What is That Awful Smell Coming off the Pages of The Dallas Morning News Today?

Categories: Schutze

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Wow. What a bunch of junk in the The Dallas Morning News this morning about Rene Martinez, The LeMaster Group and Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles. The whole school reform story in Dallas just gets more weird with every passing day.

But should that surprise us? Remember: Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price has been using softball interviews with friendly reporters to call for Miles' firing since last October, when Miles got rid of long-term school executive Shirley Ison-Newsome, a Price protégé of many years.

Remember this, too: An all-African-American community group started picketing Miles' home after a few popular black school principals got "non-renewed," which means sacked.

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Library of Congress
Another day at the office for Mike Miles

In other words, the Dallas school chief given the mission of radical reform when he came to town a year ago sits every day atop of a kind of political/racial volcano. The volcano is always venting and spewing random odd smokes and bad smells. But that doesn't mean Miles is the one making the smells.

So today we have the latest installment in the very odd smokes and smells department -- a story in The Dallas Morning News making it sound as if Miles is under some kind of quasi-criminal investigation for using school district funds to hire a sock-puppet phony-ass defender who's really a hired hack for a public relations firm. The headline is, "Investigators, hired to review actions of Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, question Hispanic leader."

Sounds kind of bad or not good or fishy-wishy or something, eh? But if you read into the story, you find that the two by-lined reporters, Tawnell D. Hobbs and Matthew Haag, were not able to confirm any of the story's basic thesis. Zip. Why is this story even in the paper?

In order to have any story at all to put in the paper, Haag and Hobbs needed to confirm that Rene Martinez, North Texas director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, was on the payroll of The LeMaster Group, a media-relations consulting company that has sometimes advised Miles.

I have been aware of this story coming down the pipe for the last week, because I sort of keep track of stuff like this. So I have known for some days that Hobbs and Haag have gone back and back to both Martinez and The LeMaster Group to ask and re-ask if Martinez was ever on LeMaster's payroll. The answer has been no, no and still no.

The story in today's paper reports that Martinez, who used to work for the school district, was originally critical or at least a skeptical of the new superintendent: "Hispanic leader Rene Martinez was once a vocal critic of Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles. Early this year, he became one of Miles' fiercest supporters."

Then the story links that turn-around to an investigation: "And now, he's been drawn into an investigation by Paul Coggins, who was hired by the school board to look into Miles' handling of a contract award."

So what does that suggest? It suggests broadly that Martinez turned on a dime because he was getting paid to be a mouthpiece for Miles. Then the story suggests Martinez's role has now been swept into an ongoing external investigation of contracting improprieties by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins.

Holy shit. I know all about that. Yeah, Martinez was critical of Miles at first. Miles fired him. Well, he didn't personally fire Martinez. In the early stages of the reform effort, Martinez's position, which had to do with parent involvement and community engagement, was eliminated. He was out of a job.

And, yes, Martinez did turn around subsequently to support Miles. I was talking to him all during that period. You know what really turned him around? It was the fact that some of the school principals targeted for replacement under the reform were popular Hispanics.

OK, wait, wait, say that again. Martinez, with a lifelong career in Hispanic activism behind him, was glad that Miles was targeting Hispanics for replacement?

No, not exactly. I could tell he felt terrible about some of the individuals and wanted to defend them. But the fact that Miles was going after principals on an equal-opportunity-son-of-a-bitch basis, effectively targeting them without keeping a racial scorecard, told Martinez that Miles was the real deal, a guy who was really about the kids and education.

Martinez is a person who knows where all the bones are buried at the school district. He knows the history -- the good, the bad and the ugly of it. His reaction to Miles was the exact opposite of Commissioner Price's. Price basically took the position that if Miles touched any of Price's friends, Miles had to go.

Even though the principal replacement program was painful for some of Martinez's friends, Martinez's reaction to it was to see Miles as a real-deal straight-shooter. The other thing is this: The turn-around on Miles was not merely personal or unique to Rene Martinez.

