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DALLAS -- Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price can do a roll call of Dallas ISD superintendents who have come and gone.

I ve been involved in this district forever, Price said Thursday from his downtown Dallas office.

He agreed to speak exclusively with News 8 about the Dallas Independent School District. He believes Dallas business leaders and the mayor are forcing the school board to keep what he considers a failing leader.

Price emphasized his involvement in education didn't begin with very public criticism of DISD Superintendent Mike Miles.

I'm not new to this. he said. And with all of those former superintendents, I have not seen the kind of debacle I'm seeing with this ineffective leadership.

Just four months after Miles took over, Price confronted him at a board meeting over concerns his ally Shirley Isom Newsome and other veteran educators were being forced out.

My problem is that this district seems to be in terror, and that is no way to run a district, Price said at the time.

Isom Newsome did leave, deciding to retire. Since then, six others have left Miles' cabinet, some of them after only a few months on the job, including three within a week.

Protesters, angry over the firing and reassignment of principals in the district, confronted Miles outside a church last month. The same group plans to picket his home Saturday.

While it would be my preference that a protest not involve my family, I will not be deterred in trying to do everything I can to improve Dallas ISD, Miles said in a statement.

Just as strongly as Price has opposed Miles, Mayor Mike Rawlings has supported him. The mayor told News 8 Thursday morning that he likes that Miles has not wasted any time making changes.

We've got to make sure that reform is first and foremost, Rawlings said. We have got to have a sense of urgency for every child in Dallas to make sure they get the education they need.

That's says something about leadership and the fact that Mike and Mikey -- err, Mayor Rawlings, can run around and high fiving and giving attaboys' does not make it so, Price said.

Price maintains the majority of the board of trustees is under the thumb of Dallas business leaders.

I expect them to continue to validate what the business community says is best for children of color and poor kids, Price said.

And what's not right for DISD, he said, is Mike Miles.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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