Uncut: Inside scoop on the new DISD superintendent's future



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Posted on April 27, 2012 at 8:35 PM

My father was the personnel director in the school district from which the new DISD superintendent is coming.

He retired long before Mike Miles arrived, but he knows him well. He served on his advisory committee.

It's this week's Uncut commentary.

The Dallas school board said it wanted a hands-on superintendent, unafraid to make some tough changes.
They definitely got an executive who will set some goals, and closely monitor everyone to make sure they are being met.

The question is, can he survive?

Superintendent Miles, as a former Army Ranger, is used to some pretty tough assignments. This one, in a district multiple times the size of his previous district, Harrison Number 2 in Colorado Springs, will be very, very challenging.

I've covered schools in Omaha, Nebraska, Fort Worth and Dallas. In each case, when a board claimed it wanted a tough minded, independent superintendent - unafraid to step on toes - and found that person, the members spent the first few months praising all the changes and staff shake ups.

But within a couple of years, that all changed.

They suddenly "discovered" the superintendent wasn't enough of a team player, or wasn't sufficiently embracing the board's "vision."

More often than not, what really occurred was the independent, hard-charger stepped on a few board toes, or offended a few board friends.

It's sad, because while we adults fight over everything else, when it comes to schools, kids and their education should come first. Not contracts, not jobs, not politics.
The board claims this will be different, which is what they said about all the other superintendents.

We shall see.

Send me your thoughts at jmccaa@wfaa.com.