Teachers Union Set to Do a U-Turn and Endorse DISD Trustee Miguel Solis

Categories: Schutze

Miguel_Solis UPDATED.jpeg
Miguel Solis
Alliance-AFT, a Dallas teachers union that was making robo-calls a year ago to get Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles fired, is about to endorse one of his strongest supporters for re-election to the school board.

The union will inform members Friday that it has endorsed Miguel Solis for the Place 8 school board seat in the May 10 election, in which he again faces community organizer Kristi Lara. When Solis ran in a special election to fill a vacated seat last November, the union's political action committee endorsed Lara and the union accused Solis of being a tool and a plant for Miles, whom the union was bitterly fighting over school reform issues.

AFT President Rena Honea emailed me late this afternoon: "The endorsements from Alliance are going to our members today (I've had some issues w/ the system that I use to send messages out). I prefer not to discuss it before our membership knows."

Sure. OK. I emailed her earlier in the week saying I was aware of written confirmation of the endorsement. No matter how they may try to couch it tomorrow, given their past track record and pronouncements on Miles, the AFT turnaround on Solis is also a 180 on Miles.

See also: Dallas ISD Home-Rule Debate Has Been Great for Mike Miles

I have been working on a column for next week's paper about Miles and school reform, talking to people all over town, many of whom referenced Eric Nicholson's piece here last week suggesting that the so-called "home rule" campaign to establish a whole new system of governance has helped Miles by making him the lesser evil. They said Eric was right: it's a bad-cop/good-cop deal in which Mile is now the good cop.

I tried to get one person close to Miles to tell me they did it on purpose, but that person said, "I wish we were that smart."

Miles is coming off a series of significant personal victories including the recent joint school board/City Council meeting in which praise was lavished on him by Southern Dallas council member Carolyn Davis. I attended a public meeting last year in which Davis went after Miles so bad I wondered later if it was why Miles sent his wife and child back to Colorado to live.

Something is up. A lot is up. People familiar with AFT are telling me they think the AFT nationally may be going back to the legacy of the late and great longtime AFT national President Albert Shanker, who supported some ideas that today would be identified with school reform, including merit pay for teachers.

There is no way to interpret an AFT endorsement of Solis except as a major change of direction on all of the above. It is huge. Now the AFT will have to do a recall on all those Mile Miles voodoo dolls.

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16 comments
rene105
rene105

Bill, ask the questions you ask Miguel to those trustees that hired Miles: Nuthall, Bingham and Morath.

rusknative
rusknative

@bbetzen @JimSXTHE SCHOOL DISTRICT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CHANGING DEMOGRAPHIC COMPOSITIONS.  see the County and the City and the Reverends and the Retailers....as well as the IMMIGRATION FOLKS Bill....stop with the Superintendent managing who lives where and why....many many reasons to abandon the DISD area geographics other than the DISD experience.


You are WAY off base because you just argue a broken record "cause" that has no foundation in reality.

AdamsonScott
AdamsonScott

bbetzen, government shill, needs a life.

bbetzen
bbetzen

Jim, here are the questions I cannot get Miguel to respond to after repeated tries. Can you get him to answer them?  It is as if he wants to deny this data exists.  We must get to the truth before DISD children suffer more.   See some of the data used at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2014/04/six-years-six-measurements-disd-vs.html .


1) Since DISD suffered the first drop in senior enrollment in 7 years this year with the Class of 2014, and it was the largest drop in 29 years, does the history of even greater drops in senior enrollment (totaling 33%) under Mike Miles during his last 4 years in Colorado bother you?Why or why not?


2) When you are a DISD trustee, what will you do if such senior class enrollment losses continue to happen in Dallas ISD, especially if they near reaching the 33% total in losses recorded over the last 4 years Mr. Miles was in his district in Colorado?


3) A strict strategy of not passing low achieving students on to the next grade leads to greater student attrition, but also certainly helps to raise ACT grade averages as such students leave.Do you support such a strategy in DISD?In other words, when is graduation a priority for you?When are higher average ACT scores a priority over graduation?


4) Would you demand the creation of a system that would allow every parent to know as soon as the school knows if their child’s teacher is being replaced by a substitute, and whenever that teacher is less than a fully certified teacher in the area being taught?Should such data be tabulated monthly for public reports and for the trustees?


