Oak Cliff

Miguel Solis, Board President
District 8
Term Expires 2014
miguelsolis@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
Love Field, Northwest Dallas, and Central Dallas

Eric Cowan
District 7
Term Expires 2016
ecowan@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
North Central Oak Cliff and parts of West Dallas

Nancy Bingham
District 4
Term Expires 2016
nbingham@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3722
Southeast Dallas, Seagoville, Balch Springs

Elizabeth Jones, 2nd Vice President
District 1
Term Expires 2015
elizabethjones@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3722
Northwest Dallas, including North Dallas, Addison, parts of Carrollton and Farmers Branch

Mike Morath
District 2
Term Expires 2014
mmorath@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
North and Near East Dallas

Dan Micciche, Board Secretary
District 3
Term Expires 2015
danmicciche@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3722
Northeast Dallas

Joyce Foreman
District 6
Term Expires 2017
email coming
(972) 925-3722
Southwest Dallas

Bernadette Nutall
District 9
Term Expires 2015
benutall@dallasisd.org
(972) 925-3721
South Dallas and parts of Downtown Dallas, Pleasant Grove, Deep Ellum, Uptown, and East Dallas

"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit and intelligence of the citizens. They fall when the wise are banished from the public councils because they dare to be honest and the profligate are rewarded because they flatter the people in order to betray them." --Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833