Education
7:23 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

DISD's Mike Miles Tells KERA: 'Going To Learn From Our Mistakes'

In an interview with KERA, Dallas School Superintendent Mike Miles remained mum on whether he did what he’s accused of doing by a special investigator hired by the district.

The investigation found that Miles broke policy by interfering with a probe related to a district contract, and that he violated his employment contract by helping write a letter that criticized board members.

The investigation was the latest in a series of controversies for Miles and resulted in school trustees disciplining him this week.

During a lengthy conversation with KERA the superintendent declined to acknowledge whether he did anything wrong saying, “I’m not going to rehash the investigation.”

He said his 90-day improvement plan required by board members will include him developing a stronger relationship with each board member so he can understand specific concerns.

When asked about being effective after three board members voted to fire him, Miles said it’s not unusual for board members to have differences of opinion with their superintendent.

In spite of disagreements last year he said the district made progress including:  the board’s adoption of his principal evaluation system; gains in student achievement; improved security at schools, and strong financial management that lead to the biggest fund balance in the history of the district.

Miles, who came from a much smaller school district in Colorado Springs, Colorado, said he knew the challenges he would face when he came to Dallas,  but he isn’t sure community members understood that the reforms they demanded could mean some principals and teachers would lose their jobs.

Some school employees critical of Miles have said he has a “my-way-or-the-highway” attitude and has not tried to include educators’ ideas for implementing reforms.

He said he’s attempted to be collaborative when possible but that some problems require fast, urgent decisions and it’s his job as the district’s leader to make them.