The sanitized version of the internal audit investigating Mike Miles’ hiring practices has been released - Draft Audit Report and Board Presentation Report - and now we are being asked to forgive and forget by DMN’s Bill McKenzie. McKenzie describes the very witch hunt Miles complained of earlier as an obvious “case of opponents eager to snare him”. Bill, those of us who criticize Mike Miles don’t “want him to fail” as you warn in this mindless prattle you call an editorial. It’s just that we know he is going to fail and we’re trying to limit the damage done before the trustees and the community wake up and boot him out. There’s no evidence that what he has done in the past in Harrison or doing now in Dallas will do anything more than drive away good teachers and leave the district in turmoil.
McKenzie wags a finger at Miles, likening his missteps to a kid too close to a campfire. Yes, Bill, Miles pants are indeed on fire.
McKenzie attributes Mile’s stumbles to the inevitable consequences of leading a large district. Miles didn’t stumble because there are 157,000 students in Dallas ISD; he stumbled because of his character. McKenzie admits that Miles can come across as “arrogant”. Is that the nice way of saying you push people around to get your way? The draft audit report repeatedly noted red flags in hiring procedures, and repeatedly noted that staff raising those flags was overruled by senior management. There’s no secret who the term “senior management” refers to. The draft audit’s conclusion was not only that there were irregularities, but that there was “undue influence” to ignore those irregularities. Most folks would call a person in charge that forces his way a bully.
The initial draft report stated that management must set a “tone at the top” that sets the standards for the district. Well, the tone right now is off key. It is, in fact, so low as to be off the scale. McKenzie characterizes Miles as being tone deaf. I agree. And I have to say, Bill, your hearing ain’t so good either.