Mike Miles' DISD House-Cleaning is Under Way

mike miles head.jpg
You knew it was coming. Incoming DISD chief Mike Miles laid it out pretty clearly during his first presentation to the DISD school board last week, to say nothing of his reformist track record in Colorado Springs. But a month and a half before Miles' official July 1 start date, details about which heads are going to roll at the district are now emerging.

Yesterday, 68 mid-level administrators received notice that they will need to reapply for their jobs, going through an interview process and competing with whoever else who decides to apply, if they want to stay with DISD.

The kicker is that they will be competing for only 36 positions, leaving 32 (or more) current employees out of work. Eleven vacant positions are being eliminated.

"There is no better time for change to take place," Miles said in a press release about the changes. "As the end of the school year approaches, it makes sense to reorganize now so that there is as much time as possible to focus on improving the quality of instruction, raising student achievement and supporting the culture and climate of each school in Dallas ISD."

Essentially, Miles is wiping clear the bottom branches of the org chart and starting from scratch. Under former Superintendent Michael Hinajosa, each of the district's executive directors oversaw a few dozen principals grouped geographically and by level (e.g. primary, secondary, magnets).

In Miles' scheme, each executive director will be in charge of fewer  than 10 principals. Five assistant superintendents, the rung above executive director, will bear ultimate responsibilty for their portfolio of schools, which will be organized not geographically but so that each is on level ground when it comes to evaluations.

The News reported that those jobs that will be up for grabs would be posted this morning, but I haven't seen anything yet on DISD's jobs page.


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32 comments
randchoy
randchoy

Re: John Wiley Price’s Letter to Pastors

The purpose of my letter to you is in reference to Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price’s letter to 75 Pastors in the Dallas area requesting them to close their doors to DISD Superintendent Mike Miles. I stand in opposition of the Church supporting Mr. Price’s request of “closing your doors to Mr. Miles and Mr. Blackburn”. The Church Covenant aligns the Church with a mission in servitude to God. Excerpts from the Covenant states, “We also engage to maintain family and secret devotions; to study diligently the word of God; to religiously educate our children; to seek the salvation of our kindred and acquaintances; to walk circumspectly in the world; to be kind and just to those in our employ, and faithful in the services we promise others, endeavoring in the purity of heart and good will toward all men to exemplify and commend our holy faith.”

My opposition to Mr. Price is based upon the facts. The facts that have been research and are empirical. The facts are that Children in the Schools in question have repeatedly scored low year after year on the States Standardize Test. In addition, year after year, students are leaving High School qualified only for menial jobs; cashiers at Dollar General, clerks at Wal-Mart, and servers in restaurants.These schools are not producing critical thinkers who are qualified to implement strategic processes in a business organization from start to finish. I also oppose Mr. Price’s assertion that Mr. Miles is acting as “Pontius Pilate”. One clear fact that stands out with Pontius Pilate is that he avoided taking responsibility for Jesus death. In this instance, Mr. Price is avoiding taking responsibility for the children in these schools who are failing,  children who have continuously failed from having inexperienced administrators leading these organizations, failing under a structure which does not build upon a value system of sustainability through branding DISD. Bishop Martin in today's business organizations, certainty of change is without precedent. Organizational Managers which uses building blocks in developing strategic processes for results are generally successful.

Principals who have been assigned to these low performing Schools are keenly aware prior to coming in, the economics of the community, the parent’s involvement, the dropout rate, and performance of the students. These Principals are organizational managers, and it is their responsibility to evaluate the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats that affects operating an efficient results proven organization. This has not been the case in DISD. Teachers and Principals are implementing strategic processes to engage the child to learn, opting to give up and blame the parents. Let me be clear, the parent’s role is vital to the success of the student’s progress. However, in the 21st century of Innovation and Technology, organizational leaders should be creative in engaging the parent’s and the student through methodologies that are sustainable in branding the child’s education.

