Mayor Mike and the DISD Debacle

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pop-your-bubbleDear Mayor,

Sorry to pop your little education bubble, but your interview on Channel 8 the other night made it hard to determine if you have completely lost touch with the reality of DISD or if you ever had a grasp to begin with.

You see, dear Mayor, Dallas ISD test scores for the year before Miles appeared (due to your interference) and the state scores under Miles’ year of chaos are essentially the same—flat as a pancake. So Team Miles accomplished nothing instructionally while giving Dallas a national black eye in the media.

Don’t worry, dear Mayor, STAAR scores were flat across the state due maybe to monies ripped from school districts across Texas. That didn’t keep Team Miles from refusing to hire teachers so that his surplus fund could grow by $50 million.

But back to your lack of understanding of Dallas schools compared to those in Houston.

Yes, Dallas did have a few percent less totally horrific, bottom of the barrel secondary schools than Houston.

But dear Mayor, the reason for that is Houston’s Broad Superintendent, Terry Grier, has a longer track record than Miles in creating total chaos, running off veteran teachers, and buying the support of the business community through the largest bond program in history. If due to your allegiance, Miles stays, Dallas, too, will sink to the very bottom in ratings.

Grier has spent $60 million dollars through his Apollo program with its borrowed charter practices that have led to much larger student attrition, almost ruined a stellar Advanced Placement program at Lee High School, and created constant teacher and principal churn. The results of Apollo were some marginal improvements in some schools.

We forecast Miles’ costly improvements will do about the same.

Give Miles much longer, and he will meet the goals of all Broad-trained superintendents:  the decimation of public schools.

And another small tap on the shoulder for you, Mayor.

The state ratings only identify the bottom 5% of schools in the state.

They don’t predict the massive crisis on Dallas ISD’s doorstep in two, short years.

You see, dear Mayor, you have heard nothing of the percentage of students in Dallas high schools who are not on track to a timely graduation due failing at least one required End of Course exam.

In most comprehensive high schools, 50% of the students are off track and there is no indication they will move back with Miles’ refusing to hire teachers, running off the talented teachers, and increasing class sizes.

Miles, with his pay for performance and principal’s academy, is totally ignoring the fact that the entire Dallas ISD will not meet standards in just two short years unless the rising sophomores and juniors are thrown a life line.

Mayor, since we now know you have little to no understanding of public schools, let’s imagine Dallas ISD retreating from 80% graduation to 50%.

The costs to the district, the city, and the students and their families will be catastrophic.

So the next time you are interviewing with Brett Shipp, you might want to tackle the real issues instead of playing cover-up for Team Miles.

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Posted in Giving Grades, Rotten in Denmark
161 comments
retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Everyone starts out at below expectations? How is that possible? This man is truly demented, enjoying terrifying college-educated professionals.

How would Miles and parents feel if teachers told their students they are all starting out at below expectations and have to prove otherwise?Can you imagine the outcry if teachers were to say and practice such an outrageous policy?

I Love Miles
I Love Miles

Had PDAS training at my school  today.  Got told that the new standard is that every teacher starts out at "below expectations" and needs to demonstrate why they should receive a "proficient" or higher rating. 

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

What was the word today? Were there lots of new faces? Were there a lot of new folks with the last name Vacancy?  

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Michael McNaughton provides the perfect counter to FMM's preening editorial:

"When Miles graciously met with our board, we spoke of the gains in graduation rates and financial stability the district had made during the prior four years. We discussed the current weaknesses, including hiring and retention, communications, curriculum and culture. The district was making steady progress — similar to Aldine and Union City — and we offered our help and support.

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."

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

Michael,

THANKS for all you do for the children of DISD.

Unlike the BOT, FMM, DMN and the C of C, your heart is in the right place and your priorities are spot on.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

FMM's/DMN propaganda:

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20130818-time-is-now-to-change-dallas-schools-superintendent-mike-miles-says.ece

"Hitler on Propaganda"

"The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision."

"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely cancelled out.

Thus we see that propaganda must follow a simple line and correspondingly the basic tactics must be psychologically sound."

http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/people/DocPropa.htm

WhatYouWillNotRead
WhatYouWillNotRead

The DMN is at it again.

Let's poke holes in Miles' little editorial about himself.

