It’s back-to-the books for summer school students on Tuesday in Dallas, but not for many teachers -- a shortage has left DISD leaders scrambling to find instructors.
“I just think it’s awful. I just think if they had the interest of the children at heart, they would not do this,” says grandmother Brenda Strickland.
Strickland believes a teacher’s place is at the head of the classroom, teaching. She drove her grandson across town for summer school not knowing if he’d have class.
Teachers associations said hundreds of teachers are protesting summer school and taking a stand against Superintendent Mike Miles and changes in the district’s policies.
“It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with something better than that,” Strickland says.
“I think it’s the students that will suffer,” says mother Keitwanna Cotton.
National Education Association President Angela Davis argues it’s the teachers who have been suffering under the district’s heavy-handed management style, intense scrutiny and random evaluations.
“During the regular school year, the teachers were so stressed out that they just can't do summer school,” Davis says.
The district calls the summer school teacher shortage “critical,” but says it’ll make adjustments ensuing students are making the grade.
“We had planned to have class sizes at about 16 to 18 to 1. It may be a little bit more than that but we'll just have to see,” says DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander.
Many kids feel if they have to be in class, so should the teachers.
“There will be more students in each class and distract each other, and we won’t learn anything. There will be no point, pretty much, coming,” says Junior Ashley Guillen.
“I’m here to take a class I failed,”; says summer school student Lucero Castro.
“It’ll be the same, just fail again,” says Sophomore David Lopez.
Strickland believes this summer, it’s the teachers failing the students.
“When I was coming up, our teachers cared. They wouldn’t have dared do anything like this. It was about the students. It was caring,” Strickland says.
The district says it’ll know soon how extreme the teacher shortage may be, now that classes have started and students are registered.