Score One for Mike Miles

DISD's new super claimed he was targeted by a board witch hunt. He's right.

Oh, I do not like nights like this. I just sat through the Dallas school board meeting where they finally got to the bottom of the bad audit on Mike Miles, the new superintendent. Some weeks ago Miles said the audit was a witch hunt. I wrote a column saying he was toast as superintendent because he called a bad audit a witch hunt. So I'm walking to my car with one thought in my head.

It was a witch hunt.

Shit. In fact, shit-shit-shit. I'm not here to talk about Miles as superintendent. He's new. The jury's still out. But we do have to talk about the toast thing and the witch hunt thing, little as I want to.

I had to excuse myself from my seat in the peanut gallery in the main board room because of a bad cough, so I went across the hall to the big annex room with closed-circuit TV and watched it there. I'm sitting there watching it on a big flat-screen TV, and all of a sudden the reality just comes rolling out over me.

Witch hunt! That's what this was. I guess we could have a big discussion of whether Miles should have called it a witch hunt, even if it was a witch hunt, which it was. Yeah, I'm going to save that question, if you don't mind, for if I ever go to seminary.

Look. Last October, the school district administration pushed out a long-term high-ranking administrator named Shirley Ison-Newsome, who waltzed with a very fat six-figure parachute. I wrote a sob story about it for Unfair Park, talking about all the good work she had done during her tenure, a story to which I will stick. But.

She's a long-term big buddy of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who immediately showed up at a school board meeting ranting about what a lousy superintendent Miles was and how this was "no way to run a railroad" and all that mess.

Somewhere in that same time frame, school board member Bernadette Nutall, who chose Price to conduct her first swearing-in as an elected official in 2011, asked the audit department to look into some allegations she suddenly had against Miles. LaNita Ray, an interim audit director bucking for the full-time job, agreed to do it.

First of all, I don't know what kind of rinky-dink operation allows one board member to gin up an audit of the chief executive. That's the kind of thing that normally goes through a board committee process at the very least and probably ought to require full muster by the entire board anyway. But here we go.

Time out. What's the back story for all this? Oh, well, it's jobs, jobs, jobs. You bet. For a half century now the public school system has been the principle engine of political patronage in this town. Miles comes in here like General Patton on a bad day, signaling broadly that he's going to be blowing up a lot of real estate soon. That threatens many soup tickets.

Does it make Miles a bad guy? Last week the Texas Education Agency published its list of "unacceptable" schools, and Dallas had 35, twice the number there were in Houston, a much larger district. It's so hard for schools to make the unacceptable list — local politicians have carved out so many exceptions and set up so many excuses — a school has to be truly dismal to make it.

And we're the champs, the most dismal in Texas! Our list includes places like Woodrow Wilson, Bryan Adams and Hillcrest high schools, the kind of places where people are always talking about "quiet miracles" and all the good things happening in the school system that never make the media. I looked at the map of unacceptable schools in Dallas and thought, "Oh my God, we are on crack!" We're in some form of stupefied self-denial.

This school system is a catastrophe, but for a lot of people that catastrophe is a living, quite a nice living for some, so anybody who threatens to change it courts some severe push-back.

Back to the audit. In the first week of December, Ray is kind of wrapping up her work, except for one very important piece. I have never seen one of these performance audits anywhere — and I have seen a ream of them — in which the auditor did not first present her findings to management, provide management a chance to respond to criticisms and then incorporate those responses in the final draft of the audit before handing it over to the governing body.

Yeah, well somebody handed this one over to Tawnell Hobbs at The Dallas Morning News before management ever saw a copy, without any management response at all and before the audit was even submitted to the school board's audit committee. And the audit has inflammatory language in it about Miles, basically saying that before he was even hired he was running around the country slinging school district money at people like it was popcorn and not keeping any accounts.

"As a result of our review," the audit stated, "we determined rules were violated and undue influence prevailed throughout the business process prior to and subsequent to the transition phase of Superintendent Miles."

