We Gotta Kill This Switch

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burning-rubberThat squealing sound you just heard was Kevin Smelker and Charles Glover peeling out of the DISD parking lot and heading for who-cares-land.

Once again, disarray takes over 3700 and who will suffer? The very kids the “reform community” claims to care so much about.

True, Glover and Smelker are being replaced by current DISD people who at least know where to park at 3700 (h/t Little Red Hen), but how much turnover and chaos must we all endure before we finally just get rid of Miles?

Miles is the problem and has been the problem since apparently before he officially started if the audit from December is any indication.

Teachers are leaving by the thousands (CBS news estimated 1,700 last night). As an upcoming post will show, many schools will lose 20% or more of their current faculty and it ain’t the worst teachers who are leaving. That thought ought to comfort parents. They can start a game with their kids: will you or won’t you have a math teacher next year?

DISD says they’ve already hired 800 new teachers. We say prove it.

A week ago, DISD was telling the media there were 600 openings. If there were only 600 openings, why did they hire 800 teachers? Maybe because someone was lying about the 600 number? We all know there are going to be way, way more vacancies than DISD will ever admit to.

And then there’s Smelker’s adios to make you wonder about what’s going on with the money. We’ve had an audit, Alan King quit, CFO Rene Barajas quit after 3 months, Alan King quit again and now Smelker. Is anyone who can count even left?

Finally, maybe we shouldn’t let Miles make any more hires if his hires either quit or get indicted within a year’s time. Are all of the new principals he has placed on the campuses going to turn out the same way—either incompetent or corrupt or both? Are the new principals going to be so Miles-like that entire faculties quit by December?

As the song says, we gotta kill this switch. We can’t just sit back and watch DISD burn.

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Posted in Giving Grades, Rotten in Denmark, Teachers Rule
296 comments
Goodbetterbest
Goodbetterbest

A little birdie told me that the new principal at Zumwalt was one of those caught in that credit card scandal from years ago.  She was rehired? Really? Corruption breeds corruption.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Why do not we go California on this IDIOT?

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Let's play doctor!

Your credentials: Harvard Medical School, summa cum laude.

Your patient is DISD who is obviously very ill. You suspect an advanced, potentially terminal, case of ALDS: aquired leadership deficiency syndrome.

Complicating the patient's dire condition; DISD's legal guardians, Mr. and Mrs. BOT, are apparently in denial about their child's condition.

Checking your reference books, you compare your diagnosis with a list of known symptoms:

"Here are a few examples of how a culture fails an organization. Note they are largely related to leadership.

1. Senior executives who have severe management deficits, such as disregarding the needs of employees, sub-standard communication/decision making skills, not willing to take an appropriate risk, the unwillingness or lack of understanding about what it takes to be innovative, and not understanding the ROI of talent (employee) development.

2. Ignoring employees, and subsequently, survey responses. Why conduct the survey if you are not willing to resolve problems?

3. Organizations with owners, chairman, and CEOs who are greedy, selfish and uncaring.

4. Companies that cannot change despite seeing the obvious warning signs.

5. Organizations that recruit or hire friends or relatives who don’t have the job competencies and then promote those individuals into management or leadership roles.

6. Companies who don’t provide leadership training for newly promoted managers or those who need it.

7. Treating employees without dignity or thinking of them as a commodity.

8. Using ineffective HR practices, related to recruitment, training and performance management procedures.

9. Companies who don’t understand what values can do for them or those who have values and don’t incorporate them."

http://www.waspbarcode.com/buzz/smart-hr-turnover/

Which action should you take?

A. Call 911 for an ambulance

B. Send patient home so you can have time to consult other specialists such as newspaper editors, mayors and businessmen.

C. Give a prescription for a sedative/pain killer and bandaids; and schedule next appointment in a month or two

D. Explain to the guardians that all's well: just normal organizational growing pains.

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

Perhaps all of this should be set aside for now so that we can unite to get rid of the now-absurdly-visibly-nude emperor. Where is he holding this mystical new retreat, at a nudist colony?

East Dallas
East Dallas

You all sound like a bunch of ignorant people.  You work with children and the parents of these children deserve the utmost respect from you.  You should not judge parents or kids for not knowing English.  They are in the process of learning English  and believe it or not, they are our clients.  The ideal situation would be for the principal to be bilingual so he or she could communicate with all parents.  If you do not have a bilingual principal, then the least you can do is to become familiar with the parents' culture so that you would display concern and sensitivity. 

