LIVE BLOG: DISD Board Meeting 5/22/08

FIREWORKS! Argument going on between Carla Ranger, Jack Lowe and Nancy Bingham over the creation of a policy committee.]

PRICE JUST HINTED THAT HE'S GOING TO BE "COMMENTING" ON THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD AT THE END OF THE MEETING!

Way to go National Champions Marsh Middle School Matadores!!

It's 5:36 and we're swearing in the newly re-elected Jack Lowe, Carla Ranger and Adam Medrano.

Judge Roy White is administering the oath of office one by one. First up, Carla Ranger followed by Jack Lowe. Medrano, however, was sworn in by someone else! Wonder what the story is there?

It's 5:43, and the newly sworn trustees are signing their contracts. "I think they got an increase," commented Lew Blackburn (DISD trustees are volunteers and not paid--officially, anyhow)!

Another issue that will come up later is electing officers for the Board. Will there be challenges to Lowe's current position as president?

It's 5:50 and the newly-sworn trustees are offering their thanks and praise to those who helped get them re-elected--and other things.

Next up will be the election of officers. Positions are president, 1st and 2nd vice presidents and secretary.

Ranger offers a point-of-order and proposed that the election of officers be postponed for one month. Nobody seconded it, so we're going forward with the election of officers.

Ron Price nominated Medrano for president. Lew Blackburn was nominated. Jack Lowe was nominated. Voting for Adam Medrano: Price and Medrano. Voting for Blackburn: Price, Blackburn, Medrano and Ranger. Voting for Jack Lowe: everybody else--so 5 votes and Jack wins!

Uh oh, for 1st vice president it is Ron Price versus Lew Blackburn. Each gets 4 votes at first so we're doing it again. This time, Price wins by majority.

Jerome Garza wins 2nd V.P. and Adam Medrano is secretary by default (no other nominations). "Looks good for you Adam," remarked Jack Lowe.

5:59 and it's the Superintendent's report. Subject: training and supporting principals to become instructional leaders.

By the way, the DISD website appears to be down and has been down pretty much all day. Somebody needs to fix it, eh? (UPDATE: It appears to be specific to Macs. Somebody needs to check it, eh?)

6:05 and Ron Price is giving the education committee's report. However, Price prefaced his report by saying that he would have some "comments" on the Board President. He is withholding his comments until the end of the meeting to "save our children's ears!"

So I guess we're going to cover the Board meeting and get to the White Rock Lake meeting a little late!

Two teachers are being honored as teacher of the year! They're going to get (drum roll) a pair of new Mercedes Benz automobiles to drive for the summer.

The only problem is they have to give them back, eh?

Standing ovations!

Next up--the South Oak Cliff boys basketball team. They are 4A State Champions!!! Four years in a row!!! Way to go guys!

Price chimes in to slam the news media and congratulate the players.

"Keep God first, keep your faith and know that Ron Price has got your back." Yeah, they'll take great comfort in knowing that. Too bad Price didn't say that in Spanish, eh?

[Watch the original "Oh?" video here.]

6:40 and we're still handing out resolutions. The Lincoln High School girls basketball team is getting an award. Not only did they get sports accolades, according to the coach, many of them got academic recognition as well.

"This group of young ladies exemplifies what it means to be state champions," said their principal.

Next up, the Dallas Skyline High School girls track team. Ron Price added: "they're not only good athletes, they're beautiful women too!" Price also commented that the girls are academically talented.

It's 6:55 and there is a 3" stack of resolutions yet to go.

7:05 - Hold that thought. We're on to the last resolution. It's the corps of cadets getting an award for national drill team champions.

7:15 - We blew through the speaker to agenda items and now it's on to the other items on the consent agenda.

Ranger, again, pulls the minutes from the consent agenda. But it, like the consent agenda, passes unanimously.

One item pulled for separate vote deals with false accusations by kids against faculty or staff.

Currently, there are no consequences for a false accusation. Lew Blackburn is talking about reminding staff that they can file charges against a student for a false accusation.

Blackburn also wants to strengthen the code of conduct but wants to toughen restrictions against students taping "disruptive" situations for posting on the internet.

Yes, heaven forbid we should show fights and other problem behavior! Somebody might take note, eh?

Ron Price is commenting and is for disciplining the child. Price noted that people don't remember the good things someone did for 30 years, but they remember the one false accusation.

But Price is advocating putting "teeth" in the policy.

Carla Ranger is getting into the "ethics policy" issue! Price's comments are coming up, we're sure!

Nancy Bingham pointed out that a committee was proposed to deal with the issue and that Carla Ranger turned down the offer to chair it!

Ranger says the committee was illegally formed. Lowe says he (Lowe) proposed the committee.

Ron Price is on a roll. He's starting in on the presidency indicating that the Board should be chaired by someone with no conflicts of interests--"someone who hasn't had to abstain on votes because of conflicts of interests."

Now there's finger pointing! This is getting good!

Garza: "point of order" - The crowd is not pleased.

Lowe notes that the policy being discussed, by Ranger, is not on the agenda.

Price kicks in and says he wants to get the ethics policy revised by the end of June and the discussion dies.

7:39 - On to the speakers on non-agenda items. I think we'll sneak out and go to White Rock.

Media Is Not The Problem

Blaming the media in regards to SOC's problems is off base. The real problems are those who change grades, and receive no punishment in regards to the matter. I am sure there are more stories out there in regards to grade changing which may surface until Hinojosa releases the OPR reports which he refusing to release. The goal is to shame the district into dealing with corrupt administrators who abuses their positions, and power. How can Ron Price champion education when he himself does not have a college degree.