I oppose the Black Community buying into the rambunctious analysis of Mr. Price without clearly examining the facts. I am a tax payer, and that makes me a Stakeholder in DISD. As a Stakeholder it is my responsibility to be intricate part of the vetting process when leadership is being considered. It is my responsibility as a Stakeholder, to examine the technological advances of the school it is my responsibility to ensure that a coalescence of economic revenues are being input into the community from the businesses that generate revenue in the community. The problem here is that Mr. Price and other Black leaders are labeling Mr. Miles are not telling the community the entire truth. They are not pointing out to the community what their responsibilities to the schools are.Mr. Price is not telling the community how year after year these principals have not produced results.

For the Church to support turning its back on anyone is hypocritical. In addition, the comment made by Mr. Price leads me to believe Mr. Price has placed himself on a pedestal above God. My point of reference stems from Church leaders who recently were laying hands on Mr. Price praying for him during his F.B.I. investigation. Now Mr. Price is asking the Church to close its doors to men who need the same prayers which were given unto Mr. Price. I cannot support a Church that buys into this belief system. This is not aligned with God. Mike Miles is an organizational manager that is effective in implementing strategic processes to change the culture of DISD. This community must come to understand “slight improvements” is not a success. We need better consistent results. We need innovative and creative thinkers who are successful in implementing strategic processes, leaders that are efficient in developing organizational process changes that are sustainable. In conclusion, an organizational leader that comes into DISD implementing methodologies and strategic plans to improve student’s success is hardly an enemy. This is why I oppose Mr. Price requesting Churches to close their doors to Mr. Miles and Mr. Blackburn.

scaredofMikeMiles
scaredofMikeMiles

Mike Miles and his nazi-like tactics of spying on teachers, schools, and other staff members has indeed taken over Dallas schools-leaving every teacher with no indication of their future employment-after thousands of these teachers have been loyally sticking with dallas isd through thick and think-trying to improve the situation for students-Shame on you Dallas ISD for hiring this man and  allowing his scare tactics to rule the schools.  Loyal and hard-working teachers who have devoted their careers/lives to Dallas children are being slapped in the face by their principals, executive directors, ass. superintendants, all under the direction of this dictator-Mike Miles.  Wake up school board-you're hurting good people by continuing to support this dictator.

office cleaner Bristol
office cleaner Bristol

The information you shared in the post related to the house cleaning is very useful. I am glad I visited here and come to know about it. I have gathered a huge knowledge.

AdiosMikey
AdiosMikey

Good riddance, Mike Miles!! We are glad to be rid of you! Go earn a paycheck that you DO NOT DESERVE, somewhere else. Good luck, Dallas. You are going to need it with this guy.

W W
W W

Eric,The link to "the org chart" does not work.. ( page not found )

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Good. How many people does it take to manage the same program.All schools teach the same subject in same grades,use same materials and etc. so why so many levels of management and all the special programs to help student's that only serve a few.Keep going Mike you will help budget.

Taylor June
Taylor June

You are absolutely correct and quite articulate.  You have described exactly what is wrong with the math curriculum:  the DISD curriculum is a mile wide and an inch deep.  Now how are we going to get Mr Miles to understand this?  There are so many stakeholders whose jobs depend on the CPG, the CEI and the ACP.  I am convinced that they will do anything to jig the numbers in order to undermine this particular message.

Mike Rawlins
Mike Rawlins

68 out of 68 former mid level administrators of DISD either "agree or strongly agree" that Mike Miles is a Dick. 

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Good DISD is to top heavy they need to delate many supervisor and manager positions.

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

SEEMS LIKE THEY SHOULD PUBLISH THE JOB DESCRIPTIONS BIG TIME AND SEE IS SOME MUCH BETTER QUALIFIED MANAGERS AND EXECUTIVES ARE OUT OF WORK AND WILLING TO HELP REBUILD DISD, INSTEAD OF JUST GOING FOR THE SAME TIRED POOL OF SCHOOL PEOPLE....HEY, CHANGE MEANS DIFFERENT, NOT JUST REAPPLY AND REASSIGN.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

All posts that Mickey assured us DISD could not do without, even if the face of major shortfall after major shortfall.

Already an improvement.

Bob
Bob

It will be hard to kill the Education Industrial Complex. 