Retaliation Time
Retaliation Time

DMN Update: Miles has returned the call. He would only say that Rodriguez resigned today and the district wishes her well. He said that he couldn’t say any thing further because it’s a personnel issue. He said the district has a cabinet in place that is “ready to go.”

REALLY! “ready to go.” REALLY!

I am sure most of us are ready “for Miles to go.”

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

I wanted to add something here. I don't speak Spanish, but I taught many, many Latino/a students. When parent conference came, most of them didn't speak English, and their child (my student) would interpret. But they did understand from my body language, my smiles, and/or my warnings about their child not doing his/her best that I had the best interest of their child at heart. If there was a problem, I assured them I would work with the student to resolve it. What I couldn't do with language, I could do with body language, facial expressions, and good intentions. Would a Spanish speaking teacher or principal there have been better? Perhaps, but a teacher who cares is obvious to a parent, even if she cannot speak their language.

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Okay, colleagues, I'm sensing some back and forth here about Lulac or not Lulac---Spansh speaking prinicipal vs. non Spanish-speaking. Before people begin to show hostility toward each other, stop a. minute and think: shouldn't our primary efforts here be to rid ourselves of the cancer that is Mike Miles, and the revolving door that is becoming DISD at every level? The musical chairs of executive directors, principals, teachers, aides, etc etc. will stop if we get rid of Miles . Then we can get back to finding the appropriate principal for each school. Until then, let's put some lesser concerns on hold. Think about it.

GotToReadThis
GotToReadThis

Where does anyone get the idea that because the district is 65% or whatever Hispanic, that 65% of parents can't speak  English.

Many Hispanic students are third, fourth, or fifth generation.

Sounds like LULAC open for Domingo's Job Placement program. Or is this Rene's work. Maybe Rene will now be head of communications.


BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

OMG!!!

 https://secure.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECONLINE/virtcertdisplay.asp?spid=1736115&mode=C

Texas Educator Certificate This certifies that Floyd Mike Miles has fulfilled requirements of state law and regulations of the
State Board for Educator Certification
and is hereby authorized to perform duties as designated below:


  STANDARD Description Effective Date Expiration Date Status Superintendent   Superintendent 05/10/2013 09/30/2018 Valid     Grades (EC-12)

Official Record of Certification Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Novato
Novato

Novato:

Does your principal must sign the S-54??

What happens if he/she refuse to sign it because you are in a highly need area (bilingual ) 

Can the principal legally make stay with the district even after you already signed with other district?


rovebo
rovebo

Any teacher who resigned their postion was not allowed to teach summer school. This was not communicated to them until the last couple of weeks of school. Summer school principals who thought they had a full staff, found themselves scrambling to fnd replacements. The mandate came via the E.D., who speak for Miles.

Miles paid his chiefs ridiculous salaries, supposedly for the good of the kids. These people have run out of DISD and guess what? The kids are still here.

Disrupted DISD
Disrupted DISD

I think it's interesting that the news media is trying to portray the teachers as the bad guys, once again.  There are accusations that the teachers just don't care about the kids, that must be why they didn't sign up to teach summer school. 

How about applying this logic to all of the chiefs who are leaving this district?  I haven't heard anyone say that they left because they "just don't care about the kids enough." 

Besides, these teachers are not necessarily leaving the district- they just didn't sign on to even more work and bullying from the ED's and Superintendent over the summer. Imagine that. 

rovebo
rovebo

Principals who are being replaced should be replaced by someone who can communicate with the parents. If a school is 80% Hispanic, chances are the parents English speaking skills are limited. In order to serve the community, if that is what Miles really wants, Principals assigned to these schools should be able to communicate in Spanish. How can we get the parents involved, if the person in charge cannot communicate directly with the parents? Many Hispanic parents do not get involved because they cannot speak directly with the people in charge. Why should a non-English speaking parent be relegated to some underling who does speak Spanish when the parent wishes to speak with the Principal? LULAC stop drinking the Miles-aid, get your noses out from under him and really see what is happening in the schools which are majority Hispanic. When you go to the doctor, do you want to speak with the P.A. or would you rather speak to the doctor? Respect our parents. Involve our parents. Give them a principal with whom they can communicate directly.