Undue influence. That doesn't sound good.

So tonight I'm sitting in the annex room trying not to cough, watching this on the TV set, and they have the completed version of the audit. From that version and from the conversation around the dais, the following things are clear: Miles was fully hired before he caused anybody to be hired or any money to be spent. They told him to go hire people and spend money. The procedural things on which he did violate policy were extremely technical and very small potatoes.

But this is what nobody on the TV set is talking about: The language about "undue influence" is gone. Just gone. OK, wait. When the draft audit got leaked to Hobbs (and I'm just jealous I didn't get it), that language was the news. That was the story.

If it hadn't been for LaNita Ray's judgmental broad-stroke characterization of Miles as a guy using undue influence, this story wouldn't have made the obit page. Some new administrators didn't punch in and out properly on the time clock? One of them faked her moving expenses? Please. We get better stories than that every day from the water department.

It was the undue influence part that caught the ear, because it sounded like crookedness. It's certainly what I heard. And then later, when I heard Miles call it a witch hunt, I thought, "Yeah, that's what they all say."

But tonight sitting in the overflow room, this is what really tipped me to the truth. School board member Carla Ranger was like a dog with a bone, trying to sell an obscure theory about Miles having violated terms of the "administrative services contract" under which he worked before being officially sworn in as superintendent. Her argument was that Miles had hired a bunch of people when the board expressly did not want him to.

Finally board President Lew Blackburn had heard enough. He said Miles had done exactly what the board told him to do, and he told Ranger she had been present when those decisions were made and knew the truth full well.

"When we hired Mike Miles as our superintendent," he said, "this board was in the back room where we talked about it in closed session."

Blackburn said they had gone over the intent of their interim contract with Miles: "We discussed in detail about what that meant. Everybody that was on the board then knew that we wanted Mike Miles to be assembling his team.

"You were in the discussions," he told Ranger. "You knew. You heard the discussions."

And here was the key moment, when I stopped coughing and sat up in my chair. I wanted to hear her response. But Ranger went right on just as if Blackburn had never spoken. She accused Miles of "false statements" and "unethical practices."

I thought, "Aha. There it is. The footprints in the snow, all the way back." She accuses him of "unethical practices." The part-time auditor said there was "undue influence." Nutall was concerned. Ison-Newsome was out of a job. Price was angry.

Witch hunt. They're out to kick his ass, because he messed with the job of a protected person. It's not even so much that Ison-Newsome had to go. It's that he disrespected Price. Hell, if he had bargained with Price, offered him something decent in exchange, the commissioner might have sold her to him. He can be a reasonable man.

As I said at the top, I don't think we know anything too useful yet about Miles as leader. We need to wait for that. There are many shoes yet to fall.

After they accepted the new final version of the audit — scoured of all references to undue influence — the school board hired back recently departed chief of staff Alan King to take the auditor job Ray had been gunning for. It's not clear what King's role was in the witch hunt, but he had some role. That's one to watch.

I have driven almost all the way home now. Very sorry about the Tourette syndrome back at the top. The S-word is only erupting from my mouth about once every five minutes now. It's just so ...

You might not get this. It's kind of a professional pride thing. I keep going back over it. Didn't even show the audit to management for comment. Leaked it before it ever got to the board. Best thing they had was some lady who faked her moving expenses. What does "undue influence" even mean? I just can't believe I didn't snap to it sooner. I've seen better witch hunts in YMCA soccer.

SHIT!

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43 comments
OutofYourMind
OutofYourMind

Oh, Jim, not you, too? Did Mike Miles wine you and dine you during the Christmas break, or were you delusional from the obvious flu you were spreading around at a public meeting?

