Who's to Blame for all Those Top Defections at DISD? Not Mike Miles.

Categories: Schutze

SHZ_GetOffMyLawn_TitleImageV2.jpg
Lots of news the last two weeks about people fleeing the "cabinet" of Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles, a reference to his executive team. It so happens I have been pursuing a story in that area, which I will convey in full in a column in the paper next week. But I can't keep my mouth shut about it that long, so here goes:

The repeated suggestion in the news and editorial page coverage is that the recent departures from the top executive ranks of the school district are at least equally the fault of Miles and school board trustees. From what I have learned, that's not true. The fault lies totally and utterly with the board.

A contingent on the school board is picking off his staff one by one. Their real target -- the one they really want to pick off -- is Miles. He's gutting it out. But he's starting to look like the Disney version of Davy Crockett -- last man standing at the Alamo, fending off Santa Ana with the butt of his rifle. It's very dramatic, but how long can it last?

Most of the people who have departed have avoided reporters like the plague, because they want to keep working in education. Everybody in education knows the one sin that future school boards will never forgive in a job applicant is having dished to a reporter about a past school board. But one of the departures, who is retiring and may even go home and run for a school board seat himself, has spoken to me, citing chapter and verse on why he and his colleagues are ditching out on Dallas.

miles_cap.jpg
Maybe he should have stuck with killin' bars.
A major part of the story is pretty obvious to anybody who pays attention. African-America school board members Bernadette Nutall and Lew Blackburn want to get rid of Miles in order to stop an academic reform movement that has been costing come black school principals their jobs. According to recently released emails, Nutall has been ambushing top staff members while they're out doing their jobs, threatening consequences if they don't agree to sabotage their boss's reform program.

As evidenced at the last board briefing, Blackburn, a former board president, thinks nothing of suggesting in public that staff members appearing before the board may be lying. Especially where money is concerned, some staff members worry that such an accusation could carry criminal implications. It seems like too high a cost or risk for a simple appearance before the board.

But the black anti-reform board members are by no means the whole story. Another member who may drive the staff even crazier is Elizabeth Jones, who is white and represents trustee District 1, stretching all the way north to the Bush Turnpike. At the suggestion of Kevin Smelker, the departing chief of operations, I watched tape of the June 13 briefing in which Jones raised a series of questions about the effectiveness of a special training program Miles has established for school principals. (Jump to six hours, 15 minutes in the video on the DISD website.)

I did watch. Twice. I talked to Jones about it later. Now I think I may be crazy, too. Crazier.

Jones is very bright. Well, she talks like a very bright person. Walks like one. She has a big background in international finance and worked for McKinsey & Co., the international consulting firm that companies and institutions hire so McKinsey can tell them to spend less and charge more.

Not one of Jones' questions to Miles about the training program for principals made any real sense. There's a pattern. She starts out talking about things that sound very precise, like performance metrics, bench strength, internal capacity and businessy stuff like that. But then when Miles or other board members ask her to name the metrics she wants, she retreats into hippie talk and says she just wants to "wrap my head around it holistically."

You ever try to wrap somebody else's head around something holistically? In my experience when people tell you they just want to wrap their heads around something holistically, it means they want a divorce.

When other board members intervene to defend Miles and tell Jones her questions don't make any sense, she goes ultra-haughty, just doesn't listen and talks louder and faster. I'll get into this more in the column.

What's going on here is simple. It's obvious. It's happening in public before our very eyes. Miles came in with a mandate to fix a school system that cranks hundreds of kids every year straight through the pipeline from pre-K to prison. Reforming it means firing some people. Those people are fighting back. There's a war on to get rid of Miles in order to protect jobs.

Some board members are trying to trip him up, meanwhile, just because they're crazy. I say some. I mean one. But here's the point: The departures mean that Santa Ana's army is drawing closer to the Alamo.

Meanwhile, the city's only daily newspaper keeps doing these editorials and stories about how many of Davy Crockett's top lieutenants seem to be deserting his team by getting shot, and what does that say about Crockett's ability to retain top talent? I know what I might do if I were one of his top talents. Tap him on the shoulder and say, "Hey, dude, this sucks. Let's look for a tunnel."


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98 comments
teachinginoc
teachinginoc

Reflections on the Board Meeting--I am not fond of Mike Miles--too yankee-fied for me--but there was an enormous amount of disrespect thrown at him and his staff members by Lew Blackburn, as well as some vocal, rude audience members.  Gotta say, that was a big disappointment.  I attended the meeting knowing the Board was going to pass the budget, and expecting a big crowd--$1 BILLION is a lot of money.  Nope, maybe 200 there at 5:00 pm, substantially less by 11:00 when I left.  It would seem that Dallas has the Board it deserves.