Hispanic leadership in Dallas generally turned around to favor Miles after a meeting last January. Speaking to a broad array of Hispanic leaders, Miles told them in frank terms that he intended to go after the system of political patronage that had kept the school system mired in failure for a half-century or more. Miles warned them that changes would be painful and that some of the targeted principals would be Hispanic.

The reaction of the group, according to people who were present, was to say, "How can we help you?"

The opposite of the Price reaction, in other words. The contrary. There's the real story. That's what Tawnell Hobbs and Matthew Haag need to be writing about, not this penny-ante, back-corridor bullshit where they can't even make their own case.

Hobbs and Haag are two really solid reporters with great track records on stories from a news beat that's sort of a reporter's nightmare. The schools beat in this town is an unforgiving minefield and graveyard.

But today's story is a terrible piece of work. The linking of the Coggins investigation is especially smelly. Martinez has told me, as he has told Hobbs, Haag and WFAA's Brett Shipp, that he doesn't know why Coggins' people called him in to talk.

He says he spoke to them for an hour about contracting and politics. At one point he says they asked him if he ever worked for the LeMaster group. He said no. That was it.

But Martinez is a guy who would naturally be consulted on anything like this. He has been a mover and shaker in some of the city's most fundamental political chapters over time. Three years ago when the News' Gromer Jeffers wrote a history of the "14-1" single-member city council movement in 1991, he painted it as an almost entirely black phenomenon, but in fact Latinos were an important element in the struggle to break white-only rule in Dallas. Rene Martinez was prominent among those leaders.

Since then, he has worked for the school system, where he learned the ins-and-outs of the system's contracting procedures. Coggins is investigating contracting procedures. Martinez is such an obvious resource, Coggins would have failed his due diligence by not talking to him. For the News to slime Martinez for agreeing to talk to Coggins, absent a scintilla of evidence that Martinez was personally suspect, is inexcusable. It's difficult even to understand.

Look, I can tell you exactly what the newsroom test is for a story like this. Pretend I'm their assistant city editor at the News. OK, my two reporters, you want me to publish a story for you saying Mike Miles is using school district money to run a sock-puppet astro-turf personal political support operation and Rene Martinez is the paid puppet?

Show me the money. No, don't talk. Don't explain. Just show me the money. If you can't show me the money tying Martinez to The LeMaster Group to Miles, then you do not have a story to put in my newspaper. If you can't show me the money but you and I put a story in the paper anyway, then you and I are suggesting to readers that there was money somewhere. And that suggestion would make you and me liars.

It's worse than a lie, in fact, because it so completely misconstrues what's really going on in the bigger picture. It perpetrates the false accusations purveyed by Commissioner Price seeking to protect the old patronage system.

I'm baffled. Really. I am not feigning my respect for Hobbs and Haag. It's real. But this story today is junk, one big weird plume of smoke and bad smells. I can't figure out how it even got in the paper. But I predict an even worse one from Shipp at Channel 8 soon, maybe tonight.

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54 comments
Obummer
Obummer

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

MikeP
MikeP

Flabbergasted

Martinez is not an employee. Lemaster is not an employee. Miles did not write the email. The former employee you referred to kept his job and miles should too. How dare this school board approve miles plan a year ago for the principal academy renew it again this summer and then hold the entire district hostage the first day of school with this witch hunt!

MikeP
MikeP

FlabbergastedMartinez is not an employee. Lemaster is not an employee. Miles did not write the email. The former employee you referred to kept his job and miles should too. How dare this school board approve miles plan a year ago for the principal academy renew it again this summer and then hold the entire district hostage the first day of school with this witch hunt!

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

here, Jim. Let me do some work FOR you.

Read this--- now, it is complicated, muy dificil, so to speak. Get Rene to explain it to you. Hell, he was probably in the room when the emails were drafted.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/headlines/20130823-dallas-isd-investigation-looks-at-possible-effort-to-disparage-trustees.ece?action=reregister 

When people complain, openly, in a resignation letter? They are either trying to shift attention from a crime they committed, or they are being bought off.

