Dallas ISD Chief of Staff Jerome Oberlton Resigns Over Federal Criminal Probe

JeromeOberlton.jpg
Jerome Oberlton
Type Jerome Oberlton's name into Google, and one of the first things to pop up is a Baltimore Sun article detailing all the places he used the local school district's credit cards. These included businesses like Bath & Body Works and Ross, which would seem to provide little of use for the head of a public school district's technology department. A bit further down in the search results, you'll find mention of the $250,000 Oberlton spent renovating his executive suite.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles was aware of those reports when he hired Oberlton as his chief of staff in January. As district spokesman Jon Dahlander relayed to the Morning News at the time, Miles "has spoken with Mr. Oberlton about his entire tenure on numerous occasions, and he is aware of that story. He understands the sensitivity of the situation. He is still very comfortable with him coming on board."

Miles' comfort was misplaced. That much became clear this morning when word of Oberlton's departure began circulating. At first, it seemed like yet another in the series of high-profile defections that have marked Miles' first year in DISD. It soon became clear, however, that Oberlton's case is different. He announced to Miles he's the subject of a federal criminal investigation.

The investigation, according to DISD, stems from Oberlton's tenure with Atlanta Public Schools. That district is engulfed in a cheating scandal that's left many of Oberlton's former colleagues facing conspiracy charges. The specifics of Oberlton's case aren't yet clear, but one assumes it's related.

Miles, meanwhile, is "profoundly shocked and disappointed."

"When I learned of the seriousness of this issue yesterday, I immediately requested Mr. Oberlton's resignation. I was shocked because the district conducted a thorough background and credit check including interviews with his most recent employer," he said in a statement released by DISD. "My disappointment is accompanied by anger because Jerome did not inform us about his involvement in this investigation until yesterday."

Officials are expected to spend this week frantically Asking Jeeves if there's anyone else they should be worried about.


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31 comments
WatchingSouthDetroit
WatchingSouthDetroit

Either you have honesty and integrity or you don't.  You don't get integrity by talking your way through an interview.  In fact, he should never even have been interviewed.  Olberlton's past actions show that he doesn't have any integrity.  Miles knew about Olberlton's past when he hired him and now he is shocked?  Is he that stupid?  At best, Miles judgement on hiring is very poor to say the least.  At worst, he is NOT competent to hire anyone.

It does not matter if you do a "thorough" background check if you know he is a crook and hire him anyway.  Just stupid.

DirtyP1
DirtyP1

What kind of idiot hires someone with that much baggage? Are you telling me that noone else would take the job? I mean, that is plausible for sure, but come on. They're paying the guy 185k/yr, it seems like someone would be jumping at that job.

bbetzen
bbetzen

DISD should have started more rigorous vetting over a year ago! If the DISD Board had properly vetted Mike Miles they would have looked at the enrollment by grade numbers for the Harrison 2 School District and seen the following changes that happened during Mike Miles time as superintendent:

1. High school enrollment dropped over 26% while total Harrison Two District enrollment was constant. The question to ask is “Were students with poor test grades being pushed out?”

2. The Promotion Rate dropped over 31 percentage points in Harrison, while in Dallas that same measurement improved over 14 percentage points.

3. The percentage of 9th grade enrollment not reflected in 12th grade enrollment 3 years later, exploded over 500% in Harrison, while in Dallas that same measurement was shrinking!

4. The Cumulative Promotion Index, the most precise, timely, and predictive of the graduation rate measurements, fell 16 percentage points in Harrison Two while that same measurements rose over 20 percentage points in Dallas ISD to the highest, most positive level on record.

It is bad if the DISD Board did not know these facts. If they knew these facts, and still hired Mike Miles, that is inexcusable!

Details and sources for this data are athttp://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/05/damage-by-mike-miles-in-colorado.html

jeneheffer
jeneheffer

Miles' reforms in DISD are going to save our public schools. The underpreforming schools, prinicipals, and teachers have been a drain on the whole district for too long so anything to get rid of them is going to help students. Hiring a crook is bound to happen once in a while, it is part of our greedy culture.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Schutze---Still want to support him and his reforms?

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

Once again, the Dallas ISD doing its best to make sure the waiting lists at the Dallas area private schools are full and over-flowing. 

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

This guy must be friends with Yvonne Gonzalez.

bhObummer
bhObummer

Yo an' dere iz distrust in muh administration. ah be surprised, frankly, at da amount o' distrust dat exists. an' ah'm sorry it's da case, an' ah'll werk hard ta try ta elevate it

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

Miles is hiding behind the fact that they spoke to his most recent employer.  However they failed to look into his employer before that (i.e. Atlanta)?  Desoto learned their lesson 2 year ago when they hired their sup.  Anyone from Atlanta schools during that time need to have a closer look before they are hired. 

In January, they knew there were controversies related to Baltimore and they knew he also worked in Atlanta.  Doesn't sound like much of a background check.

Daniel
Daniel

He wasn't fired for misappropriation of public funds. He was fired because he looks kinda like Hitler!

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

What is it with these school admins who just float from one job to another with these huge obvious clouds over them, but they get hired anyway. A regular working stiff gets blackballed for copping an extra 5 mins on a break, but these clowns get a pass? Wtf?

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

How does a school district get this F'd up? It's cursed. 3700 Ross Ave sit atop sacred Indian burial grounds?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

Well that's refreshing, a Dallas bureaucrat in trouble for something they did, but they didn't do it in Dallas.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Which is much better than in the past where the investigation would drag on for weeks, months and even years and nothing much happening in the end.


As far as the expenditures go, I have two questions:  Were they done with or without authorization?; and, Why?

lg71050
lg71050

Grifters gotta grift.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

@jeneheffer If you really think Miles is going to save public schools you haven't been paying attention and certainly haven't looked at his record in Colorado. Enrollment, promotion and graduation rates all declined. His only accomplishments were very small increases in SAT and ACT scores. His record speaks for itself.

markzero
markzero

@casiepierce I'm sure it was sarcasm, indicating the apparent lack of the previous vetting turning up anything. I wonder if they could bring a civil complaint against his former employer for not telling them if they knew about the situation?

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

Next time they should save some money and just use Google.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

@Lakewooder Same people behind the curtain. Dallas Regional Chamber and the Dallas Citizens Council. Probably, some of your own neighbors in Lakewood.

PrestonHoller
PrestonHoller

@LakewooderThe DISD gets this “F’d up” because it hires idiots like Mike Miles.  Then, in turn, other idiots, like Jim Schutze writes editorials for this blog that say we all need to get behind Mike Miles because he the man for real reform.  Bullsnot.  Miles is an idiot.  Anyone who knows anything about education knew Miles was the wrong man for the job.  He has hired moron, after moron, after moron.

 

titusgroan
titusgroan

Nope, just decades of incompetence and apathy.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

@Cliffhanger @Lakewooder @JimSX Jennifer Sprague are Dora Sauceda the first to come to mind. Kevin Smelker and Charles Glover seem like their in over their head, although both seem to be nice guys. Silvia Reyna is a tyrant of the Shirley Ison-Newsome mold from what I hear.

On the other hand you have the good people who have  either have been run off by Miles or decided to jump ship before it sinks.

Put two and two together and it's a very troubling pattern. 

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