 I personally think the money to be spent on Destination 2020--the feeder pattern plan to address more than just academics for poor kids--is a wonderful plan, and pray it is executed better than other DISD programs.  I also support a strategic compensation plan for teachers--pay the teachers with documented excellent performance.  I hope we can come up with a fair plan, that will retain and attract good teachers for our kids. 

That said, too many teachers I know are looking elsewhere, and not because of campus administration--the implementation of Mr. Miles' directives has been uneven and either irritating (to good teachers) or overwhelming (to struggling teachers).   I teach in my neighborhood, and plan to work with my neighbor's kids for a long time.  DallasISD provided my child with a good education, good enough that she attended a NY private university on a big scholarship.   I pray that the BOT and Miles can get outside their egos and see that their work is truly important to the lives of 157,000 human beings that are not quite of voting age.  I"d like to be able to use the Board as role-models for my students, but can't do that now.  Maybe August meeting will be more constructive.



whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

Schutze, this article makes the DISD players sound like the DCCC players ... say it's not so!

bbetzen
bbetzen

Jim, I attended the DISD Board meetings yesterday.  It was a very long set of meetings.  It ended late this morning.  It was 1:08 AM as I left 3700 Ross this morning immediately after the end of the meeting.  After watching the board in action for many hours last night I am now convinced you wrote this article to get a rise out of folks, and it worked!  Very well I might add.

It is very hard to believe that you actually believe what you wrote, but you certainly got some folks to respond.

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

The common factor between the Republican North Plano anti-reformers and the Democrat South Dallas anti-reformers is that they're both evangelicals.  Evangelicals are trying *desperately* to gain control of education.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Schutze has been bought by the powers that be. A real journalist would ask WHY they cannot seem to do the job they were over-paid to do. At $180K a year, what was so much more difficult than teaching urban kids, that they are leaving, one by one?

For those of us who are flies on the wall, you will feel really stupid, Jim, when you fail to do your job and discover WHY they all left.

In a related story, Schutze now thinks the Trinity River Toll Road is a great idea!

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Parkland births 12,000 to 16,000 babies a year at $4,000 to $6,000 a pop.  Say, $60 million a year.  That 70+% are anchor babies is another argument.  In six years a big chunk of them enter the school system.

I am a small business man.  For the past 6 years I have had to borrow from $19,000 to $27,000 per year to pay property taxes then labor throughout the year to pay it back.  I am not alone.  I'm getting too old for this.  I'm not complaining but you are pushing me out.  I am not alone.  I think about this as I work on top of a roof today.  It is hot and I can see the ferris wheel over in Fair Park.  I watch the flow of people heading toward the Austin Street Shelter and the Mega Shelter nearby.  

This board hired Miles.  They have hired a string of "top educators" that have not gotten it done for whatever reason.  And if finger pointing is truly an act for zero tolerance, we ALL should be expelled.

If we had broken up this district into five 10 years ago, would we be where we are today?  Anything is better than this.

Commercial property owners, including personal property taxes, pay over half the freight on the hospitals and the DISD.  I think everyone should start thinking about where the money is going to come from if we don't resleeve the DISD into something that is more responsive to the clear and present danger now facing us all.

The problem is not Mike Miles.  We are.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The National Center for Education Statistics, the primary federal entity for education data, calculates something called the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) for students in public high schools. It estimates the rate of public school students who started as freshmen and finished high school within four years -- in other words, those who graduated "on time."  The figures show that in the 2008-2009 school year nationwide (the most recent available), the AFGR was 75.5 percent.

The Dallas ISD graduated 56.9% of its freshmen on time, ranking 38th out of the fifty largest districts.

If you just lose the comparative analysis ranking and concentrate on the Dallas "metric" as a stand-alone number, 43% don't graduate on time every year.  Every Year.  That is an astounding number of newly-minted adults who cannot enter the workforce.

I do not have to list the number of ways it damages this city's quality of life and its future if this is not turned around, and fast.  We do not have to suffer through another 10-year census period to tell us we did not participate in the growth of Texas, and why.

The number one reason holding back Dallas is its lousy school system.  Time is not on our side.

Obummer
Obummer

Yo rarely iz da queshun asked: what’s iz our chil'ns learning?

