Dallas school board members this evening will talk of dismissing or keeping Superintendent Mike Miles, according to their agenda. But they aren’t expected to decide.
The two agenda items for the called meeting include yet another closed session talking about the superintendent. Trustees have already spent at least ten hours discussing the future of Miles, given the investigation by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins. It’s unclear what else could be said. Trustees will also officially accept the final investigative report, even though they’ve read and discussed it.
The number of trustees for and against Miles remains uncertain. Observers speculate it’s split 4 to 4.
What is more certain are those who want Miles gone. They include David Lee, with the Alliance/AFT teacher organization. He says Miles sets a bad example for teachers and for Lee’s own two youngsters.
“The same values of right and wrong that I want to instill in my daughters don’t apply to him," says Lee. "The investigation clearly found that he violated policy in terms of his contract. The board members need to do their duty and terminate him. And we need to head in a different direction.”
On the other hand, backers of Miles acknowledge his problems, but like improvements in the district. Todd Williams heads Commit!, the non-profit education organization. He says after eight Dallas school leaders in twenty years, another could be too destabilizing.
“I want him to have another year to basically see whether or not the reforms he’s put in place are working," says Williams. "I think it’s too early to tell. The data I’ve looked at –and again it’s only one year’s worth of data and who knows how much of that was already there before vs. what he instituted - but bottom line, across all grades, all subjects, passing rates within DISD went up last year while across the state they went down.”
It’s just one year, but Williams says Miles deserves another. Opponents say another year is one too many. It’s expected the board will officially evaluate Miles next week.