Why The Chinese Are Right and Jim Schutze is Wrong

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get-off-my-lawnJim Schutze warns me (and you too presumably) to Get Off My Lawn. We should take his warning seriously, as his personal space is so littered with that- which- one- does- not- want- to- step- in, that any trespassing would surely ruin your new TOMS.

Apparently because he can connect the dots between the purported/admittedly (take your pick) shady dealings of some south Dallas figures and their present involvement in denouncing Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles, Schutze claims an “aha” moment wherein he reveals that they can’t be trusted to judge either the man’s character or his competence.

Schutze wants us to wait, no, he insists that we wait, to judge whether Miles’s reforms bear the fruit of academic achievement. According to Jim, Miles’ two big battles over school reform, which he has “won”, are removing principals and funding a leadership academy.

Can anyone explain to me how these two “reforms” can impact any current student in a meaningful way?

A commenter to Schutze’s latest lawn ornament warns that WE MUST do something NOW to increase student achievement because (OMG) the Chinese are undertaking genetic engineering experiments to increase the IQ of the next generation. Before dismissing this warning, take a closer look at it. This is the first I’ve heard of genetic manipulation for IQ, but I believe it. Dr. Kenneth Cooper of the Cooper Clinic has been very involved in helping the Chinese develop exercise programs for their youth, because research shows brain development is influenced by exercise. The Chinese are serious about developing academic excellence in their children and are not only following solid research, they are initiating it.

What’s the difference between the Chinese approach to academic achievement and the Mike Miles approach? The Chinese target the students, even the student before she’s a student! Miles plan targets the adults that oversee the adults that might eventually deal with a student.

Other community leaders want to buy T-shirts for kindergartners and plant flowers on school lawns to increase achievement. These initiatives are similar to Miles’ plans only in that they are also not research based and have no connection with student success.

My prediction is we will have to wait a long time for any significant academic results until we focus directly on the students and the classroom. In the meantime, watch your step.

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Posted in Teachers Rule
117 comments
Dazed and confused (more dazed)
Dazed and confused (more dazed)

Read this today from a fellow teacher....one of her students had recently passed away in a boating accident. Very well said.

"Teaching is a humanity thing. It's not about technology, pedagogy, and testing. It is about relationships. When the relationships are strong, trust follows, and learning happens."

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

On MSNBC now the Ed Show is discussing the Attacks on Public Education.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Just found this article from October 2011 where all the BOT's except Carla go on record with what they were looking for in a new superintendent. Uh, what happened between the wanting and the getting?

Notice how many times variations on the collaborative leader theme are mentioned. How's that workin' for ya, BOT?

"Trustees were asked for the most important characteristics they’d like in the next Dallas ISD leader. Here’s a portion of what they said:

Nancy Bingham (southeast Dallas, Seagoville, Balch Springs)

Someone focused on student achievement, fiscally knowledgeable, and innovative — “ready to think outside the box.”

Lew Blackburn (Oak Lawn, West Dallas, Wilmer, Hutchins and portions of east Oak Cliff)

A “transformational leader” who will make needed changes and has the skill to draw in people to make them feel a part of the solution. Someone who can reach out to different organizations and groups outside the district.

Eric Cowan (north central Oak Cliff and parts of West Dallas)

Someone with a proven track record who has experience in a large organization. A good communicator who has “salesmanship skills,” which could be helpful when making contentious decisions.

Edwin Flores (northwest Dallas)

Someone experienced with “managed instruction” to ensure curriculum alignment; familiar with transforming high schools through “high-school redesign and academies;” able to close the achievement gap for all students; familiar with dual-language instruction.

Adam Medrano (Love Field, northwest Dallas and central Dallas)

The person would need to embrace the board’s vision in improving the district and have the ability to draw in the community.

Mike Morath (North and near East Dallas)

The person should have a “proven track record” and some experience teaching, even it was in a corporate environment. Have success in a large organization and the ability to improve on positive trends. Have a “history of transformational change.”

