Thursday, August 29, 2013

“Tell them about the dream”-- a teacher remembers - NSBA

"It was a good speech, but something was missing, retired teacher Harry Klugel recalled. Sitting near the front of the stage, Klugel, now 72, saw singer Mahalia Jackson implore Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to say something more. Klugel couldn’t hear her, but organist Yolanda Clarke could, and remembers distinctly what she said:

 “Tell them about the dream.”

Fifty years after the historic March on Washington, thousands of people returned to the Capitol Mall Tuesday to commemorate King's “I Have a Dream” speech and reflect on the work left to be done to ensure equal opportunity for all. Much of that work depends on the quality of our schools."

Click Here

National School Board Association - NSBA

Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer falsely says black board member Carla Ranger "clicked her heels, saluted and fell into line"

Black board member Carla Ranger had been a fiercely independent voice on the school board who often traded verbal blows with Blackburn and other black board members. But after Price declared Miles as Public Enemy No. 1, Ranger clicked her heels, saluted and fell into line.Hey, Mayor Mike: The School Thing Is Way Worse than a Simple Question of Personalities - Click Here - Unfair Park 
Well, let us see - "black board member Carla Ranger" - that is me. 

Just maybe I know more about this accusation than Jim Schutze.

Jim Schutze has invented the absurd fiction that Commissioner John Wiley Price influenced me to "click my heels, salute and fall into line."

What a falsehood.  

I was elected District 6 Trustee in 2006. I am now entering my eighth year as a Dallas ISD Trustee.

I have seen quite a bit in those years - good, bad and ugly. 

I know a little bit about the truth of what has occurred. 

Not once in my years of service as a Dallas ISD Trustee has Commissioner John Wiley Price or any other black elected official ever attempted to influence me in any way

Commissioner Price has never even spoken to me about any Dallas ISD educational matter. He has never called me. I have never called him.

Yet, without one iota of documentation, Jim Schutze has made a totally reckless accusation that is both wrong and dishonest.

I stand on my own decisions and every decision has been made by me and no one else.

Commit Executive Director Todd Williams - former Dallas ISD principal and executive director Eddie Conger opens charter school to teach in Chinese

Dallas ISD Trustees received the communication below from Commit Executive Director Todd Willlliams and Education Advisor to  Mayor Mike Rawlings regarding the opening of a new charter school headed by former Dallas ISD employee Eddie Conger.

The purpose is obviously to promote expanding charter schools.


From: Commit! - Todd Williams []
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 3:59 PM
Subject: New Dallas-area charter school to teach in Chinese

Eddie Conger, former DISD Thomas Jefferson High School principal and Exec. Director over the TJ feeder pattern for first few months of 2012-13 school year, opened a new charter school network with focus on language exposure.  Per attached article, they accepted 2,900 students out of 6,000 applications in first year. Certainly highlights strong parental demand for this feature given enrollment for a brand new concept; this network is the same size as Harmony's footprint in Dallas County after multiple years and 4-5x larger than KIPP (which also expanded in Fall 2014).  As superintendents think about potentially growing schools of choice within districts across the area, this is a concept that certainly seemed to resonate with certain parents and students.

New Dallas-area charter school to teach in Chinese

GARLAND, Texas (AP) — Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams was so impressed with plans for students at a new Dallas-area charter school to be taught in English, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese that he traveled from his Austin office to offer best wishes.

Williams attended an open house Thursday for International Leadership of Texas school, which opens charter school campuses Monday in Garland and Arlington, The Dallas Morning News ( ) reported.

"I came to praise the good in advance of you doing it," Williams told the audience that filled an auditorium. He saluted school leaders for their plans to make students multilingual and prepare them "for a world that might be a tad bit bigger than Garland, Texas."

International Leadership was one of eight charters approved by the State Board of Education last year. The charter school accepted about 2,900 students in kindergarten through 10th grade; it received about 6,000 applications.

