The time escapes me. At least 20 years ago. I am seated outside the office of a prominent African-American clergyman in South Dallas waiting for an appointment that was to begin 45 minutes ago. The waiting is the South Dallas white man's tax. I knew all that before I showed up, and I will pay the ta ... More >>
You know what the one good thing is about a bad school system? It's a great excuse for everything else. Mayor Mike Rawlings stirred the pot earlier this week by telling KERA that Dallas lost out on a recent huge corporate relocation, Toyota's American headquarters, because of our bad school system. ... More >>
James Ragland is back writing a metro column for the city's only daily newspaper, and that's a good thing. But Ragland, who took a sabbatical from columnizing to do actual journalism, may need to give himself some catch-up time before launching too many more opinion epistles. He wrote a piece yest ... More >>
I always feel better after I talk to Larry James. I was worried. Now I'm not. James, president and CEO of CitySquare, the city's biggest and most comprehensive private anti-poverty organization, had an op-ed piece in The Dallas Morning News yesterday, one of those things about who to hire for the ... More >>
One big lesson to draw from Tuesday's special election to fill an empty school board seat: The public school employees unions in Dallas are weak tea, indeed, when it comes to any kind of a shootout at the polls. Take away a couple of pissed-off rich supporters with axes to grind, and teachers union ... More >>
Is it possible to tell a good teacher from a bad one?
UPDATE, 11:45 A.M.: Manuel G. Berrelez, one of Miguel Solis' lawyers, just called to tell me that Kristi Lara has withdrawn her lawsuit. The original post follows: Yesterday afternoon we told you the big lawsuit over residency requirements for a Dallas school board candidate got kicked up to a high ... More >>
A lawsuit against the Dallas school district and a candidate for election to the school board brought by his election opponent Kristi Lara was stopped by court order this afternoon until after the November 5 election, according to a lawyer for Lara's opponent. Jeronimo Valdez, lawyer for DISD Distr ... More >>
Kind of a hilarious war of words going on right now between me, Dallas political activist Rene Martinez and a UT Austin Education School professor named Julian Vasquez Heilig. Heilig has threatened to call the cops if Martinez emails him again. I think Heilig might do better calling his mom. Heilig ... More >>
So the Dallas ISD Board of Education, which decided at its last meeting to keep but humiliate its superintendent of schools, will meet again tomorrow, locked inside another closed-door "executive session," to decide whether to keep, fire or further humiliate the superintendent. A person looking on ... More >>
The special election for the school board will decide his fate. For now.
Why do trustees think they can ignore the law to protect their reputations?
What a difference a Williams makes. This morning -- on the day Dallas school trustees are supposed to decide whether to pull the rug from under reform Superintendent Mike Miles -- I looked at two sets of reports on the school district, one from Don Williams, the retired real estate executive who wan ... More >>
The pressure to spit out news stories as fast as they happen, a disinclination to provide linkages that might look too subjective, a simple failure in our own ability to see: for whatever reason, we in the news business seldom show you how the stories we present to you are tied together. And yet, be ... More >>
Channel 8 WFAA TV investigative reporter Brett Shipp had a big piece on last night's 10 p.m. News Update newscast about Dallas school Superintendent Mike Miles facing "new allegations of policy violations." I disagree with the piece, especially as it painted media relations consultant Lisa LeMaster ... More >>
Love of children, compassion for children, the instincts that propel us to shelter and nurture our young: These are profound and innate. But that doesn't mean they can't be tricky. Back in the '90s I was on the board of directors of Head Start of Greater Dallas. Briefly. African-American leaders ca ... More >>
More than just today, maybe every day this week we need to talk here about the Dallas school superintendent and school reform, mainly because this may all be over by the end of the week. The school board will meet later this week, and the anti-reform wing of the board probably will move to fire Supe ... More >>
Follow-up question: Will he survive?
Dallas ISD's Board of Trustees argued into the early morning hours before approving a $1.2 billion budget for the coming year. It includes a two-percent raise for almost all employees, as well as funding for Superintendent Mike Miles' year-old principal training academy, which some trustees wanted t ... More >>
Type Jerome Oberlton's name into Google, and one of the first things to pop up is a Baltimore Sun article detailing all the places he used the local school district's credit cards. These included businesses like Bath & Body Works and Ross, which would seem to provide little of use for the head of a ... More >>
In Dallas ISD, a fight over principals, race and a slice of the pie.