5) Will you be vigilant and demand more transparency and precision in numbers used when the percentage of students being tested goes down, as happened with a 23% reduction in minority students taking the ACT test this past year, or when the precision of numbers is made less?

bbetzen
bbetzen

Miguel Solis refuses to talk about attrition data that has followed Mike Miles for the past 8 years!  He is a protector of Mike Miles at all costs.  


Ask Miguel about the 26% drop in high school enrollment in Harrison School District Two under Mike Miles, a drop that happened in spite of growing elementary school enrollment.   Ask Miguel about the 33% drop in senior class enrollment.


Ask Miguel about the same losses now happening in Dallas ISD!   In spite of growing total enrollment, the 2013/14 high school enrollment is the lowest in 5 years for DISD.  Ask Miguel about the 500 student drop in the senior class this year.  Why won't Miguel even talk about it? 


AFT has been fooled! 


Hopefully the people of district 8 will demand answers to these issues.  A tragic pattern of student attrition is following Mike Miles on his way to higher test scores.   Why won't Miguel Solis even discuss it?


See the questions sent to Miguel Solis that he will not even talk about when confronted in person:  http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2014/04/five-questions-for-disd-trustee.html


Giving the old graduate school line "correlation does not equal causation" is not an adequate answer for the people of Dallas, especially given the same pattern that has followed Mike Miles for 8 years!

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

It's always funny to me to see this powerless little social club referred to as a "union". 

MargaretHuntHill
MargaretHuntHill

It's hard to see what would stop Solis from rising to any office he wanted.  I fully expect to be voting for him 20 years from now.

Gangy
Gangy

I think they are going to regret this.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Feng Sui application to the deck chairs of the Titanic. 

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@bbetzen  

Bill, I forgot one important theme here. Not only is this endorsement a 180 for Alliance AFT, and not only is it a major indication that Miles is winning the battle for the hearts and minds of the city, but it is also a direct repudiation of your arguments about high school enrollment attrition. You have spent a year at this argument, insisting without a shred of evidence that Mike Miles deliberately and maliciously forced families to leave the Harrison public school system. Strange that such a manifestly anti-social campaign of bullying has never produced a single family, Bill, not one, who could bear witness to the day Mike Miles made them take their kid out of Harrison. In fact people who really wanted to believe you, people who were searching for anti-Miles ammo and hoped you had it, have looked at what did have ... and looked at it ... and looked it ... and now they are turning their backs on you.  You are the owner of a failed argument, Bill. By the way, I probably can't count the times I have been in the same sinking boat myself. The trick is to know when to swim. That moment is now long past for you.   

bvckvs
bvckvs topcommenter

@Gangy

If they do, they can always change their minds again.  It's not like Alliance ever really *commits* to anything.

Subnx
Subnx

If you make the gang bangers act like students they drop out of school.

bbetzen
bbetzen

@JimSX

Jim, do you really think that a 26% drop in high school enrollment during the 6 years Miles was in Harrison was insignificant?Elementary enrollment grew enough to make up the difference, so families moving out of the district was not the reason. High School students in his Colorado district were angry at Miles and did have demonstrations against him.When those failed many may have left.That certainly indicates a problem we would not want to repeat in Dallas, but it appears we may be as our DISD senior class is already down 6% this year from last year’s class. 


Harrison lost 33% of their senior enrollment under Miles.DISD only has 27% more to go.


There are 6 measurements related to student movement that all contribute to graduation rate.During the 6 years Miles was in Harrison 58% of those measurements (21 out of 36) were negative.During the same 6 years in Dallas only 8% were negative (3 out of 36).Then Miles moved to Dallas and in the first 20 months the first 10 of those measurements deteriorated to being 40% negative (4 out of 10).


The very first year Miles was in DISD the high school enrollment was the largest in 5 years for DISD.The very next year DISD went down to the smallest high school enrollment in 5 years.


So Jim, you think Dallas can ignore all these patterns of student attrition following Mike Miles?These are ALL accidents, totally unrelated to anything Miles did?


I presume you say the same thing about the doubling of teacher turnover, correct?


I just looked over everything above and can only come to one conclusion, you are engaging in this ridiculous set of arguments to hopefully bring more folks to the Dallas Observer pages.   Until you get serious about reporting what is happening in the real world, I am not returning.

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