Superintendent Eddie Conger, a retired Marine and former high school principal in the Dallas Independent School District, thanked current and former state board members for or supporting his school's proposal.

"If they had not voted for the merits of it, we would not be here today," Conger said.

Denise Toliver of Rowlett, a parent, said she was impressed by the school's diversity and mission.

"Leadership for a global world is exactly what we're looking for," Toliver said.

Charter schools in Texas are publicly funded but privately managed.
Information from: The Dallas Morning News,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dallas ISD teacher feels despised and not valued any longer


"2 Teach is 2 Touch Lives 4 Ever"

"Before I go to sleep each night, I say a prayer that I won't wake up. I don't feel valued any longer. Whether I attend a faculty meeting or read a news story, I feel despised at the end.
by disdteacher 6:37 AM"
Comment - Dallas Morning News

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pay for performance promotes adult cheating for dollars and exploits children for money - Dallas ISD does not need another commission with a corporate reform bias

"We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)"
 "We conclude that, in the field of public education, the doctrine of "pay for performance" has no place. Pay for performance is inherently corrupting and exploits public school children for the financial benefit of adults."
Pay for performance tied to student test scores should have no place in the field of public education.  

I have voted against pay for performance. I will continue to vote against it for reasons that are obvious:
  • It is a part of the corporate education reform model to privatize public education.
  • It exploits children. 
  • It corrupts adults. 
  • It promotes cheating for dollars. 
  • It creates competition - not collaboration. 
  • It places a dollar sign on student test success.
  • It does not work in public education.
The primary motivation for the cheating schemes of adults in Atlanta Public Schools was to obtain pay incentives all the way up to the Superintendent.

Research has suggested that pay for performance does little or nothing to improve student achievement.

The Debate over Teacher Merit Pay: A Freakonomics Quorum - Click Here
"There’s just one problem: educators almost universally hate merit pay, and have been adamantly opposed to it from day one. Simply, teachers say merit pay won’t work.
"In the last year, there’s been some pretty damning evidence proving them right; research showing that merit pay, in a variety of shapes and sizes, fails to raise student performance. In the worst of cases, such as the scandal in Atlanta, it’s contributed to flat-out cheating on the part of teachers and administrators. So, are we surprised that educators don’t respond to monetary incentives? Is that even the right conclusion to draw?

Pay for performance in public education (K-12) appears to result in a corrupting benefit for a few adults - but does little for the success of all children.

Former Atlanta schools superintendent reports to jail in cheating scandal 

By CNN Staff
updated 10:00 AM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013 

(CNN) -- The former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools was among the educators who surrendered to authorities Tuesday after being indicted by a grand jury in a cheating scandal that rocked the district and drew national attention.

Beverly Hall resigned from her position in 2011 after a state investigation into large, unexplained test score gains in some Atlanta schools. She has denied any role in the cheating scandal.

A Fulton County grand jury last week indicted 35 educators from the district, including principals, teachers and testing coordinators. They were ordered to turn themselves in by Tuesday, District Attorney Paul Howard said.

By 10:00 p.m., 27 of 35 educators had turned themselves in at the Fulton County Jail to face charges including racketeering, theft by taking and making false statements about their roles in an alleged plot to falsify students' standardized tests. Eight of them had been released on bond late Tuesday, the Fulton County Sheriff's office said.

In 2009, Hall was named the National Superintendent of the Year by the Schools Superintendents Association, which at the time said her "leadership has turned Atlanta into a model of urban school reform."

Cheating scandal hits Atlanta schools

First indicted educator turns self in

35 employees indicted in cheating scandal
But the indictment paints another picture of Hall, one of a superintendent with "a single-minded purpose, and that is to cheat," Howard told reporters last week.

According to the indictment, Hall placed unreasonable goals on educators and "protected and rewarded those who achieved targets by cheating." It also alleges she fired principals who failed to achieve goals and "ignored suspicious" test score gains throughout the school system.