Today is a key moment in the battle for school reform in Dallas, as a list of school principals to be fired goes before the school board. (Check back tonight for the body count.) The main opposition to the reform effort has come from southern Dallas black leadership allied with the district employee ... More >>
Working on a big story about school reform these days. (Note to editor: definitely see completion this year, possibly early next. Best way you can help -- make sure I keep up my darned morale.) Speaking of morale, I wanted to go ahead and share a bit of the reporting with you in advance of the stor ... More >>
Three prominent Dallas business leaders have written a caustic public letter to Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles, taking him to task generally for not conferring with them personally on school reform and specifically for threatening the job of a particular high school principal popular in South ... More >>
They say the devil can quote scripture as well as the righteous, which helps explain the confusion sown by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, who whipped out his New Testament this week and rained thunder down on Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles. Price is burni ... More >>
Too bad they won’t do that for the students
On March 22, I penned a story for this page in which I portrayed school district trustee Bernadette Nutall as appearing to be "neutral" on school reform. Her apparent neutrality made her a very singular exception to the rule at a heated community meeting the night before at Madison High School, wh ... More >>
Everybody in school politics always says it's all about the children. That's almost never true. If you don't believe me, you should have been there last night. At a spirited, sometimes cantankerous meeting in the auditorium of James Madison High School in South Dallas, prominent black elected offic ... More >>
Are Dallas ISD trustees already preparing to protect the principals Mike Miles wants to fire?
Buzz looks back on 2012 before the memories go where they belong: up in smoke.
On Friday evening, after schools had closed and most everything else was winding down for the holiday, the Morning News reported DISD communications chief Jennifer Sprague is resigning. Sprague's abrupt departure is the surest sign yet that Superintendent Mike Miles' administration is in crisis. Sh ... More >>
For several weeks I have been wondering if anybody else was hearing the same drumbeat of deep bitter dissatisfaction from Dallas public school teachers that I've been getting. So now it turns out somebody else has been hearing the same thing. But guess who! Tod Robberson! Oh, no! Not Tod Robberson! ... More >>
Shirley Ison-Newsome is a survivor. The longtime DISD administrator, currently assistant superintendent, has managed to stay afloat at the district even as administration after boss after boss, administration after administration, have sunk to the watery depths. That she has managed emerge unharmed ... More >>
At his odd press conference defending the $185,000 salary of his communications chief, new Dallas ISD supe Mike Miles mentioned that he's never had coffee with Jennifer Sprague. It sounded unlikely, but you knew what Miles meant: They don't hang out. They're not bros. But it was only a matter of ti ... More >>
Incoming DISD superintendent Mike Miles called Saturday's sit-down with the board a retreat, but that's probably a misnomer. The meeting was long and took place on a weekend, and there was a platter full of bacon, but Miles didn't give an inch. In a Q&A session with media beforehand, Miles fielded ... More >>
Big front-pager in today's Morning News about how Mike Miles, Dallas ISD's new superintendent, will pay his new communications chief, Jennifer Sprague, $185,000 a year. The general consensus among those interviewed for the story: Holy hell that's a lot of money for that job. Which makes sense becaus ... More >>
A week after making one of his bigger hires in Teach for America's Charles Glover, incoming Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles continues to fill out his administrative team. Tuesday, the district announced that it has hired the first five of an eventual 20 executive direct ... More >>
You knew it was coming. Incoming DISD chief Mike Miles laid it out pretty clearly during his first presentation to the DISD school board last week, to say nothing of his reformist track record in Colorado Springs. But a month and a half before Miles' official July 1 start date, details about which h ... More >>
While his vision might not be as far-reaching as Deltron's, incoming DISD chief Mike Miles outlined his vision for the future Thursday in "Destination 2020," his first presentation to the board. The main job of the district, Miles said, is to "prepare students for college or for a Year 2020 workpla ... More >>
We tuned in to the Dallas ISD's District 9 school board trustee forum on KHVN 970 yesterday between incumbent Bernadette Nutall and her challenger, 20-year-old Damarcus Offord. Host Robert Ashley and his station, it turns out, moderated the best debate thus far. The two clearly don't like each oth ... More >>
Mike Miles named Dallas ISD Superintendent from Dallas Independent School Dist on Vimeo. Yesterday we raised some questions about how the Dallas Independent School District might handle the employment contract of Mike Miles, the district's new superintendent. Those details emerged last night -- you ... More >>
The Dallas Independent School District is expected to officially hire Mike Miles, a former Army Ranger and U.S. Senate candidate and the superintendent of a small school district in Colorado, as its top official later today. Although Miles was named a "lone finalist" a few weeks back, his hiring was ... More >>
Yesterday, Mike Miles, an Army Ranger turned education reformer, was named the lone finalist for Dallas Independent School District's superintendent job. Today begins 21 days of tire-kicking, a mandatory waiting and vetting period before the district and Miles can officially wed. Plenty of people ... More >>
Not sure what to think of Mike Miles, the Dallas school board's pick for new superintendent? Here's a shortcut. Decide what you think of the Broad Superintendents Academy (BSA). Miles is a 2011 graduate of a boot camp for school superintendents in Los Angeles founded and funded by a foundation nam ... More >>
Prediction: The next few weeks may not be a ton of fun for Mike Miles. Miles, the superintendent of Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, was named the lone finalist for the top job in Dallas ISD at a meeting this afternoon. The board, which voted 8-0 (with Carla Ranger abstaining), now ... More >>