Bernadette Nutall (South Dallas and parts of downtown Dallas, Pleasant Grove, Deep Ellum, Uptown and East Dallas)

An excellent communicator who is effective and has good collaborative skills. Able to communicate with all stakeholders, students, parents, staff and teachers.

Bruce Parrott (northeast Dallas)

Someone who wants to be in the district for the right reason of educating children — “and not because they want to add to their retirement.”

Carla Ranger (southwest Dallas)

Did not provide a comment."

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20111022-dallas-school-trustees-outline-traits-theyre-looking-for-in-next-superintendent.ece

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

PNG for some Latino Americano teachers that is a required reading. "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire. I hope you have a hard copy of his book as I do before you out on a tiny branch fall down and brake your neck. 

Slow news
Slow news

To Michael McNaughton, I cant find your post I only read the right bar. So here goes my response. I usually despise the board's  long and winded debate. But this time I am definitely on Nutall's side. She did asksed so many questions and it annoyed the rubber stampers Morath, Micciche, Bingham, and Cowan. She lost the battle but made her point across. Community input is vital for any grass root feeder pattern revival to succeed. As fas as I know from the meetings my friend has attended in her school, the  Imagine2020 plan includes adding assistant principals in all schools, adding department chairs, adding one hour each day for tutoring.  And who will train these people? The same people in central who train instructional coaches, same people that brought the failure of PLC, CILT, and curriculum enhancements. They were just rebranded as academic facilitators. 

Nutall asked for the complete Imagine2020 plan for the board to make an educated vote. Mike Miles and his staff weren't able to produce a comprehensive plan. Nutall was toast by the media for asking too many questions. 

Woodrow Alum
Woodrow Alum

Are the highly trained and experienced teachers who were told to sign a receipt of a letter that their contract would not be renewed eligible for unemployment compensation?  If they hadn't resigned and were denied a contract that would have been the end of their teaching career as every teacher application asks "Have you ever been refused a contract?"  Some teachers resigned so they wouldn't have to say that they had been refused a contract.  Woodrow got rid of a bunch of teachers that way and 3 of 4 assistant principals!  

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

While we dork around with FMM’s untested MRS. DOLLO nonsense…

“AIR researchers conducted extensive reviews of about 800 studies and other publicly available information to rate the models in five categories of quality and effectiveness, including their ability to improve student achievement and to provide support to schools that allowed the model to be fully implemented. The CSRQ Center review framework was developed in consultation with an Advisory Group composed of leading education experts and researchers, and is closely aligned with the requirement for scientifically based evidence that is part of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

Of the 22 reform models examined, Direct Instruction (Full Immersion Model), based in Eugene, Ore., and Success for All, located in Baltimore, Md., received a “moderately strong” rating in “Category 1: Evidence of Positive Effects on Student Achievement.”

Five models met the standards for the “moderate” rating in Category 1: Accelerated Schools PLUS, in Storrs, Conn.; America’s Choice School Design, based in Washington, D.C.; Core Knowledge, located in Charlottesville, Va.; School Renaissance in Madison, Wis.; and the School Development Project, based in New Haven, Conn. Models receiving a “moderate” rating may still show notable evidence of positive outcomes, but this evidence is not as strong as those models receiving a “moderately strong” or “very strong” rating.”

http://www.air.org/reports-products/index.cfm?fa=viewContent&content_id=449

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

No amount of rhetoric about "transformational leadership" or "collaboration" masks the habitual anti-democratic and anti-worker approaches of most superintendents I've experienced.  Top-down "reforms" are cycled through our district more rapidly than the superintendents themselves, and it's rare that teachers and parents are genuinely involved in the creation of such initiatives.

“Unlike many celebrity superintendents in the United States, who are drawn from military or corporate backgrounds, Freire was a seasoned educator by the time he took the São Paulo position.”

