Dallas ISD is officially in the market for a new superintendent.
Mike Miles, who was called in to head the district only three years ago, resigned this morning after facing push-back within the district in the last months. Eric Aasen of KERA North Texas says this may be because Miles wasn’t ready for the urban school district, where, according to Aasen, there are always issues.
“Once leaders take over, there’s always in-fighting at these big city districts,” he says. “He came in quite heralded for reforms in Colorado, but seemed to step on some toes soon after he got to the district in Dallas with some efforts to try to reform teacher performance and principal performance.”
The list of scandals that have rocked the district is long, and according to Aasen, a lot of people blame Miles for them. A recent look by the Dallas Morning News into the district’s human resources department showed messages that disparaged several employees, and there was an effort in early May to try to kick Miles out. He survived the no-confidence vote, just as he had in another attempt back in 2013.
“There has been a constant rumor for months, if not years, that his days were numbered,” says Aasen. “Now, this morning, he announced he’s resigning to move back to Colorado, not really giving any reasons, but obviously hinting at the concerns over the last several months.”
Despite the ruffled feathers, Miles did have his champions. He claims he improved communication with parents and community groups and said that the district had the most teachers in place on this year’s first day of school than ever before. He also defended his teacher reform system, called the Teacher Excellence Initiative.
“He says he knows students are doing better in school, that graduation rates are improving, and that students are taking more AP exams in Dallas ISD,” says Aasen. “So he did point to several improvements under his watch.”