For the third year in a row, DISD teachers had to waste time watching Mike Miles’ Narcissi-Fest, also known as the Convocation.
For the third year in a row, it was one bizarre event.
The “lucky lottery winners” who got to attend the convocation live report that the proceedings required them to board buses and travel across Dallas to far North Dallas, where the convocation was being held.
But who wants to prepare their room or write lesson plans or read over IEPs and 504s in advance when you can sit on a bus and be paid for it, right? Because all the dancing and music is so much “fun,” right?
DISD teachers, that’s who. We have more we want to accomplish than being paid to take a 30-minute bus ride across Dallas simply to stroke the ego of a man many of us consider to be a failure in every sense of the word (and we have data to back us up). We aren’t cheap sell-outs for “fun.” We have a serious job to do and we want to do it. Come Monday, when all the kids arrive, there isn’t going to be any dancing and playing. Miles WILL be at schools and he WILL be criticizing any teacher who isn’t 1000% prepared, even if he/she was dragged to a “fun” convocation on Wednesday. Teachers who work all weekend making up the lost time won’t think that’s “fun,” either.
But I digress.
The live attendees report that, once at the convocation, a group of all-female principals/staff members in Miles’ dance squad flitted around ostentatiously down on the floor taking selfies with Miles, chatting with friends, hugging school board members, hugging each other and posing with an empty picture frame (the frame had date and theme text written on it) for even more selfies. Imagine standing inside an empty, full-sized picture frame and taking pictures of yourself with it like you were at a party in college… except you’re 50. And you are at work, not at a party. And the number of schools needing improvement has increased on your watch, which means that more children are falling behind.
In my opinion, Miles is nothing more than a willing puppet for some seriously greedy and evil people, but it sounds like these female principals/staff members really seemed to have embraced him and his whole scene (luckily, none of the kids from the worsening schools were around to kill the vibe). Also, at least 2 of the school principals dancing/hugging/taking selfies on the floor lead schools that were NOT listed among the schools that met all 4 distinctions on the STAAR. Maybe a little less dancing and a little more discipline and support for teachers on those campuses would be a better use of time?
After that, there was a skit featuring DISD students and teachers; both groups showcased the incredible talent that we are losing to the suburbs and private schools every year that Miles is superintendent.
Next, Miles was introduced and took the stage. Multiple teachers present at Loos confirm that when Miles took the stage, without the kids around him, the tone completely changed. Very few people applauded and it looked like entire schools sat with their hands in their laps.
It must be noted that this blog did not publish any posts encouraging teachers to boo Miles or to refrain from clapping and yet it appears that hundreds of teachers refused to clap for him anyway. Once again, brave teachers showed no fear in front of Miles, the school board members and their own principals. Teachers will not applaud anyone whose methods result in more failing schools and more failing kids.
Miles’ speech rambled and was confusing. At the outset, he showed a picture of a 1950s-ish car and explained that we don’t want to be that car; we need change. Then he showed a picture of a sports car and said this what we need to be instead (updated! faster! better!). And then he lamented the sad fact that he’d like a Lexus but doesn’t have one.
I guess if Miles feels compelled to whine in front of a bunch of teachers about how he wants a Lexus, we must not be paying him enough. He’s paid at least $300,000 collected from taxpayers and earmarked for low-income DISD kids, but he’s still not satisfied because he wants a Lexus? Miles should remember that lots of DISD teachers just want to drive a school bus (in addition to their teaching jobs) so they can buy food. So sorry you don’t have that Lexus you want, Floyd.
Then he went on to tout some of his accomplishments, which included having “teachers” hired for all but 25 vacancies (he conveniently failed to address how many of these “teachers” are subs, uncertified ACs, TFA teachers we paid for or homeless people with a pulse). He also touted the technology upgrades even as some schools lost the live feed during the convocation. Oh, the irony. The 43 worsening schools were, surprisingly, never mentioned.
He then showed a clip no one understood; it was something about believing in old-fashioned values. Everyone was confused. Isn’t the 1950s Olds-mo-buick (that’s a movie reference, Floyd) old-fashioned? Didn’t he just tell us old-fashioned was bad?
Finally, someone turned up the melodramatic music and Miles read the same inspiring (to him) schmaltz (h/t Miss Edu) he’s read for the past 3 years—the same tired, sad, unattributed quotation. And at the conclusion, the female dance squad principals/staff members reportedly leaped out of their seats to cheer like they were at an Elvis concert. Personally, you couldn’t pay me enough to cheer for a man like Mike Miles.
So based on a sampling of teacher responses, the verdict is that the convocation was long, it was boring (except for the skit) and it was a waste of time. It must have been really bad for the people who had to ride buses across Dallas to attend. The best that can be said for Milesligula 3.0 is that at least one message has finally gotten through to him and, for once, he didn’t dance.