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Dallas School Board: How To Grade The Superintendent

Trustees chose Mike Miles of Colorado Springs as the finalist to lead DISD.
Trustees chose Mike Miles of Colorado Springs as the finalist to lead DISD.

Dallas School Board members are working on the evaluation plan for new Superintendent Mike Miles. The plan will outline goals the superintendent must meet to earn up to $200,000 in bonus money.

Three school board members: Bernadette Nutall, Mike Morath, and Adam Medrano are looking at academic achievement and district performance targets for the new superintendent. His first evaluation comes in December.

Mike Miles makes a base salary of $300,000 a year, but has the possibility of boosting that to half-a-million if he meets the goals set by the school board.

“We have some pretty lofty goals that he wants to accomplish, and as a board that we want him to accomplish,” said Board Member Bernadette Nutall. “Student achievement is why we hired him.”

After committee discussion of the academic achievement goals, Trustee Bernadette Nutall said the plan will focus on specific goals for improvement in reading, writing and math. College readiness will be a key focus for high school: PSAT and SAT scores; 4 year graduation rate; plus Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate enrollment and passing rate. The committee has 43 measurements for academic achievement alone. Former Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa was evaluated on three points: graduation rates; TAKS passing rates; and college readiness.

Board member Mike Morath says this more stringent review, specific goals with specific dollar amounts attached, won’t intimidate this superintendent.

“I’ve yet to encounter something that makes the superintendent’s head spin. I think he is very much in line with this,” Morath said. “He has a very rigorous approach in terms of what he expects from his own employees, so I think we would be expecting the same from us of him.”

The committee hopes to have the evaluation plan completed by the end of the month.

Former KERA reporter BJ Austin spent more than 25 years in broadcast journalism, anchoring and reporting in Atlanta, New York, New Orleans and Dallas. Along the way, she covered Atlanta City Hall, the Georgia Legislature and the corruption trials of Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.