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32 Major Systems Problems in Dallas ISD

32 Major Systems Problems in Dallas ISD

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Published by: The Dallas Morning News on Oct 08, 2012
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07/10/2013

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DRAFT

Major System Areas Needing Improvement
Item System problem Impact/ notes Assigned to: revised 1 Oct 2012 NLT Date for systemic solution

Philosophy/ Culture
The technology committee, which reported its findings in July 2012, noted that the District lacked a culture of continuous improvement. Employees are overall satisfied with modest gains or minor changes to the status quo. We need to build an organization that strives for excellence and that understands the need for significant change. Prior to this school year, key actions or goals were not closely tied to indicators of success. The degree to which actions and goals were accomplished were not rigorously assessed. Poor performers have not been held accountable (for example, weak teachers and principals have been moved to different positions). If we are going to maximize effectiveness, we must raise the level of accountability. What gets feedback gets done better. Teachers and principals are not used to getting regular and effective instructional feedback. There will be some resistance to changing this paradigm, making it harder to keep the focus on instruction. Data is currently lacking integrity given numerous loopholes, patches, work-arounds, and lack of consistent departmental and business unit reconciliation. This makes talent planning and need identification extremely difficult and hard to validate. When a principal is looking for a teacher to fill a position, she has to go through numerous applications. It sometimes takes a couple of months to hire a candidate; in any case, we are losing numerous strong candidates because it takes too long to hire a person.

1

Create a culture focused on continuous improvement

Mike Miles

1-Jul-14

2

Raise the level of accountability

Mike Miles

1-Jul-14

3

Develop a culture of instructional feedback

Sylvia Reyna

1-Jul-13

Human Capital Management 4 Implement Appropriate HRMS and End User capabilities

Charles Glover

1-Jul-14

5

Streamline hiring systems

Charles Glover

1-Oct-13

1

DRAFT
Item System problem Impact/ notes Assigned to: NLT Date for systemic solution
1-Jun-13

6

7

predictive of success in the new paradigm. By most accounts, evaluations are perfunctory. Teachers are Redesign teacher and principal not observed regularly and their evaluations are neither evaluation processes to make them accurate nor rigorous. Principal evaluations are similarly routine and meaningless. fair, accurate, and rigorous (FAR)

Design and build performance- Currently we do not have effective processes to identify and based selection and recruitment recruit high performing individuals for our schools, classrooms, and central office positions. This model must be model

Charles Glover

Charles Glover/ Mike Miles

1-Jul-14

8

Establish effective position control mechanisms

Without effective position control, schools are improperly staffed and human resources are not used effectively. Our current processes are weak. Poor position control also increases the time positions remain vacant. We should not wait until October to adjust class sizes and "level." The process should also take into account student enrollment trends, programmatic requirements, and hard to fill subjects. The entire process of developing routes is flawed and results in numerous problems (especially in the first month of school). Dallas County also is not delivering high quality service (for example, not having enough bus drivers). This results in numerous students not attending school or being late to school. Given the decrease in the number of custodians and the new expectations for building cleanliness, we must implement a new work schedule and effective processes to meet higher standards with fewer employees in this area.

Charles Glover/ Sylvia Reyna/ Kevin Smelker

1-Jul-13

9

Establish an effective leveling process

Charles Glover/ Sylvia Reyna/ Kevin Smelker

1-Oct-13

Operations Monitor and drastically improve system to transport students to and from school

10

Kevin Smelker

1-Oct-13

11

Revamp custodial services

Kevin Smelker

1-Jul-13

2

DRAFT
Item System problem Establish high standards for the cleaning, maintenance, and repair of schools Impact/ notes Assigned to: NLT Date for systemic solution

12

13

Prioritize non-bond work orders

14

Create processes to manage facilities and assets and to effectively distribute student enrollment

The standards for the cleaning and maintenance of our buildings and grounds are too low. Again there is low accountability for doing a poor job. We need to work more Kevin Smelker effectively by restructuring the organization, automating work order inspections, and developing procedures to support initiatives. There is currently no process to prioritize non-bond related work orders. This causes operations to be reactive and done Kevin Smelker on a "first-come, first-served" basis regardless of the impact of the problem. We need to improve the analysis of student enrollment trends and anticipate growth and decline of numbers of students in different areas of the District. We must assess our Kevin Smelker and Alan capital assets and infrastructure and more effectively use our King schools and other buildings to meet the needs of students and the District. Implement plan to upgrade financial software to take into account loss of support of Oracle and to align with HCM and other software. The filing system for contracts and bid documents must be centralized in one location with all the necessary supporting documentation. System should be consistent and readily accessible by anyone in the purchasing dept. In addition, contracts must be controlled so that board approved authorizations are not exceeded. This includes improving supply request processes and the delivery of supplies to the schools. Currently, the District budget is not driven by instructional priorities and key actions established by the Department of School Leadership and the other departments. We must establish an action planning and budgeting process that is more tightly aligned.

