Alan King, Dallas ISD Chief of Staff and Former Interim Superintendant, Resigns

DISD Interim Selection 021.jpg
Leslie Minora
Alan King (right) was named interim superintendant last year.
We touched yesterday on what has been a bit of a rough start to the school year for Dallas ISD, and today's news won't help: Alan King, who led the district in the aftermath of former Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's departure last year, has resigned from the district.

King served as CFO from January to June of 2011, when he was elevated to interim superintendent. He was widely considered a success in both of those jobs, and in ways he was the perfect fit for an interim boss role: pragmatic, straight-forward, no-nonsense.

King interviewed for the superintendent job, but was not likely high on the board's list. (It's also not known whether he ever really wanted the job). He's quiet, sort of a behind-the-scenes budget-assassin type, not the obviously Dynamic Leader school boards and their consultants look for, for better or worse. One of the hallmarks of his tenure was his creation of a citizens budget task force, which helps the board shape the district's finances. It's already started work on next year's budget, district spokesman Jon Dahlander says.

When Mike Miles got the job, King slid into the chief of staff job, which also doesn't seem like a great fit. Once you've been the boss, interpreting and selling someone else's vision, which is what most chiefs of staff do, can't be comfortable. That job also "included some of the duties" of the CFO, Dahlander says. That's a lot of work. (Dahlander says it's too early to know how the CFO and chief of staff jobs will be filled or divided up going forward.)

"Alan King has served the district ably and with integrity in every capacity and I wish him well," Miles said in a press release. "During our discussion today, Alan told me that when he accepted the position of Chief of Staff, he felt it would be temporary until our new administrative team was in place. Now that the first 100 days has been completed and a new administrative team is solidly in place, he felt as if he had accomplished his goal of shepherding the transition."

Added King: "It has been an honor for me to serve this school district and I wish all of the best to the elected trustees, Superintendent Miles, the new administration as well as the staff of the Dallas Independent School District."

If there's more to the story, it's unclear for now. What is clear is that there's one fewer steady hand on deck.

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King forced out Craig Welle, an excellent administrator, in order to hire a friend from Lewisville, Danna Rothlisberger. That's when we knew he was another political hack.


No tears here to see him go.


King made a lot of personnel decisions that (like replacing Micheaux with SIN) that have come to roost. The Budget Commission was set up by Hinojosa, not King. Good riddance to a crotchety short man who was in over his head on a multitude of levels.


The DMN blog is now saying that King's resignation was expected, according to Miles, despite the fact that the trustees were unaware of this "pre-planned" resignation.  You'd think that if a position as important as King's were going to be vacated, the trustees should have been informed in advance.  So, if you buy their story, as the song goes, I've got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you, as well.


Thank you, Alan King, for your service to DISD and to all of the students, parents, and taxpayers in DISD.  You held the district together through some incredibly tough financial times, with state budget cuts unprecedented in the history of the district. Your integrity and kindness were evident to all. You always made it clear to the trustees that they were dealing with a limited budget and could not spend at will.  You forced them to set priorities in spending, to spell them out, and actually attempt to follow them. You did not allow them to spend the district into a hole. You dealt in budget actuals, not just the predicted budget.  You encouraged the development of the Citizen's Budget Review Commission because you welcomed stakeholder input. You had nothing to hide in the budget process because you are an honest man. Obviously, there are some who just don't want to live within their budget and don't want to be transparent about it, so you and your ways had to go.


The trustees blew it when they did not hire you as our superintendent and instead went after glitz and glamour. They did not have the sense to see your incredible value to the district and allowed themselves to be taken in by all fluff and no substance. I wish you well in your new endeavors and I fear for the fate of the district in your absence.


This is SO sad! Wil the Board sit by and let the ship sin. What are they afraid of, why are they so mesmerized and spellbound while this man, Mike Miles is running off and firing good administrators and teachers! Wake up School Board. The School Board and Mike Miles will be fired.  Look on Youtube and search for walkouts in the Colarado Schools where Mike Miles left in shabbles. They watched as he destroyed teachers, students and administrators and then could take no more. They finally woke up and said, "enough is enough and too much is too much!" He(Mike Miles) thinks hes' in combat zone and is running people off and he storms through jungles in his mind. He fires Jamal Jenkins and the Board is saying nothing! He (Mike Miles) says he wants experience but fires experienced people for no reason and hides behind a technical garbage that is "personnel matters". Bolognee! Get this man out of here quick!!! Where is your common sense School Board? Why did you pass up Alan King for Mike Miles, real stupid. Real, real stupid. You didn't want to pick a black, white or hispanic person so you thought you could appease the people with Mike Miles who is mixed with everything. Shame on you. This man is destroying DISD!!! I decree Mike Miles to be gone by December and the school board members who question nothing, to be gone also by December.


