Mike Miles, In First Official Day As DISD Superintendent, Likes Graduation-Rate Trend, Was a Little Embarrassed By Those Billboards

mike miles head.jpg
Given his high profile over the past few months and some much-publicized decisions, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Mike Miles has actually been DISD's superintendent. Which he has, of course, but not officially and not full-time until Monday, when he took the reins in earnest.

It was a busy day, he said, filled with meetings with his cabinet, school leadership team, and community groups, an interview for one of the nine unfilled top administrative positions, and, to cap it off, a 4 p.m. press conference.

"The good thing about flying back and forth -- other than flying back and forth -- is that I've been able to hit the ground running," Miles said of juggling his final months as head of Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs and his growing responsibilities in Dallas.

Miles' first day was accompanied by a burst of good news for the DISD: The Texas Education Agency released figures showing the district's four-year graduation rate ticked up 3 percent last year to 77.3 percent, the fourth increase in as many years, while its dropout rate declined to 11.8 percent, less than half what it was five years ago.

Those numbers indicate significant progress, Miles said, but it does not obviate the need for continued reform. It will still require some fundamental changes in the way things are done to reach a 90 percent graduation rate, and meet the other goals Miles outlined in his "Destination 2020" plan.

Otherwise, there wasn't much that Miles said at his first-day press conference that he hasn't said before. He deflected a question about public reaction to his cabinet-level salaries by saying, basically, that people will accept it when they see the results. He reiterated his commitment to getting a good teacher in front of every student by streamlining and restructuring the district's leadership and establishing a performance-pay system for teachers. And, he defended the expenditure of more than $5 million on a school leadership academy to train future principals as an investment in student achievement. ("I think any organization should pay for what it values," referring to student achievement, though there may be other interpretations).

One reporter asked about those billboards, sponsored by the Dallas Regional Chamber, that welcomed Miles to town. The displays were donated and cost the district nothing, but is it appropriate to call so much attention to the superintendent given the oft-stated focus on student achievement?

"I'm a little embarrassed by having a billboard with my name on it," Miles said, a bit sheepishly. But, really, the signs are emblematic of how much the community supports DISD. Milies has encountered a "great show of support for the district from all corners," he said.

Communications chief Jennifer Sprague, standing along the wall behind the wall of TV cameras, nodded along approvingly.


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
11 comments
Natalia Ramirez Garcia
Natalia Ramirez Garcia

                               Today will never                                 come again. Be a                                 blessing. Be a friend.                                 Encourage someone.                                 Take time to care.                                  Let your words heal.                                   And not wound.                                     Source:    My sister's granddaughter put it on my Facebook page.                           

Paul Trevizo
Paul Trevizo

School boards, superintendents, and principals are notorious for setting unrealistic and therefore unobtainable goals.  Case in point, the national "on-time" high school gradation rate is somewhere between 75-76%; graduation rates in Texas are close to the national average.  Yet Mr. Miles has determined that he is going to reorganize the DallasISD and as a result this will cause gradauation rates to increase to 90%.  Has anyone questioned him on how the DallasISD is going to reach this impossible goal?  If they have I, haven't heard it.  If Mr. Miles were the new CEO of a company and he told the Board of Directors and public that he was going to revamp the company so that they could increase their profits and/or stock values 500%; everyone would be questioning his ability to lead the organization. What is particularly troublesome to the teacher in the classroom is not the new set of unrealistic goals coming down from 3700 Ross; as I mentioned before administrators are notorious for them; but the person issuing these goals.  Does Mr. Miles realize that his goals are unobtainable but he wants to use them to motivate the rest of DISD to accomplish better; or when his goals are not achieved does he find scapegoats to blame, and fire, for the failure of his programs?  Most people are hoping for the former but given the history of the leadership coming from 3700 Ross are expecting the latter.

Selfdestruct DISD
Selfdestruct DISD

The reason why the Board of Trustees don't have the cajones to stop Miles to hire these high paid cabinets and executive directors is because Miles is scratching their backs too. Leslie Williams and Shirley Isom-Newsome have the protection of Blackburn and Nutall. I won't be surprised if the sixty aspiring principals are relatives, church members, or recommendations from the BOTs and Glover. Watch how many ex-TFA teachers will be admitted to Miles' army ranger academy, err, leaders academy. Good luck DISD! Seems like you are in the same boat as Hinojosa had left you. Same old padrino system. Shame.

Rakata
Rakata

with sprague every night is date night!!