“In other words, educators, parents, and community members need to create schools together that are centers of community renaissance and resistance.  We need to educate children to have the skills, dispositions, and civic courage to challenge the status quo, to connect with parents and their communities to fight for a more just and sustainable world.  Freire spoke of creating the "popular public school" as "a school with another 'face,' one that is more joyful, harmonious, and democratic."  Can you imagineyour superintendent outlining goals like that?” [emphasis mine]

“At the core of Freire's approach was changing the nature of teaching and learning in the classrooms.  The curriculum had to be based on the realities of the students' lives, be meaningful to their aspirations, bridge disciplinary divides, incorporate assessments that accurately reflected student learning, and be constantly reflected upon by educators during paid collaborative planning times during the work day.  Teachers were being expected not to "deliver" curriculum, but to create it in collaboration with each other, their students, and the community.

Freire was clear that this type of curricular reorientation and school transformation requires a commitment to democracy.  He wrote about the need to "democratize power to recognize the rights of the voice of students and teachers, to diminish the personal power of the [administrators] and to create new instances of power with the school councils . . . [where] parents gain an authentic role in determining the destiny of their children's schools."  He wrote that he tried to "limit" and "democratize" the power of the superintendent.  "Democracy," he concluded, "demands structures that democratize, not structures that inhibit the participatory presence of civil society."

Public school critics in the United States often cite international comparisons in their critiques.  Paulo Frerie's tenure as a big city superintendent holds lessons for school leaders everywhere that are well worth learning.

http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2009/peterson161109.html

Undertheradar
Undertheradar

Sorry, last post should have had this instead of double copy. From LA Times

L.A. teachers vote no confidence in Supt. Deasy

Los Angeles Times | April 11, 2013 | 5:46 PM

Los Angeles teachers overwhelmingly expressed "no confidence" in L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy in the first vote of its kind in the nation's second-largest school system.

Over the weeklong referendum that ended Wednesday, more than 90% of teachers expressed disapproval of Deasy, with about 17,700 of the union's more than 30,000 members casting ballots, the teachers union announced Thursday.

The superintendent called the vote "nonsense" even before knowing its outcome, and a group of civic leaders rallied to Deasy's defense. But United Teachers Los Angeles said it would now press more assertively against Deasy initiatives that have made the city a crucible for education debates playing out across the country

For the latest information go to www.latimes.com.

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Persona non grata
Persona non grata

We’ve learned nothing here in Dallas…

Conspiracy Theory: Lessons forLeaders from Two Centuries of School Reform” Ifschoolleadersaretobringaboutsuccessfulreform,theymustthwarttheforcesthathaveconspiredagainstitsincethe19thcentury.Mr.Nehringidentifiessix"conspirators"--destructivetendenciessodeeplyembeddedinourculturethattheyoftenoperateunnoticed--andofferspracticalsuggestionsforrootingthemout. “1. Thetendencytoviewschoolsasfactories   2. Thetendencyofcommunityfearstodriveschoolactivity.   3. Thetendencytoimposeplansthatlookgreatfromaboveandmakelittlesenseatgroundlevel.   4. Thetendencyofthesystemtocrushpromisinginnovation.   5. Thetendencyofschoolstosayyestoalllegitimaterequests   6. Thetendencytopromotefavoredgroupstothedetrimentofothers.

http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-159646452/conspiracy-theory-lessons-for-leaders-from-two-centuries

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Here’s the latest DMN never-question-the-dictator editorial. This time it’s Nutall who has transgressed the rule. Love that this editorial was posted on the 4th, the day America celebrates the official break with the dictator, George III. Unlike the writer for the Forbes writer that follows, the DMN just can’t accept that it’s the leader that’s the problem, not the critics. HIS programs, done on HIS timeline, using HIS methods, HIS rules, HIS measures of success; all with no input needed but HIS.

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/north-south-dallas-project/editorials/20130704-editorial-bernadette-nutalls-critical-role-in-disds-holistic-strategy.ece

Here are three indications that the problems with the district are also HIS:

“4. Beware the know-it-all: The best leaders are acutely aware of how much they don’t know. They have no need to be the smartest person in the room, but have the unyielding desire to learn from others. I’ve often said, leaders who are not growing cannot lead a growing enterprise. One of the hallmarks of great leaders is their insatiable curiosity. If a leader isn’t extremely curious about every aspect of their organization, trust me when I say there are huge problems on the horizon.

