Brett Shipp Piled On Mike Miles Last Night, Because the Miles Haters Are Getting Nervous

Categories: Schutze

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Last night on WFAA Channel 8, reporter Brett Shipp aired a one-on-one interview with a retired Dallas business executive living in Santa Fe saying that Dallas schools chief Mike Miles needs to be whacked. I'm not accusing Shipp or the former businessman, J. McDonald Williams, of expressing anything other than a sincere point of view. But.

Williams' complaints about Miles are old news. Williams' sentiments are based on his feeling that he has been personally slighted by Miles, who failed to re-up a program Williams championed before Miles arrived in Dallas in the spring of 2012. And.

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Brett Shipp
Shipp, whose stories have portrayed Miles as involved in improprieties, has a stake in the outcome of an upcoming external report by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins, who is looking into those allegations. What I'm hearing indicates that report will not support Shipp's reporting or Williams' complaints. In fact.

The external report probably is going to sink everything Williams has been saying and Shipp has been reporting about Miles since last spring. But Shipp and Williams have chosen this moment to revive a 3-month-old story just ahead of an external report due in a couple weeks that will almost certainly pull the rug out from under them.

The underlying accusation against Miles is that he's a carpetbagger and an unpleasant dictator who came to town, put everybody up against the wall and maybe even engaged in corrupt practices by ordering the temporary suspension of an internal investigation of his own performance. The specific allegation is that Miles intervened improperly in a school district contracting matter.

See also:
Mike Miles versus The World

The general rebuttal is that Miles came to town and found a miserably under-performing school system that was prisoner to an encrusted dug-in system of plantation-style political patronage. He put in place the first tough consistent plan of reform the district had ever seen. Now he's under attack from unions and some business interests who were perfectly happy with the old ways. The specific rebuttal on the contracting issue is that Miles did everything by the book, legally and within policy where relevant policy even existed.

I have calls and messages in to Shipp and Williams since early this morning. I will let you know if I hear from them. I have not talked to Coggins -- in fact I haven't even tried to call Coggins -- because I know from long experience what the answer is. He's not even going to take a call about this matter until his report is out.

Coggins' external investigation is the outgrowth of the stymied internal investigation, which I have characterized here as a bullshit hack job. I have been talking to people who have been talking to Coggins. It's plain that Coggins is bringing people in and doing exactly what the internal hack job investigation failed to do -- putting together the rules, laws, policies and practices, methodically and meticulously, that govern contracting at DISD.

The internal report by the district's Office of Professional Responsibility never bothered to do that. It presented unsubstantiated charges against Miles by a very disgruntled employee who has since left the district, who is also a former colleague of Shipp. Shipp reported her charges on air as if they were official findings of the district itself.

Coggins is putting together the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that the OPR report just dumped out loose on the table. I can tell you in advance what that picture is going to be when it's all assembled. It will show two things:

1. Miles didn't lift a finger in the contracting matter until after checking with district lawyers to make sure he was handling it the right way.

2. Not only was the internal report a mess, but the division that carried it out is, too. People familiar with district operations say they've told Coggins that the OPR has become a rogue, secret police within the district -- judge, jury and hangman, carrying out politically inspired vendettas for certain members of the school board while seeking to operate without any supervision or ultimate control from anyone.

Look, you never know until the pie gets baked, and Coggins is not an easy guy to predict. He will go where the evidence takes him. I have the same problem Shipp does: I tend to hear more from people on one side of the issue than the other. Maybe other people are giving Coggins damaging information about Miles that I don't know about. I do have to allow for the fact that Shipp is the city's best reporter. But.

Something about last night's report on Channel 8 smells to me like an attempt to repackage old news as new news, and use it to get some anti-Miles momentum going ahead of a report that both Shipp and Don Williams know is going to be egg on their faces.

Again, there was not one new word in what Shipp reported last night. He traveled to Santa Fe to hear Williams say again that he's pissed off because Miles installed his own new system of reform instead of sticking with one Williams favored.

Williams is a man of great integrity who, since his retirement, has committed himself over decades to resolution of the city's bitter racial divide, but there is also a bit of arrogance here. Miles was hired and told to clean up the district, fast. Why would he come in and say, "Just keep doing what you're doing?"

Don Williams, former CEO of Trammell Crow Company, ain't the superintendent of schools in Dallas. Mike Miles has that job, at least for now. So far he has hit every single one of his goals in his first year. The only substantial charges against him are now being investigated by Coggins. Why not wait a couple weeks until we hear how that comes out? Why the pile-on right now?