The Board of Trustees meeting that you attended was an obvious attempt at circling the wagons to protect their mistake of a hiring choice. His missteps are far more egregious than what was shown in the audit. Mark my words, there will be no improvement in performance this year because of his questionable mandates on how teachers teach. Tell me how someone who was only in the classroom for four years is an expert on education? Tell me again how teachers are the problem. Our classrooms are microcosms of society in general. I've got kids whose parent/s are incarcerated. I've got kids being raised by grandparents. I've got hungry students. I've got students who live with thirteen people crammed into a two bedroom house. I've got kids with lice (not the ever present nits, but the active, big, honking live critters). I've got kids with ADHD and no medicine because mom couldn't make it to the clinic. I've got kids who never, ever, come to class with any supplies. And I'm in elementary!

What I do not have is books. Good, meaty books that engage the reader. I do not have supplies - paper, markers, dry erase markers, or pencils. I do not have chairs that don't pinch the booty because they're about 30 years old and cracked. I do not have a clean room because of the cuts to our janitorial staff, so unless I get in there early to sweep, it doesn't get done.

I'm not making excuses, I could not look my kids in their eyes and not do the best I can for them. Before you look at "reform" measures in the classroom, wouldn't it be a good idea to look at what is being done right and build on those strengths? Why come in and throw out the baby with the bathwater?

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

"First of all, I don't know what kind of rinky-dink operation allows one board member to gin up an audit of the chief executive."

Well, maybe a school district that was brought to the brink of bankruptcy by the last Broad crowd. Maybe board members who were told Miles was saving $1.5 million when he is already $5 million in the hole. Maybe because transparency is big on everyone's list and Miles lies constantly about everything.

I support an audit at random in this district which is known for corruption and malfeasance. What? Is the budget supposed to be hidden like it was when the Colonel Broad sat and refused to answer board members' requests when she helped blow the budget? Shutze, your lack of logic is astounding. This article is so full of holes, maybe you, instead of veteran teachers, needs a stick of dynamite. 

johnfortworth
johnfortworth

Jim, I want to be a Dallas Observer reporter. Oh, the one thing you can get is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. As required by law, every government branch has to do a CAFR every year. The real money is hidden in the CAFR.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Jim, if you want to go back to REAL reporting, I have a list for you to investigate:

1. Why are teachers ham-stringed by a policy that only allows for 15% failure rate? The result is only extra work for the teacher, since he/she has to now PROVE what all THEY did to *help* Johnny or Maria or Demarcus, when they failed to do homework, failed to come to class, failed to read the assignment, failed to bring a pencil--but by God, they have a cell phone. So, we have to pick the most failing, if you can get that. The rest, we are basically lying about. a gimme grade, fi there ever was one.

2.  Ask when Mile swill get his certification? We have to have it, so where is his? Ask about the new guy form Baltimore, also not certified in his area, except he knows how to blow through money on a credit card.


 

truthserum
truthserum

By the federal guidelines which measure each ninth grade's on-time completion rates, Dallas ISD has an 80% graduation rate. The junior TAKS scores were pass rates of 90%, 87%, 91%, and 97% in reading, math, science, and social studies respectively. These tests are required for graduation. The feds definition of failing schools is taken from tenth grade scores that do no count for graduation and kids know it and don't try very hard.

Dallas schools are not failing and Jim, your generation's high school completion rates as measured by these federal guidelines would have been 50%. Your generation's college attendance is in line with Dallas ISD's. What has changed is the inclusion of large numbers of special education and very limited English proficiency students who must follow the same guidelines as other grads. The critical mass of poverty at many Dallas schools is above 80%.   Stop

Michael.MacNaughton
Michael.MacNaughton

Jim, you say that DISD is an organization crying out for "deep painful revolutionary change" and that "veteran teachers are deeply entrenched with their jaws set bitterly against change."  WTF?  Have you been spending your idle days amid the ammonia fumes of your wife's chicken coops? Have you talked to any teachers - veteran or not? No teacher I've met wants to maintain the current status quo in DISD!  They wanted a superintendent who could lead them.  Lead them, not bludgeon them.
 