6. It’s all about them: If a leader doesn’t understand the concept of “service above self” they will not engender the trust, confidence, and loyalty of those they lead. Any leader is only as good as his or her team’s desire to be led by them. An over abundance of ego, pride, and arrogance are not positive leadership traits. Real leaders take the blame and give the credit – not the other way around. Long story short; if a leader receives a vote of non-confidence from their subordinates…game over.

8. One size fits all leadership style: The best leaders are fluid and flexible in their approach. They understand the power of, and necessity for contextual leadership. “My way or the highway” leadership styles don’t play well in today’s world, will result in a fractured culture, and ultimately a non-productive organization. Only those leaders who can quickly recognize and adapt their methods to the situation at hand will be successful over the long haul. Think open-source not proprietary, surrender not control, and collaborate not dictate.”

Reader’s Digest Version:

“Real leaders take the blame and give the credit – not the other way around. Long story short; if a leader receives a vote of non-confidence from their subordinates…game over.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikemyatt/2012/10/18/15-ways-to-identify-bad-leaders/

Undertheradar
Undertheradar

Just caught up on 3 days of comments. Some observations - we work in a right to work state.  We read this blog, how many parents do?  Yes, one paper did good investigative reporting on school change plans - will the DMN even cover our situation unless forced to?  Yes, one Superintendent listened to his teachers' concerns - will ours?

Those people working in Dallas ISD (which may or may not include me - ha! I'll bet FMM's people have names attached to have our monikers) need to create some attention.  It was mentioned a while back that a special color shirt at the convocation might do that.  How many of you are ready to do that?  Could the DMN ignore covering a large, otherwise respectful display of lack of support?  Maybe the NEA and AFT could get together and make uniform pink shirts (pink for the cure) available for purchase. Let's do more than bitch among ourselves and worry about getting shot on Schutze's lawn.  From the LA Times, here would be the ideal outcome.  At the least we would distance ourselves from being complicit in the coming failure.

Just caught up on 3 days of comments. Some observations - we work in a right to work state.  We read this blog, how many parents do?  Yes, one paper did good investigative reporting on school change plans - will the DMN even cover our situation unless forced to?  Yes, one Superintendent listened to his teachers' concerns - will ours?

Those people working in Dallas ISD (which may or may not include me - ha! I'll bet FMM's people have names attached to have our monikers) need to create some attention.  It was mentioned a while back that a special color shirt at the convocation might do that.  How many of you are ready to do that?  Could the DMN ignore covering a large, otherwise respectful display of lack of support?  Maybe the NEA and AFT could get together and make uniform pink shirts (pink for the cure) available for purchase. Let's do more than bitch among ourselves and worry about getting shot on Schutze's lawn.  From the LA Times, here would be the ideal outcome.  At the least we would distance ourselves from being complicit in the coming failure.

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

I challenge ALL AP teachers to update their syllabi --and make sure you include MRS and DOL's. Make sure you document the amount of time they take---then submit.

Let's see what College board thinks about it.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

While Schutze and the DMN pander in drivel, the Detroit News uses investigative reporting for the public good.

Given the corpus of writing from all sources this past year about FMM, the BOT and our business "leaders"; is it a far reach of the imagination to conclude that we may have our own skunk works here in Dallas? Connecting all the dots of the past year, what are the chances that there is a well organized group designing a for profit rape of DISD?

"Detroit News noses out a school reform 'skunk works' - But the wider education story is hardly black and white. How can news outlets do more for readers on this critical issue?"

http://m.cjr.org/303546/show/b472a1d37c4acbc770cd35328fcd9018/?

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

I've got news for Schutze and his pro-Miles commenters:  Having administrators spend hours examining and debating whether or not the DOL a teacher wrote on a board that day deserves a score of 1.5 or 2 is not going to increase student achievement.

And that's par for most of Miles' "reforms."  I'm pretty sure the Chinese are not wasting time and money using any of Miles' methods.