I guess honeymoon is over. Mike Miles is eliminating barriers to 'his' own success. Who resigns on a Thursday and resignation effective the day after? Others will try to use up leave days and sick days before the official resignation day. I think there is a bombshell story about Alan King's resignation. 


Has the ship already started sinking??? Two months into the school year???

RTGolden1 topcommenter

It's sad to see him go, but inevitable I believe.  Alan King was the best kind of bureaucrat, efficient, effective and precise.  As a bureaucrat, he had gotten as high as he could go.  DISD superintendent position is akin to being a political sprinkler control.  He steers the money to the right campaign donors through contracts.  Can I prove it? No.  I can infer it by looking at the history.  Since I have been in Dallas, DISD has been in a steep decline.  Performance is down, despite the modern miracle of standardized tests.  High performance gets punished in the most severe way.  Good schools get closed, bad schools get overcrowded.  Good teachers flee.  Administration bloats, and contracts float.  Like the Titanic, the kids are trapped on a sinking boat.


Alan King probably could have initiated some real reform.  However, that would have required shutting off the sprinklers.


I used to think our trustees were part of an evil conspiracy to keep 150,000 mostly poor, mostly minority students at the bottom of the opportunity ladder so that a bunch of Parkies could enrich themselves.  All the mega-church members helped out by conveniently looking the other way (I'm talking to  you, Jack-Lowe's-Park-Cities-Baptist-cashing-those-big-tithe-checks) while 150,00 poor and minority kids suffered.


Every Democrat/Liberal in Dallas who hates the Teabaggers has looked the other way, too.  

Haven't heard a peep out of any of you.


Sadly, I have come to realize that our trustees are just stupid.


A search firm brought in The Goats and The Coached.  Predictably, the trustees fell for it.  Miles looked stellar in comparison to the losers that were handpicked for being losers.


Alan King should have been our superintendent.  The good teachers loved him.  No-nonsense is completely accurate.


Alan--just in case you are reading this--YOU WILL BE MISSED.  THANK YOU FOR TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING.


It should be plainly obvious that there is waaaay more to this story.  Alan King is not the kind of guy to resign on a Thursday, effective the next day.  


Hello, Dallas?  Are you listening?  

What will it take?  A murder on a campus?


"Rhee"form is  not the answer.

Putting the kids first is the answer.

Start by capping the salaries of administrators and the amount that can go to contractors, vendors, and construction firms.


Fire Mike Miles.


DISD has excellent schools, great teachers, and the best mix of kids on the planet.

Get involved.

Stop the thieves.

Do right by the kids.

Save your city.






Got any watah? /too obscure?


Yeah, there is much more to the story. Let's put it this way...a brief moment of transparency, a superintendent now uncomfortable with a citizen's budget review commission cause citizens not supposed to know anything but what they have filtered through Miles. Alert fine citizens of Dallas. There is now a Broad Toad running loose with your purse. In most cities, most of the time, Broad sups leave the school district busted. Go all the way back to Rudy Cruz, to Philadelphia, to every city they visit like locusts. They are trained to see democracy standing in the way of their ambitions and the school district finances as their own private slush fund.


 @mik534 The ship has been listing for decades now... So long that it's hard to recognize that it's about to fully capsize...


Substitute "Hinojosa" for "Miles" and you're still singing the same old song dear.


So, maybe you're saying Dr. Hinojosa did ONE thing right by hiring King in the first place? Hinojosa did a lot of things right.


@DISDTeacher What big lie needed to be told or ignored that was such a whopper, no person with ethics could swallow with the big lie stuck in their throats. Miles in bed with a Swift Boater. Miles in bed with garbage managing Mayor. All have fleas so maybe King didn't want a perpetual itch. It's now on the trustees to find out why the good guy packed up his office rather than having the big lie stuck in his throat.


 @Borborygmus "Hinojosa did a lot of things right."  


Sure he did.


And the Earth is flat, the Sun revolves around the Earth, and applying leeches to your body will cure disease.


Are you related to him or something?

I hope he appreciates your complete disregard for the facts on his behalf.

It's sort of sad, "dear."  Really.


Nobody thinks Hinojosa was even a mediocre superintendent.  "Awful" is the word most people would use. Most people who aren't related to him or who had some odd admiration of him, that is.


Miles IS terrible as well.  Same trustees, same Citizen's Cartel = same results: another overpaid, ineffective, awful superintendent.

scottindallas topcommenter

 @DISDTeacher  @Borborygmus leeches have therapeutic value, and whether the Earth or the Sun revolves the other is a matter of perspective.  Cliche and analogy only go so far, but most of the comments here have been more grounded in cliche than concrete claims.  Too many metaphors make it hard to know what the metaphor is for.  Maybe the problem isn't the superintendents.

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