So what does this "revolutionary change" look like to you?  You do realize that in the last 20 years not one reform movement in a major urban district has succeeded?  That Miles is simply a re-tread of other failed efforts? Did you check that his old Harrison D2 district (much smaller and less impoverished) has shown NO improvement in student achievement in the last 6 years despite churning 30% of the teachers and running 25% of the high school families out of the district?

It's all about lack of resources for the kids who remain in the district after white-, black- and middle-class flight, Jim. That's it.

Reform society and you reform education...fat effing chance. Let's concentrate on what we can do: improve curriculum, provide needed social services, fund our school libraries so every kid has a text book...or readers in PreK through 3rd grade!  Kids have to learn to read before they can read to learn. Incremental positive change.  Clean and safe schools. No more "permanent substitute" teachers. DISD cannot even do THAT!

Teachers are being branded failures because they cannot take a 6th grader who reads at a 3rd grade level to a 7th grade level in one year.  You try it Jim, see how well it works out for you...oh, yeah...your pay, and even your job, will be dependent on whether you can get that kid to pass the 7th grade test.  And by the way, Jim, that kid is usually NOT a product of the DISD education system but a kid who has transferred into the system...and it only takes two or three kids like that to take an entire campus to an unacceptable rating.

What has to change is the way we evaluate students.  Spend the money to use nationally normed tests like the ITBS or ERBs.  Evaluate teachers on how far they move the needle on student achievement for each individual kid based on their incoming and outgoing stanines.  What you'll soon find is a system that encourages collaboration in furthering student achievement rather than remediation.  Do away with grades until high school.  The elite private schools do it.  The kids are told that the tests they take are the way that teachers are evaluated on how well they impart the lesson - and hat is true.  Guess what?  The kids then help their teachers "do better" by asking for clarification and increasing their classroom dialogue.  This, in turn, helps the kids learn to advocate for themselves and to become more self-sufficient.  There is not one whit of difference between a Hockaday math teacher and a DISD math teacher.  The teachers are interchangeable.  But put that Hockaday teacher in one of DISDs high poverty areas and they will have no more success in moving the needle on student achievement than the teacher they replaced.  In fact, I would posit that the kids would do worse since their former teacher would already have a greater understanding of the deficits and needs of the kids and the means to address them. 

Jim, you need to go back to the blackboard and write 100 time, "Teachers are not the problem and currently I am not part of the solution."

ucrazy
ucrazy

Miles marches in with the same arrogant tone he used in Harrison to leave their schools in the same mediocre shape he found them. He is given carte blanche in Dallas to destroy teacher morale when Dallas now has the lowest starting pay of any area district, teachers are required to stay an extra 5 hours a week in needless meetings, Allan King pulled all the money off campuses and now the media decides they know education.

Miles is a narcisistic fraud. He is a tone deaf emperor insulating himself with a bunch of high paid cronies who also are useless and you call teachers resistant to change. If this is the obscene direction this district is taking, teachers need to leave en masse. Leave it to JimS and Belo. Neither knows crap about the state of these classrooms, but apparently they glory in some higher moral ground. Think scores are low now? Just wait until Miles is finished.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

At least when Belo bought Wilonsky it was done out in the open. Shame on you Jim.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

This is an organization crying out for deep painful revolutionary change. Hey, I love teachers, too. But the over and under take-away from all that is said here is that veteran teachers are deeply entrenched with their jaws set bitterly against change. Look, DISD is the hard place. If you guys want to be the rock, OK. But remember: you are why they invented dynamite. 

ItsSoSad
ItsSoSad

Jim, we knew you had gone stupid when you wrote the glowing article about SIN. The ONLY people in Dallas who believed she did a good job are the friends, relatives & politcal allies she hired and protected. All the rest of us just tried to stay out of her way. She is an incompetent bully. Her only skill was threats, manipulation and lawsuits.

Here is a simple metric for you to follow concerning the quality of DISD education:

How many teaching positions are still unfilled?