If there were 1500 teaching vacancies last year at this time, Miles lied about that fact all year. He spent the summer recruiting cabinet members who are long gone instead of hiring teachers.

The $50M put in surplus came off the backs of teachers and kids.

The state STAAR results did not show growth, so of course DISD met them. How disingenuous.

Miles had nothing to do with increased graduation rates.

Miles hired a crook and the rest of his cabinet is gone. Enough said.

He is under investigation. Enough said.


Gimme some change
Gimme some change

Please don't make us get convocated.

Last year was enough, already.

Gimme some change
Gimme some change

The poster Enough is Enough Already sure sounds like one of Mile$'s peeps.  Or LBart incognito.

Gimme some change
Gimme some change

Doesn't Belo own both Ch.8 and the DMN?  The DMN is so slanted; is Ch.8 much different? 

E Kim Selim
E Kim Selim

This hit the national press and DMN picked it up. Watch McKenzie run with it.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/local-news/20130817-ap-norc-poll-parents-back-high-stakes-testing.ece

I am not sure how to best counter the message that evaluating teachers with tests is acceptable. I find many flaws on the STAAR EOC tests but nobody cares, especially parents. I find serious issues with valid added methods but again most parents do not care. As long as the tests confirm their child is bright it is difficult to change minds.

Suburban parents were quiet when Urban schools started to close but when the standards reached their school being unacceptable all hell broke out and the politicians scrambled. Now that the tests have reduced rigor again expect more calls to use tests to hold teachers accountable. They view it as a way to go after urban schools.

Did anyone notice the new accountability system does NOT judge schools based on ethnic performance, just gains? A cheap shot way to let suburban schools not address rigor as long as some growth is made.

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

@I Love Miles Well that sounds inspirational (you maggots... I'm guessing this has its origins in Miles' twisted version of stuff he learned at West Point??) The time is apparently NOW to begin the abuse based in flawed logic. 

To start below expectations implies that expectations are already in place. How could one who has not yet begun working have already failed to meet these? Why would they hire a bunch of ineffective disappointments? Maybe all will be revealed in Miles' Convocation Powerpoint: Star Trek references allowing for a rift in the space-time continuum have somehow shut off all logic and meaning?

Disrupted DISD
Disrupted DISD

@WhatYouWillNotRead

This quote from the article is interesting:

"Far from believing that the district is losing its best and brightest, Spencer thinks that the high attrition numbers prove that the move by the district to put a “tighter leash” on its teachers is working. A higher number of quitters is a natural consequence of holding them accountable for the job they do, he points out."

I would really like for the districts who say this to document this with the data to back them up.

It is my observation that many of the teachers who are leaving, at least in DISD, are NOT the "bad" teachers, but rather some of our very best.  

I think the district needs to put together the data on the teachers who resigned and those who were non-renewed.  They need to look at the test scores, grades, AP passing scores, poverty levels, LEP and SPED percentages, etc., the whole picture for each teacher.  I think they will be surprised at how well the teachers who have resigned and many of those non-renewed were doing with the population of students they taught.

Most teachers I know do not mind being held accountable for the right things.  They object to being held "accountable" for things over which they have no control, and for things which have minimal effect on the learning in the classroom but which receive unnecessary focus  by administrators, such as LO. DOL. MRS.

Quo Qu ohhh
Quo Qu ohhh

@Persona non grata Seriously? A picture of a Fellow? LOL. Miles is really turning the propaganda machine to 11. 

He doesn't even bother to prop the shots with kids anymore?

E Kim Selim
E Kim Selim

"The time is now. The place is Dallas". Expect that being said many times tomorrow. Next time GENERAL Superintendent Miles mention the SAT/ACT rates. It might be because they went down. Don't forget to calculate the percent of classes covered by a certified teacher in the content area of the course. Strange, I do not see the STAAR EOC results being better than other districts, where are you getting your information. Passing is slightly higher than random guessing so passing is really determined by the simplest 10-15 items on the STAAR test. You destroyed the careers of over 400 teachers without due process then hire 2000 more. The time is now. The place is Dallas to stop this nonsense.

