A lot of numbers, a lot of jargon, and a lot of arguing about data occurred last night as Dallas ISD trustees discussed Superintendent Mike Miles’ future with Dallas public schools. And a lot of people argue passionately on both sides of the issue about which data points we should listen to.
It’s a lot as a parent to wrap your head around. Who is right? How do I put into context what they are saying? Is it really that bad, or really that good? Even after a lengthy career that included covering education for several different papers and several differently-sized school districts, meetings like last night can make my head spin.
Dr. Mike Moses
So when that happens, I look for an expert. And this time, I was lucky enough to get a great one – a former DISD superintendent, state education commissioner and current visiting professor at UNT – Mike Moses.
“The superintendent’s positions – especially superintendent positions at an urban district – are very explosive jobs,” Moses said. “They are fraught with all kinds of challenges, and in addition to the education aspect, you have a lot of politics – labor politics, business politics, actual politics and even media politics – to deal with. And all of that is pretty combustible.
“And then to add to that you have nine different people with nine different districts to answer to – you’re juggling a lot of balls. But the people that apply for and want these superintendent positions, they know that going in,” he added. “And when you go in, you hope to be able to manage all of it successfully.”
And Dallas ISD is not alone in its struggles to balance the needs of all the students in its district. “Governments of urban districts have been the subject of a lot of discussion over the last 10 years,” Moses said. (more…)