So, which is it, Jim? Were you used, or did you take your skirt off willingly? You have been haranguing on the trustees who DARE to ask QUESTIONS, OMG!

Play it this way: If a teacher in DISD said or did anything close to this about Miles, or the trustees, how long would they last? (Remember when Flores went after a teacher? Yeah, like that.)

Danny
Danny

From comments by board members seems they are seeing this as a lot about nothing. Morath said not major problem if no laws were broken. He is smart enough to see thru oprs motives. Many are looking at this as if Coggins finds anything at all miles should be fired. The board has many options available besides removal. How about making miles do his job and oprs smiths his. If not possible give them the ax and save tax payers dollars

Danny
Danny

Opr smith is using this as an opportunity to get out from under miles over audit and under board. Since Hinojosa left he has been courting board to go under them. That is documented in board briefings. Does anyone really think that smith would have just been doing the right thing for an employee rodriguez that was just on the job for a couple of months? How many other former employees or soon to be former employees has smith so vigorously sought to do the right thing by investigating the superintendent? Did it ever happen under Hinojosa? Please don't say the supt son Harvard "investigation". Take a look at that by the way and compare it to the smear job report rushed out on miles. They are literally like night in day. How convenient that Coggins was handed the Batton by opr. Not saying Coggins won't be fair and I think the report should be more balanced than smiths opr. Both are former gov law enforcement though and oprs former director worked for Coggins and did pcard investigation. Can you say conflict of interest?

animas
animas

It  is interesting, n'cest pas, that Coggins in cashing in on his USAtty credentials to the tune of biliing $100,000/month at tax payer expense and wants MORE TIME (equaling more billed hours to the taxpayer) to complete the investigation according to the Brett Shipp report last night....

if6were9
if6were9

The losers as always will be the children and another story shall be written, about some shady motherfucker, trying to pull a fast one on the system. #fuckgrownfolks 

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

What is the Spanish word for goldbricker? Rene Martinez.

He saw that his cushy job---Schutze NAME ONE THING he did while in the highly paid position, and you can understand how he saw the light.

It  is all black vs brown, and you are buying a mule and calling it a horse.

There is MORE to this story..... Go sit in a Chorizo Breakfast. Go sit in a LULAC meeting. Some of us who fit in, so to say, are disgusted by the blatant and petty ways they are going after the dinero in our hometown. Our kids? They get nada.... nada damn thing.

Martinez is being looked at by more than the News and Coggins. Believe you me, mi Amigo, you need to be careful about the mule you just go on.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Ejecting a reformer we demanded for fun and profit.  

Watching this is almost like watching a movie spoof of a serious subject.  A dark comedy to lighten the load like the movie M*A*S*H. How did we collectively arrive at this absurd and seemingly hopeless condition where, like Hawkeye (Schutze), we are relegated to just having a little fun with it?

What if it's more like Bill Paxton's character in 'Alien' - "How do I get out of this chickenshit outfit?"



Ronaldg
Ronaldg

Breaking news, black superintendent in majority Hispanic district communicating with Hispanic activist! Investigation required,

Ronaldg
Ronaldg

Breaking news, black superintendent in majority Hispanic district communicating with Hispanic activist! Investigation required,

Ronaldg
Ronaldg

Breaking news, black superintendent in majority Hispanic district communicating with Hispanic activist! Investigation required,

jameshairston
jameshairston

It is a hit piece. At least, Jim, when you do a hit piece, you have facts. The Dallas morning Pravda has its sights on folks like miles and perry and others and will resort to distortions, misleading headlines, misinformation, partial truth or simply make some bold face lie of a headline to sell a paper. The reader reads it and it is like the snail that knocks on the door of some mans house. The man opens the door and sees the snail. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street. A year later, he hears a knock on the door and says " with so what was that all about?"

Samv
Samv

Sounds like a fishing expedition. I thought Coggins was hired to investigate the rodriguez allegation. couldn't support that allegation so jumped to something else to justify billing hours or extend investigation on tax payers dime!