Schutze et al are suckers.  Student achievement will not increase unless the scores required to pass the tests remain below 50% because Miles' methods are nonsense.

Woodrow Alum
Woodrow Alum

The DOLs and Objectives may have nothing to do with the ACPs as the teachers are guessing what is on the ACP.s.  Students have "rigorously" studied what the CPG will cover on the ACP and failed the test.  Sometimes the questions are from the other semester!!  How does that evaluate teaching and learning?  If they don't know the answer put all of those answers in one column because the ACP is divided between a, b, c, and d.  How much learning is involved in doing that?

manyeyes
manyeyes

Write and administer more bubble tests? I'd like to see somebody care if our children can read aloud without stumbling, carry on a simple, clear written correspondence, sign their names in cursive, make correct change and divide a pie evenly into eight slices. That would be a great start. And I say this sincerely.

Petpau
Petpau

This is a concept that Miles should learn

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

You ain't seen rubber stamping 'til the below market leases on our vacant schools to the charters come up for a vote! Lots of fingers in that pie!

manyeyes
manyeyes

Non-renewed employees are eligible to apply for unemployment if the district stated non-renewal decision was not performance based. But good teachers who were forced out could opt to resign rather than have a firing on their record. So, no unemployment protection for them, and they served out the contracts watching principals openly recruiting for vacancies they qualify for.

Slow news
Slow news

@Woodrow Alum I think that's the same case with a lot of instructional coaches that were released by central office. Some of them were offered campus instructional coaches position but with a reduction of pay and no stipend.  I heard the IB coordinator at Woodrow was non-renewed.  What happened to the IB program?

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

@Persona non grata  A TRUE and HONEST military leader would have worked fine here. Unfortunately, what this man, Miles, is doing is, by far, and by all accounts from every veteran you will talk to, NOT anything like what a real commander would do. An officer depends on his/her NCO's to run the unit. He brings in the most EXPERIENCED, not the most connected, to work out problems. And finally, a commander does not bring in "disruptive change." That is such hogwash. That would DESTROY a unit----


And maybe THAT was his mission all along.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Sorry for the formatting mess…I retyped the whole thing manually…grrrrrr….

“Consiracy Theory: Lessons for Leaders from Two Centuries of School Reform”

“If school leaders are to bring about successful reform, they must thwart the forces that have conspired against it since the 19th century. Mr. Nehring identifies six “conspirators”—destructive tendencies so deeply embedded in our culture that they often operate unnoticed—and offers practical suggestions for rooting them out.”

“1. The tendency to view schools as factories.

2. The tendency of community fears to drive school activity.

3. The tendency to impose plans that look great from above and make little sense at ground level.

4. The tendency of the system to crush innovation.

5. The tendency of schools to say yes to all legitimate requests.

6. The tendency to promote favored groups to the detriment of others.”

http://www.questia.com/read/1G1-159646452/conspiracy-theory-lessons-for-leaders-from-two-centuries

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Has anybody seen the actual plan for the $8.9M or the objectives or the measurable outcomes? Trustees haven't. Does it exist or did the board just write a blank check to miles and his cronies? This is all about jobs for adults and contracts for their friends. Nutall's sin is asking too many questions about where the money is being spent.

Ghost
Ghost

@Persona non grata  DMN doesn't get it. We all know why those schools were chosen and it has nothing to do with kids.It's about rebuilding those areas to attract businesses and non-minority folks to those areas. Who will VOTE out certain folks that keep getting reelected in landslides no matter what wrong they do.

You can put all the money and staff you want in those schools but until you weed out the faction of the community that hates education-nothing is going to change.

Get rid of the thug that bullies kids on the way to school. Get rid of the hookers and drug dealers that kids have to walk by to get to school. 

Get in the face of those so-called black activist that keep telling kids to stop learning the white man's education.. If you have an issue with what kids are learning isn't minority related-then YOU teach it. Encourage kids to learn about themselves on their own instead of hanging out on the street.

