DISD Teachers Show Courage at the Convocation

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convo-2-dancingFor those of you who wonder if this blog is read and if it makes a difference, you can rest assured that it does. For those of you who wonder if teachers from such a big district can unite against the mistreatment of children and teachers, you can rest assured that they can—and that they did so today.

According to multiple teachers who attended the convocation, faculties from all parts of the city (Hillcrest, Skyline, Marsh, Sunset, Village Fair, and many others) sat quietly as Miles danced, showed video clips, played sappy music and pretended to be supportive of teachers in front of the media.

Remember that all of the teachers present were “volunteered” to attend by their principals. They were forced to board buses as early as 8 am and many did not return to their campuses until at least an hour after the spectacle ended. It was a wrong and unfair way to treat teachers simply so that a principal could curry favor and advance their own careers.

It took admirable strength and courage for these same teachers to then sit still, to reserve their 1 or 2 ovations for student performers and to only clap politely for Miles while they were in front of their principals (many of whom got their job through Miles).

Teachers report that they were handed signs to hold up as they walked in and that principals sat amongst them and cheered loudly or sounded air horns in an attempt to force “their” teachers (as if they own us) to join in.

What kind of principal would participate in the charade? It’s dishonest. All teachers want to do is teach the kids; teachers don’t want to be used by principals to either score brownie points with their boss or to make a failing superintendent seem popular. Teachers don’t have time for this; teachers have rooms and lessons to prepare.

And if you watch the news and see coverage of the nonsense, teachers who were there want you to notice what you don’t see: you don’t see crowd shots of cheering, dancing teachers because there weren’t any crowds of teachers cheering and dancing. (In fact, in a clip from WFAA showing Miles and his minion principals dancing, you can clearly see blocks of faculties sitting still and quietly in the background.)

Today’s convocation showed that it isn’t just the odd school here or there complaining about Miles because they don’t like change.

Today’s convocation showed that it is teachers from across the district—the ones who didn’t quit—who do not support Miles with his ineffective, destructive ideas and his contemptuous treatment of the only people in the city willing to get in the trenches with the kids.

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202 comments
CHOWUR
CHOWUR

God bless our teachers that have been bus drivers!  They teach during their driving job too.  Respect, manners, social conduct, etc...  Let the teachers drive the buses!!  It's not worth what could go wrong... even one time!

And no, I am not a bus driver!

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Just can't wait to read the Super's note to teachers tomorrow. Words from a leader with no followers...always inspirational.

MrGlen
MrGlen

To all of my teacher friends on this blog.  Good Luck tomorrow, I hope your day is a good one. Remember just as all good things must come to an end, so do the bad.  Rough times don't last forever.  I hope the joy of teaching comes over each one of you as you greet your students tomorrow. I will be watching from the sidelines.

Time to Go
Time to Go

I wish each and every DISD educator a great and wonderful new school year, especially those of you who are in it for the kids!

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Have a great year in spite of a hateful superintendent and Breach-Of-Trust BOT.

You: in it for the children.

Them: in it for $$$.

"Teaching is the only major occupation of man for which we have not yet developed tools that make an average person capable of competence and performance. In teaching we rely on the 'naturals,' the ones who somehow know how to teach.

Peter Drucker"

http://mobile.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/peter_drucker.html

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Is it possible there is big money behind DISD's woes? Ya think?

"You could, for example, contrast privatizers’ pro-charter-school propaganda with Stanford University’s study showing that most charter schools perform no better—and often worse—than traditional public schools.

You could juxtapose the Reuters story screaming “Private firms eyeing profits from U.S. public schools” next to the New York Times headline blaring “Hedge Funds’ Leaders Rally for Charter Schools.”

You could consider that the most prolific fundraiser in the education “reform” movement is not someone with a stellar record of education policy success, but instead Michelle Rhee, the former Washington, D.C. schools chief whose tenure was defined by a massive cheating scandal.

But maybe the best way to see that profit is the motive of the education “reform” movement is to note that no matter how many kids they harm or how many scandals they create, Bennett, Bush, Rhee and other privatizers continue getting jobs, continue being touted as education “experts” and continue raising huge money for their cause.

Thanks to that dynamic, education politics is spotlighting a fact that should be taught in every civics class. It is a fact that contradicts the pervasive rhetoric about meritocracy, but it is, alas, a fact: If you are backed by enough money, you will almost always retain your status in America - no matter how wrong you are and how many lives you ruin."