Steve
Steve

Jim- did you go to 629 in the video?

I think E Jones's point with that whole line of questioning is how does she know (other than being told by Miles) that the fellows academy is working?  They're spending 4 million to train 40 people.  @631 she nails it- what is the cost benefit analysis.  4 million for 40 people- when you've got 358 CURRENT  AP's who aren't benefitting from that level of profesional development.  I think her underlying point (re the Golden Ticket reference) is why spend 4 million on these 40, would we be better off spending more on the other 358 AP's that are already in the district.  If the academy fellows are your highest cost per person for training, shouldn't that also mean that it should have the highest placement rate?  How do those 40 go through all this intensive training, and then can;t be placed in a job?   

bbetzen
bbetzen

Also, Jim, are you ignoring what Miles did to the Harrison School District Two enrollment during his 6 years there? The percentage of 9th graders not making it to 12th grade increased over 500% during his 6 years!! That number is related to the promotion rate, the same measurement used by John Hopkins University in their famous 2007 'Dropout Factory' study. During that same 6 years the Dallas percentages went down by 32%. Jim, aren't you an investigative reporter?

High school enrollment dropped 26% while Miles managed Harrison District. At the same time elementary school enrollment grew enough to make up the difference so that total enrollment remained at about 11,200. The other strange pattern is that the enrollment dropped more and more as students got closer to taking the ACT/SAT exams. Senior class enrollment dropped 33%!! Are you going to try to convince me it was the students getting the best grades who were leaving, or were low scoring students under pressure to leave? See more details and sources for this data at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/05/damage-by-mike-miles-in-colorado.html

bbetzen
bbetzen

Jim, I listened to the same exchange you did and certainly heard something very different from you.  Maybe that is because I was waiting for Miles, or anyone on his team, to talk about the research on similar leadership academies in other urban school districts and the wonderful value they have proved to be for the district.  That did not happen.  I have asked repeatedly to be shows such research, or experiences.  Nothing!  Instead, based on my own online quick googling, it appears such academies have closed with no benefit show but only massive millions lost in the investment.   Miles could end this argument quickly if there was research on his side.  That is not happening.    Jim, how do you miss something so simple?

MichaelMacNaughton
MichaelMacNaughton

Jim,

You've been around the block a few times and know how the city works better than most - certainly better than me. We have the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination approaching in November, about which you have already written with some incredulity about the city's approach to the whole shebang. 

My guess is that the leadership of the city - the citizens council, regional chamber members and city council - would love to say "Look at Dallas!  Look how far we've come in the last 50 years!  We are a prosperous city full of shiny new buildings and great museums and world class bridges.  Come on down!  This is a great place to do business, it's a great place to move your business to!  Bring your family.  We have new parks and new swimming facilities and great schools.   In fact, the best high school in the nation!  We've had a bit of a struggle with our public schools like all big cities but look over there - we have a nationally known education reformer fixing that stuff right now!"

My bet is that after November Miles will be unceremoniously shown the door without a word of protest from the grateful city leadership.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

Jim, many of our public institutions in Dallas and the surrounding area have a purpose that is distinct and different than what we are lead to believe that they are.  DISD is no exception to this situation.  We would like to think that the purpose of DISD is to educate our children in order that they may be full functioning adults and be contributors to society in general.  Sadly, this goal is only a happenstance, at best, byproduct of DISD's activities.


DISD is about who gets a piece of the $1 billion+ pie that is the tax revenue stream for DISD. Until we, as citizens, demand and receive that anyone receiving a piece of this pie must demonstrate that they have a direct and immediate beneficial impact and result to our desired goal of children's education, then no effective change will ever occur in the administration of DISD's tax revenues.


Quite simply, those who are receiving income by their activities with DISD are just plain scared that they are going to get pushed away from the feeding trough.


Until those that can demonstrate that they have a beneficial impact on the successful education of the children in DISD can muscle or push away those that cannot, we will not have any meaningful change at DISD.


It is the same old tired story Jim.  If you want to find out what is going to happen, follow the money.

MichaelMacNaughton
MichaelMacNaughton

Miles was not the choice of the Trustees...he was thrust upon the Trustees.  It seems to me to be a trust issue.

Almost one year ago on July 21, 2012 the Board and Mike Miles met for a board retreat with TASB facilitator Diana Freeman. A few hardy citizens, myself included, also attended because retreats are open to the public and because these meetings are just so much darn fun. 

