Reverse 45 Minute Extension
On January 26, the DISD School Board voted to extend the school day by 45 minutes without increasing pay for teachers. Although Dallas teachers are contract labor, school board member Edwin Flores introduced the legislation with the premise, "We're going to pay for eight hours, we're going to get eight hours." Teachers bring home papers to grade, lessons to plan and often remain after our contract time to sponsor clubs and extra-curricular activities into the evening for which we are offered no compensation. Asking us to remain at school just to be sure that the district has assurance that we are working hard enough does not take any of these areas into account. School board president Lew Blackburn has been quoted by Dallas ISD blog as having stated that the additional time could be used for staff development, collaboration, "professional learning communities" and for "extending the school day for students." Therefore the additional concern would be an extra long day for students with either more classes or class time. Most students already have eight classes. Adding to this would be daunting for the average student. Should the time be directed to be used for staff development, collaboration sessions, additional faculty meetings, "learning communities" or more class time, we as instructors would have no time for meeting with parents, answering their calls or email. We will have no time for sponsoring extra-curricular activities. There will be no time to write letters of recommendation or to plan lessons or grade papers. The voluminous paperwork has already become untenable (student profile sheets, PDAS binders full of documentation, Teacher Self-Reports, Individual Education Plans, Admission Review and Dismissal reports, syllabi, lesson plans, Title I tutoring logs... and the list goes on). Teachers already work well beyond the eight and a half hour day just sponsoring activities, planning and grading. Please support me in respectfully petitioning the Dallas Independent School Board to reverse its decision to extend the school day by 45 minutes.
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