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40 comments
uptownguy
uptownguy

Jim - I'm so disappointed.  It's quiet amazing how you have completely gone 180 on Mike Miles in just one year.  You called a teacher a hero in Jan '12 for speaking up and writing an email blasting the administration for increasing the workdays.  That man was a HERO in your terms.  Today that same teacher would be called something very different if he spoke against the administration or (god forbid) the superintendent.

This time last year you had a interesting article about how North Dallas white professionals were going to take over the schools within the black communities.  You had alot of concerns and misgivings in that article about their intent  (but none now?)

Seems like Jim has been drinking the Koolaid or something else has happened?  A man who got to the bottom of the stories about the tollroad being built inside the leevies,  and the engineering report about the sad shape of the leevies surrounding downtown, etc.  A man I respected because he really dug to get the truth is now suddenly the superintendent's No. 1 fan!

MIke Miles has been working in military and gov't his entire professional career.  He has extensive experience working with policy, procedures and guidelines.  This is also not his first rodeo when it comes to working in the public sector.  He's also experienced in environments that are considered "hostile.".  Miles should be above reproach given his position, but this obviously has not occurred..  Despite Mr. Coggins's findings, this man has a stain that will follow him throughout his DISD career (no matter how long or short it is).

Also, Jim - I would challenge you to investigate what the teachers are required to perform each day.  While I understand and agree with change and reforms, change should be for the better.  Banning students from reading aloud is absurd if you teach a foreign language class, requiring classroom doors remain open during class is disruptive.  Not allowing teachers to assign the lesson and allow students the opportunity have that lesson reinforced with the teacher present is not effective.  Students are left to figure it out 3-6 hours later along with all their other classes.  I doubt Jim would appreciate being micromanaged every day also, he comes across as  a person who wouldn't put up that kind of crap!

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

Question to ponder, how many times do we need to post the same comments over and over? LOL

Yolanda
Yolanda

Questions to ponder How many investigations did opr conduct of Hinojosa that were brought by former DISD employees? Who hired opr? If there were no investigations does that mean there were no complaints against Hinojosa by disgruntled former employees (remember there were quite a few during the budget reduction layoffs) or does oprs loyalty remain with the former superintendent? I am not a supporter of miles and believe he should be held accountable as any employee for any found policy violations. In my opinion however, the rodriguez opr report is unprofessional and drips with bias. I would not be surprised if at some point either by Coggins or others this is soon brought to light. Last question- who investigates opr?

Yolanda
Yolanda

Questions to ponder How many investigations did opr conduct of Hinojosa that were brought by former DISD employees? Who hired opr? If there were no investigations does that mean there were no complaints against Hinojosa by disgruntled former employees (remember there were quite a few during the budget reduction layoffs) or does oprs loyalty remain with the former superintendent? I am not a supporter of miles and believe he should be held accountable as any employee for any found policy violations. In my opinion however, the rodriguez opr report is unprofessional and drips with bias. I would not be surprised if at some point either by Coggins or others this is soon brought to light. Last question- who investigates opr?

Yolanda
Yolanda

Questions to ponder How many investigations did opr conduct of Hinojosa that were brought by former DISD employees? Who hired opr? If there were no investigations does that mean there were no complaints against Hinojosa by disgruntled former employees (remember there were quite a few during the budget reduction layoffs) or does oprs loyalty remain with the former superintendent? I am not a supporter of miles and believe he should be held accountable as any employee for any found policy violations. In my opinion however, the rodriguez opr report is unprofessional and drips with bias. I would not be surprised if at some point either by Coggins or others this is soon brought to light. Last question- who investigates opr?

Yolanda
Yolanda

Questions to ponder How many investigations did opr conduct of Hinojosa that were brought by former DISD employees? Who hired opr? If there were no investigations does that mean there were no complaints against Hinojosa by disgruntled former employees (remember there were quite a few during the budget reduction layoffs) or does oprs loyalty remain with the former superintendent? I am not a supporter of miles and believe he should be held accountable as any employee for any found policy violations. In my opinion however, the rodriguez opr report is unprofessional and drips with bias. I would not be surprised if at some point either by Coggins or others this is soon brought to light. Last question- who investigates opr?

