Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles' Family is Moving Back to Colorado

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Mark Graham
When Mike Miles arrived at Dallas ISD, he brought his family with him. He and his wife bought a house in Northwest Dallas, and his son enrolled at Marsh Middle School. Now the family's having second thoughts.

The Morning News' Matthew Haag broke the news this morning:

Miles informed his top staff and trustees last night that his wife, Karen, and youngest child, Anthony, will return to Colorado in time for his son to start seventh grade there. Miles' family moved with him a year ago, leaving where they had lived for 17 years, to settle down in Dallas and send Anthony to their neighborhood middle school.

"It's a difficult decision, but we feel that our first responsibility is to our son, and we have to do what is best for him," Miles said in an email notifying district leaders. "We also hope to insulate him from the negative media that is starting to take its toll on him and Karen."

Miles didn't return a phone call seeking comment. DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander said Miles doesn't plan to talk publicly about the move.

However, Dahlander said Miles and his family will reevaluate the move at the end of next school year to determine whether they should there or come back to Dallas.

"It's not until he moved here that he realized how much media attention there is," Dahlander said. "There is media pressure but the pressure of the job is pretty intense. Any type of criticism is difficult, particularly for school-aged children."

It's hard to blame them for wanting to escape. Miles has been the target of a constant stream of criticism and vitriol that shows no sign of letting up. It's inevitable that some of that will spill over to his wife and son, whether it's through middle schoolers acting like middle schoolers or the protestors that set up shop in front of your house. They aren't the ones who took the job.

At the same time, it means that Miles has a child who isn't even enrolled in the district he leads. At the very least, that's bad optics. It's also one less thing tethering him to DISD.


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32 comments
Hawkeye
Hawkeye

Cliffhanger: You are right. Where was the 100 grand investigation on that one? Amazing they are spending that kind of money as if no members of the board ever pulled a board item from the agenda or had any communication or interest with potential bidders.

Vansams
Vansams

Thank you JWP and OPR and of course the BOT! Require teachers to write (maybe that was the problem) their lesson plans on the board, give a subordinate or two a directive and fire two of more than two hundred principals and it's too much. Back to the good old days of the tail wagging the dog and a non educator as interim superintendent just in time for the first day of school,

Johnny Bananas
Johnny Bananas

cant say i blame em. i dont want my kid going to any DISD school. especially not in northwest dallas which is where i grew up. I can honestly say those schools are awful

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Well, on the bright side at least this means he won't be using programs intended for low-income DISD students to get his kid in to Harvard.

bspinmediagroup
bspinmediagroup

"If you live by the sword, you die by the sword..." Miles came rolling into Dallas steamrolling and firing good, smart employes and acting with arrogance and impunity as a combination king and dictator...He brought an unqualified communications director who was 29 and had little experience...His former chief of staff has been indicted in Atlanta and on and on till the break of dawn...I am not a family of bringing in superintendants with military backgrounds. They are rigid, pompous and out of touch with the issues of urban school children...The educational landscape is littered with these military educators...Looks like he's trying to run at his first chance...It looks bad when the Superintendant's child doesn't attend his own school district...Bad optics...

EastDallasMom
EastDallasMom

You make an excellent point about him not being tethered to DISD, as a parent.

Our biggest problems have nothing to do with whoever the, Superintendent du jour, happens to be.I was thinking something Jim said the other day. Between the editorial boards and real estate developers, the City Council doesn't need a PR firm. They've got plenty of protection.

DISD has its share of problems, they and their board members created. I do believe most could have been avoided, if we required each board member, to be assigned a committee of professional mentors, to guide them. Especially since most of them have no long time experience as DISD parents, volunteers, are not business people, or have expertise in human development or the social sciences.

On the other hand, it feels like our local editorial boards don't have the loyalty to DISD or the Police, obviously, like they do to other institutions, even to a fault.  Is it because most editorial board members do not live in Dallas or if they do, they send their kids to private schools like Lakehill?

Is constantly bashing inner city public schools how editorial boards, lacking in diversity and who don't live in Dallas or send their kids to DISD, subconsciously feed the flame of "ism's" of their rabid readers, as demonstrated by blog posts?  It has gotten to the point, that it feels like DISD is getting bullied by editorial boards. That is the why I want to know.

A powerful motivator to make things better, to any institution, is loyalty.  Positive things in DISD are happening with our children. Mine and many other kids are living proof, but getting that message out and getting willing teachers and administrators will require a new kind of intellectualism, imagination and a tremendous collective effort, that unfortunately, Dallas leaders, the anonymous bloggers on here, and our editorial boards haven't been willing to help them with because you can't make someone be loyal to something they don't really know anything about. 

DISD's mistake is not being in the real estate business. If they were, maybe our leaders would care.

Susan Durham
Susan Durham

As usual, Dallas doesn't know when it's well-off. Just like they tear down beautiful old buildings, they throw out the baby with the bath-water on this one. Don't blame him for wanting to run!

Kt Althoff
Kt Althoff

Prime reason why I live in Richardson. They have been corrupt way before I was even out of school and I graduated almost 20 yrs ago. So sad to see this great citys school system still failing miserably.

mcdallas
mcdallas

This is the first story mentioning "DISD" that didn't have 73,087+ comments afterward.  And, no Wylie H.  I guess that means he's not Mike Miles.

