The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I worked for DISD for over 30 years as a teacher, specialist and campus administrator. I am worried, very worried about the children of Dallas and my friends and former colleagues still employed by DISD. I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good don't get very much attention. Every now and then, a positive report makes the evening news. Parents know when they have a good school and a good teacher. Things run smoothly without much drama.

The BAD-the bad get caught or noticed and their drama often plays out on this site. Some of the things done by this group are obviously wrong. Sometimes, their action upsets a certain group. Maybe the teacher or administrator has good intentions but makes a mistake. That mistake can really get blown out of proportion and the individual will have supporters and others working diligently to get them removed from their position.

However, I am worried about the most about the UGLY. They are out there as our campus administrators, teachers, or central staffers. We all know that admin. assistant that doesn't get the work done on time but the principal gets reassigned. That's ugly. Or what about that teacher you suspect used corporal punishment but resigns. Years later, you learn they are still teaching in the district. Yikes, that is Ugly!

Maybe they are those principals that the teachers like not because of the way they lead but are lax in their responsibiities. These principals are ineffective leaders; test scores and student discipline suffer. The interesting thing is they seem to remain employed in some capacity. Their schools hit low-performing and they get reassigned. People get "Riffed" and they get a new assignment.

But the truly "UGLY" scenario is that no-nonsense, "NEW" principal that comes in and sees each student and teacher as a number. Their test scores go up as the morale goes down. Highly effective teachers try to work with their new principal but that can be threatening to a new principal. Thus, they run off great teachers and are satisfied with good teachers they can control with their cruel words in the form of verbal or written reprimands. We don't read about these people too often on this site. Why? It's hard to prove discrimination or harrassment. Parents feel threatened, too threatened to speak up. Or maybe the DISD leadership KNOWS but as long as scores improve and complaints are minimal, they look the other way.

Hmmm, I worked in all three scenarious during my employment with DISD. It was wonderful to work with the GOOD. Their leadership inspired me to be a better person and thus a better employee. The BAD could be tolerated if they didn't interfere with the great teachers doing a great job. The situation depended on each professional taking responsibility for themselves.

Ah, but the UGLY was frightening. The first time I worked in an "Ugly" environment, my husband encouraged me to leave the position. I was relieved. I had a good reputation and easily found another position in the district.The last time I worked for someone in the "Ugly" category was truly ugly and it was the last time I worked for DISD. Maybe I thought I knew more than I really did. Maybe I was too eager to share what I knew. Maybe what I viewed as trying to be helpful was misconstrued. Maybe I came on too strong. Maybe I was "older" and had a medical issue. Maybe I would miss too much work for medical care. Who knows why but I knew it was "ugly" and I didn't want to be there. Within 3 weeks after I left, 5 other employess left. They had the support and encouragement of their spouses and families to go to something better. We didn't run away, we ran to something better.

Well, it appears the GOOD are in trouble if they are working for the Bad or the Ugly. There are very few places to go. Most school districts in the area have hiring freezes. Maybe the mighty leaders in DISD will pay more attention to the really GOOD out there, especially those veteran teachers that love teaching and are still making a difference, not just with their students but with the young teachers on campus.

DISD needs to deal with the BAD fairly and consistently. If the priorities are results, then now is the time to lay off these folks. The Ugly is still around. DISD can't look the other way after the anticipated rounds of cuts for the 2011-2012 school year. Many of our great veteran teachers and administrators took the retirement package and won't be returning. I assume many of the "Bad" will be weeded out.

DISD, it's time to pay close attention to the "Ugly", especially those that are campus administrators. Review the compplaints, take a look at teacher retention rates and morale. Then, take action, ease my worries. Show us that there are still many "GOOD" doing their best for the children of Dallas.

The good, the bad, and the ugly

DISD has always dismissed employees they don,t like and it will continue until DISD requie all administratotrs to take couses in Personnel Management. Most Principals make Personnel decisions based on gossip and opinions from other employees that basically are their Lackeys.

20/20 hindsight][ so many memories on

The UGLY has been exposed and we need "new" people to do education properly.

