Friday, December 19, 2008

My Speech to the DISD Board, Dec. 18, 2008

Trustees I am here this evening to speak to you about keeping promises. A little over a year ago, you the Board, over our objections, voted to approve doing the Pay for Performance portion of the Teacher Incentive Fund grant. By doing so, you promised teachers that if they had a high enough CEI or SEI, which we maintain is still invalid and shouldn’t be used; had a 95% percent attendance rate; and, signed on for two observations would be eligible to receive money this December.

It is now December and time for those teachers who “did the dance” to be paid. However, many of them will not get what was promised to them by you because their campus administrators failed to do the second observation. Thus, tonight, I must ask you to keep your promise and approve Ms. Olson’s request for money from the General Operating budget to pay these teachers. However, with a little caveat: That if any cuts are needed to fund this money, it comes from the Administration’s portion of the General Operating Budget.

The teachers in question did everything you requested of them. Please do not punish them for the shortcomings of their campus administrators. Those responsible for this are the ones who should be held accountable and you should make sure of it.

With that said, let me be perfectly clear. NEA-Dallas will continue to oppose any “Pay for Performance” plans until our teachers have concrete, protected salary schedules that cannot be amended or waived each year as you and the Administration see fit. We will continue to oppose the use of the Classroom Effectiveness Index (CEI) and School Effectiveness Index (SEI) in any fashion as we feel these measures are invalid.

And, NEA-Dallas will continue to urge you to keep your promises to our employees whether we philosophically agree with them or not.

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