The trustees used an electronic "clicker" to respond anonymously "Yes, No, or Not sure" to more than 20 questions, with the results displayed for everyone to see on a giant whiteboard.

For the statement "Each board member exhibits confidence and trust in the superintendent"  - 2 trustees responded "Yes" and 7 trustees responded "NO". 

Nothing has changed.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

@teachinginoc BINGO. There is no stinkin' plan after the grant runs out. Why would it be any different than ANY other short term fix touted on  a media blitz, then slowly killed later on?

crg328
crg328

Schultze's nose is so brown...tired of seeing these articles in support of Miles!

-former (as of June 14th) DISD teacher

Ps. Miles is the SOLE reason I left the district!

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

@holmantx Anchor babies are a MYTH. At least back up your bigotry with facts. Illegals are still being deported, which is why they are crying, because they are being TAKEN AWAY from their families here.

Their kids born here are no different than you or me. 14th Amendment says, if you are born here, you ARE an American. Total  and full stop.

There is no law preventing them from taking their American born kids with them---they can. They are the parents. They can do what they want, but  before you go judge, get informed.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

@holmantx No, the problem is him--and the big powers in Dallas who forced them to hire him.

I guess you forgot the bragging Mayor Mike did about meeting with Arne Duncan in D.C. about this guy, and how suddenly, he was the sole finalist for the job?

I actually BLAME the business community, because they KNOW NOTHING about teaching, yet dictate what will be done in our schools.

bbetzen
bbetzen

@educatetexa1 Thank you!  That is the documentation I was talking about below.  Everyone needs to be aware of it.  Thank you.

freddy
freddy

@holmantx Yes the schools can engage and keep more students. That seems to be working at the high schools which have been redesigned into learning academies (e.g, STEM, Business, Languages etc.).  However, there is only so much the district/school can do when some parents actually encourage their kids to drop out and "help the family".   Simlarly, there are some families who do not want their children to attend college. I knew a girl who was up there in the top 20% of one of the top Dallas high schools and 95% of her friends were headed to great colleges.  She earned a wonderful scholarship - yet her mother refused to let her go to college.  Recently I learned of a fine, talented student who had accomplished so many great things yet his mother threw a fit that he was "leaving home" to go to DENTON to go to college.

This is not a problem unique to DISD.

bbetzen
bbetzen

@holmantx I think that same measurement was near 40% in 2006, and now it is 56%.  Something is happening!   At Sunset High School the senior class this year was 90% the size of the freshman class.  In a school with 2,300 students that is amazing!  What was happening?   The more we can get students focused on their own lives and futures, and the more we can get parents to articulate their dreams for their children, the more such progress we will see.   See http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/05/school-time-capsule-project-is-9-years.html

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@Steve 

Why try anything? Walking out the door in the morning is an opportunity cost. Why not stay in bed?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@Steve 

Eric Cowan's point, well taken, was that this is a leadership academy. There is only one way you know if it's succeeding: throw the graduates into leadership positions and see how they fare, the operative phrase being "see how they fare." The idea that it's a principals academy, therefore all graduates who go to positions less than principal are failures, is ludicrous. Those assignments are based on all sorts of factors including the quality of the incumbents. The same people raising this argument were complaining a month ago that good principals would be fired just to make room for the academy graduates. Lots of private entities have executive career tracks. The value of the career track isn't measured by how many graduates go straight to the top immediately.

Miles said to Jones, not in so many words, OK, if you insist on an immediate tangible metric,  there was a curriculum and testing on that curriculum, and they all passed,so they're all successes according to that metric.  That's when Jones wanted to wrap her head around things holistically, which really means, "You have rebutted my point, which I refuse to acknowledge, so I will change the question to something that cannot be answered." 

bbetzen
bbetzen

@Steve Well said!  And what about the 65 middle school teacher positions that will be eliminated tonight if the budget is approved as written so as to save $3,900,000 - almost the identical cost of this somehow valuable Leadership Academy? 

Is the Leadership Academy so valuable that 65 teachers can be removed from the three middle school grades the EACH account for over 19% of all discipline referrals in all of DISD?  When you add more students to each teachers classroom, do discipline problems go up or down?  60% of all discipline referrals in all of DISD are in middle school.  Ninth grade,who used to have most of these referrals, now has less than 14% of all DISD referrals. 