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/a_civics_lesson_from_americas_education_debate_20130815/

Ft Worth bound
Ft Worth bound

This is a reply to something farther down.  I couldn't get my response to post.

Since I've just changed districts, I've retaken PDAS training. Observations are not allowed to start until three weeks after the first day of classes. They must also end 15 days before the last day of classes. If Dallas is using PDAS this year and they do not follow these restrictions, then you have a very serious complaint to take to the state. If they come in with iPads to observe and try to use that as part of their documentation, fight them. It's against the PDAS rules and should not be done.

DOL doo doo
DOL doo doo

GOOD LUCK TO THE:

S T U D E N T S . . & . . T E A C H E R S  OF 

D A L L A S  . .   I S D

“A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.”

retiredteacher
retiredteacher

Wishing all of you an excellent start tomorrow with your students. Keep Miles totally out of your minds as you begin the year.

Hopefully Coggins' report after Labor Day will give the BOT the evidence needed to rid us of Miles' nefarious presence.

S54 Time
S54 Time

Whatever comes from this investigation out after Labor Day, I strongly encourage all teachers to have a Plan B.  I can't speak for all of us, but my summer was my epiphany, and I am moving in a different direction.   I am making this a great year because I will not let the foolishness of downtown get to me.  My career change is set in motion, and I will be damn sure this 15th and final year of being an educator will be on MY terms.  It is unwise to think anyone of us is safe and it must be every man for himself.

We can go forth and do the best we can for our students, but each of us deserves a life free of the kind of stress this job asks of us, total disregard for the work/life balance and taking care of our own children!   I love being able to teach, but now I see myself putting that skill set to use in a different industry.  I still have a lot to give, and I want it to be in a non toxic environment where I picture going to work as an exciting en devour!

God bless each of us facing the day tomorrow, may all of you have the best year you can, and take care of yourself :)

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

If our bona fide IDIOT thinks his new format for a lesson plan is going to improved education in Dallas ISD, He is smoking oregano instead of the wacky weed.

Retaliation Time
Retaliation Time

If Miles is forced to step down, the all important, young and illustrious instructional coaches will be reintroduced to the classroom. No need for high hopes.

FamilyGuy
FamilyGuy

Nothing is going to happen to Miles.  Either we have to embrace our abuser or get a new job.  He is here to stay.

dustbunny2020
dustbunny2020

Our convocations were all about miles.  He did not care if we could see or hear them.  He just wanted to show movies, dance with children, and prance in front of a bunch of weary, confused and frightened adults.  Sort of like an abusive spouse who makes you dance with him/her after  slapping you around.  If he cared about children, he would not have stopped us from teaching.  He made us give up researched based best practices to apply his one size fits all tom-foolery to our classes.  He is a failure as a leader and he is making us fail.

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

I went to convocation in my new district yesterday.  It was very different from the one I watched on Monday.  To begin with there were not technical difficulties. A jazz band made up of students from around the district played as we walked in.  You could hear a lot of happy chatter, you could see friends greeting and hugging friends from other schools.  The theme for the year was projected on a screen -- HEROES and two students got up and talked about why the teachers were their heroes.  The super got up and introduced the guest speaker ( http://www.jamievollmer.com/home.html) .   Many of you have heard the "blueberry ice cream" story-- He's the ice cream guy who got schooled by a veteran teacher.  He talked about how testing was a debacle and that education across the country needed repair.  A choir of mixed middle schoolers sang beautifully and we were dismissed. It was a great talk and we were back on our campus before eleven.  

That is how a convocation should be.  Sigh.

Persona non grata
Persona non grata

Has Alan King, as internal auditor since January, had a role to play in DISD's never ending brouhaha?

I thought his hiring by the BOT would generate some news...nope, just crickets is all I hear.

Think
Think

This will be my first post on this blog, The DMN blog has to many fakers who just try to stir up trouble. I am a DISD teacher in Oak Cliff and this year is going to be interesting. My principal was one of the few cool-kid drinkers who got up and danced. So far this year the entire faculty has been threatened with non-renewal if we have "big egos and won't work with the Administration team". We have been told every two weeks one of our planning periods belongs to the principal, "Voluntary" (see big ego and willing to work) We will have meetings every day in the core groups which will not allow for tutoring which is mandated by the Federal Title One  program, but that is okay because we have 5 instructional coaches who are being paid through Title One. The principal and there administration have not provided the following to the teachers for Monday; scheduled for the day, lunch scheduled, ID badges, and if we have a meeting on Monday from 8:15-8:45 (PLC) on the first day. We will have over 2000 students on Monday and the staff has been told to monitor their hall way and enforce dress code on day one. (I do not disagree with the enforcing of dress code) However the hall monitors will have a tough year this year as their duties are expanding however the numbers we go on Friday were at least 200 students short on the count. We have lost some of our power and a few of us have lost jobs we did for free to help and when they come and ask for our help it will be hard to get anyone to say yes.