Look at the last budget presentation. Miles and the board are well on their way to eliminating teachers with more than 6 years experience. As long as we keep replacing experience with inexperience, THE STUDENTS LOSE! What happened to "Recruit and retain the best teachers!" If we are recruiting the best teachers, why must we get rid of them when they hit the "5th year plateau?"

Miles is just another ass hired by the ass mongers to keep their friends employed and their pockets full of public cash.

Fortunately, I love teaching, I'm good at it, my students like me and keep coming back. But there aren't very many of us left.

MisterMean
MisterMean

The more I see of the DISD (over 40 years) I am coming away with the impression that it can do NOTHING right.  It embodys dysfunction at all levels.   Nothing short of gutting all levels of management (from the trustees down to the lowest administrator) seems like it would fix the DISD.   


Perhaps Miles should have done his homework on his predecessors.   With that long line of failures of superintendents past (like Dickens Christmas Story) I would not have wanted to touched this "tar baby".


I am not saying that he is competent by the statement above mind you.  It just seems like a bunch of moths drawn to a candle flame in which they get burned

gilessp
gilessp

Why did you not even take into consideration the number of jobs he did not "post" but still filled?  His $80K personal assistant that follows him around who only has to have a high school diploma, when degreed professionals do not come near that pay amount (for which he did not interview qualified internal candidates).  None of this seems out of place?  Nationwide hunts for talent that seems to stop in Colorado, Broad or TFA, and some still have the stench of malfeasance about them?

Witch hunt my eye!  The brooms are parked at 3700.

BettyC1
BettyC1

I know right away it was not an official audit by a Auditor.If Ms. Ray is audit manager she need to be fired she did not follow internal audit protocol nor language.The audit used words like charge vs findings,it included testimony and named Allen King .I also knew Ranger did not vote for Miles being hired Nutall called him out second meeting because she misunderstood something he said. I called on President Blackburn to not allow the minority members destroy another Superintendence and its their kids having hardest time in school. Again John Price's hands in everyone's business.

ohthedrama
ohthedrama

Hey Schutze, let go of the drama for a while and show us why you think Hispanic and black kids are not being taught to read  in Dallas? What are your metrics? We know the state list of bad schools came out last week, but that was based on last year's records, but beyond that, what proof do you have that our kids compared to Fort Worth or Houston or Atlanta or Baltimore are being dragged off to the ovens by veteran teachers? And some preacher man in South Dallas with his wisdom about schools failing communities instead of communities failing schools won't cut it. Having one too many dropouts can put a school on that list or having 3 too many kids fail a Geometry test you were never required to pass to get out of high school can do it. Comparing these "failures" to the Holocaust is way out of line. Your generation had a 50% dropout rate in high school and no one raised an eyebrow.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

So the consensus of the commenters here seems to be that black and Hispanic kids cannot be taught to read and Miles is a son of a bitch for picking on the teachers. I bet Patton screwed up the seniority system at Buchenwald, too.

whatadumbwad
whatadumbwad

Gosh, Jim, you stepped in it again. We wondered why Belo had gone all soft during the Christmas break and decided to tie their political fortunes to Miles. But, you?So the traveling circus went around during Christmas break after dumping their most visible mistake-Sprague-and spread the rumor that the opposition to Miles was tied to Satan, err, John Wiley Price. So anyone who opposes Miles based on the overwhelming facts that he is a narcissistic high rolling fraud must be backed by JWP and they must be in favor of a black teacher jobs program.Because, hey, Miles isn't the King of Crony Hiring. I mean, he must have chosen this crook from Baltimore based on his outstanding achievements:http://www.burbankleader.com/topic/bs-md-ci-schools-credit-cards-20120810,0,4947459.story

Get rid of SIN, but haul Miles' crony buddy back in here. Make sense to you Schutze?. They are on a campaign of terrorizing teachers, so Jim, you want to come out of the closet on your Teacher Hating Because They are All Black, then expose yourself, bro.Miles wants to exchange them for new TFA kids who are all white and all ok. Problem is, research indicates that's not a good move. Need to have that nose checked.