I don't need to see black leaders supporting thug kids attacking teachers and yelling  teachers don't know who to deal with black kids.Crap like that will have you looking for teachers next year.

Get in the face of parents and tell it's kid for their kids to be MORE selective who their friends are.I'm tired of seeing in the paper good kids get killed or jailed because they keep hanging out with the wrong crowd just to fit in.

You have kids that want to learn but it's the adults who keep getting in the way. Because no one wants to work together  and step on a few toes to help our kids.

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

@Undertheradar 

They have no idea who we are--or we would be gone by now. This blog scares them more than anything. Flies on walls say so.

One for the road
One for the road

@Beer in Hand ~ This is a surefire way to get a lot of attention. It should also be noted that teachers are being told NOT to do timed writings in class (AP strategy). If every AP teacher in DISD gets their syllabus rejected, something is going to happen.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Abigail, Boy, are you going to feel silly when FMM "proves" to us at the Propaganda Pow Wow how well we did this year!

BWAHAHAHA!!!!!

I wonder if he's planning any kind of a sainthood ritual for MRS. DOLLO? A crowning ceremony? I see ermine...maybe a gold orb...is a scepter too much?

Rear View Mirror
Rear View Mirror

@Woodrow Alum And that is the problem with the current education system. If they can't remember what was learned "from the other semester", they didn't learn it; only remember for "the TEST". DOLS, MRS, ACP, etc. only teach specific skills that are not applied in any meaningful way. The whole system needs to be revamped.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@manyeyes MOST secondary students in DISD cannot write a complete sentence and they cannot write a coherent paragraph.  A decade + of bubble tests has not improved this reality and has, in fact, made things worse.

If a patient does not improve after a week,  the doctor clues in that the medicine isn't working.  Not so with education "reform"--year after year after year, reformers just keep doubling down on bubble tests despite the evidence showing the bubble tests are failing the kids.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

I get real touchy when people touch La Patria grande.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre, patria o muerte! ¡Hugo vive la lucha sigue!


Slow news
Slow news

@manyeyes That is so true. Principals recruiting for instructional coaches for a lower pay. I think there's no stipend attached and based on teacher pay and number of days. It is the same as demotion. The principals who were demoted were able to retain their pay while the instructional coaches who are now moving from central office to campuses did not retain their pay rate.

Woodrow Alum
Woodrow Alum

@Slow news  @Woodrow Alum Don't know what will happen to the IB prog. but the coordinator had already accepted a position at a college.  She really had a PhD. not Ed.

manyeyes
manyeyes

Yes, a retired officer friend says the same. Miles does not come across well to seasoned military men with track records oh acting with honor and integrity.

AcatnamedSam
AcatnamedSam

@Michael MacNaughton It is my understanding that Imagine 2020 is just a re-branding of the failed Race to the Top application.  It's very heavy on additional administration, yet has no concrete objectives.  Additionally, we are bring promised access to additional technology, but as of July 6, have received no information about additional training.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

@Michael MacNaughton

While Gilbert and Sullivan put these words of love on the lips of their operetta characters, FMM’s actions are putting the same words on the lips of his cronies. The difference being that the delirium for the cronies is MONEY.

“Oh, joy! O, rapture unforeseen!

The clouded sky is now serene,

The god of day—the orb of love,

Has hung his ensign high above,

The sky is all ablaze.”

http://www.sweetslyrics.com/683535.Gilbert%20&%20Sullivan%20-%20Oh%20Joy,%20Oh%20Rapture%20Unforeseen%20.html

Beer in Hand
Beer in Hand

@Ghost @Persona non grata Hey, bringing in NEW people and NEW businesses is great. We need that in ALL sectors of Dallas, right? They had to choose one area, right? Great, these schools can use the help.

But is it really help, or from the shore, is the life-ring you see being tossed really made of concrete, and Skipper Miles comes back, surprised that his "life-ring" did not save the victim.


Persona non grata
Persona non grata

@Ghost @Persona non grata 

Yeah...address poverty and its effects. There is a wealth of research on the inverse relationship of poverty and achievement in school but this is Dallas where research is for sissies.