Undertheradar
Undertheradar

@Ft Worth bound Dallas policy states that spot observations are not formal PDAS but can be included as supporting material.  As such, they are not subject to those restrictions.  If Miles really had it in for someone, they could probably follow them into the restroom and note that they place the children (as if they care) at risk by not washing their hands.  They might even get me because before we got light sensor faucets and blow dryers (touch free) I felt cleaner going back and using one of the pump hand sanitizers in my room.

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Ft Worth bound Thanks, I knew someone would know.  I think there are other restricted days during the year also.  

Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@retiredteacher Indeed, I know some of you want to go out in a blaze of glory. You can do it!! You CAN teach the children. Good luck everyone. 

Teachernomore
Teachernomore

@CMF Congratulations,   this  my  10th  year  as  an  educator  and  the  last  I  hope,  and  I  am  trying  to  move  to  another  profession,  enough  of  never ending  and  useless   staff  development,  enough  of  administrators,  enough  of  more  work  and  less  pay every  year.  I  do  not  want  to  hear:  "All  for  the  kids"  "Teaching  is  a   call"  etc.    "Not  anymore".

I  wish  you the  best  in  your  new  path.

S54 Time
S54 Time

@FamilyGuy Somedays I think Miles will get the boot from the BOT after this investigation, and some days I doubt it.  I don't want to cling to any one idea, but inside,  I've prayed so hard for the boot applied swiftly to the a**.

Pancho Villa
Pancho Villa

@FamilyGuy I really do not think so. That money will be use to pay for the Bilingual teachers' stipend that we do not have because of them. We do not need Instructional Coaches, but we do need Bilingual teachers.

A is for Abigail
A is for Abigail

@dustbunny2020 Your abused spouse analogy is perfect and so true.

This time, though, the abused teachers said, "Enough."

Pictures, videos and eyewitness reports say the teachers sat more or less silently unless students were performing or speaking.  Cheers were from principals mixed into the crowd.  The parade of graduates, however,  got a standing ovation.  

Miles NEVER got a standing ovation or even overwhelming applause, except when he said charters were not part of the school choice he referred to.

The teachers at the schools forced to attend did not act like abused spouses.  Hats off to those teachers.  

Note to EDs:  You need us and we are not afraid of you anymore.

S54 Time
S54 Time

@Book Fairy I remember how convocation is supposed to run, you see I worked in your district for 9 years. I witnessed 2 convocations with  brilliant. key note speakers: one was the author of the Freedom Writers Diary, and another year it was the man who wrote The Essential 55.  We heard him the same week a TV movie appeared on cable about his life!   ALL of the convocations were uplifting and fun!  DISD doesn't have a clue, instead it's all a continuation of the 3 ring circus with head ringleader MM, always sure to be a downer :(

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@Book Fairy I remember back in the day when Dallas use to invite students to sing, perform and assist in any way they could for Dallas ISD events. Too bad FMM didn't have the forethought to invite our kids to do the same. Dallas has some wonderfully talented students! 

collateralDISDamage
collateralDISDamage

"Miles had a good relationship with his board in the Harrison School District 2 in Colorado Springs, according to district administrators and board members who were interviewed when Miles was hired last year.

He has not, however, had a harmonious relationship with all DISD trustees and now has only two strong supporters."

Morath and Bingham?

collateralDISDamage
collateralDISDamage

@Think  Thank you for speaking out. I hope many teachers use this blog as a central clearing house to report their experiences. This district is huge, and anything that is happening to you is probably happening to a whole bunch of other dedicated, talented educators who are just trying to do their best work for the students, in spite of all this insanity. There is strength in numbers.

Please continue to speak out - I think it it therapeutic for others to know they are not suffering alone. Part of the strategy of this regime is to silence opposition or questioning. Hopefully more first-time-posters will follow your lead, along with all the retuning or continuing blog participants whose contributions have been the one thing that kept me from losing my mind more than once last year.

