No, put THAT one THERE!!
by John Pearson
Some of you may have heard about, read about, or lived through the events that transpired in the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) over the last month. For anyone who's missed it because of more pressing matters like the failing economy, bank collapses, or Tina Fey Sarah Palin impersonations, let me clue you in.
In a nutshell, the good folks in the upper echelons of DISD provided us math teachers with a perfect real-world example of why it is so important to understand math, and the consequences that occur when you don't.
Hundreds of teachers were hired last summer to reduce class sizes and help with overcrowding. However, the district mistakenly forgot to include those teachers’ salaries in the budget. In September, the news came out that Dallas was going to be $48 million in the hole.
A few days later, that number jumped to $84 million, and the term "RIF" began to be whispered. RIF stands for Reduction In Force. Basically, the district's plan to lower the shortfall was to fire hundreds of teachers. Somebody’s been watching too much Apprentice!!
Concurrent with the RIF, the district also had to implement campus leveling, which would have occurred anyway. Leveling is combining small classes, spreading out larger classes, and, if necessary, moving teachers to alternate positions.
Needless to say, with the double threat of being RIFed or leveled (or Rick Rolled, which would make it a triple threat), there were a lot of very nervous teachers in my town.
When judgment day finally came and the dust settled, my school had been pretty radically affected. Teachers had been offered a sort of "buy-out" option, which would pay them through January. Four teachers and our principal took that option. Three teachers at my school were RIFed. Five more teachers were relocated to other campuses. Finally, about 10 of the remaining teachers were reassigned to different positions on our campus.