Bill Reagan
Bill Reagan

What the heck??? The ad says... http://www.applitrack.com/dallasisd/onlineapp Program participants should be willing to commit to being constructively employed by Dallas ISD for two years following completion of SLA unless. Who wrote this? What the heck is constructively employed? And she ends the sentence with 'unless'. Is this one of Jennifer Sprague's communications idea? Oh God. Minimum requirement is being a teacher. A teacher with three years of experience can land a principal position without being an assistant principal. Participants can sit in leadership academy for two years with no school assignment, no accountability, it's like enjoying an executive scholarship with no loans to pay with full benefits of being ass kissers. I plan to watch Magic Mike today but I change my mind, maybe tomorrow. I have enough of Mike's BS today.

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

...and lets not forget that O.M. Roberts Elementary was one of the schools included in the 11 school closures!  The very school that DISD spent 2.6 million in renovations back in 2005 only to turn around and demolish it last July 2011.  Then the DISD board voted to close the demolished structure and now plans to rebuild a BRAND NEW 22 million dollar O.M. Roberts...Unbelievable!!!  Good bye teachers, good bye custodians, good bye communities...HELLO brand new school!   We don't need super sized salaries for non teachers!  We don't need building renovations if the DISD will only turn around and destroy our tax dollars spent!  And we don't need new school buildings!  We need better education for our students, better compensation for teachers and custodians and preservation of schools and communities!!!   Learn more about DISD's wasteful spending and corrupt plans at www.StopDISD.org

Dancer
Dancer

I read that posting as well and wondered which of his high salaried cabinet members wrote that job description.  One of my 4th grade students could have written a better job description.  Have we read a description of jennifer Sprague's job.  what exactly are we paying someone 185000 dollars to do? I looked at the salary for the principal leadership academy and would have to take a cut in pay in order to be in that program. In the story above Miles said that we pay for what we value so apprently he is saying we do not value the teachers, custodial staff and administrators on campuses since we pay them so  little.  That is the recurring theme  that I hear from of all of his press conferences. He is here to save us from ourselves obviously.

Outrage
Outrage

General Electric is a for-profit company, DISD is a public entity funded by taxpayers. GE can allocate millions of dollars for professional training, DISD does not have that kind of luxury. At a time when teachers and staff salaries are frozen and custodial services are cut, Mike Miles has the audacity to finance his high salaried cabinet and leadership academy.  In his Destination 2020 powerpoint, he mentioned a soldier should respond to the sound of the guns. In this case, Mike Miles is tone deaf to hear the current sound of the guns (or needs) of the district. What sound of the guns does he need to justify his spending spree? Robert Wilonsky, Jim Schutze, Tawnell Hobbs, Mathew Haag, Mckenzie, DISD Board of Trustess, are you all tone deaf too?

Disdwatcher
Disdwatcher

The leadership academy is a good idea. It is patterned after General Electric which does  a great job identifying and educating its future leaders. Miles should be given a hard time about Sprague. That was a dumb move. The leadership academy, if done correctly, isn't.

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

Why doesn't the Dallas Regional Chamber sponsor our teachers and custodians instead of wasting money on a billboard?    Miles will be just like the others, he's already proven that he's not a man of his word and continues to turn a blind eye on the good citizens of Jubilee Park, while their community is uprooted!  Thanks DISD we needed our tax dollars spent on destroying a community for parking lots and thermal fields in-between homes.   Learn about DISD's lies and corruption at www.StopDISD.org

Outrage
Outrage

Mike Miles is determined to spend 5 million dollars to hire his minions. Just posted in Dallas ISD employment website: "Dallas ISD is also looking for educators who have the hero characteristic. Someone who wants to change the world and make a huge difference for our students, someone who is not afraid of a challenge, and believe they have the right stuff to work in DISD." This is how taxpayers' dollars are spent. Pay high salaries to Mike Miles, Charles Glover and Jennifer Sprague to hire people with the 'right stuff'. If they can't simply explain what the 'right stuff' mean, they don't know what they are looking.  Five million could have saved some schools that were closed. Instead, Mike Miles wants to spend it to hire his army. Sad. Board of Trustees, how could you let this man do this? I still remember your faces when you voted to close all 11 schools all in the guise of saving millions of dollars for the district. Months later you turn around to let one man decide how to spend 5 million dollars on his own whims. How could you? You have no cajones. How could you allow an increase in class sizes, less teachers in the classrooms, 10% wage cut of the custodians, while you allow Mike Miles to hire 60 aspiring principals and cabinet level staff getting high salaries? Where is the outrage of the community and parents? Why is this issue not even a headline?

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...