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Miles Wants "Race To Top" Millions & Outlines DISD Needs

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 Superintendent Mike Miles wants up to $30 million federal dollars in Race to the Top money. The Department of Education funds were initially available to states, but Texas did not apply.

Now, districts with education reform ideas can apply, and Miles wants a piece of the pie for his plans.

Miles: One of the things we’re going to do for the strategic feeder groups, 18 schools, is we’ll staff it in way that teachers can then not only have more support, but also opportunities for leadership.

Miles said a controversial aspect of Race to the Top calls for teacher evaluations.

But he added the district already plans to do that, so there’s no controversy.

Two dozen school districts nationwide are expected to win Race to the Top funds. The Department of Education previously announced an October deadline.

Miles Clarifies Improvement Needs for DISD

Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles clarified for his board members some of the 32 major systems that need improvement.

Miles said technology, for example, needs to be aligned and integrated, because there are so many different - but necessary - systems within the district.

Miles: We need to make sure that whatever technology platform we get…is able to integrate the needs of human capital management the needs of technology, the needs of student achievement data, the needs of school leadership and curriculum.

Miles said those systems all exist now, but they don’t “talk” to each other.

Trustee Eric Cowan called the entire process a good first step to improve all 32 systems, because some have not worked for a long time. Board member Elizabeth Jones praised the practice as a way to establish best practices district-wide.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.