Yolanda
Yolanda

Questions to ponder How many investigations did opr conduct of Hinojosa that were brought by former DISD employees? Who hired opr? If there were no investigations does that mean there were no complaints against Hinojosa by disgruntled former employees (remember there were quite a few during the budget reduction layoffs) or does oprs loyalty remain with the former superintendent? I am not a supporter of miles and believe he should be held accountable as any employee for any found policy violations. In my opinion however, the rodriguez opr report is unprofessional and drips with bias. I would not be surprised if at some point either by Coggins or others this is soon brought to light. Last question- who investigates opr?

Yolanda
Yolanda

Questions to ponder How many investigations did opr conduct of Hinojosa that were brought by former DISD employees? Who hired opr? If there were no investigations does that mean there were no complaints against Hinojosa by disgruntled former employees (remember there were quite a few during the budget reduction layoffs) or does oprs loyalty remain with the former superintendent? I am not a supporter of miles and believe he should be held accountable as any employee for any found policy violations. In my opinion however, the rodriguez opr report is unprofessional and drips with bias. I would not be surprised if at some point either by Coggins or others this is soon brought to light. Last question- who investigates opr?

cmint
cmint

Man. Why all the hate heaped on Shipp (dont say three times fast unless you want him to appear) . Really I am serious.  I like Shipp, but fear I may have a blind spot here.  Clue me in with a link or two.  

On DISD? Miles seems like the best in quite some time, but it is still the DISD.  Choosing one side over the other is like taking sides in hammer fight between two convicted serial killers 

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Another stand by your man piece, Jim?

How do you explain the horrible hires made under his watch?


How do you explain away the THOUSANDS, yes, over 2,000 who LEFT DISD this year, three times the average year? And they are not the sorry ones, but some of the best.

If Williams isn't in charge, is the Mayor? No.

Your fella is on his way out, and it is time you awaken to the fact that he is the worst thing that has happened to Dallas since November of 1963.


Not sure how you crawled up his butt, but you must need grapple hooks to stay there.

HarveyandLee
HarveyandLee

"It presented unsubstantiated charges against Miles by a very disgruntled employee who has since left the district, who is also a former colleague of Shipp. Shipp reported her charges on air as if they were official findings of the district itself."


In order to understand how things work in Dallas media since the evening of 11/22/63 (the truth was being reported within the first hour or so), you have to understand some background:

    Brett Shipp is the son of Bert Shipp, who was instrumental in the cover-up of the truth of the JFK assassination by continuing to report the government's Magic Disney Bullet theory and its lame legend of a Lee Harvey Oswald, etc., etc., rather than report what many witnesses observed 11/22/63 and the week or so leading up to it.

     If you want a long-standing, successful career in Dallas mainstream media, you must open wide and swallow what your bosses want -- for you to continue reporting the JFK assassination lies, even though a small percentage of people believe you, Hugh Aynesworth the biggest whore of them all.


http://www.harveyandlee.net/

primi_timpano
primi_timpano topcommenter

If Williams want to be taken seriously he should stand for election to the school board. If Dallas parents and other residents want solutions they should elect a competent school board. In a democracy you get the government you deserve.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

I don't understand why we have to pick a side.  Can't we hate the Board, Miles and Brett Shipp equally?   

Miles was never a good fit for the District and they need to find some way to separate.  He probably won't quit and walk away from his contract.  Any action the Board takes will probably end up in court.  I wish they would just sit down and civilly discuss that things aren't working out and reach a settlement.

I am not saying that things do not need to change with the District.  Miles just cannot express himself in a way to get people on board with him.  I suspect, he still looks at things from a military perspective.  While he might have been a great military officer, it doesn't translate well into the political and civilian world. 

He would have been a better choice for a second in command role, not they guy on top.

Dan Pettit
Dan Pettit

At least Brett did not accuse a local lacrosse team for raping a woman so he can't be that bad.

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

The editing of this piece sucks. I don't really care either way about the content but I couldn't get past the first two paragraphs anyway. But. That was an actual sentence in the first part. It just said but with a period after it. Wow!

Obummer
Obummer

Yo rarelyz iz da queshun asked: what’z iz ourz chil'nz learningz?

eastdallascam
eastdallascam

Maybe it's just me, but I think it's weird that you'll denounce the work of OPR while at the same time praising Miles, the only person OPR reports to.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I will say this for Miles' reforms; there is zero focus on the kids and district performance.  I'm not blaming Miles for this, I blame the media.  Most of our local media has dutifully donned their breastplates and hoisted the petards against Miles, Jim and a few other media magpies are determinedly circling wagons around Miles.