Is Mike Miles preparing for middle schools to implode?  Does he want to increase the record number of 5th graders who are withdrawn by their parents from DISD so as to avoid the chaotic middle schools in their area.  See the decade long pattern of this percentage growing at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/03/middle-school-chaos.html

ToddWilliams
ToddWilliams

@MichaelMacNaughton By the way, I truly believe that every board member (as well as the countless people who serve on various DISD citizen committees) wants the best for our kids.  You wouldn't put in this much time on an unpaid basis if you didn't.  What is meaningfully hurting our city, however, is a lack of trust and mutual support of each other; the understanding that we can ask tough questions in a respectful manner, that we can even ultimately disagree on the answer, but it doesn't need to get personal...that we can have an honest debate and reach the best decision we can without assigning ulterior motives to those we disagree with.   A significant lack of trust leads to behavior that is not positive in a variety of ways; how do we rebuild it?

 We are now on our 8th superintendent in 20 years; its incredibly hard to have a world class school system with that much instability.   We have some excellent board members who we are blessed that they are willing to serve in a thankless, incredibly time consuming job.   The same goes for those who serve DISD on various commissions.  Given the recent dialogue, I'm hopeful that our board can take the time needed during the summer break to reflect on where we are, and ask the tough question of how do we move forward in a positive manner....what steps do we need to take, and how do we change how we operate, to create more leadership stability and more people in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.  We owe our kids that.  Its their future we are talking about.  I'd prefer to hope we can do it than instead resolve that we will be on this same path forever.

ToddWilliams
ToddWilliams

@MichaelMacNaughton By the way, I truly believe that every board member (as well as the countless people who serve on various DISD citizen committees) wants the best for our kids.  You wouldn't put in this much time on an unpaid basis if you didn't.  What is meaningfully hurting our city, however, is a lack of trust and mutual support of each other; the understanding that we can ask tough questions in a respectful manner, that we can even ultimately disagree on the answer, but it doesn't need to get personal...that we can have an honest debate and reach the best decision we can without assigning ulterior motives to those we disagree with.   A significant lack of trust leads to behavior that is not positive in a variety of ways; how do we rebuild it?

 We are now on our 8th superintendent in 20 years; its incredibly hard to have a world class school system with that much instability.  We have some excellent board members who we are blessed that they are willing to serve in a thankless, incredibly time consuming job.   The same goes for those who serve DISD on various commissions.  Given the recent dialogue, I'm hopeful that our board can take the time needed during the summer break to reflect on where we are, and ask the tough question of how do we move forward in a positive manner....what steps do we need to take, and how do we change how we operate, to create more leadership stability and more people in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.  We owe our kids that.  Its their future we are talking about.  I'd prefer to hope we can do it than instead resolve that we will be on this same path forever.

williamstodd
williamstodd

@MichaelMacNaughton The board hired Miles.  No one else even interviewed the candidates.  Let's place responsibility where it lies.  I'm tired of all of these insinuations that Miles was forced upon the trustees.   They need to take ownership for all of their actions; hiring him, micromanaging him, running off select cabinet members who said life is too short to deal with this dysfunction.  Rawlings gave some names to the search firm; they sifted through them with the board and agreed on which candidates to interview and then which finalist to select.  Their decision.  Own it.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Flabbergasted @holmantx

Forced?

W-hell then.  Let's form a search committee. Hire Mike Moses.

Yvonne Gonzalez

Tenure: 1996-97

Why she left: An FBI investigation found she used district funds to buy furniture and was sent to prison.

Where is she now: Possibly in Mississippi, where she recently retired from a nonprofit immigration reform agency in the coastal city of Biloxi.

Waldemar “Bill” Rojas

Tenure: 1999-2000

Why he left: School board fired him because of a bad rapport between trustees and him.

Where is he now: Possibly in Florida. He served at a for-profit charter school company in Boston.

Mike Moses

Tenure: 2001-2004

Why he left: He resigned, saying he was tired.

Where is he now: In Texas, where he runs a superintendent search company.



bbetzen
bbetzen

@JimSX @Steve So DISD is investing $4,000,000 with no supporting data to indicate it will be a valuable investment?  Such leadership academies in urban school districts have a history going back over ten years.   Where is that data?  Something big is missing here!

stevesinbox2006
stevesinbox2006

So it's entirely possible that they spend 4mil to train 40 people, and then the best candidates for the next round of top jobs arent felliws, but are current AP's that aren't getting any extra professional development? And would you see that as an effective use of our tax money? I hear miles saying they have multiple tracks, but jones had a valid point to me, that this is the largest "spend", therefore maybe it should get the most scrutiny. And if the only real way to see if they succeed is to throw them into a leadership position, why not use that 4 million to develop people that you already have in leadership positions. And I think you're not seeing her wholistic comment correctly. As a new trustee, might she be trying to understand the big picture? After all, at 4mil for 40 fellows, that's 100k of professional development dollars per person. What differences could be made if you spent that kind if money in people who you've ready identified in house as having potential. Of course, that would mean having an effective human capital division, and area directors you trust to make those evaluations. Think miles has those? ,

