Harrison's Reform Champion Mike Miles to Move On to Bigger Dallas Stage

I’m a little down in the dumps today, and the cool, gloomy weather only has a little bit to do with. Ed News Colorado has reported that bold Harrison reform superintendent Mike Miles is all but officially moving on to be chief of the Dallas Independent School District, the 14th largest in the nation. Apparently, I’m not alone in feeling the selfish reaction about what Colorado is losing, an exception in the leadership of traditional public education:

Van Schoales, senior consultant to the national Education Reform Now, described Miles’ pending departure as “depressing.”

Why, it was barely 10 days ago I carefully brought your attention to a terrific new report Miles wrote for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on the Colorado Springs school district’s bold and cutting-edge teacher performance pay plan.

It’s not just innovative and effective compensation reform Miles has pursued. As he has pressed forward with an ambitious 5-year plan — ready to boldly go where no one, well, few, have gone before — Miles’ earlier reforms showed some promising signs of success. He will leave some big shoes to fill, no doubt.

So it’s not exactly the same as my case of Reformer-Michelle-Rhee-Resigned-from-Her-Job-in-D.C. Blues. At that time I didn’t know she would go on to take an advocacy role on the national stage. This time, it’s sort of a promotion for Mike Miles to a much bigger school district in a much bigger state, and his performance pay plan has in fact recently been lauded by Rhee. Though I would like to take the opportunity to express my hope that the new Dallas superintendent (as of July) steer clear of at least a couple characters.

At this point, it’s good and healthy to be reminded of the limitations of the heroic education reformer model. Yes, I get it. All the more reason to press onward and upward with needed systemic changes. But still, please let this naive little kid shed a tear or two before dragging me back to the full rigors of regular blogging.

Quick update: There is no apparent connection between this story and today’s rash of tornadoes near the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I just wanted to clarify….