EastDallasDad
EastDallasDad

I generally agree with you Schutze but there is more to this story than what has been reported. Miles is not the man his propaganda machine portrays him as. The only good to come out of this is that King is now the Internal Auditor. King won't fall for Miles' bullshit. 

You also put far too much stock in the state's accountability system. 

dalmom
dalmom

Wow - you fell for the snow job that there was NO malfeasance. How about that we are now gearing up for the pitch to exponentially increase the number of TFA hires because somehow there will be 1,000 teacher shortage.  Hmmm....treat your teachers like cr*p, fail to hire qualified teachers, fail to retain teachers,  and we  reward Charles Glover's former employer with a huge contract.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

witch hunt/bad audit..  NOT mutually exclusive.  easily a witch hunt by those unable to recognize malfeasance with a map.  or a Malfeasance hunt by those with too few huevos or too many skeletons to make it stick.

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

Also, don't feel sorry for old Shirley. She was a bully. She had favorites and misused her authority for years. She skated on things that would have gotten anyone else fired immediately. She had that lawsuit from Gonzalez hanging over everyone's heads. "Say stuff, and I'll sue!" was her mantra.  So, she tried it again, I bet. Only this time, Miles is not having it. He has his own ethics issues. And besides, he just brought in a male version of her from Baltimore. A guy who misused his credit card and spent too much money on renovaitons.

Old Shirley will have a handsome retirement. 35 years, with her last three years averaged for calculations. She will make more in retirement than most teachers make teaching.

I also guess you missed the part where Miles refused to meet with the auditor, or how King resigned, rather than break policy. People are scattering from all over DISD; leaving in droves. They are voting with their feet. Whether it is a friend of JWP or not, education is last on the list of the trustees. When you have one trustee helping to promote charter schools at a pub in Oak Cliff, another buddy-buddy with the people who have had control of the city forever--who cares about test scores or audits?  This district is being imploded. And people are still maing money off of it.

 

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

You know nothing about school ratings. It is very EASY to make the unacceptable list. Just have too many Hispanics fail Science or too many blacks fail Math, and bingo! Bob's your uncle and you are low-performing.

Or, you can be low-performing because a bunch of Hurricane Katrina kids left your school after not adjusting--and never bothered to tell the old school where--if anywhere--they went. If enough of them are not found in time, they can blow your cohort for dropouts with black students. Actually, for some schools, three cohorts in a row.

If you want to know how screwed it is, look at the schools you mentioned. FIND the reason why they went low-performing. It can change from year to year. 10th graders fail in Math, the next year, all hands on deck for Math, but the other sub-group fails in English.

Overall, you will find that the 10th grade is what fails high schools. That was the year in TAKS--with kids who have been promoted out of 8th grade, EVEN IF they failed the TAKS test and had NO 9th grade test, suddenly find themselves being told to "do their best" on a test that does not affect them AT ALL. It wil not fail them, and it will not graduate them. But Texas uses the ONE test the kids don't give a crap about to report to the Feds.

Look at those 10th grade scores, then go look at them the NEXT YEAR in 11th grade. How did they improve so much, by as much as 15 points? Well, easy. Now they give a shit.

mcdallas
mcdallas topcommenter

Only time will tell if any of the JWP comments/commands were recorded by feds.  It's amazing that someone could be under investigation and STILL try to have undue influence on people/process that are so very clearly outside his jurisdiction.

JIMSX: this is the only thing you've said about JWP, seemingly for weeks.  What gives?  Any scuttlebutt about what's going to go down and when it will go there?