1-Jul-13

1-Jul-13

1-Jul-13

Budget and Finance 15 Update financial software
Alan King/ Kevin Smelker 1-Jul-13

16

Update processes for filing and tracking purchasing contracts

Alan King

1-Jul-13

17

Align resource use and allocation with Key Actions and instructional priorities

Mike Miles/ Alan King

1-Jul-13

3

DRAFT
Item Technology
Currently there are multiple technology platforms for different data that are used in the district's business processes. Because these have grown up over time as needs arose,  the  systems  don’t  “talk  to  each  other”  and  there  are   separate access and security procedures for each. Staff need to have multiple logins for the different platforms, which hinders the efficient use of these tools. School leaders need to  be  able  to  see  pertinent  data  “at  a  glance”  and  have   multiple views of similar data to figure out what the problems really are. While some instructional products and services are available on  the  district’s  internal  website,  educators  in  the  system  do   not have access to comprehensive, powerful technology to guide learning for each student. Technology that can assist in the assessment of specific standards where students are not proficient with maps to the learning objectives so that student groups can be formed would assist in both planning and lesson implementation. In addition, classroom technology tools such as video and audio equipment, and iPADs would increase the power of classroom instruction by adding multiple modes of instruction. Because of the District's security system, students have difficulty using purchased software (e.g. -- Notepad at Townview)

System problem

Impact/ notes

Assigned to:

NLT Date for systemic solution

18

Integrate and align technology platforms

CTO

1-Jul-14

19

Expand the use of technology to teach the standards

CTO/ Ann Smisko

1-Jul-14

20

Expand student access to technology resources

CTO/ Ann Smisko

1-Jul-14

4

DRAFT
Item System problem Impact/ notes
There is not a cross-referenced database that is inclusive of all segments of Dallas ISD including donors, voters, parents, community partners, volunteers, etc. There needs to be a more streamlined and effective approach to supporting parental volunteerism and to engaging parents. We need to review our current surveys and the information/data we collect regarding customer service. There is no effective process to improve customer service and very little accountability for poor customer service.

Assigned to:

NLT Date to improve

Communications 21 Develop stakeholder database Expand volunteer recruitment and engagement
Jennifer Sprague 1-May-13

22

Jennifer Sprague

1-May-14

23

Improve customer service

Jennifer Sprague

1-Sep-14

Instruction and School Leadership 24 Align the curriculum
The new STAAR and EOC exams with more rigorous standards require the District to realign the curriculum. This requires new curriculum maps and new interim assessments. We need to create numerous assessments in the non-core subjects and grades. We are also printing hundreds of thousands of assessments on paper; we need to develop mechanisms to administer assessments electronically. We need to create a system to evaluate class schedules to identify inefficiencies and disparities in teacher class loads and/or teaching periods. This will also assist in efforts to ensure that all schools have standard course offerings, class loads and teaching periods. Ann Smisko 1-Jul-13

25

Create assessments in the noncore area; create on-line assessments

Ann Smisko

1-Jul-14

26

Reduce disparities in teacher class loads and teaching periods

Sylvia Reyna

1-Oct-13

5

DRAFT
Item System problem Impact/ notes
Although there have been changes to the state system of textbook allotment, the district has not yet taken advantage of the new flexibility to use materials, both print and electronic, needed by Dallas students that may not be on the state adoption list. A system for assessing needs and gathering input from teachers and principals in order to open up more options for classroom instructional materials (both print and electronic) needs to be developed and put in place. The plan needs to target moving to a digital classroom as soon as feasible. The digital classroom also requires us to plan for the use of digital textbooks. Digital textbooks would allow teachers and schools to tailor content to the specific standards and lessons. It will also allow for greater integration with modern teaching strategies and other technology resources. Create Administrative Procedures / Protocols to standardize processes in operating schools. Standardizing some processes will enhance understanding, communication, effectiveness, and efficiencies. Each Chief will also identify the processes they would like to standardize and work with School Leadership to formalize and disseminate. The district is in the process of transferring professional development  from  a  centralized  set  of  “PD  sessions”  to   campus-based development led by the campus principal. Systems of support need to be created in which best practices and  “exemplars”  of  excellent  work  are  available  to  principals   and teams of teachers meeting in Professional Learning Communities as they work to improve their practice.

Assigned to:

NLT Date to improve

27

Establish processes to effectively deliver textbooks and other classroom resources

Ann Smisko

1-Jul-13

28

Purchase digital textbooks

Ann Smisko

1-Jul-14

29

Standardize administrative procedures in the schools

Sylvia Reyna/ Charles Glover

1-Oct-13

30

Redesign delivery of professional development

Ann Smisko/ Sylvia Reyna

1-Jul-13

6

DRAFT
Item Other 31 Evaluate programs effectively
There is not currently an effective process for adopting programs and accepting grants. Neither is there an effective process for evaluating programs. Programs are not ended even if the evaluation shows that they are not helping to meet District goals or improve achievement. Over 100 coaches are not certified to teach. In many cases overtime rules have not been followed. Already we have found that in a number of cases federal money has not been properly used to pay the non-coaching salaries of these individuals. Ann Smisko 1-Jul-13

System problem

Impact/ notes

Assigned to:

NLT Date to improve

32

Stop using non-certified coaches

Sylvia Reyna/ Alan King

1-Jul-13

7

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