Samv
Samv

Sounds like a fishing expedition. I thought Coggins was hired to investigate the rodriguez allegation. couldn't support that allegation so jumped to something else to justify billing hours or extend investigation on tax payers dime!

Samv
Samv

Sounds like a fishing expedition. I thought Coggins was hired to investigate the rodriguez allegation. couldn't support that allegation so jumped to something else to justify billing hours or extend investigation on tax payers dime!

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

it's called a hit piece.

JMFitzmaurice
JMFitzmaurice

I think Miles is the worst thing to happen to education in Dallas in my lifetime. I think his one size fits all, all classrooms the same, the test is God mentality is destroying our schools. I think Martinez is a pain in the you know what who cries "racism" for everything. Just ask any involved parent in the Lipscomb school area. I think if both of these men ran a mile from the education system in Dallas, that would be great.


But, so what? This story is still unconscionable. It has nothing to do with what I think about either man. This is like seeing me cross the street, then a couple days later seeing a building across town being robbed, and trying to link the two. Even if this had been a dry recitation of facts, that would have been something, but it was clearly written to imply collusion, based on nothing. I can't believe I'm writing this, but for once, I've gotta agree with a Miles related piece Jim wrote.

WylieH
WylieH

I'm so glad to see this.  When I first read that story this morning, I thought I was still asleep... I kept reading, and reading, waiting for the punch line--- but it never came.  Then, I went back up and skimmed the story again, thinking I had missed something.


Then, I just didn't know what to think.... it just made no sense.

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

Hmm, usually your Mike Miles support pieces garner a lot of comments.  Where are Joyce Freeman and Mike MacNaughton?  It is suspiciously quiet. 

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

And Haag, related to long time ch 8 mgr? Hmmmmm. Doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to see or smell this one out

.

ChristianY
ChristianY

I effin love you Jim Schutze. I hope you plan on writing a book about this because your reporting and wisdom on education is worth more than gold. Thank you for asking the tough questions, pointing out the problems, and offering solutions. We are lucky to have you. 

John1073
John1073

You expect the DMN to report facts? So silly.

if6were9
if6were9

Price needs his own DO blog called 'Get Off My Corn Rows'......it could be all about equity and keeping the southern Dallas hierarchy in control; after all, that's what this all comes down to.......the "man downtown" keeping his side of the city in the dark(honestly Mr.Price, no pun intended) to insure his, and his cohorts, continued reign. 

leftocenter
leftocenter

Sickening.  Been watching NEWSROOM on HBO.  What happened to the "double confirmation" rule in journalism?  Did Pete Williams teach them nothing?

Nothing funny about any of this.  At least JWP will soon be gone.

animas
animas

Well, it would not be the first time that current or previous DOJ folks did not over criminalize stuff to move their "agenda" along.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@animas 

I think $100,000 is two and a half weeks work for Coggins. DISD went to him. He wasn't down there with his shingle out. If I had to guess what he told them, it was that his preliminary investigation turned up not one  iota of wrongdoing on Miles' part but major indications that the department that produced these charges is a rogue secret police agency that does political hatchet jobs for certain board members and needs to be further investigated. I would predict the board will have no stomach for that, because it will just make them look even more like shit. But if these charges turn out to be zilch, the the Office of  Professional Whatever needs to be folded up and de-funded anyway, and I'm afraid Brett's going to be out covering more Act of God stories.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@Flabbergasted 

Somehow you don't quite come across as a real Hispanic.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@jameshairston Jim Schutze does not do hit pieces.  Every one of his articles, books, blog comments, even his shopping lists should be carved in stone and possibly printed on parchment by an old press in Mainz, Germany.  Be warned, mortal, the high priest of persnicketiness is not to be trifled with!

MichaelMacNaughton
MichaelMacNaughton

@becoolerifyoudid

I don't hang around here much since Wilonsky jumped to the DMN but was told my name popped up here.

So let me see if this is the gist of it....a former DISD administrator and the current the head of LULAC, decides to contact long-time friend Lisa LeMaster to ghost write a resignation letter for a Miles cabinet member to "leak" to Jim Schutze in order to boost Miles' mojo? 

