Within a two-week period The Dallas Morning News reported a 30-year old new hire for Chief Innovation Officer for Dallas public schools, at $165,000 per year, while two school janitors were put on administrative leave for purchasing hazmat gear to clean several schools after an Ebola victim had contact with five DISD students. The price of the hazmat gear was $6 according to the News.
It’s strange how the world of corporate education reform works. The Innovation Chief’s only prior service in public education was as a Broad Institute resident at the Department of Education in Tennessee. There he was a Special Assistant to Commissioner Kevin Huffman who is the ex-husband of Michelle Rhee. The Special Assistant role in Dallas schools didn’t exist before the entrance of Broad-trained Mike Miles, but the patronage position has been occupied by a series of boys with no campus leadership experience since Miles’ arrival. One of the latest hires was promoted into a high level executive position with a $40,000 a year raise.
True, the new Innovation hire received an M.Ed from Harvard in education policy, but according to corporate reformers, no pay differential should be awarded teachers with graduate degrees, especially graduate degrees in education. A new teacher to Dallas schools with a doctorate in physics would earn $47,000 a year while a Broad Institute hire with no actual teaching experience or campus leadership experience receives the sum of almost four novice teachers who might hold content doctorates.
Those of us who are watching the train wreck created by Superintendent Mike Miles and his seven board votes hold no illusions about entrance requirements to the Harvard graduate school of education. Trustee Miguel Solis, former TFA for all of two years, removed any doubts we might have had about entrance requirements to the Harvard school of education when he successfully navigated the program.
Apparently the pipeline between TFA and Harvard and Broad is filled with wealthy patrons willing to pay the bills on a year at Harvard where former TFA novices can learn to read secondary research on urban schools at a safe distance from any real responsibility for low performing campuses. The actual responsibility will be shoved off on teachers like those in Dallas high schools and who now have 200 or more students on their daily class roles due to the siphoning of taxpayer money away from campuses.
What we see of the Harvard graduate program in education is a way of supplanting actual experience and a track record in education reform with a piece of paper that moves its holder to the front of the line. Nowhere has this become more apparent than in the crony colonial TFA hires of Miles where former TFA novices are given opportunities and compensation way beyond their experience or credentials.
The New Jim Crow cronyism is high dollar and creates an overseer class in urban public schools. The overseer class in Dallas public schools comes from a web of former Teach for America novices and Broad Institute novices who expect corporate executive salaries after two years of teaching experience or Broad residency when they have no track record and no certifications.
TFA and the Broad Institute are the wellsprings of the New Jim Crow Colonial Cronyism. White, privileged children are given a stiff upper lip in five weeks of training where they are trained to hold their noses through two years of ministering to the masses. After only two years, still in their twenties, Colonial Cronies will take their rightful place on the public dole, but at salaries that maintain a middle and upper income lifestyle gone from the true profession of public school teaching.
The Colonial Cronies in Dallas public schools will be handed assignments to redesign public schools for minority children since the Colonial Cronies are allowed to fail miserably while they experiment on the children of the poor. Bill Gates will fund the Colonials as they personalize learning that sends more public dollars to technocrats. The fact that not one suburb surrounding Dallas, Texas would allow a former TFA crony with only two years of teaching experience anywhere near a central administrative or school redesign role tells all. The suburbs and private schools of Dallas continue to brag about their veteran teachers and about the lengthy track records of their principals. They have schools that work.
The Colonial Cronies continually pervert the anguish and sacrifice of previous civil rights battles to their purposes. While holding their noses through two years of teaching, Colonial Cronies then feast off taxpayer dollars while ignoring the fact that their skin color and social class connections, along with a little green paid to Harvard University, are their only calling cards. They have no expertise in anything. Allusions to civil rights battles only make the Colonial Cronies appear more ridiculous and absurd.
We’re just waiting for the day when DISD Trustees sit slack-jawed and sleepy while Miles introduces his newest transformation department: Office of the White Man’s Burden to be staffed completely with TFA.
No doubt the seven votes will be there along with all the funding needed.