Early Reaction to Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles' Resignation

Maybe it's because Mike Miles' cutting ties with Dallas ISD has felt inevitable for so long, but the reaction to his Tuesday-morning resignation has been largely muted, at least in tone, even from his harshest critics.

Bill Betzen, a former Dallas ISD teacher who now fancies himself a district watchdog, has hammered Miles throughout the superintendent's tenure. Tuesday he said he said Miles only stuck around as long as he did because it was hard to know how bad things were.

"I've been anticipating [Miles' resignation] for almost two years," he said. "Dallas ISD has got to be more transparent, transparency was not happening with Miles. We've got to have more public information. We've got to have public information that's coming out constantly. Every month the superintendent's report should be a written report regarding the most critical variables affecting the heart of the district. That was not happening. If it had been happening [Miles] would've been gone a long time ago."

Speaking to reporters following Tuesday's Dallas County commissioner's meeting, John Wiley Price also praised Miles' coming departure.

"God is good, all the time," he said. "He's set DISD back 40 years."

Dallas ISD board member, former board president and Miles ally Miguel Solis praised Miles' willingness to take risks on behalf of the district's students.

"Make no mistake, Mike Miles laid a solid foundation for our kids, a foundation that far too few were willing to take on in the past," he said on Twitter shortly after Miles' announcement.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said he was sad to see Miles go.

"I'm disappointed but not surprised," he said, "because the [Dallas ISD] board tolerated him but did not fully support [Miles]."

Rawlings stressed the need to find a new superintendent quickly to avoid a mass exodus of senior staff from the district.

"This is about 160,000 students," he said.

Eric Cowan, the newly elected Dallas ISD board president, released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

“Over the past three years, Dallas ISD has taken bold steps with one common goal: to improve the quality of education we provide to the students of Dallas ISD. It hasn’t always been easy, and it hasn’t always been comfortable, but through it all, Superintendent Miles stayed the course and continued to push for transformation.

The Board is committed to working together to quickly find new, strong leadership for our school district, and we are dedicated to keeping the momentum going on the many initiatives begun by Superintendent Miles and his team. We are working to schedule a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Friday to discuss next steps.

I appreciate Superintendent Miles’ investment in and service to Dallas ISD, and I wish him the best of luck in his next endeavor.”

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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young