Imagine my surprise this morning when I picked up my copy of the Dallas Morning News and there, on the front page, was the headline, “DISD No. 2 for its gains”. Even after all of the controversy: an $84 million shortfall, layoffs of hundreds of employees, and many, many more issues that would distract even the most committed of teachers and staff, the Brookings Institution says that the “Dallas ISD made the second-largest academic gains among 37 big-city school districts over a seven-year period.”
I really am not surprised, however. This report goes to prove what I have known all along: the Dallas ISD has some of the best teachers and staff in the country! We can all sit here and debate the statistical information and formulas used to calculate this claim all day long and then some. The Brookings Institution seemingly uses some of the same ideas in reaching their conclusions that DISD has created trying to show that teachers aren’t doing their jobs. But, the bottom line is though, through all of the adversity that our employees have faced over the seven years, they still have come to work every day and done the job that they were hired to do.
I will put the employees of the Dallas ISD that deal with our children on a daily basis up against any in the country. It’s the administrative personnel and Board of Trustees of this district that have been “weighed; measured; and found wanting.”
Yes, the District still has much work to do when it comes to student achievement. But, it’s time to reward those who make the successes possible every day. As the Administration and Board of Trustees are putting together the budget for 2009-2010 they need to reward our hard-working, ever-persevering faculty and staff.
They can do that by first giving ALL faculty and staff a salary step on the Board approved salary schedule! Second, they can cover the 4.5% increase in premiums that the TRS has put in place for health insurance during the 2009-2010 school year. And, then they need to recognize and give some appreciation to those employees who continue to make academic success in the Dallas ISD a reality by not making their lives any harder.