13th Year
13th Year

@Persona non grata In response to FMM's "now is the time to change" piece:

Teachers are not defending "status quo", teachers WELCOME change that will benefit students--change rooted in practices that have some documented evidence of success.  Teachers want  leadership that respects us as professionals, and  that models healthy strategies of motivation.  WE ARE LOOKING FOR LEADERS WHO DO WHAT WE DO IN THE CLASSROOM, 187  DAYS A YEAR--NO WHINING, NO BERATING,WITHOUT  INTIMIDATION.    We know better than to try to motivate students through fear---why on earth did we have to live through last year terrified that a spot observation would end our careers?


Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Old joke about report card comments but appropriate with this video!

"1. Since my last report, your child has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.

2. I would not allow this student to breed

3. Your child has delusions of adequacy.

4. Your son is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

5. Your son sets low personal standards and consistently fails to acheive them.

6. The student has a "full six pack" but lacks the plastic thing to hold it all together.

7. The child has been working with glue too much.

8. When your daughters IQ reaches 50, she should sell.

9. The gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train is not coming.

10. If this student were anymore stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week.

11. It is impossible to beleive that the sperm that created this child beat out a million others.

12. The wheel is turning but the hamster is dead."

http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=2184451

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@E Kim Selim What about ELL graduation rate. At least in my book it's even worst than performance. You now have to track all ELL from 9th to 12th grade. What about the 5 years rate of graduation. Now they have to go back to 8th grade and make sure hey stay in school. I feel for Duncanville ISD.

VillageIdiot
VillageIdiot

This poll was paid for by the Joyce Foundation. This group is a strong advocate of Charter schools.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@Exceeds and Proud Our Idiot and our BOT instead to keep our excellent Bilingual teachers; they decided to cut the stipend so far  all of the near by district pay much more to them that Dallas ISD. $3000 Sign- in  bonus is nothing for bilingual teachers. The monthly stipend is what keep them here. Few years ago when Duncanvlle ISD got caught short with their program and were offering $10.000 sign-in bonus. They of-course took several from Dallas ISD. Mr. Cowan,  you need to move now and fix the issue, otherwise the district will pay later big time for this.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

"Every educator knows that a child's performance in school has more to do with what happens in their home than with their teachers. A child who doesn't speak English at home or whose parents are not educated will not do as well on tests. A child who has to work to support their family has less time to study."

The educators know this! The BOT and FMM, however, continue to deny this reality and beat up teachers who face nearly impossible odds. Yeah, pay for performance for teachers will fix it all...

http://www.wfaa.com/news/education/Study-shows-Texas-kids-segregated-by-language-220105321.html

The Best Me I Can Be
The Best Me I Can Be

So, just curious, but does any school in DISD actually let students have any recess?  In my 11 years with the district, the closest the school ever came was a few minutes after lunch, if the kids were finished.

Physical activity is important.  My students only get it if they have PE or are in after school programs or do sports.  No time I guess.  Then we wonder why the kids go crazy after a long day in academic situations, AND many have to endure tutoring after school, too.

Growing up I always had 2 or 3 recess periods throughout the day.  I did very well academically, thank you very much!

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@Book FairyThank you for sharing your link. I love the reference part of the article unlike the SH*T that Floyd puts out. Especially crapola from now recently earned PHD, Mike Schmoker "The Crayola curriculum"; He does not even have a "Reference" section. Did you that they are partner in crime; Schmoker is listed in several of the Focus training papers. Schmoker was a teacher in private schools only and an Adjunct professor. He has never held a state license to teach, but he will tell you how to teach in inner-city public school. 

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Please keep us posted on how your school does with blending Jensen's brain based learning with FMM's lockstep MRS. DOLLO. They appear to be the antithesis of each other. Also, overcoming the high anxiety associated with over-testing will be a significant hurdle.

The Best Me I Can Be
The Best Me I Can Be

@Pancho Villa @Exceeds and Proud I want to know how much $ DISD had to shell out to recruit, hire, and bring over the many new bilingual teachers from Spain, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and other countries to fill the bilingual teaching ranks.

johnnyBgood
johnnyBgood

@The Best Me I Can Be Good heavens, no. My question to all you teachers and administrators is could a campus schedule recess if they wanted to?  

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@The Best Me I Can Be Somehow, although I had 2 recesses every day of elementary school, I managed to be college-and-career-ready.  

I would not have sent my children to a school without recess.  Barbaric.  