Jay
Jay

So Mike is saying that Hinojosa had 68 mid-level managers doing work that should be performed by only 32 managers?  Is it possible DISD will cease being merely a jobs program and start becoming an educational institution? We'll have to wait and see the severity of the backlash when the minions and relatives of the politically powerful start losing their jobs.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Miles stands to gain the respect of teachers with this move, as long as he doesn't bring in a whole new crop whose only difference is their titles.

Currently, teachers have to teach to the STAAR test (written by the state), the ACPs/Benchmarks (written by the incompetent bureaucrats in DISD),  national AP exams, TELPAS, Orleans/Hanna(h), etc.

We cannot serve multiple masters and the state is the only test that affects school ratings.  We need the district to support us as we teach the TEKS, not add a new layer.  Very, very often you have incompetent related-to-SIN DISD people "interpreting" the TEKS incorrectly and forcing us to follow their lead, which hurts our ability to prepare the kids for the STAAR/EOCs.

But equally important is the quality of the people in the positions.  If they are all trying to impress Miles bc he is a narcissistic shell like Hinojosa, the new bureaucrats will once again roll over kids and teachers to get a leg up in the new "regime."

Bou56
Bou56

Wait....he gets rid of teachers too. I have seen many great teachers be removed for little to no reason. If you do not lock step with this man you are gone. It is like working in Nazi occupied France.

RTGolden
RTGolden

caps can also be 'unlocked'.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

You assume that the goal is to improve DISD.From what I can tell, that is absolutely not the goal from the principal level on up.

Rob Lew
Rob Lew

ESPECIALLY WHEN THE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT ARE ALL ETHIC HIRES GUARANTEED TO LOOK AFTER "THEIR OWN FOLKS"...JUST LIKE THE COUNTY.

justwondering
justwondering

 A true trimming WILL gain some ground with teachers in general, as will a strategic refocus on WHAT tests are given and for what purpose. Benchmarks exist for downtown only. by the time I get the results and look, we are several weeks further on. That's not helping ME.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

 Why don't you just let the kids take the tests and refrain from teaching them how to take the test?  You are supposed to be learning things in school, not preparing for the SATs.

kesslerwatch
kesslerwatch

Taxpayers also expect something to be done about the various politicos and parasites still hanging around in communications which is way overstaffed. All those academic coaches were booted off campuses because they were ineffective and have found new places to hide.Millions in waste will still be there unless all departments go through the same process. Start with the names of relatives of past superintentendents and go through the LULAC roll of jobs handed out to Hinojosa cronies.Still much work to be done to relieve taxpayers of nepotism and cronyism. This is only the first step.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

 Looks like someone else who needs to apply for the job.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

You're right to a degree.We do teach content, but we have to spend a bit of time teaching test-taking strategies.  That's not what I meant, though.

What I meant was that we have to teach the CONTENT that will be covered on the STAAR/EOCs.  When we have to waste time teaching content that will only be on district tests, it takes away time we have for STAAR/EOC content.

You'd think the district tests would align with The Almighty STAAR, but you'd be wrong.  If they aligned, we could get rid of a whole bunch of CPG/test writers.  Can't have that.

I think the TEKS (the list of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) are good; there isn't anything on the list you wouldn't want the kids to know.  I am happy to "teach to the test" bc that is the content the state wants them to know.

The problem is when ignorant DISD friends/relatives/cronies write the curric you have to follow.

*by the way, I'm pretty sure that in spite of the nationwide obsession with testing, actual SAT scores have not gone up a bit.  Testing is expensive, but it isn't helping kids.

The Credible Hulk
The Credible Hulk

Too true.

Ostensibly, these tests measure what the children have learned, but nothing could be further from the truth. The reality of the situation is that tests such as these are the conservative establishment's way of keeping a boot on the necks of teachers.

I think that they believe that this strategy also keeps the administrators in line through the proximity of the system as a whole, but as any competent plumber will tell you, shit runs downhill and the teachers and students are at the bottom of the hill.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

 Says it all.  The tests are insignificant.

primi_timpano
primi_timpano

 So very strange.  I went to school in the 70s and 80s.  In elementary school we would take a half day test (I believe it was some Indiana assessment that tried to predict the grade level of your school skills) at the beginning and ending of the year.  There was no preparation I recognized, they just handed it out and we took it.  In high school there was only voluntary testing, e.g., the PSAT and SAT.  I have no idea whether scores were used in part to grade teachers.  As my schools had very little teacher turnover I doubt they were a factor.