A flashback moment while stumbling around. 'Member 6 years ago? So many faces getting reassigned with a slick and shady way. Like a stinky mafia business. These folks are eager to pay the "Price" so to speak.
Is that what the FBI is asking about to the DA? How much of the Southern Dallas school people in the tree shaking buzinez are goin' down? Seems a little close to the lane with the Rolling Royce cruizing about like a mob leader, pounding his fist to get his point across to the other elected whoever?

The Good, the bad, and the ugly

Will someone explain this to me? The district was trying to reduce the staff to make-up the budget shortage. Who takes the buyout--teachers that had already been sent downtown because they were NOT going to have a job this coming year due to poor performance and bad evaluations. So they signed up for the $10,000 buyout and got it! Then we had several individuals at all levels that had retired and returned--the so-called "Retire-Rehires". These individuals jumped on the $10,000 buyout and got it. Now, several of these folks are going to try and come back again! Go downtown and you will see several of the folks that were cut and escorted out of the building--now they are back and sitting in a different desk. Was the big production strictly for the public's benefit????

The Good, the bad, and the ugly

Mary, I think you answered your own question. For the public's benefit, totally, I'm sure! So discouraging! I do know of several "downtowners" who lost their jobs but have not been "re-hired." Guess they didn't know the right people. Business as usual in DallasISD.

These individuals jumped on

These individuals jumped on the $10,000 buyout and got it. Now, several of these folks are going to try and come back again! Go downtown and you will see several of the folks that were cut and escorted out of the building--now they are back and sitting in a different desk. Was the big production strictly for the public's benefit????

Board Policies

Since district staff had to sign for all those updated policies it sure has cut down on the amount of blogs posted.

The Good, the bad, and the ugly

Big news--staff is let go at the administration building! NOT TRUE! People that were let go are just being given new positions downtown at the same huge salaries that they were receiving before.

Or they are being given jobs

Or they are being given jobs as head campus administrators even though they have never ever served as an assistant or associate principal a day in their lives, and those who have served are once again overlooked.

Well said. I also worked 20+

Well said. I also worked 20+ years for the district, I consider myself loyal, professional and a very hard working employee, so of course they have to let me go, and yes the UGLY managed to stay. Just check HR the past Exec.Admin.Asstt.for the previous Chief of HR... great salary, how did she manage to get that big of a race? when she is the most incompetente Admin. I've ever seen, but she still an employee as far as I know. Very few people in the district care about the main thing.. our kids. The let go the smartest people because some supervisors felt intimidated so what a great oportunity ahh!
By the way, what was the criteria used to laid off employees? Can anyone tell me? The media should really investigate now.

Non-renewal of contract

I have been working for the district for 19 years, 7 as teacher and 12 as an aid. Last week, an official from human resources came to my school to tell me I need it to sign a propposal for non-renewal of contract.She would not tell me what this decision was based on,but I know why. The pricipal had deliverely given me below expectation in all domains.Everytime she came to my room she would rate me very low no matter how well i prepare to when she would come to visit. She had a mission with DISD to unfairly let me go.

This principal has a reputation for being a BULLY.Nobody likes her and the ones that do are her favorites.Teachers and parents complaint about her, but nobody has the guts to speak up and expose her for what she really is, a DICTATOR. They gave me 15 days to decide wether to resign or to have a hearing to contest the non-renewal. I considered myself a good teacher and and have the support of teachers and parents.What should I do? Please,can anyone advice me on this matter. Thank you.

[Ed Note: I hope you didn't teach English or writing skills.]

What is really happening

To the editor: I know my spelling and grammar may appear terrible but this is due to the fact that I am so mad about being treated unfairly and that I think you are missing the point.
This same story can be told by many hundreds of innocent teachers in the last six years. They have been systematically given deplorable and unfair evaluations suddenly after 20+ years of excellent evaluations, non-renewal contracts and constant unjustified reprimands.
What is really happening is that the school district is engaged in systematic age discrimination to renege on step salaries that have been earned by loyal employees. These folks have dedicated their lives to the school district and the children while fat cat administrators are rolling in the money.
To us it seems that most of the administrators have turned out to be statistical fascist or that the district is intentionally recruiting people that are attracted to power torture tactics during this past six years.

