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Miles: I’m committed to DISD, I’m staying

Diane Xavier | 9/20/2013, 12:14 p.m.
Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles Dallas i.s.d.

The Dallas Examiner

Despite all the controversy surrounding Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles, the leader of DISD says he is here to stay.

Miles spoke to over 100 business leaders at the Dallas Regional Chamber 2013 State of the District Luncheon held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel on Sept. 10.

“I’m here and I’m committed to the kids of Dallas ISD and its 160,000 students,” Miles said. “I’m not going anywhere.”

He, along with DISD Board of Trustee President Eric Cowan, discussed the district’s goals and challenges for the upcoming school year.

“At the luncheon, we talked about working together, collaboration and moving forward,” Miles said. “We had a good winning season last year and now we just have to have a winning season this year and that’s what we are focused on.”

Cowan was asked about the latest report against Miles and how Miles may have violated district policy twice. The investigation was conducted by former U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins. The report stated that Miles violated the terms of his contract as superintendent, first with interfering in a service contract award in which he also may have interfered with the investigation against him by the district. Secondly, the report stated that Miles was involved in writing a resignation letter for an administrator that was leaving. The letter was written in a way to praise the superintendent while disparaging the school board members.

The school board met Saturday to discuss the report. No decision was made on Miles’ future with DISD.

“The board as a whole has had time to review the report and the investigation,” Cowan said. “We met Saturday to discuss the report and how we can move forward.”

Miles said the most important thing to him was the achievement of students and teachers.

“I’m moving forward and our staff is moving forward,” Miles said. “We got the new school year underway and we are just going to continue to do that. There were a number of successes and key actions and key votes that the board, staff and I worked on last year and we got them accomplished. Effectively working together, we passed the principal evaluation system, we passed breakfast in the classroom, and we have more security for our kids and raises for our teachers. That’s what I call working together.”

Miles was optimistic despite the controversies surrounding him.

“We need to move forward for the sake of our kids,” he said. “When we keep focused on the kids, and the student achievement results and what is happening in the classroom, what our students need, we win. The board and I still look to find a way to work together collaboratively and look to focus on Destination 2020.

“Our students did well, our teachers did well and people stepped up. It’s hard and challenging work. It’s going to continue being challenging and I said it’s not a one-year deal, it’s a challenging road so that we can transform a district. As long as we stay focused on that and as long as we get into the classroom, we see that our kids are doing well, then I feel great.”

Miles visited 11 schools in the last two weeks to see how students were performing.

“Whenever you are moving a big system and you are trying to transform a whole system to move things for our kids, it’s going to be tough,” he said. “It’s going to require people to make tough decisions and sometimes it requires people to make unpopular decisions. It requires people to work together for sure, but it also requires decision making. So that’s what I have done in the last year and I’m going to continue doing that this year.”

Miles received support from the business community during the luncheon.

“He’s just sticking to his mission and that’s to make DISD a better school district and that’s what he said and that’s what he is doing,” Danelle Penson, a member of the Dallas Regional Chamber said.

Amy Ramos, managing director of communications for the chamber, said the organization is invested in education and holds this event annually to give the business community an opportunity to receive an update on Dallas ISD.