Mike Miles Wants Most DISD Educators on a Performance-Pay Plan Soon -- and He Wants Them to Like It

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 workplace" which will, unsurprisingly, require the development of "Year 2020 skills" like teamwork, information literacy and economics. These are distinct from the reading, writing and math skills the report leaves undated.

In hard numbers, Miles wants 90 percent of students to graduate on time and enter college, the military, or a career; 60 percent of students to score a 21 on the ACT or 1100 on the math and reading portions of the SAT; and 80 percent to pass workplace readiness assessments.

And how, precisely, does Miles propose the district achieve said goals?

The report gets a bit jargony, but the bottom line, according to Miles, is that DISD needs better instruction and leadership, which in turn requires greater accountability for teachers and administrators.

By 2015, he wants 80 percent of teachers and all administrators to be on a performance pay plan, with mandatory classroom observations and yet-to-be-spelled-out performance metrics. (He also wants most of the employees to "agree or strongly agree" with the evaluation system and , though the report doesn't specify what happens if they don't).

There are also various benchmarks for adherence to a set of "Core Beliefs" (boilerplate affirmations about being committed to improving student achievement for all), the operation of the central office, and streamlined hiring practices.

The toughest metric might be this: Miles want 70 percent of the community to "agree or strongly agree" with the direction of the district by 2015, based on an independent survey. I don't know if you could get that many people to agree on anything, except maybe that the Mavs shouldn't have traded Tyson Chandler.

Best of luck on that one, Mike.

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Eric Nicholson
Contact: Eric Nicholson