Former DISD trustee weighs in on controversy between superintendent, county commissioner



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Posted on May 2, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Updated Thursday, May 2 at 5:59 PM

DALLAS -- Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles again faced some tough criticism this week from county commissioner John Wiley Price.

Price sent a scathing letter last week to more than 75 local pastors likening the superintendent to Pontius Pilate or “fake Jesus.” The letter was meant to warn churches against listening to Miles, who has been visiting churches to explain his plans for reform within the district.

Thursday, former DISD trustee Ron Price weighed in on the controversy. Price served three terms on the board before choosing not to seek re-election in 2010.

He said Miles is certainly not the first superintendent to come in promising reform that has come under fire.

“To be a truly successful superintendent, not just Dallas but anywhere, you can’t come into it like a bull in a china cabinet,” Ron Price said. “Even a bull in a china cabinet knows to tiptoe around first before they run through and tear up all the glass.”

Ron Price said the letters sent to churches are an unfortunate distraction.

“Unfortunately, the incidents that have taken place this week takes the focus off of education," he said. "That’s what everyone should be focused on: making sure that every child receives a quality education.”

Even though Miles rarely responds to criticism against him, he told News 8 Tuesday that he will continue with his plans and hopes that the very public debate will be about more than public officials.

“I like when leaders talk about education,” Miles said. “I think we need to raise the level of discourse, so we are talking about solutions and we are focused on kids.”

The former trustee said everyone is a stakeholder in public education. He said even though the discussion may seem to undermine the district and its leadership, he believes in the long run it will make the district more responsive.

“It holds people accountable,” Ron Price said. “The issue of education is a national crisis, especially urban education. Everyone needs to be held accountable.”