You cannot blame teachers for retaliating when the system offers very little justice or fairness in the way it operates legally or otherwise.
Mr. Editor, we would like to thank you again for allowing us to vent our frustrations without being suspended or put on administrative leave.( like Mr. Drake)/
You are our only hope to fight the twisted administrative agenda that the school district spins out.

They can not if you file a complaint

All of the laws we enforce make it illegal to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise “retaliate” against people (applicants or employees) because they filed a charge of discrimination, because they complained to their employer or other covered entity about discrimination on the job, or because they participated in an employment discrimination proceeding (such as an investigation or lawsuit).

For example, it is illegal for an employer to refuse to promote an employee because she filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC, even if EEOC later determined no discrimination occurred.

Retaliation & Work Situations
The law forbids retaliation when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.

You can claim they are retaliating because you blog, and that they are systematically purging higher pay scale veterans out.

On the other hand, if you leave quietly, they have no bad reviews to keep you from getting another position(maybe) But you know what is best.
Constructive Discharge/Forced To Resign
Discriminatory practices under the laws EEOC enforces also include constructive discharge or forcing an employee to resign by making the work environment so intolerable a reasonable person would not be able to stay.

Well said

What was the criteria for laying off employees you ask. Supervision was told if you have anyone that needs to go now's the time to do it no questions asked period.

Supervisors?????? Criteria????

Our supervisors could not come up with any criteria for how Instructional Coaches were released from positions. Yet you have Supervisors without a Bachelor degree in the core subject they are supervising, without a master degree or Texas Supervisors/Mid Management Certification, and/or Adminstration Certification and who's salary ranges from $80-$90 thousands. They still kept their jobs and kept coaches who have shown very little or no growth on their campuses. I guess the criteria was like you or like you not????????

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

What a wonderful and extremely true post from "hadtoleave." I too experienced exactly the same thing. I was successful, my students' scores were exceptional and showed growth every year, students liked and respected me, parents trusted me, and I tried to be everything everyone wanted me to be. While I was working my dead level best to be better, many of those around me missed a day a week, never taught, never attended a school event, never ever went to professional development activities. Yet these were the ones that the "new" principal praised because they had "NO" failures ever. I guess not. When you don't teach anything, your kids can't fail anything. They also don't learn anything. It is amazing to me the incompetence in the administration, learning communities, and schools. There are no leaders. There are only those who want to be in control, those who have had a previous relationship with a high level administrator, or those who have been promoted because they were involved in some unprofessional activity.

I watched while all of us good people left, a few more each year. But the ones who were the worst, the ones who made life miserable for all the good ones, somehow have managed to stay. They have committed atrocities to students, parents, and other faculty members, yet the principal has allowed them to reamain and further ruin a school. When you have schools with principals who know nothing about curriculum, principals of high schools who have never been in a high school before and whose previous schools were low performing consistently, is it any surprise that the schools rapidly go down in every area. The sad things is that even when everyone knows what is happening, nothing is ever done.

Why wonder why DISD has the reputation it does. Each year more and more DISD residents send their students to a private or charter school to avoid the things I listed above. Each year a few more incompetent principals are presented to a school with not a clue how to run it, control the students, or manage the academic program.
And every time this happend , a large number of faculty members and students have their lives torn apart by someone who is only there to collect the large $100,000 plus salary they receive. How sad this is? I hear of one school who has 3 dance teachers. The core classes have 36 plus in every class while the dance teachers have less than 20 in some classes, yet no one can comprehend getting rid of two of the dance teachers and hiring 2 core teachers to lower the class numbers to a manageable limit. This is where DISD's priorities lie.

In closing, I wonder how long Jon Dahlander, the "meet the press" guru of DISD will be able to stand before people, look them in the eye and continue to lie just so he will have a job. Selling your soul to the Devil is certainly still alive and well in DISD, isn't it Mr. Dahlander?