Super jock
Super jock

Yes she was demoted several years ago caught up in the district credit card scandal.She went through Miles principal academy and is now the new principal at Zumwalt.My oh my.

DISD lurker
DISD lurker

Diamond Hill-Jarvis HS in Fort Worth topped the list of best North Texas urban schools earlier this year. The principal (now promoted) who led that campus for four years was a non-Spanish speaking white woman. DHJ is 95% white. 50% of her 11th and 12th grade students were enrolled in dual credit. In fact, she had the largest DC program in the district, even though her school was just under 1000 kids. Sometimes too high a premium is placed on race and not on ability to lead.

GotToReadThis
GotToReadThis

@retiredteacher 

WOW!!! Wouldn't it be strange if for a year, teachers and principals were recruited based on their track records instead of their family trees, LULAC membership, TFA elitism, skin color, or any other affiliation other than experience, credentials, and results?

What a strange idea! Instead, promotions are distributed through TFA by Miles, Hinojosa's crony buddies, and HR's family trees.

But why worry? In about 8 more weeks, simply finding a teacher who can fog a mirror for every classroom will be enough.

Disrupted DISD
Disrupted DISD

@retiredteacher

Hear, hear!  Thank you!

There is nothing that this administration would love more to see than for all of us here on this blog to dissolve into little spatting factions, which will ultimately divide us and make our voices useless.  Let's not give in to this!

Let's keep our eyes on the prize:  GO MILES AWAY!

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@GotToReadThis, the LEP student body is 63%. The Hispanic as a whole represent over 80+% of the district. Get your number straight. Do you know why they  label "LEP"? Do you know what LEP means?

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@GotToReadThis  

I have taught in three majority Hispanic schools. While it is true that there are a many Hispanic parents who are second, third or more generation US born,  more of them have very limited English. Of the 65% of the Hispanic students in the district, I would say that 75% of the parents are Limited English speakers. I taught in one school where the principal did not speak one word of Spanish, yet the majority of the parents were limited English speakers. She always had to ask someone else to talk to the parents. I guess that is one way to get out of a parent meeting! 

 

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Novato I think that if you are in advance of the deadline that it doesn't matter if your principal signs it.  I can only assume that my principal signed mine when I left. I never saw him do it. 

Disconnected
Disconnected

@Novato It is a courtesy for  you to ask your principal to sign your S-54 - you can submit it directly to HR.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Those guys just want their old jobs back that is all.

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Do we have enough Spanish speaking principals to do this?

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@Super jock   

I am amazed at the number of people who are still with the district who were involved with the credit card scandal! I don't think any of them, if they are to stay, should be able to hold any job of administration.  

E Kim Selim
E Kim Selim

That is 95% Hispanic. I looked it up.

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Pancho Villa Should teachers in Texas be able to speak English? 

GotToReadThis
GotToReadThis

@Pancho Villa 

Are you capable of using business-standard English?

So far, haven't seen a single post with grammatically correct English. Are you teaching our kids using less than standard English?

GotToReadThis
GotToReadThis

@Pancho Villa 

Do you know that it's not the job of any school district to provide Spanish speaking principals for parents who refuse to learn English?

As far as LEP, there is no provision at Conrad for principals to know 14 languages in order to administer the campus.


BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@Pancho Villa  

This is for those who many not know:

L= Limited

E= English

P= Proficiency 

GotToReadThis
GotToReadThis

@BlueBonnet @GotToReadThis 

The principal shouldn't have to speak Spanish because parents have been in this country for three generations and decided not to learn the language.

LULAC is using this excuse for a jobs program. How is this different than the principal at Roosevelt hiring all her kinfolks?

A counselor, secretary, or someone at the school is probably Spanish speaking.

Otherwise, this is smoke screen for LULAC's tentacles.

Tell Flores to try the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce again. They didn't want him either.

DISD lurker
DISD lurker

That's what I meant. She is white and the school is 95% Hispanic. My bad.

:)

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@Book Fairy key on the (s) third person. :>(

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@Book fairy, SBEC tell the standards in TX. You meet the standards you get certify. Once you take all the test for a Bilingual certification you get three certifications: General, ESL, Bilingual.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@GotToreadThis, I do not teach AA, Anglos at all.