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@OutofYourMind

"Our classrooms are microcosms of society in general. I've got kids whose parent/s are incarcerated. I've got kids being raised by grandparents. I've got hungry students. I've got students who live with thirteen people crammed into a two bedroom house. I've got kids with lice (not the ever present nits, but the active, big, honking live critters). I've got kids with ADHD and no medicine because mom couldn't make it to the clinic. "

These are excuses. Excuses. That is all they are. There is a huge body of evidence showing that children from the most detrimental backgrounds can be brought to full literacy and numeracy by the end of third grade. It takes tough discipline and a whole lot of rote drill and kill. But it can be done. You're a teacher, and you really don't know that? 

If we can do it and yet we fail to do it, then the tens of thousands of children we consign to lives of illiteracy and incarceration are a holocaust, our holocaust, and it may take a Patton to put it to an end. 

Flabbergasted
Flabbergasted

3. Ask about the called, "differentiation." In theory, I will teach LEP (limited English) kids differently than kids with autism or kids who are behind grade level. In fact, they are *assigned* to separate classes on paper. Looks good, until you walk into a classroom, and voila! They are all sitting in the same class. A lie, if there ever was one. Try teaching 30 kids at 5 different reading levels and levels of interest, while also doing DOL's..... which means...


4. Again, you know nothing about education theory. REAL REFORM is not "Demonstrations of Learning." That is a gimmick, Jim. It means, simply, get out a piece of paper and show me what I just showed you. REAL learning takes time and multiple ways of presentation. Miles has fooled people who know nothing about teaching. It makes us break down stuff to the lowest level, in case Miles walks in unannounced.



Jim, we do not want the status quo—which is the point you missed. The STATUS QUO IN DALLAS IS BRINGING IN IMBECILES WITH A PLAN OF REFORM, RAKE IN MONEY AND LEAVE.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@ucrazy 

Hey. Ucrazy. How many 9th graders in school this year will leave college-prepared after 12th grade?

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

@JimSX Why don't you name those who are feeding you this line of bull. The best Advanced Placement teachers in Dallas are its most veteran teachers. You are painting our very finest with a broad brush. Might be similar to saying you profit off the soft porn in this rag making you a porn provider. Your journalistic skills seem to have disappeared.

ucrazy
ucrazy

Who is telling you veteran teachers are the problem and they are resistant to change? Same folks telling you kids are no longer learning to read. Is there some kind of boogeyman that now visits the pathetic excuse of Dallas media and tells them schools are failing because of veteran teachers? So you are suggesting Miles eliminate experienced teachers and replace them with TFA? Man, you are on Michelle Rhee cheating crack. Rhee is as big a fraud as Lance. They are both cheating liars.

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

@ItsSoSad SIN and JWP, best buds, but you write a glowing article of SIN, then pivot and aim to mow down experienced teachers. Had a check on blood flow to the brain lately?

ucrazy
ucrazy

Hey, Betty. It's such a laugh to read your poor excuse for grammar and your excuses for this superintendent. Think they are related?

nope
nope

What Miles has done is what every Broad trained superintendent has done to every major urban district they visit. They immediately hire layers of high paid cronies and leave nothing for the classrooms. Miles doesn't need two or three layers of administrators between him and principals. He doesn't need bonus money to do his job. He failed in Harrison and he will fail here.

How do you explain his newest choice of a pcard thieve for chief of staff when the man has a technology background and hasn't proven effective in a school district. Don't think the minority board members destroyed Hinojosa or Moses. Believe they both blew themselves up raiding the school district.

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

@JimSX "I bet Patton screwed up the seniority system at Buchenwald, too."

Using the Holocaust and Patton? Please. Purple prose and no facts. This passes no smell test. Visit your local schools and tell those teachers to their faces that you just called them Nazis in control of concentration camps. Look them in the face and repeat the defamatory names in here you pathetic excuse for a writer.

OutofYourMind
OutofYourMind

@JimSX @OutofYourMind Jim, did you read the whole thing or did your ADHD kick in? I don't make excuses and no teacher I know makes excuses. This is my students' reality, it in no way absolves the kids from meeting my high expectations.