[Ed Note: Actually, Price does have a degree. We've seen his resume.]

Price's Degree

Have you seen the degree? heck Donovan Collins had a "degree" and how did that work out for him?

[Ed Note: Not the diploma, but the transcript. I did an open records request several years ago and it was furnished. If you're so inclined, you might call Paul Quinn and confirm that he's a graduate.]

Price ESL Qualified?

So he IS qualified to lead our ESL program then?

[Ed Note: All except that part about speaking Spanish--that we've been unable to confirm!]

Price Could Save Us Money

You know....the school board meetings have to have a translator right? In the interest of saving the tax payers money, maybe Mr. Price could translate it if necessary...

Mr. Price

I watched most of the meeting from this week online the other day. I watched in amazement as Mr. Price, in his perfect English, basically try to question the President of the School board due to his "conflict of interests" pointing out that he thinks that the president of the school board should be a minority.

But in his next breath he says that the Board should come up with some type of policy when Board Members talk negatively about other board members.....didn't you just take an underhanded punch against the Board President?

Plus would Mr. Price prefer that we get someone, such as the gentleman who ran against Mr. Medrano, who has no clue what's going on in the district and is just running because someone should, or should we get someone qualified like our current Board President who is very transparent about his business dealings and recuses himself from those votes?

I was also impressed with the example that Mr. Price sets for all the students who "watch these meetings on cable or internet." I mean using the word "heck" and "damn" for those elementary school children who are watching is a great example. There are teachers and principals who give their kids detention or notes home for using those words.

Does anyone know if Mr. Price has a degree? He keeps pointing out that he has no conflicts...so I'm curious as to what kind of business he is in. I mean how does this man pay his bills (besides the district paid cell phone of course).

[Ed Note: Price has a degree from Paul Quinn. I can't get over the "perfect English" statement, tho! Wish you would blog every other meeting for us!]

Training Principals to Become Instructional Leaders?

Principals are instructional leaders! Aren't they primarily hired because of this competency? Sadly, I have yet to see the Principal here at my school prove to us teachers that he is such a role model of effective strategies. He stays in his office most of the time ( probably dealing with bureaucracy and politics, or surfing the net)and occasionally make those classroom visits to substantially comply with the requirements of PDAS evaluation. He has never seen or heard teaching model lessons. Neither had he shared with the teachers those things he had learned from national conferences.

I have seen good principals/instructional leaders throughout my teaching career. They are the kind who would spend enormous amount of time visiting the classrooms and observing the instuctional process, who would roll up their sleeves and teach model lessons, and work closely with teachers to improve instruction. These are the competent ones.

Hopefully, the proposed training would be one that identifies the perennially incompetent. The one that would drive them to change career. I would like to see this kind of creativity from the school district.

Videotaping

In regards to the videoing of fights and situations. If the taping was for a good purpose, ie trying to get more security or show a flaw in the system that would be one thing. However todays society tends to publicize and glorify the violence that it captures. It also encourages cyber-bullying and making a child relive that incident over and over and over again.

Tape it and give it to the police as evidence. Ok. Tape it and give it to the media to make a difference. Ok. Tape it and throw it on MySpace. Not ok.

[Ed Note: It's all in the context, isn't it?]

Then you write the policy in

Then you write the policy in a manner that would protect certain 1st amendment rights, but at the same time protect the victim as well.

Not to mention that cell phones aren't supposed to on or visible during the school day...

Blogging in Person

As much fun as it sounds, I kind of like remaining anonymous and blogging in person would probably kill that concept.

Besides DISD is much more fun that lights at White Rock Lake! I know the Woodrow kids are against it....makes it a lot harder to get drunk there if it's bright outside.

[Ed Note: Maybe you could wear a disguise!]

Lincoln?

Academic Excellence...shouldn't have said that in front of Allen or Kent because they will now look into it for "testing irregularities" :-)

[Ed Note: "rim shot!"]

Website

I haven't had any issues getting on it at all today....

[Ed Note: You're trying http://www.dallasisd.org, right? We're showing "HTTP ERROR: $CODE$ $MESSAGE$ RequestURI=/"]

Website

If I am able to get to the website, then I obviously am using the correct address.... :-D

In fact at some point during the day they changed the front picture.

[Ed Note: I've checked with 2 browsers on two platforms. It must be something with non-PC's. I'm using a Mac.]

Macs and PCs

I could point out the obvious that macs are not good computers...but that would just start a battle. I'm using firefox and it is working fine for me.

[Ed Note: I'm using Firefox on the Mac. They're awesome computers. I knew, eventually, I'd have to field a comment about Macs! I do have VMWare on this, so I run Windoze too.]

Price's Spanish

Now that was an excellent comment. I just spewed Dr. Pepper on my couch....

[Ed Note: At least you missed your computer!]

Missing The Computer

Heck yeah! Can't hit the computer....then I couldn't watch for updates!

Trustee Officer Elections

It looks like we have a slightly different slate of officers. While Jack Lowe will continue as President, Ron Price will return to a position he has held before; 1st Vice President. Jerome Garza will provide leadership as 2nd Vice President, while Adam Medrano will move from 1st Vice president to Secretary. I am proud of the elected officers, and look forward to working with each of them.

Some of you have thoughts about the officer election process. Express yourself.

Thank you for your interest in the Dallas ISD.

[Ed Note: Thanks, Dr. Blackburn, I didn't announce that we were going to be blogging this until right before the meeting--so I don't know how many live comments we're going to get. But we'll post 'em as they come in.]

Hey Lew

If you think that these guys will do such a great job then why not refuse the nomination for 1st VP and let Mr. Price have it? Show unity in the school board.