Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Dallas ISD History 2012-2018: Disaster & Progress

A few pieces of DISD History, 2012 to 2018, that tell a dramatic story.

In June of 2012 the Dallas Observer published an article titled "The North Dallas Plot to Take Over DISD" It is especially fascinating reading now 6 years later.  (Click on the title to read it.) June of 2012 was the last month before Mike Miles took charge as the DISD Superintendent.  This article describes the leaders that helped this change happen.

Sadly in June of 2012 I was not studying Mike Miles. I presumed he was a good selection.  That opinion changed just over a year later when he began to give problems to some of the best principals in Dallas who had some of the most rapidly improving schools in all of DISD.  By September 9th of 2013 I finished a study of his history in Colorado, a study that apparently nobody involved in his selection in Dallas had done. I discovered a tragic set of facts pointing to major ethical issues! See them at:

By September 29th of 2013 other data had been gathered. A list of "Reasons Mike Miles Must Leave Dallas" was presented to the DISD Board. See for the nine reasons.  There was no response from the DISD Board to this documentation.

This happened at the start of the 2013/14 school year. DISD would finish that school year with 43 failing schools according to the Texas Education Agency, the largest number in DISD history! Miles remained for another full school year.

The good news is that Mike Miles resigned 6-23-15, three weeks after a 76 page complaint (click to read summary) filed 4-21-15 with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Education was well covered on the major Dallas news station.  The complaint was regarding the supplantation of federal funds away from high poverty schools (such as the 43 failing schools) to lower poverty schools and projects Mike Miles was funding. 

Dr. Hinojosa returned.  The well documented improvements in DISD during the first 6 years under Dr. Hinojosa resumed!  In the 2017/18 school year the number of failing, IR, DISD schools fell to 3, yes three!  DISD went from 43 failing schools to just 3 in just 4 years, but it required new leadership. The achievement gap with the rest of Texas has not yet fallen to 8 percentage points, but we are close. Teacher turnover is still in the double digits and that will not change until there are significant changes to the TEI evaluation and payment system.

We now are hopefully moving toward the highest DISD transparency (click to see plan) ever, and that transparency will help a tax increase of 13 cents per $100 valuation to pass so that DISD improvements will accelerate.

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