Seems to me to be business as usual at 3700 Ross.

Miles is certainly no fool...a contract is signed with LeMaster back on 2/27/13 for $24,530.00 - an amount that (1) is $471 below the threshold for having to have the purchase go through a formal bid process and (2) $471 below the threshold for a direct report of the expense to the Trustees -  for a short-term consulting plan to be completed by 3/27/13 (estimated) but drags on until mid-June.  Smelker leaves on June 21 so LeMaster wants to make sure everyone understands she is off the clock when she helps Rene Martinez craft the Smelker resignation letter.  In mid-July there is a lucrative RFP that appears to be tailor-made for LeMasters company - hence the appearance of quid pro quo - but really nothing much to hang your hat on as far as facts are concerned. Business. As. Usual.

The only strange thing to me is why a man like Smelker would ask Rene and Lisa to write his resignation letter for him.  Perhaps he intended it to be a final in-your-face slap at the Trustees and a mea culpa to his much-admired boss and he simply felt inadequate to find the words necessary to express his heartfelt emotions. 

Do we know that Smelker asked for this outside assistance in word craft?  Perhaps its exactly as Rene Martinez says in his April 10th email to Lisa LeMaster and Rebecca Rodriguez, "Please use me for counter comments. We cannot allow Nuthall [sic] and Foreman to win the day on these issues.  They are having the last word and let me help present your position."

Consider it presented....

WylieH
WylieH

@leftocenter Years ago, I got so worked up about a story in the DMN that I kept complaining and finally ended up in a meeting with some editors and the DMN.


Basically, they had run a big story, the centerpiece of which was based on a bunch of false "facts" relayed to them by a staffer with the City of Dallas--- the fact didn't even relate directly to the City--- rather a City staffer was relating a bunch of statistics relating to other cities.  The problem was, the staffer had essentially manipulated/fabricated data to support a particular point of view.  The DMN ran with the story--- I then sent them the ORIGINAL data set which completely contradicted their data--- all obtained FIRST HAND in under 30 minutes.

Tried to get a correction out of them, but NOPE.

MaxNoDifference
MaxNoDifference

@leftocenter Given the voting proclivities of his district, not likely.  He will remain a Dallas County Commissioner until he is actually convicted (if ever), or steps down (not likely).  Even if he dies in office, his district will continue to reelect him.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JimSX @Flabbergasted Because?  Because he/she decides for themselves the truth of a matter and doesn't wait for the privileged white liberal journalist to tell him what the truth is?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@MichaelMacNaughton

1)So, the contracts you describe are all legal. Right?

2)Martinez, a private citizen who has known LeMaster for at least 25 years, asks her to look at a letter. She does. The letter is sent to Miles in a way that makes it public. It doesn’t have to be leaked to me, because it’s public. But I get it.

3)Lemaster, who is in the public relations business, bids on a subsequent public relations job. You use the term, “quid pro quo,” which is taken from bribery law. But you offer no evidence of a bribe.

4)You wonder why Smelker needed help with his letter. I do think he knew the letter, once sent, would go to reporters. He’s a school administrator. I don’t think he was ever trained up for prime time. So he wanted some assurance he was getting it right and would not look like a fool. I do think a lot of strategy was involved, and I do think Miles probably wanted people to know that the story about his running off top aides was unfair and the trustees were running them off. But according to Smelker, the trustees were running them off, not Miles. Meanwhile the News and Channel 8 have another big blockbuster every day saying Miles is running them off. What kind of patsy would Miles be not to try to get his story out and defend himself?

5)You quote Martinez’ email (in which you sic the spelling, which is a bit dirty pool, Michael, how many of us spell perfutly in taxt mussiges and imails?) but your main  point is to suggest that Martinez was up to some dirty pool by offering his help in knocking down the Rodriguez story. What dirty pool?

