Dallas ISD chief touts achievements in first year

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on August 19, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Poll:
What grade do you give DISD Superintendent Mike Miles after one year?

DALLAS — Besieged by bad news and an investigation into alleged misconduct, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles is firing back.

He is going public Monday and Tuesday trying to sell his message — that his brand of change is already making a difference in the district.

Perhaps no one is more ready for the summer to end than Mike Miles. A notable heat has been radiating from inside his own administration building.

Allegations surfaced a few weeks ago that he violated bidding rules... then covered up a resulting internal investigation.

Yet after sending his family back home to Colorado, and amid calls for his resignation, Miles is making it clear he is digging in.

A Dallas Morning News column published Monday and written by Miles highlights gains of his first year as superintendent.

Among the claimed achievements:

  • the most spring graduates since 1982
  • 85 percent of schools meeting state standards
  • installation of a state-of-the-art fiber optic communications network
  • 62 new principals
  • 1,000 fewer teacher vacancies than 2012

"Working together to change the educational outcomes for the thousands of students in a school system this large is going to require us to leave familiar shores and brave rough waters," Miles wrote.

DISD education advocate Mike MacNaughton said Miles is taking credit for initiatives that began well before his arrival.

"The statistics that the superintendent is putting out are disingenuous at best," MacNaughton said. "This smacks of a pre-emptive strike, trying to get a little good publicity out front of what could be some seriously bad news for the superintendent."

Former Trammell Crow CEO and former co-chairman of Dallas Achieves Don Williams said Miles' celebrated purge of veteran teachers and principals this summer will hurt DISD students in the end.

"I'm in the schools; I know what goes on in the schools,” Williams said. "Sure, we have some bad principals and teachers who need to be replaced, but on the whole we have a wonderful core of teachers and principals, and they need to be supported and encouraged."

While Miles said there are many more successes this year, he admits that not all of them were the result of his efforts, and he said many more gains still need to be made.

That's his expected message Tuesday as Miles addresses teachers and employees district-wide.

Classes resume on August 26.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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