I can see extending twice a year testing of this type as means of assessing students, with the end of the year test giving some evidence as to his or her progress for a year.  Whether this would be a better guide than the grades themselves is something I just don't know.  I would think for teacher evaluation purposes, after a few years of data points one should be able to predict future performance on a student basis, and be even more predictive on a school and District basis (larger sample sets), and this data could be used to adjust individual grades to account for individual teacher grading inclinations, e.g., essentially put all grades on a school and District curve.

I thought curriculum development was done by the state.  So the District board does this, too?  I can see District participation in terms of selecting texts and learning aids from a state menu, but I would think this would be done by trained educators and teachers, not the Board (Board gives budget, admin gives selections).  I would also think that either the teacher/school/District could independently select--and pay for--additional materials and learning aids so long as they did not conflict fundamentally and significantly from state guidelines.

This testing regime seems incredibly unproductive and not very meaningful for distressed schools where many of the students are essentially near outliers on the testing curves (and if they are not outliers, why do so few graduate or graduate with usable skills (college preparation, vocational training)?

Two different tests seems a waste.  Teaching content to any number of tests, especially for grade school tests, seems silly.  I can see testing children, but I don't see how prepping students for tests makes any sense.  If someone is worried whether the content was learned, the curve adjusted grades should do the job adequately enough.  College acceptance data, SAT and AP scores are already part of the process.  There seems to be plenty of data accumulated without having to have two different tests.  One should be enough.  If they are using one of these tests to grade teachers, after a couple of years there should be enough data points relating to student improvement to evaluate the teacher.  After a few years there would be more than enough data.  All of this is weird because every kid in my school knew who were the better teachers (almost all of them) and who were not (typically ex-coaches).

If schools are better today than they were 25-30 years ago, then ok, things change and just leave me at the station.  If they are not, then identify flaws that can be changed and fix them.

Omar Jimenez
Omar Jimenez

I wish the board would listen, but ethier A they must be dumb, B they must be getting some money off of this. Carla Ranger is right on this.

Guest2012
Guest2012

There is a movement in Texas to have the importance of testing reduced. Please voice your concerns at the state level too. Parents in other districts have started keeping their kids home on testing days and high school students have started boycotting state testing (not college exams) by not showing up. This is making an impact. The TEA commissioner stated his opinion about the testing situation and would like to have a change happen because he realized all this testing isn't working either....of course he is now leaving. I guess Perry's friends didn't like that. Keep informed and let state reps. know this has to change. There are many people up for re-election for the State Board of Education so that might be a place to start to change things.

It is also important to note that when our students are compared to other countries things like culture, funding, and standards are not always equally compared. Teachers are respected and bad behavior is an embarrassment to the family in some places. In others, not all students receive an education like those in the U.S.; they may have vocational training instead for example (and at much younger ages). The standards taught also need to be considered. Other countries take into account what is developmentally appropriate for children. They often teach less things but at a much deeper level so mastery can be obtained and the knowledge can then be applied to other areas. In the past few years TEKS have been moved down to the lower grade in hopes that the scores will improve by the time those skills are tested on the TAKS/STAAR.

F.Y.I. it is to the districts advantage to have the kids fail or score low to some degree. Those schools qualify for state and federal programs so they get extra funding, grants and coaches to help improve scores. More money is always welcome right? 

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Parents across the country are doing "opt out" on testing days to protest the testing.

But as long as the testing companies like Pearson have the money to buy off politicians, the kids suffer.

Private school kids do not take the tests and they have higher SAT scores.

RTGolden
RTGolden

I'm glad you mentioned that last bit.  The US spends great gobs of money buying and preparing for and teaching to standardized tests, yet consistently falls further and further behind globally.

When are we going to realize that all this bullshit testing isn't working?

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