If the superintendent and his top team can't get the numbers right on less than 200 employees, how can we expect them to turn around the DISD with its 165,000 students and make it a top tier school district by 2010?
In Tawnell Hobbs' excellent expos?/font>, Some 'cut' by DISD still working there, (DallasNews.com, 10/20/07) DISD Superintendent Hinojosa states that his reorganization of the DISD was "...very tough on us and much tougher on these individuals [whose jobs are being cut]." Why would he make this statement when he's supposed to be on the Road to Broad (read "road to nowhere") and Dallas Achieves (not)? Why wouldn't he make sure the reorganization was handled in the best professional manner possible?
In speaking with DISD employees, these are some of the insights they give about the superintendent's reorganization:
1. Employees were not informed about the process or time-line for implementing the reorganization, leading to lots of needless anxiety and lost production.
2. For those employees who were retained, many, many reported they were told, in essence, 'this is your new job title, but we don't have a job description. You'll have to write your own job description.' Does that sound like a professional, well-thought out manner in which to conduct a reorganization?
3. Employees were also directed to sign a document accepting their position with the space for their salary left blank. They were told that would be given to them later, yet they had to sign almost on the spot without knowing their job description or their salary. Many found out afterward that their salaries had been decreased.
4. One employee states the best of the best were not retained. In fact, this employee cites the example of a DISD staffer who is barely literate in the written word and who, as a matter of course, speaks in double negatives, being promoted from a specialist to a manager position. Best of the best?
5. Most employees who were subjected to this reorganization state that they felt it was conducted in a very cold, cruel, callous and disrespectful manner. According to them, it certainly did nothing to inspire or motivate employees to give their best.
6. There is no mechanism by which employees can give input into DISD processes and actually feel valued, respected and a part of the process that affects their daily work lives and their livelihood.
This does not bode well for Road to Broad or Dallas Achieves. If any of the Hobbs' story is true, then not only shame on the Superintendent and his top tier team, but also shame on Board Chair Jack Lowe whose company prides itself on valuing employees and making them a part of management processes that directly affect their jobs. Why does he not insure the DISD conduct its management practices in a way that brings out the best in employees rather than making them feel part of a feudal system?
We all want a first class school system where each and every child has the opportunity to excel because of the education they are receiving, but the manner in which Dr. Hinojosa and his top tier team have gone about it thus far will not get us there. You can't get the best performance from employees, no matter how dedicated they are, when they feel so devalued, disrespected and fearful for their jobs. Those who are brilliant will decide it's not the place they want to be and easily find other employment. Those who are average will not feel inspired to achieve new heights of accomplishment on behalf of children because of the demoralizing environment that this superintendent and his top tier team have created. Those who will losemost are the children and the taxpayers.
The Dallas Morning News'
Tawnell Hobbs continues scratching beneath the surface of
Superintendent Hinojosa's reorganization.
district staff cuts came from low-paying jobs
The little people fare no better under Rubber Stamp Jack Lowe. The President of the DISD Board of Trustees says he is not concerned -- which easily translats to mean "I don't care about the little people."
The attitudes of Dr. Hinojosa Board President Lowe certainly spell trouble for the quality of education children are receiving in the DISD. If the environment they have created is one of repression, callousness, heartlessness and indifference for how management decisions affect employees, how can they expect employees to give their best when they are treated so badly?
If employees are so demoralized, no matter how dedicated, they are unable to put forth their best efforts to teach the children. No wonder test scores have been decreasing and low performing schools increasing under the leadership of this superintendent and the Board's presidentr.
When will enough be enough?
When will the rubber stamping end and true reform be enacted? Reform that inspires and motivates employees to give their best in teaching the children?
Don't hold your breath, because it doesn't look like it's going to happen under Dr. Hinojosa's regime.
Again, who pays the price? The children and the taxpayers.