All of my students leave me showing more than a year's growth. They may not come to me on grade level, but once I've had them for a year, they have grown astronomically. AND I do it without rote memorization and drill and kill. You know why? Because THAT is not learning, that is boring and does not translate to a lifetime of accomplishment. You're a so called journalist, and YOU don't know that? Which teacher inspired you the most? The ones who drilled you over and over until she became nothing but a droning buzz in the background, or the ones who captured your imagination?

I stand by my record. Look at my statistics. Talk to my kids. Ask their parents. Walk into my classroom and ask the kids what they are reading for pleasure and they will talk your ear off. I know I'm wasting my time, there are none so blind as those who will not see. I guess another statistic will be me as I leave DISD looking for a district that values my hard work and what I can do for my kids.

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

@JimSX @ucrazy Miles last district never qualified for college ready in its high school students even though there were only two small high schools for him to terrorize and micromanage. His methods don't work. The proof exists, so why wasn't he vetted correctly? Miles' daily delusions are laughable.

So he is brought here to repeat his failures and anyone questioning him needs a good court martial, right?

morethanuknow
morethanuknow

@JimSX @ucrazy Been listening to Todd Williams blowing hot air about things he knows nothing about? Let's put it this way, Jim--there are just as many of these kids (same percentage) who will attend college as your generation. You just weren't hounded by an unemployed jerk who made his millions from the investment bank mafia and crowned himself education guru who insists the sky is falling. Your generation didn't have to pass advanced math classes to get out of high school. When's the last time you used a quadratic equation? Your generation had a 50% dropout rate and no one spent his time all day trying to build a fire to put out. How about we insisted your generation wasn't college ready and that we needed to fire all your veteran teachers? Same baloney. Todd needs a cause to justify his existence. Go teach in these schools and deal with no supplies, no time, and the reality of it daily.

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

@JimSX @EastDallasDad Apparently the faux reformers have your ear. You used to have some investigative skills. Do you believe in Michelle Rhee, queen of cheat? She is the goddess of Miles and the faux reformers who have an agenda of turning on the federal money hose and drinking eternally from it. Too bad your blind spot now covers your entire eye.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@ucrazy 

Betty is smart. You are an ass-hole.

nope
nope

No-improvement is needed, but calling out teachers as Nazis is way over the top. Miles is here for the money and to launch his career, nothing more. Those teachers have put up with RIFS because administrators on Ross steal everything that isn't nailed down, and if it is, get a hammer and take that also. Every dime has been taken off these campuses with budget cuts, yet Miles and cronies are living like royalty. Hauling in the latest crony from Baltimore who has a pcard record that shames Yvonne Gonzalez destroys any credibility Miles might have had. For the board to bring back Allen King to contain Miles' spending spree says it all.

Blaming teachers for low student achievement in blighted areas would be the same as blaming doctors for the high level of diabetes in the same areas. Teachers work with the resources they are given within the constraints they have as an institution. While they are lacking technology, paper, and toilet tissue, Miles is remodeling his royal suites and recruiting crooks.

Teachers shouldn't be held to a standard of sainthood or martyrdom while each new superintendent is allowed to pillage and plunder.

morethanuknow
morethanuknow

@JimSX @morethanuknow @ucrazy  Imagine Todd Williams sitting at Bryan Adams and the entire class is tested on the SAT. Only 10% would have scored college ready. So WT White, Superintendent, comes in and closes down Bryan Adams because it's low performing. Texas and the South and the industrial areas of the northeast had 50% dropout rates until recently when it's become a rallying call for firing teachers. So were you guys so damaged by your poor teachers that you haven't been able to find a career? Or has the economy changed and all of a sudden every kid is supposed to be college ready, even though that is ridiculous.

ugot2bkidding
ugot2bkidding

@nope Readers ask Schutze for metrics or examples, and we get crap back. This article is nothing but rumor mongering. Pathetic.

 
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