6)What you have, Michael, is a whole lot of bang bang bang and no bullets, just like Haag and Hobbs today. It’s kind of a pattern on the anti-reform side, which, face it, is what you’re on.

leftocenter
leftocenter

It'll be hard to run for re-election from behind bars...I'm just sayin...dead, yes...incarcerated, not so much

JustaThought
JustaThought

@Flabbergasted

"See, J S thinks I should have said, "Donkey," or better yet, "Burro." He thinks that ALL Hispanics have brown skin and dark eyes and just crossed over... Some have families which go back to the 1700's in East Texas... But that does not fit with the Gang of LULAC's image."....."Their kids cannot handle a GENUINE, NATIVE Spanish speaker from Spain, Venezuela or Colombia. They resent the feeling of inferiority as these temp visa holding workers look down on the kids here who know nothing in two languages."

Judging by your comments and your contempt of Hispanic children in DISD, I take it you are lighter skinned Hispanic and/or have never had a child in DISD. That was not our experience with foreign exchange teachers so I have to assume, you're speak based on your own prejudices.

You are missing Jims' point. His comments have nothing to do with our age, accent, or lack thereof, how good and snarky we can talk, or that our families have lived as long as anyone else's, in the US. 

As a white skinned Hispanic, you should know what Jim knows in that no matter how much someone of Hispanic descent has an expertise in, in certain industries such as the arts, real estate, the media, or management in banking, insurance and accounting, for example, more often than not, in Dallas, Texas, the doors are not open to them because of the color of their skin. I personally don't go to those meetings because I don't consider my myself a Hispanic leader. I'm just a leader. However, because of my darker skin, I understand how they got to this point.

The table darker skinned Hispanics, like blacks, are invited too is smaller, which pretty much just leaves earning a living and power through politics, entrepreneurship, the service industry and education. 

I pray one day Dallas leaders can accept natural leaders based on their charisma, personality and qualifications, instead of the color of their skin, in industries that are typically closed off, like real estate and the arts. When that day happens, organizations like LULAC, et al, will not be necessary, because the fact is, intelligent people, don't really care what color someone is, what dialect they speak or their country of origin. After all, we're all just Americans, right?

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Go on, go to a LULAC breakfast. Look at the average age of the ones in charge. Listen to them complain---and I am not making this up-- listen to them COMPLAIN that the Spanish speakers brought in to SERVE HISPANIC children in DISD do not speak the RIGHT KIND of Spanish, meaning, Tex-Mex. Their kids cannot handle a GENUINE, NATIVE Spanish speaker from Spain, Venezuela or Colombia. They resent the feeling of inferiority as these temp visa holding workers look down on the kids here who know nothing in two languages.  They show no respect to the teachers, and the real-deals are in shock, and in disgust at the out of control progeny they teach.

But go ahead, tell me again how Martinez fought the gangs? Helped to end the cheese epidemic? Helped with the drop out or pregnancy rates in the Hispanic majority DISD?

Go ahead, tell me another story, Papi.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

That is okay. He thinks I am not Hispanic, and I think he isn't a real journalist. We are even.

See, J S thinks I should have said, "Donkey," or better yet, "Burro." He thinks that ALL Hispanics have brown skin and dark eyes and just crossed over... Some have families which go back to the 1700's in East Texas... But that does not fit with the Gang of LULAC's image.  

But I notice he did not counter what I actually said, just HOW I said it.

So, come on J S... Tell us again how Martinez is in it for the kids? Him, Domingo "I gotta mustache" Garcia, Adelfa and the rest? All trying hard to hang on to the old patron system. Young Hispanics want NOTHING to do with him or the rest. If it ain't a Medrano, they have to import them through TFA to run for trustee.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@JimSX @RTGolden1 @Flabbergasted Right.  Because a 'real hispanic' would have to fit some sort of preconceived mold you have concocted for them.  There's no way a 'real hispanic' could employ such highly specialized tricks of the English language as snark and sarcasm.

