DISD Won't Flunk Low-Performing Teachers

The Dallas Independent School District has changed its mind about a plan to fire nearly 600 low-performing teachers, the Dallas Morning News reported
The district issued an ultimatum two months ago, explaining that the contracts of teachers with low "Classroom Effectiveness Index" (CEI) scores would not be extended beyond the 2009-10 school year, unless they became more effective in the classroom.

"Following further review and discussion, however, that decision not to extend contracts to teachers solely on the basis of CEI scores has been reversed. Contracts will be extended to those individuals," DISD Chief of Staff Arnold Viramontes wrote Tuesday in a letter to Alliance/AFT, the teacher's union.

The index was created to measure how well teachers are contributing to their students' learning over the course of a year, but the measurement is based heavily on their students' scores on The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills, the statewide-standardized test.

Alliance/AFT filed a grievance with the district Monday over the use of CEI's to make employment decisions.

"If you are going to evaluate people, do it in a fair and just way that makes sense, that people understand, (so) that people can be given direction, as to how they can make improvements," said Alliance Aft President Rena Honea.

The 580 targeted teachers made up about 5 percent of the district's teaching force. They were either already participating in a performance improvement plan or were in the bottom fifth of the district's CEl.


Copyright AP - Associated Press
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