It seems to me the School Board may actually be the evil genius in the equation.  Between the Miles hiring and courting charter schools, the Board has managed to shift focus away from district performance in education and toward the peripheral issues.  About the only way I can get any kind of feel for public perception of DISD educational performance is to read the comments on the education blogs.  I suppose the commenters, being parents, kids, or soon-to-be parents are the only people who have a real vested interest in the district actually education kids and not just serving as a slop-trough for public funds.

whocareswhatithink
whocareswhatithink

Over 86% of DISD students are on a meal program, meaning they are certified to receive free or reduced price lunches based on their family incomes or participation in Food Stamp or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families programs....I would like to see the news tackle this issue and address the real numbers, not same old MM rubbish.

iwearblack
iwearblack

I watched the report and it was pretty evident that the only real reason Williams is making this an issue is that Achieve Dallas wasn't selected, and therefore, he can't belly up to the trough... Williams needs to keep to his own business in Santa Fe...

Bonnie Jean Stoner
Bonnie Jean Stoner

Just talk to DISD teachers, good teachers, good people, it has never been worse at DISD. I didn't see Brett Shipp, but I talk to lots of teachers and they have never had less respect and lower morale than under Miles. And it is not because they don't want to work.

Mark Pierson
Mark Pierson

I am glad I am not the only one who thinks Brett Shipp is a horrible reporter.

chrisd
chrisd

Is Brett still calling Dirk to ask why he didn't visit his pregnant girlfriend?  What a jerk.

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Hey Mr Williams,  Rather than being  a Volunteer all those years  offering suggestions and recommendations from the out side Why didn't you take  a real JOB inside the district where you could have made those suggestions and recommendations into actual policy .

  Just think what "YOU" could have Done ?

 But you didn't .

WHY ?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

When watching the report I could have sworn it was the exact same thing I heard and read a few months ago, so much so, i thought it was just a replay of a previous interview and he was going to bring some new ground  breaking info to this report at the end.  Oh well, News 8 sucked me in and kept me watching so I guess their plan worked.  

chrisd
chrisd

@cmint google Shipp and Dirk from about 4 years ago.  He is an a-hole.

HarveyandLee
HarveyandLee

@ChangingF8 Since you're a fan of the Dallas Stars, you all too well know the feeling of getting punked by the Detroit Red Wings. Had you read columnist Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press, you would know Jim's usage is nothing new.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@eastdallascam 

If they report to him, then why did they complain to the board when he told them to suspend their investigation of him?

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@iwearblack Word, if DISD is such a big deal to him, move his ass back here, or at least do his interview in Dallas

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin

There in the Palace of the Jedi at Santa Fe, I kept expecting Williams to say: "Anakin, don't do anything without consulting either myself or the Council. " 

ChangingF8
ChangingF8

@HarveyandLee @ChangingF8 It may not be new but it's still hardly readable. And the overall record of the Red Wings v.s. the Stars isn't that impressive. They have won just over 50% of the games over the entire history of both teams. It's been more recent that the Stars haven't won much against the Red Wings, but considering the turmoil of the franchise, that can be expected. But the times, they are a changing, as they say.

eastdallascam
eastdallascam

@JimSX @eastdallascam 

While (obviously) I don't know the true answer, I'll say a few things in response to your question:

1) Perhaps he identifies a difference between who you report your work to, and who you feel right to go to with complaints or concerns (I'm thinking of the difference between a manager and HR);

2) Perhaps at being told to suspend the investigation by the subject of the investigation, he, like myself (and probably others), saw red flags flying;

3) I thought about referencing the report to see what Donald Smith said about this in particular, but we know how you feel about that document and its contents.

Does any of that strike a chord with you?

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

@ScottsMerkin @iwearblack That Williams guy  Reminds me of the one person in any family or organization who is  full of suggestions and "ALWAYS HAS The BETTER WAY"  they would have DONE something.  

animas
animas

Yes indeed nothing quite says"effitist snob" like some jacka** in his million dollar Santa Fe compound complete with  thousands of dollar of Maria Martinez black ware pottery as a decorative backround "earnestly" telling us how he is" concerned" about minority children in Dallas.  (This is why New Mexicans hate Texans BTY)

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