Jim, have you gone daft?  Or was a 'real hispanic' breaking your concentration with their leaf blower?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@Flabbergasted 

Martinez might have favored Concilio. The more notable thing is the way the rating committee set up (stacked) by Rodriguez  uniformly down-rated Concilio, which would have provided what the schools wanted, a turn-key operation that principals didn't have to staff, in favor of this other outfit, especially since Concilio had the track record  at DISD. That, and Rodriguez's obvious chafing under the reorganizational oversight of The LeMaster Group,  makes Rodriquez's position in all this considerably less defensible and more suspect than Miles'. So what was it you had again? Misspellings in emails? And then there's Michael with his complicated pig lipstick metaphors. I;d say you guys are the ones who need to do a little reporting before your next at-bat.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@Michael.MacNaughton This is so true. Miles has talked about reform, but it's really about his version of a pig with lipstick vs. someone else's pig with lipstick.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Emails from a man in education for over 30 years --and someone representing HISPANICS better spell correctly. We don't want none of that Spanglish, comprende?

The D O should hire McNaughten, for he was able to explain it better than J S ever could.

Jim, it is time to go home and retire to a life of sitting in bars, talking about the good old days of journalism, you know, when you actually REPORTED  and INVESTIGATED stuff, not dismissed it.

Let me finally connect the dots for you: Martinez wanted Consilio to get the contract. Period. End of story. They did not. He threw fellow Hispanic, Rebecca, under the autobus, because he is so greedy.... 

Just wait. You will see.  

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

@Michael.MacNaughton Mike, thank you putting into words why Miles programs will not work.  I can generally express my feeling as it relates to the financial side of school districts, but sometimes fall short on my feelings as far as the academics.

Miles programs might look good on paper.  However, this is why I think it was wrong to hire a former education consultant whose leadership experience was in a District far smaller than DISD, and with a completely different socio-economic makeup.  Everyone in business has at one time or another, had to deal with the MBA in their late twenties.  They are too cocky to admit they lack the life experiences to see the true situation. Miles is the same way.

As I have said before, I believe Miles is using this time to either build a product for education consultants or his political resume.  If his theories work, then it can be packaged and sold after he leaves the District.  I think that the District would be wise to hold the rights to those theories as the work product of an employee to prevent the future profit for him.  If they fail, then he can blame the Board and use it to build support for some future political seat.

I also obvious that his personal style is a big part of the problem.  As a military kid, I strongly believe that his military background is a big part of this.  The "respect the rank" mentality does not fly to far in the political and civilian arena.  While as the boss, employees will be forced to obey to keep their jobs, Miles should not be surprised that they are turning on him.  It appears that he cares very little on building consensus with his employees.  As a military leader, it is better to be feared than liked.

As far as the investigation goes.  Many of the charges might in fact be BS as Jim S. has pointed out.  However, if Miles and the Board cannot find a way to split and still be friends, then in my opinion, the ends justify the means.

It is often said, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.  Let Nutall and JWP deal with Miles and we can deal with them later.  At least we know JWP days are numbered.  Don Hill is starting to get stir crazy and might start getting a little chatty. 

Michael.MacNaughton
Michael.MacNaughton

The conversation that never happened between trustees; between the mayor and chamber and trustees; and between the parents and taxpayers and trustees is "What should this thing called "reform" look like and how do we get there?" Miles is following the Broad plan but with the exception of Trustee Morath I do not believe the trustees had a clue what that meant when they approved Miles. There was much frustration voiced at the time that the interview process was inadequate. Miles is doing exactly what he believes in and what he thought he was hired to do. I will not fault him for that.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

Sorry if I over-generalized. I know you are thoughtful about these issues, and I know you now a hell of a lot more knowledgeable about them than I am.

Michael.MacNaughton
Michael.MacNaughton

Jim, I am pro reform. I am not anti-Miles. But I do believe the Broad school of reform is not the best or viable way to go. I'm in favor of data driven metrics as part of a fair and equitable teacher evaluation program. If the Broad method had even one success in the past ten years in a major urban district then I'd have a different opinion but the only things left in the wake of past Broad "reforms" are federal indictments, cheating scandals and decimated districts. It's not about the kids it's about jobs for adults and contracts for their friends...period.

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