The Solution

The past couple of days I have blogged about recapture funding, the tax ratification election (TRE), and charter schools – what is the solution to the funding conundrum? It goes without saying that the outdated Texas school finance laws must be addressed in the 2019 legislative session. It is also time to act on the recommendations made by the NAACP, the Network for Public Education (NPE), and the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and call for an immediate M-O-R-A-T-O-R-I-U-M on charter schools. We're currently funding a two-tiered system that is not necessary or sustainable. Charter schools are private entities that operate with public funding. (Read how recapture dollars fund charter schools

What's So Hard About A Resolution?

Dallas ISD is asking the taxpayers for a tax hike in the form of a Tax Ratification Election (TRE). On its website the District claims additional TRE revenue will be invested in early learning, racial equity, schools of choice, and strategic compensation. It’s interesting that the District has been very careful to note: one Board cannot bind a future Board. I haven’t seen such a disclaimer in the previous years. Perhaps it’s because in 2015, the voters agreed to approve a bond election if there was no tax increase, yet here we are. Trustee Pinkerton has put forth a resolution to ensure transparency and integrity by the Board. She’s asking her colleagues to formalize their intent to carry ou

TEI Myth of the Day

TEI Myth: TEI is needed to identify highly effective teachers. FACT: Master teachers and principals are capable of identifying the most effective teachers. - The initial cohort of ACE teachers were identified by principals six months prior to calculated TEI ratings, thus TEI was not a factor. - In 2016-17, only 31% of the ACE campus teachers were deemed "highly effective" and their average teacher retention was only 69%. Read the facts about TEI and ACE here. #TEI

TEI Myth of the Day

TEI Myth: DISD Turnover has been 14% with the TEI. Source: Dallas ISD, TEI: 2017 Overview and Update (November 2017, Presentation to the Board of Trustees) FACT: The claims of 14% DISD teacher turnover are inaccurate, and incorporate only partial year data. Dallas ISD presented this inaccurate information to its Board of Trustees and then to the Texas Commission on Public School Finance in support of TEI in February 2018. Dallas local media and the business community have also presented this inaccurate data. I personally provided the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board with the data from TEA refuting this inaccurate information and they chose not to correct the misinformation. #TEI

TEI Myth of the Day

TEI Myth: TEI is a great recruiting tool. FACT: TEI attracts new and inexperienced teachers, and encourages the exit of experienced veteran teachers. DISD’s turnover rate has nearly doubled from 12% before TEI in 2012 to 22% after in 2016. During that same period, the percentage of teachers with <5 years of experience increased by 8%. #TEI

TEI Myth of the Day

TEI Myth: TEI is a valid tool for evaluating teachers. FACT: The RAND corporation, in a study released in 2018, concluded that a multi-year experiment in TEI-type teacher evaluations, not only failed to improve teacher effectiveness, but also failed to improve academic outcomes, especially among minority and low-income students. TEI incorporates Value-Added Modeling (VAM), a method determined by experts in statistics to be flawed. Over a third (35%) of a teacher’s rating is based on standardized test scores. After spending over $550 million on pay for performance teacher systems, the Gates Foundation stopped investing in these initiatives because they failed to result in improved outcomes

TEI Myth of the Day

TEI Myth: Over 90% of teachers received a salary increase for the 2017-18 school year. FACT: Although technically a true statement, when you factor in inflation, rising health care premiums, and retirement contributions 81% of teachers received no increase or an actual pay cut. In 2016-17, 43% of teachers received $0. Until this year, librarians and counselors had not received salary increases for four years. Figure 1. DISD average salary increases by effectiveness level and the distribution of salary increases. As noted in the post yesterday, eighty percent of teachers are rated Proficient I and below, thus have an average annual salary of $56,000 or less. Figure 1 shows the largest aver

TEI Myth of the Day

The Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) scorecards for Dallas ISD teachers were released to some teachers this week. However, do to a technical glitch the majority of teachers still do not have their results. The cards contain a summary of the teacher’s effectiveness level and thus the pay he/she will receive. This is Day 2 of TEI Myth of the Day. TEI Myth: TEI is a pay for performance system. FACT: TEI is not true pay for performance, rather it is a targeted (forced) distribution system. No matter how great a teacher is, 80% can never be rated as “highly effective” in the TEI. This results in competition among teachers instead of collaboration. Here is the 110 page guidebook that explains

TEI Myth of the Day

The Teacher Excellence Initiative (TEI) scorecards come out today for Dallas ISD teachers. On these cards is a summary of the teacher’s effectiveness level and thus the pay he/she will receive. Join me each morning for the next week to learn the Truth About TEI. Myth of the Day: TEI places highly effective teachers in the low-performing schools. FACT: TEI and salary data demonstrates that TEI favors teachers at predominantly white campuses, high socioeconomic status campuses, and magnet and choice schools. Thus, TEI is not identifying high performing teachers, it is identifying teachers of high performing students who already have an advantage. In other words, TEI is biased and paying tea