Disrupted
Disrupted

Eric, if you remember correctly, the protesters were not allowed to "set up shop" in front of Miles' house.  The police kept them at bay down the street.

I wonder if you would reference all the "constant stream of criticism and vitriol in the media"? 

 From where I stand, all I read this year were glowing articles which whitewashed all of Miles' poor decisions. The DO, DMN, DMag, all ran incredibly optimistic stories in the face of Miles' disasters, blaming all problems on the teachers and the BOT. Most of Miles' problems have been of his own making. 

Dallas_dude
Dallas_dude

School system is so divided.  I'm not sure I agree with his policies or methods.  One this is for sure, people are much more concerned w/ keeping their paychecks then doing what's best for kids.

I think there should be a law that says if your kids is failing in school then you claim them as a dependent on your taxes.  I wonder how many of these parents would come down harder on their kids if it started hitting them in the wallet.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

He gone.  Its says a lot when your super wont send his kids to school in the district he runs, but really, who can blame him.  We see all the shit on the outside, can you imagine the garbage he sees on the inside?  Plus being uprooted from all you childhood friends sucks and can be very awkward and uncomfortable, add in the fact no one likes your dad and yeah, its best they go back home

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

I don't fault the move. Family first - always. That said, Miles tenure will end very badly. Sadly, I don't think anyone can fix the district. It's an incestuous, race driven disaster. Miles will go, a bloody fight will ensue to install a black, brown or white. One will win, 2 will lose, and the theater will continue, ad nauseam.

Raine Devries
Raine Devries

I can only imagine the pressure his son was encountering at school due to the drastically high level of media attention and vilification of his father. It's sad for a family to have to resort to such drastic actions.

Christine Carey
Christine Carey

The only thing that will end the schemes in this crime syndicate is vouchers with 100% of the funding following the child. No cut for the Ross Avenue gang. Parents take the kid wherever they please within the district, to another district or private. Just like the voucher for Spanish-speaking preschoolers that allows them to go to private pre-K programs, except the funding isn't routed through a steak-eating administration on the way to the classroom.

Branson Heinz
Branson Heinz

Either: 1) He was just as corrupt as everyone else at DISD. or 2) He really tried to clean up DISD and the corrupt faction of DISD and the city of Dallas (aka most of both) ran him off or set him up.

TexMarine
TexMarine

@bspinmediagroup Can't "good, smart employees" find employment in functional districts? I hear the claims that he fired good people, but doubt there's evidence to prove it.

EastDallasMom
EastDallasMom

@bspinmediagroup  We  really did have many mediocre teachers, administrators and principals and I believe we were all hoping he could clean house, so all of our kids, no matter where they lived could have a fighting chance.  Don't know who was guiding him, but it doesn't appear they had much experience as parents in DISD, otherwise they would have suggested he surround himself with the best the district had to offer plus interview local professionals, instead of bringing so many new people, who were not experienced in a district this size. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@Disrupted so you are saying that its not the thousands of teachers in the district, its the 1 man at the top that is the problem.  DISD will never get better with this attitude

James080
James080

@Lakewooder  

The winner will ultimately be the biggest loser.....it's the DISD way.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

@EastDallasMom The problem is that Miles values compliance over performance. Excellent educators have been shown the door, not because they were ineffective, but because they dared to deviate from Miles' methods. 

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

@ScottsMerkin @Disrupted The overwhelming majority of DISD teachers are doing the very best they can with little or no support from the district or parents. Miles has proven again and again that he can't identify and retain talent. Many of our best educators with long track records of success have abandoned the district or been forced out because they won't follow Miles' system.

EastDallasMom
EastDallasMom

This is what the Texas Tribune says about Hogg Elementary.  "Teachers have less experience than the state average and are paid more than the state average."  http://www.texastribune.org/public-ed/explore/dallas-isd/james-s-hogg-elementary-school/

These are the whys I want answered but they are questions I don't think our editorial boards even know to ask, because they do not have experience as parents in DISD.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Mike Miles was hired to fix these disparities. If we are going to hold on to our fiefdoms, with help from editorial boards, then it does not matter who we hire. Nothing will change. 

EastDallasMom
EastDallasMom

@EastDallasDad   You do have a point, but we really do need more checks and balances, which means conformity to some degree. I hate it too but we also need fairness of talent distributed throughout the district, even if it is painful. Some schools got to keep their principals forever, which was great for us, but not for poor neighborhoods.  

Many years ago, I suggested why not assign a great principal,  like Olivia Henderson, who just retired from Stonewall Jackson, over two schools walking distance to each other and have strong vice principals, located at each school. That way the parents at both Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson  could work together to bring both schools up, design complimentary programs, the kids could share, etc. Everyone knows Stonewall is fabulous, but Robert E. Lee has been a revolving door of principals, over the years. The district rep at the time, thanked me for the suggestion, but I could tell, they thought I had lost my mind. Another good pairing that comes to mind is Rosemont and Hogg Elementaryin Oak Cliff. So close, yet so far. There are quite a few good examples, if we could get past the fiefdoms.  

On the one hand, I understand the need for C&B, but we need innovation in our public schools to bring them all up, for the kids and so that property values between neighborhoods, so close together, are not so disparate, which will add to our tax base for curbs and gutters. 

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@EastDallasDad @Disrupted im by no means trying to degrade every teacher there, but when you run through super after super and nothing changes, it certainly points in a different direction that the man at the top

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