Her bond was reduced from $7.5 million to $200,000, the Fulton County Sheriff's office reported.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dallas Morning News Editorial Board again makes a false statement - Dallas ISD Trustees did not employ Superintendent Mike Miles by a unanimous vote

The Dallas Morning News Editorial Board continues to falsely report that Superintendent Floyd Mike Miles was hired by a unanimous vote of Dallas ISD Trustees. 

The vote was 8-1 with Carla Ranger voting 'No".

DISD Board hires Mike Miles in 8-to-1 vote-WFAA News-April 26, 2012

"It took school board members more than two hours in closed session to agree on the terms of his contract. Trustees then voted 8-to-1 to hire Miles.
Carla Ranger said she had concerns and questions about hiring him.
When asked later what those were, Ranger would not elaborate."
Yet, the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board again makes the following false statement in its latest editorial posted on Wednesday, August 7, 2013:

Editorial: Miles’ public, private lives collide in decision to move family
"the same school board that unanimously hired Miles"

"And agree or disagree, who could want to start over with another superintendent search? It would be in the hands of roughly the same school board that unanimously hired Miles. And his departure under these circumstances makes the job exponentially less attractive to potential candidates, if any exist."

What is stated here is simply false.

Thursday, April 26, 2012- Called Board Meeting
  • The vote to employ Mike Miles - Carla Ranger voted "No".
  • The vote on Mike Miles'  Employment Contract - Carla Ranger vote "No".
  • The vote on Mike Miles' Interim Services Agreement - Carla Ranger voted "No".
Why does this serious misstatement of the truth continue to be repeated?

Again on Friday, June 28, 2013, the following statement appeared in another Dallas Morning News Opinion Blog written by Kevin Ann Wiley/Editor.
 "After all, Miles has made little-noticed progress on the majority of the goals the Board of Trustees laid out for him a year ago when they (unanimously) hired him." Disagreement or dysfunction at DISD’s board of trustees? - DMN - Friday, June 28, 2013 - Opinion Blog - Kevin Ann Wiley/Editor

This statement is also false, "After all ... when they (unanimously) hired him."  The vote to hire Mike Miles as Superintendent was not unanimous.

The recorded minutes of the Thursday, April 26, 2012, 7:00 p.m. Dallas ISD Called Board Meeting state the following:
  • 5. Discussion and Consider and Take Possible Action to Approve the Employment of F. Mike Miles as Superintendent of Schools - It was moved by Trustee Adam Medrano and seconded by Trustee Edwin Flores to Approve the Employment of F. Mike Miles as Superintendent of Schools
  • Motion passed 8/1 with Trustee Carla Ranger voting no.
  • 6. Discussion and Consider and Take Possible Action to Approve the Employment Contract for F. Mike Miles as Superintendent of Schools - It was moved by Trustee Adam Medrano and seconded by Trustee Edwin Flores to Approve the Employment Contract for F. Mike Miles as Superintendent of Schools
  • Motion passed 8/1 with Trustee Carla Ranger voting no.
  • 7. Discussion and Consider and Take Possible Action to Approve the Administrative Services Agreement with F. Mike Miles for Administrative Services - It was moved by Adam Medrano and seconded by Trustee Edwin Flores to Approve the Administrative Services Agreement with F. Mike Miles for Administrative Services
  • Motion passed 8/1 with Trustee Carla Ranger voting no."
  • 8. Meeting adjourned at 8:23 p.m."
To the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board - Please stop reporting false information on the Thursday, April 26, 2012 vote to employ Superintendent Mike Miles.

The vote was not unanimous. 

One Trustee, Carla Ranger, consistently voted against the employment of Superintendent Mike Miles.

Voting "Yes" to employ Superintendent Mike Miles
Nancy Bingham
Lew Blackburn 
Eric Cowan
Edwin Flores
Adam Medrano
Mike Morath
Bernadette Nutall
Bruce Parrott

Voting "No" - Carla Ranger