Woodrow Alum
Woodrow Alum

@Rear View Mirror @Woodrow Alum 

Worse than you think---the other semester was the spring semester and the topics had not even been taught.  How is that for test writing?  Students get a crummy grade and teacher gets a similar evaluation.  


Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@A is for Abigail @manyeyes Many of the children want to write in "text speech" and do not understand why it's not okay to do that at school.  Somewhere along the line some of them started using 3 for E.  They say that's mine's and don't understand why that is incorrect. These are secondary students.  I see them testing and some of them work SO hard to do the best job they can on that bubble test.  However, they don't know what poison ivy looks like.  They can operate a calculator but cannot begin to explain what they are doing with it.  They have been taught to push buttons but for some reason I can do math faster in my head because I learned how to do that back in the day.  

They are missing out on really valuable skills. 


manyeyes
manyeyes

@Slow news  @manyeyes I wonder if teachers will have grounds to sue if they were released because the principals claimed surplus teachers on the books in the short term, but then claimed a shortage and went about finding new hires before the ink was dry on the resignations.  

This behavior caused so much disruption in the ranks, and right during test time... teachers seemed very much aware of the challenge of focusing despite the fear of losing jobs, pressure from principals, spot observations,  increasingly disruptive students.  Apparently the  district itself did not see the damage that environment caused students.  As long as scores go up a tic mark or two in one column or another, they all applaud each other in those interminable meetings and the truth gets lost in history.

manyeyes
manyeyes

@Pancho Villa good one, pancho.

manyeyes
manyeyes

absolutely right, Book Fairy. My high school teachers were amused by pig Latin, but would not have accepted some buffoon submitting a book report in it. The idea that we are even clarifying that point tells how far down the scale we are.

The fact that we are focused on shoddy multiple choice tests and not on clear communication is the issue, and I know that was your point. But pig Latin is not and never was the culprit, nor is texting. We need to be careful not to muddy the waters.

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@manyeyes @Book Fairy @A is for Abigail Sure it's fun and exercises the brain, but it is not appropriate to write school assignments that way which was the point I was making.  The students need to demonstrate that they can write a complete sentence.  When I ask "Why did the Southern states secede from the Union?" I expect something better than "b/cuz th3y wont slav3s"  from a high school student. 

manyeyes
manyeyes

@Book Fairy @A is for Abigail @manyeyes  Students are missing out on tons of valuable skills that used to go with the territory.  But I think that the texting language thing is minor.  It is like saying that learning pig latin interfered with becoming literate back in the day.  It's just another form.  It's fun and exercises the brain. 

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

What a great post that would be! Just a simple catalogue of all the "reasoning" behind the issues this past year. Wow!

E Kim Selim
E Kim Selim

@A is for Abigail

Be careful giving syllogisms as many adults in DISD cannot understand them and some may go out and purchase graphing calculators for every student.  The Imagination 2020 group may even buy two calculators per student making the students twice as smart. 

As long as it fits a prior belief it must be true even if logically inconsistent. Taking your example:

Exemplary math teachers use computers.  Exemplary math teachers understand mathematical concepts.  Conclusion: Using a computer will make DISD students understand mathematical concepts.  

The BOT approved Reasoning Mind based on the same logic as the Harvard students holding calculators, so be careful.

manyeyes
manyeyes

Add "memorize times tables to 15x15" to the list and it would be a great gift to the students. Memorization has been demonized, but if they even came out knowing a couple of rhymes that weren't written by ill' Wayne or Gucci Mane... We take so much of their time to give them an "I passed the STAAR" bumper sticker at the end of it all. Not much of a return on their investment.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@Book Fairy @A is for Abigail @manyeyes But kids look so smart if they are holding a calculator--especially a graphing calculator!  Shouldn't we make all DISD kids carry around graphing calculators?  Won't that prove that they are smart and we are a "no excuses" district?

DISD logic:  Harvard students hold graphing calculators.  Harvard students are smart.  Conclusion:  Holding a graphing calculator will make DISD students smart. 

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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