Fantasy football is an interactive competition in which users compete against each other as general managers of virtual teams built from real players. This game has become increasingly popular, with people from all backgrounds able to participate.
Mike Miles will leave Dallas. This may occur within the next several months or his tenure may drag on, but the history of superintendents in Dallas dictates that he will be history after five years at the maximum.
We have witnessed the damage done to a district by a superintendent who is given free reign to pursue a poorly thought out agenda. What would happen with a superintendent given the same freedom to implement a thoughtful, research-based plan with input from actual teachers, principals, parents, and community members?
Our neighbors in Lewisville ISD are doing just that. A little over a year ago they held “visioning meetings” in which they gathered together all who were interested in giving input for the the new district plan. These meetings were professionally facilitated and similar to many meetings which Dallas ISD has held. They were very different in a significant way, however: Lewisville ISD actually used the information gleaned to formulate their new vision and direction for the district, parts of which they are currently piloting in some schools.
Would it be too much to suggest that this could happen in DISD? Is the district just too large to have meaningful input from so many people with so many different backgrounds? What would this look like if attempted? Would the effort be hijacked by the same old, same old, wannabe edu-reformers who foisted Miles upon us?
But what if it did succeed? What if we put together a process by which we could formulate a new vision for DISD- not a cookie cutter plan like the regurgitated Destination 2020, but a real plan, put together by teachers, principals, parents, and community members who actually live in Dallas, teach in Dallas, and use the schools?
What if we formulated the vision, direction, and plan for the district FIRST, and THEN hired a superintendent who had the abilities to implement this plan which reflected the true desires of those served by DISD?
There would be many, many areas to consider. Following are a few examples of the myriad of choices to work through:
How would YOU allocate the $1.2 billion in the DISD budget? Leave food service and debt service out of it for now, and just work with the General Fund. What should be your priorities?The budget drives what actually gets done in the district. The DISD budget process works off of the preceding budgets and merely adjusts the values. Rarely is an area shut down, even if it is ineffective and wasteful.
But this is Fantasy Dallas ISD. We don’t have to work off preceding budgets in this world. We could start by building the school faculties first: how many teachers, what kind, what classes to offer, how many administrators, office workers, etc. Then add in the supplies, textbooks, computers, curriculum, extra-curriculars…. do this for each school and use the remaining money for 3700 Ross.
How to best select, train, evaluate, and support our TEACHERS:
How do the teachers feel they should be evaluated? What is fair? Is PDAS a good system? What about the system which DISD has spent $1 million on so far, which was subsequently trashed by Miles? Was it any good? What would it really take to cull out the “bad teachers” and replicate the good ones? What about instructional coaches?
How should we integrate the new,constantly changing and very expensive world of technology into the classroom? We want all children to be adept in this field, and yet they need to have basic reading, writing, and arithmetic skills as well. Are there campuses already doing this successfully which could share their approach with the whole district? How can we ensure that every student has the internet access required for a technology based program?
OK, time’s up. Pull out your playbooks and start drafting your plan. This is just a start. Do you see how exciting this process could be if the public were invited to truly participate in Fantasy Dallas ISD- and even more so if the new vision thus created were actually implemented?