DISD Superintendent Mike Miles Gets a Powerful New Critic

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    Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price paid a personal visit to the DISD board meeting Thursday to blast Superintendent Mike Miles. (Published Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012)

    Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price paid a personal visit to the Dallas Independent School District board meeting Thursday to blast Superintendent Mike Miles.

    Price claims Miles is taking the district in the wrong direction with top staff changes, teacher work rules and hundreds of new teacher vacancies.

    Price is the target of an FBI corruption probe but fresh from his overwhelming reelection victory Tuesday he said he felt obligated to speak for many other critics who are too scared to come forward.

    "This district seems to be in terror and that is no way to run a district," Price said.

    Price said the unexpected retirement of 37-year administrator Shirley Ison Newsome is a mistake and the board and the superintendent should provide more answers.

    Ison Newsome was involved in several controversies over the years but she received $142,000 severance pay at her retirement last month.

    Price also said the retirement of chief of staff Alan King comes at the wrong time.

    Price said the two administrators helped produce big improvements in student achievement the past five years that Miles is not properly recognizing.

    "He doesn't seem to have the appreciation for the kind of resource that they have provided this district lo these many years," Price said.

    Teachers and their union leaders are upset about the addition of 45 minutes to their daily work schedule.

    "DISD does not allow teachers to give students busy work, and it shouldn't allow administrators to assign busy work to teachers," said George Rangel with Alliance AFT.

    The teachers claim the afternoon time was better spent with parent-teacher conferences.

    Former teacher Bill Bentzen pleaded with the school board to listen to teachers asking for the old schedule.

    "Please listen to the teachers, the few, the very few that are contacting you. Listen to them. They are each speaking for 100 or more," Bentzen said.

    DISD recently began recruiting new teachers to fill more than 300 vacancies that unexpectedly surfaced.

    "That means substitutes and that gives me some pause," Price said.

    Miles was tied up in the school board meeting all day Thursday and was unavailable for comment.

    In the past Miles has offered no apologies for feathers ruffled under his new administration.