S54 Time
S54 Time

@Teachernomore   Back at ya!  I say AMEN to your comments.  I realized over the course of last year that I still like teaching, but not in public school.    NO amount of $ is worth what this insane district puts us through.  I firmly believe that since NCLB our public school system has gone down the toilet.  Add all testing BS, endless paperwork, and the teacher blame game it's no wonder this industry has such a high turnover.  I honestly would talk anyone today out of pursuing teaching as a career!!  On top of that, we've been required to work in a chaotic and abusive district.   The whole thing breaks my heart really, I know when I turn in my S-54 next spring that this business is losing a good one, someone who has given it her all and cared so much.
 

twilight zone
twilight zone

@Pancho Villa Correction, SOME of us don't need instructional coaches. However, I've worked with more than a few who could use a substantial amount of coaching to get up to par on instruction. The key to saving money is figuring out who needs coaching and using precision rather than painting the district with a broad brush approach. 

dustbunny2020
dustbunny2020

@A is for Abigail @dustbunny2020 This blog makes me feel better and stronger.  My lesson plans are completed.  My room is ready.  I am looking forward to meeting my students.  I hope we are allowed to teach.

collateralDISDamage
collateralDISDamage

@CMF @Book Fairy Was anyone else at the exercise in cognitive dissonance last year that was the New Teacher Training Mini (or practice?) Convocation? Harry Wong spoke, along with his wife, and then out came Floyd!!! My head was spinning.

Retaliation Time
Retaliation Time

@BlueBonnet

You and I both know good and well that this is all about the "Commander's Intent." The dancing, the core beliefs, the goals, etc. are all about Commander Miles and no one else. But for now, we are raining on his parade. If it's in his future plans to run for office (Secretary of Education),  . . . not looking too promising right now.

Keep raining, thundering, flooding on the Commander’s parade.


Think
Think

@CMF @Think  if you follow the DISD blog on the DMN you know the answer to that. How ever to save time you are correct


Book Fairy
Book Fairy

@Pancho Villa @Think  The only non HS that has that many kids is Greiner.

Undertheradar
Undertheradar

@dustbunny2020 @A is for Abigail We all better hope so.  We got strong hints from our Principal to have complete lessons planned for Monday as if the visits will begin immediately.  The least time possible spent on orientation.  They won't learn our procedures all in one day but over time and with repetition, just like the material.

collateralDISDamage
collateralDISDamage

@CMF @collateralDISDamage @Book Fairy That's right, the distinguished Academy. 

...and here we are, a year later, no Wongs, only this perpetually-naked emperor. What is happening in public education is becoming another example of the rich and powerful experimenting on the poor and underprivileged.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unethical_human_experimentation_in_the_United_States

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41811750/ns/health-health_care/t/ugly-past-us-human-experiments-uncovered/#.Uhl99GTwLj0

I realize I'm being a bit melodramatic (cue soaring music...) but the tone has been set. Besides, suffering through the dancing charades and disingenuous Convokery could probably qualify as torture by guidelines set forth in the Geneva Convention. The guy definitely has Cold War field experience.

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@CMF@collateralDISDamage@Book Fairy

I too remember when I was a new teacher for Dallas. That summer I was fortunate to be able to hear Harry Wong twice; once with the AC program (not DISD) and the other was for the NTO. Of course that was pre-Miles and we were able to attend training based on our teaching placement that was relevant to our classroom! Oh how I miss the days when educators ran education! 

I wonder if Miles has ever heard of Piaget, Vygotsky or ZPD (zone of proximal development) I wonder if he is aware of the greatness these two researchers and how ZPD has nothing to do with MRS and everything to do with true education!!!!


S54 Time
S54 Time

@collateralDISDamage @CMF @Book Fairy Yes, I was at the "New Teacher Academy Convocation" last year at Molina.  I got to hear what greatness in education is when Harry Wong and his wife did an outstanding presentation.  Then.........out comes our dictator who later managed to stand for EVERYTHING AGAINST what the Wong's talked about!  Why did this district even fly them in to speak to us since they were certainly going to introduce concepts on good and effective teaching and how to get your year off to a good start?  

   Then we had to report to our new campus and "learn" all this LO/DOL/MRS/BS that is completely the opposite of what the Wong's said!!  To top it off, Harry Wong mentioned how critical having time to prep for the year was to getting things off to a good start, and DISD didn't even give us a workday last year!  So typical........

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@Pancho Villa

How did his sister get appointed? She's just as clueless as he is!!!!!

BlueBonnet
BlueBonnet

@Retaliation Time

We need to make "in it for the kids" as the main requirement for FMM's replacement! 

Retaliation Time
Retaliation Time

@Pancho Villa

My point is whether it's being appointed or running for office, it's not looking too good for him.

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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