LBart
LBart

@ohPuhlease90 @GotToReadThis Don't be a dumb redneck. Learn some Spanish. It's not that hard. You're in Texas, you might find that it comes in handy.

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Oh Please. ranting about students does little good. Channel your anger toward Miles.

Don't distract yourself with secondary issues. Let's get rid of Miles and then we'll try what you suggest. I'm for putting more responsibility on students.

ohPuhlease90
ohPuhlease90

@letsmoveon @GotToReadThis 

DISD can make up racist policies all day long. This is not TEC, nor will it ever be.

And how does the campus being rated exemplary have any correlation to speaking to parents in their native tongue? Are we supposed to believe a Spanish speaking principal will raise all majority LEP campuses to exemplary standards?

Ok-Samuell can go to a Spanish speaking principal like the one they had that made absolutely no difference when they were AU for a decade.

What about parents who have religious beliefs that make them speak in tongues? Should the principal do likewise? Will that make them exemplary?

Exemplary schools come from the efforts primarily of students. We seem to have forgotten that hard work from students is the reason for achievement, not a jobs program for principals.

Not one current policy in this district puts the responsibility for achievement on students.

letsmoveon
letsmoveon

@GotToReadThisactually there is DISD Policy on this. DP Local reads At any campus other than a campus rated exemplary or recognized that has a student population that is at least 50 percent LEP or LEP-exited, the principal, associate principal, or assistant principal must be proficient in the primary language of the majority LEP or LEP-exited students. A campus that does not have an associate principal or assistant principal due to enrollment size may use the counselor to fulfill the language proficiency requirement. The District shall provide the necessary language instruction to meet this goal at no cost to the employees. The Superintendent of Schools or designee shall develop standards for proficiency

GotToReadThis
GotToReadThis

@Pancho Villa 

There is not one policy in TEC codes that says parents who speak other than English must have a match in their lack of language to whatever country in their children's administrators.

Nor is there any policy that says there must be a color of skin match in students and principals.

And that would be "damned Yankee," not damn Yankee. Should we match a principal's lack of standard English to parents' lack of standard English?

That might be easy with DISD principals. Would that be a close enough match? How about parents who know a little English in whatever language get a principal who knows a little English?

How about gender? Maybe we should go Taliban and refuse to integrate young women and men in the same classes lest we offend someone's religious beliefs? Don't young women need strong role models in math and science? So why do we allow them to be taught by male teachers?

If we're at Vickery Meadows, do we just play Frankenstein and assimilate a principal with different body parts?

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

You MUST be a damn Yankee. You know little about TEXAS/TEJAS.You Must GO and read Texas TEC codes.

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@GotToReadThis  

The vast majority of the LEP parents ARE trying to learn English! The ESL adult student population continues to increase despite the fact that DCCCD charges $135.00 per eight week class! 

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@LBart @GotToReadThis @BlueBonnet Our students have to pass two years of a foreign language before they can graduate.  It's really not challenging to expect educators to have some knowledge of Spanish. In Texas.  The US government provides Rosetta Stone to their employees. 

LBart
LBart

@GotToReadThis @BlueBonnet Conversational Spanish is not that difficult to learn. It's not like you're expecting principals to learn Arabic, Mandarin, or Russian.

If you've decided to pursue a career as an administrator in an urban district with many Hispanic students, it is not beyond the pale to expect that you be conversant in their home language. Spend some time with Rosetta Stone and get a tutor. Only in America are people shocked at the idea that knowing a second language is somehow a terrible burden for professional educators.

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@GotToReadThis @BlueBonnet  

The ones who have been here for one or more generations DO speak English it is the majority of the Hispanic parents who do not speak English to whom I was referring.I guess I should have made it clearer. Of the 65% Hispanic students, I would guess that 75% have not been here for multiple generations and are VERY limited in English. Many of them ARE learning English. It will just take time since many were not educated in the US. I teach ESL to adults and many of them have children in Dallas and want to learn English in order to be able to talk to their child's teacher and to be able to help with homework.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

Who is your board member? You need to write an e-mail and tell him/her about the issue; tell them why you are leaving DISD. Tell them that your Principal is not signing your S-54 because of fear. El distrito está horrible!, Buena suerte! OBW, talk to your professional group about your S-54. They will know what to do.

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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
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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