DISD Teacher Turnover Reflects National Trend

The DMN headlines suggesting DISD turnover is high lack context

The thing I cry out for with the DMN’s DISD reporting is context. It’s whistling in the wind. I never get it.

Take today’s story about how 20 percent of DISD teachers left last year. Okay. That’s more than in past years. Is that because of the stricter standards? We’ve been saying for years that, since too many DISD schools send kids directly to jail, we must change something. So isn’t that level of change good? Are we chasing out bad teachers, or are good teachers leaving? The DMN doesn’t say. We get anecdotal evidence, and comparison with previous years in DISD (which tells me nothing — perhaps DISD coddled bad teachers before?). So with a bit of sleuthing (read: 10 minutes on the Internet), I found my answer.

This is about in line with national trends, especially if you consider the reform efforts going on and that Dallas is such a large, poor ISD. In Philadelphia, for example, turnover was around 20 percent and hit 40 percent in some schools during reform efforts in the early aughts. More interesting, at least to me: private school teacher turnover nationwide is about the same as DISD’s current turnover: a little over 20 percent, according to the latest numbers, which is where DISD turnover was last year.

In other words: carry on.


  • gimmethewooby

    Maybe if they sell the Providence paper they can acquire some context and perspective.

  • Uppercase Matt

    I was curious about teacher pay locally versus the average in the link you cited, so I looked at the Texas Tribune’s database. Now what I’m really curious about is what/why on earth we’re paying people who are listed in the “Excess Personnel” department at DISD? http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/government-employee-salaries/dallas-isd/departments/excess-personnel/828/

  • Casey Smith

    Not sure what is wrong with the reporting–the rate went up, they said it went up. But if you devoted the 10 minutes to Googling, then by all means, throw stones : )

  • Amy Hunt

    I see, so teachers nationwide are leaving in droves, not just teachers in Dallas. All this in the midst of a “reform” movement that appears to be explicitly aimed at denigrating teachers and driving out anybody with an ounce of experience or the ability to control a classroom. Oh, well then, nothing to see here. Everybody back to your knitting….

  • Wondering

    Eric, since you do know how to google, google the type of “reform” that is being inflicted on Dallas, and check the success rate. Just because someone labels a takeover, and calls it reform, does not mean that it is a good thing.
    Dallas teachers are leaving because of this destructive attack in the district. None of this so called reform benefits the students. More and more testing does not increase the learning if the students. It takes away valuable instruction time. Mandating teachers to teach with just one strategy negatively effects the students. It deprives them of experiencing materials in a more complex way. Teachers in Dallas have always posted learning objectives. Mike Miles did not invent this, not any other of the proclaimed miracle cures. All Miles did was attach acronyms, and boldly claim through his consulting firm that he had a new way to teach and students to learn.
    Eric, Dallas has been sold snake oil , labeled REFORM, and all that had no experience, and had not given much thought, suddenly jump in the bandwagon of fixing Dallasisd. Any type of change, that helped the students, would be welcome by the teachers of Dallas. But you see, Eric, what we have is not to here to benefit the children, but to get to that billion dollar budget.
    And Eric, Dallas teachers are not all bad. Dallas has, and used to have more, many excellent and talented teachers. The surrounding districts were very happy to get them. They were so happy, the district sent out letters threatening TEA action if the districts hired teachers who had not submitted their departure intentions soon enough. Dallasisd had to write many waivers for overcrowded classrooms. Many core subjects in secondary are taught by substitutes. The teachers that Dallas was able to replace have no experience. Contrary to what has been put out to the media, new teachers are not that good, especially when there are not enough experienced teachers to mentor.
    Teaching is not something that everyone can do. Most district value the collective knowledge and experience that veteran teachers add to the district.
    Dallas’ veteran teachers are not lazy, dumb and resistant to change. Quite the contrary, most teachers in Dallas are committed to the children, and are demanding that this destructive educational environment be changed. We see what is happening. We are in the classroom with the children.
    For the children.