Monday, April 2, 2012

D-2's Mike Miles: Dallas bound

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Miles is flanked by Dallas school officials.
  • Dallas Independent School District website
  • Miles, flanked by Dallas school officials.

Harrison School District 2 announced today that superintendent Mike Miles is the only finalist for the top job at the Dallas Independent School District.

The district has 157,000 students and is the 14th-largest district in the nation, its website says, employing more than 20,000 people.

The school board plans to approve Miles' deal on April 26, and he would begin work there July 2.

From the Dallas district's website:

"The Dallas ISD Board of Trustees is thrilled with our selection of Mike Miles as the lone finalist for Superintendent of Schools,” said Lew Blackburn, President of the Board. “Mr. Miles has spent his entire life serving the public and has a proven track record of success. Not only will his life story serve as an inspiration to our students, he is a recognized leader who is focused on student results. Today is a great day for the Dallas Independent School District."

Mike Miles is a former Army Ranger who graduated from West Point in 1978. He then entered the ranks of the officer corps at Ft. Lewis, Washington, where he served in the Army's elite Ranger Battalion and commanded an Infantry Rifle Company.

After the Army, Miles studied Slavic languages and literature at the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Leningrad in Russia. Miles then pursued advanced study of Soviet affairs and public policy at Columbia University and earned a master’s degree in 1989. The same year, he joined the U. S. Department of State as a policy analyst at the Soviet desk, and then from 1990 to 1995 as diplomat in Moscow and Warsaw at the end of the Cold War.

Miles and his family returned home to Colorado Springs in 1995 where he started as a high school teacher in his alma mater school district – Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8. Miles continued to grow professionally and held other positions such as middle school principal, coordinator of administration services and from 2003 to 2006 served as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, in the same school district.

Currently, Miles also serves as an educational consultant and motivational speaker for school districts and other public organizations around the state of Colorado. He is recognized as an accomplished practitioner of curriculum alignment, organizational effectiveness, and systems thinking.

The previous superintendent took a job in Georgia. His salary in Dallas was $328,000. The amount the district plans to pay Miles hasn't been disclosed.

Miles is paid more than $200,000 at Harrison.

A Harrison press release says Miles was chosen in part for his "transformative work" here and across the state. Of course, some don't think Miles' work is anything to cheer about, as Independent reporter J. Adrian Stanley reported in 2010.

Miles, completing his sixth year at Harrison, has tied teacher evaluations to student achievement results. "During his tenure, the District significantly narrowed achievement gaps and raised its graduation rate and test scores," the D-2 news release says. "Formerly a district on 'Academic Watch,' the lowest state accreditation rating, Harrison is seen as a Colorado success story and one of the most innovative districts in the nation."

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