MichaelMacNaughton
MichaelMacNaughton

@JimSX 

And how do you measure that "see how they fare" metric?  What's the rubric?  How many spot observations they make?  Yeh, that'll improve student achievement. Jobs for adults, Jim, jobs for adults.

bbetzen
bbetzen

@JimSX Jim, these academies are nothing new.  As I recall, many have been closed. Why does Miles not point to research in other urban districts to support his academy?   Is it because there have been no wonderful results?

bbetzen
bbetzen

@Reformer @bbetzen Are you trying to distract people from the data because you cannot find something wrong with the data quoted?

ToddWilliams
ToddWilliams

@williamstodd @MichaelMacNaughton By the way, I truly believe that every board member (as well as the countless people who serve on various DISD citizen committees) wants the best for our kids.  You wouldn't put in this much time on an unpaid basis if you didn't.  What is meaningfully hurting our city, however, is a lack of trust and mutual support of each other; the understanding that we can ask tough questions in a respectful manner, that we can even ultimately disagree on the answer, but it doesn't need to get personal...that we can have an honest debate and reach the best decision we can without assigning ulterior motives to those we disagree with.   A significant lack of trust leads to behavior that is not positive in a variety of ways; how do we rebuild it?

 We are now on our 8th superintendent in 20 years; its incredibly hard to have a world class school system with that much instability.  We have some excellent board members who we are blessed that they are willing to serve in a thankless, incredibly time consuming job.   The same goes for those who serve DISD on various commissions.  Given the recent dialogue, I'm hopeful that our board can take the time needed during the summer break to reflect on where we are, and ask the tough question of how do we move forward in a positive manner....what steps do we need to take, and how do we change how we operate, to create more leadership stability and more people in the same boat, rowing in the same direction.  We owe our kids that.  Its their future we are talking about.  I'd prefer to hope we can do it than instead resolve that we will be on this same path forever.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

@holmantx @Flabbergasted You really  do not get it. Then there will be five fiefdoms. The goal here is to CLEAN out the bad influence of those who control this city like it was 1957.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@Flabbergasted @holmantx 

Only since 1980.

What you are saying is it's systemic.

and that's what I'm talking about.

Bust it up so the powers that be are presented with too many targets.

Standard military tactic.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

@holmantx @Flabbergasted I guess you aren't from around these here parts.

The business community, the North Dallas community, has been in control of the DISD for over 40 years. They make sure that their wishes are fulfilled, and they make sure the superintendents live close to them....

And Moses was not tired. He skidaddled before people caught on to...........

bbetzen
bbetzen

@JimSX @bbetzen @Steve There is a rather consistent over-representation in our prison system of those who did not take advantage of that education.  Does that count?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@bbetzen @JimSX @Steve 

Bill, you are missing the elephant for the mouse. Look at the vastly bigger sums the district is investing in teaching children. Where is the research to show that teaching children anything is a valuable investment?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@stevesinbox2006 

1. You try something new because what's there now sucks. Your idea is posited on the notion that what's there now is OK. You are enormously wrong.

2. She isn't asking a big picture question. She's asking a micro question, for  a metric. Miles reluctantly offers a metric. She switches to big picture and says he didn't answer her question. Calling her questions intellectually dishonest actually gives her too much credit.  She's all over the map and doesn't know she is. 

MichaelMacNaughton
MichaelMacNaughton

@JimSX

You're not from Texas.  Weighing the calf won't fatten it but to be a successful cattle rancher I should invest in scales?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MichaelMacNaughton @JimSX Or this question: when you set out to measure how they fare, how do you put your pants on? How do you walk? Are we sure it's one foot in front of the other? Where's the rubric on that? What about hopping?  

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@bbetzen @JimSX 

Right. Academies are not new. Presumably, when Crow Woman summoned the young females of her tribe to the fire ring and taught them how to chew deer hide in order to make lacing for canoes, she was running an academy. So what is it you want? Research to prove that teaching people what you want them to do is a good idea?  Tell you what. Why don;t you show me the research that shows that teaching people how to do things the right way is a bad idea?

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