DISD head Miles stresses accountability in district fix list



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Posted on October 11, 2012 at 8:33 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 11 at 9:59 PM

DALLAS -- How do you spell success?

For Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, it's a fourteen letter word: accountability.

Thursday, Miles pushed forward on his 32-point-fix list to improve Dallas schools, a harsh examination of deep problems at the district.

And if this was a test for Miles, which in a large sense it is, he's getting good grades.

"This is a good first step," said Eric Cowan, a DISD trustee. "You cannot fix what you don't acknowledge is broken."

At the heart of every one of Mile's action points is an emphasis on accountability -- how to measure problems, how to measure progress, and who is responsible for improvement.

Click here to see the complete list

"In order to have accountability, or raise accountability, you're going to have not only clear expectations, but you have to monitor that progress along the way," Miles told the board. "You have to give feedback, which we're doing this year. You have to give the same level of support. And you have to assess rigorously."

One action item is improving transportation.

In his plan, Miles threw the bus company under the bus, in a sense, for not delivering high-quality service. Dallas County Schools, which runs the buses, denies it has problems.

But Miles is still pushing ahead, and already looking into next school year.

"We're trying to get ahead of the curve," he said. "Try to solve problems now, and hopefully have some answers about what we're doing about it in November, in preparation for next year."

The board also spent a lot of time talking about custodial problems, and it showed how detail-oriented Miles is. He said the district first needs to know how long it takes to do something, like fix a leaky toilet, so everyone in the system can be held accountable to single standard.

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