If Mike Miles Stays Five Years He'll Make $350K a Year, and Other Details of His Deal with DISD

Mike Miles named Dallas ISD Superintendent from Dallas Independent School Dist on Vimeo.

Yesterday we raised some questions about how the Dallas Independent School District might handle the employment contract of Mike Miles, the district's new superintendent. Those details emerged last night -- you'll find Miles' address above -- and mostly fell in line with what we expected.

Below, in italics, are our questions from yesterday, followed by what transpired. The contract itself follows. The takeaway, generally speaking, is that HOLY SHIT WE'RE IN THE WRONG BUSINESS.

Salary. Miles makes just under $200,000 at his district in Colorado. His predecessor, Michael Hinojosa, made $330,000. But Miles is relatively inexperienced, the district is in a budget crisis, and there are already plans to hire a high-priced HR chief to bolster the district's hiring process -- which, if done right, could pay great dividends.

So: There doesn't seem any reason for DISD to top $275,000, which is about $30K more than the average salary of urban supes, according to a Morning News story from this morning.

Miles' base salary will be $300,000, the same as Hinojosa's (and more than almost any superintendent in the country, including New York's, Chicago's and LA's. The reality is, when you make someone your lone finalist and trot him out to the world as The Guy, you've got exactly zero leverage.

Longevity. Board president Lew Blackburn told the News that among the factors being discussed today will be the length of Miles' contract. But the length seems less important than whether the deal is structured to encourage longevity.

It will take some creativity, but the board should try to tie up chunks of Miles' compensation in longevity bonuses. For instance: If his salary is $250,000 a year, he only gets $200,000 annually until he hits the four-year mark, at which point he gets his additional $50K per year.

The district signed Miles for three years with the option to extend, and it built in the exact longevity "bonus" we suggested: $50K extra if he sticks around through 2017. So, yes, he makes $300,000. But if he stays as long as he says he will -- he's pledged seven years -- he'll make $350,000.

Consulting. Much has been made of Miles' side gig as an education consultant. He has said he won't be too involved in his for-profit consultancy, but he doesn't want to give it up entirely. Besides, he says, the gig gives him an opportunity to fly around the country to see what other districts are doing, and to apply those innovations back in Dallas.

But guess what? Stealing ideas from other districts is part of the job. The district should allow Miles to keep his stake in the company but make him do his consultant work on his own time. And since the job is pretty much a 24-7 one, that time should probably come out of his vacation hours.

The board smartly put the kibosh on almost all consulting, barring a few days a year.

Performance Bonuses. We know Miles favors performance-based pay for teachers, so you can count on the board building in some incentives based on how he fares. It would be interesting to see them tie some salary to something other than standardized test scores, which seem easily gamed and of questionable worth to begin with. Instead, tie some money to gaining back enrollment, creating stronger teacher pipelines or other innovations.

Miles can earn a $75,000, vaguely defined annual performance bonus, plus another $125,000 a year if he hits student-achievement benchmarks set by the district.

Sail Boats. The district should not buy Miles any sail boats. Given the budget crisis and lack of sailing options, that would be considerably weird.

MIles will get a car and cell phone allowance, but he was promised no sail boats. I think you know who to thank for that.

Mike Miles Dallas ISD contract


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11 comments
primi timpano
primi timpano

Very strange contract--fails to properly distinguish between the District and the Board as rep of the district.  Pretty poor legal work from both sides.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

Makes Dr. Hinojosa look like a bargain. What was wrong with him again?

cp
cp

Is Bernadette Nuttall stoned???

Mydog
Mydog

Why all the focus on how much the guy will earn? Question should be what results can we expect. His salary is on the same level as other top government administrators. You get what you pay for.

Paul
Paul

How does this little piggy get a spot at that trough?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

What was wrong with Hinojosa?Everything.What are you--related to him?How about the big bucks blown on fast food and hotels?  Was that $57 million?Or how about the 43 Academically Unacceptable schools he left behind?No?What about Goodsell and Gomez and Durant, who were promptly fired once he left?Don't remember that?Oh, I know!How about the 2010 Broad Prize he said was actually for 2011 (or whatever bullshit he came up with)?

No one in Dallas respects him except maybe you.He was handed an historic opportunity and he blew it.  And his name is mud.  

And all those kids at the AU schools stand as his indictment.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

"You get what you pay for."

This "business model" so popular in urban districts right now only worships this adage when it comes to the overpaid level of ineffective and largely irrelevant off-campus administrators.

When it comes to the campuses, where the children actually are, it's cut-cut-cut.

Why is it that the Buckner building has the latest and greatest set-ups (like ceiling-mounted, high-end projectors), but the schools get crap and fire-hazard plugs/cords/cables set-ups?  No expense is spared for the "management" while the "labor" end of things suffers.

The result of this thinking?  40+ Academically Unacceptable schools.  

Highland Park, where no expense is spared when it comes to the actual classrooms, has 0 Academically Unacceptable schools.  Our kids are just as smart, but our own district deprives its students so it can reward its administrators instead.

Bob
Bob

DISD should have leaked salary details or anticipated ranges BEFORE he was hired, and they should not have had a contract signing ala a pro athlete. That is part of the reason for the DMN's headline.

On a related topic, our education industrial complex is quite astounding.

Joe Tone
Joe Tone

Fair question. The Morning News played the salary up big as well. I think the answer is because what he will do is so speculative, and the details of his contract -- which could cost taxpayers close to three million bucks in the next five years -- suddenly became concrete. But it  could be because journalists are all broke and don't like people making so much more money than they do.

SlamminSammySnead
SlamminSammySnead

Just sign up as a DISD vendor and sell software that doesn't do anything for the kids.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Be able to spout Broad and IFL buzz-lingo in answer to any question.  Don't forget to throw in MBA-level consultant-speak, where you verb nouns like "leverage" and noun adjectives like "metric" to sound super-intelligent.  Speak slowly and deeply, and belabor the obvious, so whatever BS issues from your mouth sounds...profound.  Don't forget the power suit and tie.

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