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Persona non grata I'm an expatriate.  My new super tells new teachers that if they are not here to be for the kids then please go to HR and make other arrangements.  That's the harshest thing that I've heard.  I still shake my head in wonder about how different a school on the other side of the city line can be. 


Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@Gimme some change @Exceeds and ProudTEA and the FED's will never  buy it. It is Dallas ISD FU. They will fixed it. I think I told you about Duncanville ISD. Guess why they did not meet standard now? ELL graduation rate! They are done with TEA.

BTW we went through the same issue 8-10 yeas ago. it was when the stipend was increased to $4000.Every time they cut the stipend they hit the wall. I guess BOT have not figure it out yet. Mr Cowan did touch on the issue on the last BOT meeting.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@The Best Me I Can Be @Exceeds and ProudAnother new issue is that the Universities in Puerto Rico had problems with Dallas recruiters because they were taking the best new graduates before the Puerto Rican Education Department had a chance to recruit them. So they were limited to the access to schools. The issue is not local is regional. Now to make it even worst the Republic of Ecuador is looking for Bilingual teachers too. However, they want Ecuadorians first. They could take anybody else Especially Spaniards. The same language, religion, and close culture.

 

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@The Best Me I Can Be @Exceeds and ProudHere is the issue; the DISD recruiters are paid by DISD. DISD have never paid for transportation of bilingual teachers. What I know for sure is that DISD doesn't even pay for the Federal paper work, the working visa. The only thing that DISD pays is for the sign- in bonus. The district does not even have a retention team. This has been a problem for the last 20 years. Once the recruiter ID the bilingual teacher is basically handle over the AC department. I understand now that the specialists that work with these new teachers are only PART TIMERS. The disconnect is such that teachers from Spain only last one or may be two years out of their 3 year contracts. They do not care about them at all. They come back to Spain before the 3 year contracts are up. The Mexicans and Latin Americans teachers leave Dallas as soon they are offered another job by nearby districts. The Federal law does not care who offers the job as long they have a job. This is why DISD is having problem keeping bilingual teachers for the last 25 years.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@The Best Me I Can Be @Exceeds and ProudHere is the issue; the DISD recruiters are paid by DISD. DISD have never paid for transportation of bilingual teachers. What I know for sure is that DISD doesn't even pay for the Federal paper work, the working visa. The only thing that DISD pays is for the sign- in bonus. The district does not even have a retention team. This has been a problem for the last 20 years. Once the recruiter ID the bilingual teacher is basically handle over the AC department. I understand now that the specialists that work with these new teachers are only PART TIMERS. The disconnect is such that teachers from Spain only last one or may be two years out of their 3 year contracts. They do not care about them at all. They come back to Spain before the 3 year contracts are up. The Mexicans and Latin Americans teachers leave Dallas as soon they are offered another job by nearby districts. The Federal law does not care who offers the job as long they have a job. This is why DISD is having problem keeping bilingual teachers for the last 25 years.

Another new issue is that the Universities in Puerto Rico had problems with Dallas recruiters because they were taking the best new graduates before the Puerto Rican Education Department had a chance to recruit them. So they were limited to the access to schools. The issue is not local is regional. Now to make it even worst the Republic of Ecuador is looking for Bilingual teachers too. However, they want Ecuadorians first. They could take anybody else Especially Spaniards.  The same language, religion, and close culture.

This is why Bilingual Teachers and Specials Ed. Teachers have special laws written by the state to protect them from Chatter schools. They also need to be certified if they are in those position.

Dallas ISD has never been serious until the TEA came hard on them to fix the problems as they did 8-10 years ago; when the re-staffing became a big deal from PK-3 first and then 4th -6th. Do you remember all of those ESL teachers that DISD hired from out of state? They were never told the true story.

The Best Me I Can Be
The Best Me I Can Be

@johnnyBgood  We are told it's not allowed, but I remember hearing from some teachers that their schools have recess.

@A is for Abigail My boys have recess every day.  They do very well.

Some states MANDATE daily recess, knowing the importance of daily physical activity.

Gimme some change
Gimme some change

@Pancho Villa @Book Fairy What do you mean "TFU", Pancho?  Is the whole country starting to remind you of our south-of-the-border neighbor?

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NOTES
We know words are powerful and ideas even more so. Profanity isn't really necessary for emphasis or a substitute for passion here. Thank you.

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