Monday, September 9, 2013

Mike Miles in Colorado

During the 6 years Mike Miles was Harrison School District Two Superintendent in Colorado, hundreds of families moved into the area.  Elementary enrollment went up 20%, but high school enrollment dropped 26%!  Senior enrollment dropped 33%!  Why were so many secondary students leaving?  Is it the same reason that record numbers of seniors are now leaving in Dallas after Mr. Miles has been the DISD Superintendent for 16 months? As of 11-1-13 DISD has lost more seniors since 2012/13 than for any year since 1984.  (1984 was the last year over 1,540 Anglo students left as the most intense years of White Flight were slowing down for Dallas!)

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If the DISD Board had more properly vetted Mike Miles by studying Harrison School District Two enrollment patterns since 2006, when Miles began his 6 years as superintendent there, they would have seen many reasons for intense concerns, and many more questions!

Compare enrollment by grade when Mike Miles arrived at Harrison in 2006 with that enrollment as he left to come to Dallas in 2012.  The following facts are found:

1. High school enrollment dropped over 26% while total Harrison School District Two enrollment was unchanged.  K through 7th grade enrollment grew enough to make up the difference showing that family movement out of the district was not the reason for the loss of the older students.  The critical question is: “Were students with poor test grades being pushed out as they neared SAT/ACT testing?”   Such allegations were reported by several in Colorado Springs, but need to be investigated.

2. The Promotion Rate (percentage of 9th grade enrollment reflected in 12th grade enrollment three years later) deteriorated, dropping over 31 percentage points in Harrison under Mike Miles.  Meanwhile, in Dallas that same measurement improved to record high measurements, going up over 14 percentage points during the same time period!

3. The percentage of 9th grade enrollment NOT reflected in 12th grade enrollment 3 years later, exploded over 500% in Harrison under Mike Miles.  In Dallas that same measurement was improving, shrinking from 2006 to 2012, going down over 16 percentage points as the percentage of 9th grade students not reflected in Dallas ISD 12th grade enrollment shrunk from 52% of the total to 35.3%.

4. The Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI), the most precise, timely, and predictive of the graduation rate measurements, fell 16 percentage points in Harrison Two while that same powerful measurement rose over 20 percentage points in Dallas ISD to the highest, most positive level on record. By 2011 the CPI in DISD was 12.3 percentage points higher than the same measurement for Harrison Two! (Data not found for CPI calculation in Harrison for 2012.)

5. From 2005/06 to 2012/13, while elementary enrollment grew enough in Harrison Two to make up the loss, 8th grade enrollment dropped 7.2%, 9th grade enrollment dropped 16.2%, 10th grade enrollment dropped 22.7%, 11th grade enrollment dropped 22.3%, and 12th grade enrollment dropped 33.2%!   Why would this pattern of student loss exist unless students were leaving to avoid something, like SAT/ACT tests?  Which students were most likely to be feeling such pressure, those getting high test grades or those getting low test grades?

6. How did Harrison School District Two progress under the leadership of Mr. Mike Miles compared with other districts in Colorado?  Using http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CO/districtrank.aspx you find that Harrison School District Two is ranked most recently as 89 out of 123 districts in Colorado or below  71.5% of the ranked Colorado districts.  In Texas, Dallas ISD, on the same web site, is ranked 749 out of 935, or below 80% of the districts in Texas.  Given the poverty rates among DISD students,  86.9% in DISD vs 68.5% in Harrison, is this difference reason for comfort?

Each of the issues reflected in this data should have been specifically addressed in questioning and known to the public before Mike Miles was hired in Dallas.  We do not want the same dramatic enrollment losses to happen in DISD as students near their SAT/ACT testing and graduation.

An online petition seeking the resignation of Mike Miles was started on 8-30-13 and can be found at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/222/888/939/people-of-dallas-demand-mike-miles-resignation/

A second poll of the general public was started by the Dallas Morning News 9-11-13 at http://educationblog.dallasnews.com/2013/09/vote-should-dallas-isd-superintendent-mike-miles-be-fired.html/   As of 8:30 AM on 9-15-13 78.86% of the 1,173 respondents have asked that Mike Miles be fired.  Another 5.88% have voted that he should receive a reprimand. Only 15.26% have voted that nothing should be done.

Below is some of the documentation leading to the above issues:
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The Promotion Rate is the percentage of 9th grade enrollment actually reflected in 12th grade enrollment three years later.  It should go up, not down!  It's a predictor of the graduation rate and was used in 2006 by John Hopkins University to identify over 1,700 "dropout factories" in the United States.  It tells you how many 9th graders actually made it to the 12th grade.  It fell dramatically under Mr. Miles as superintendent in Colorado Springs!  Meanwhile, the exact same measurement in DISD was constantly going up during the same years it was falling in Harrison Two School District in Colorado Springs!
Right click above image and hit "open link" to enlarge or print.
Allegations that Mr. Miles pushed low performing students out so as to raise his grade averages for his district are in at least one Colorado Springs newspaper.   These charts are consistent with that happening. With that thought in mind the following chart was created with 4 year cohort graduation rates and Cumulative Promotion Index (CPI) rates through the Class of 2011:
Right click on above image and open link to enlarge and/or print.

At the bottom of the page linked here is an explanation of the CPI and the value it has in tracking progress in a school and in a school district.  The CPI is the most precise, timely, and predictive of all graduation rate measurements.
 
During the time Mike Miles managed Harrison 2 District the inverse of the Promotion Rate, i.e. the percentage of 9th grader enrollment NOT reflected in the 12th grade enrollment 3 years later, exploded over 500%!   At the same time, due to such student loss, the high school enrollment dropped 26%, the CPI dropped over 15 percentage points, and the Promotion Rate dropped over 25 percentage points!
 
Was this information even looked at by the Dallas ISD Board during the hiring process? 
 
Why were increasing numbers of students missing as they neared the 12th grade in the Harrison Two School District?  The 26% drop in high school enrollment happened while elementary enrollment grew and the full district enrollment remained stable. Were high school students with lower test scores being pushed out as part of a strategy to help test scores rise, as was suggested in Colorado press?

While Dallas ISD made wonderful progress in their Promotion Rate, going from 47.3% in 2006 to 67.8% this year, now DISD has hired a superintendent from a school district where he enforced policies that made the Promotion Rate go the other direction, dropping over 18 percentage points!  The Harrison Promotion Rate fell from 86.5% in 2006/07 to 68.4% in 2012/13.

Harrison School District 2, Colorado Springs, Promotion Rate History
and documentation of 26% drop in high school enrollment since 2006.

Right click above image to enlarge.

The above enrollment data for Harrison 2 is from http://www.hsd2.org/departments/student-services/statistics. At the bottom of that page click on October Count Student Enrollment to find the past 12 years of enrollment history for Harrison 2. This data was used to create the last 3 lines in the above spreadsheet that indicates the damage done in Harrison 2 under Mike Miles. 

Here is the spreadsheet used to compare Dallas and Harrison Two school districts.
Right-click on above image and select "open link" to enlarge and/or print.
Questions about, and a very critical reading of the above data, are all welcomed: bbetzen@aol.com, 214-957-9739.  With the volume of data referenced above, errors are possible. I welcome corrections!  Copies of these spread sheets are available as well as more complete working spreadsheets used to tabulate this data. Please help double check this critical data for accuracy if you have any doubts whatsoever.  Don't stand at a distance and say it is wrong without finding the errors. I think this data is correct, and shows major problems about to explode in Dallas ISD.  Is DISD also about to also see student enrollment loss in the upper grades as electives are eliminated, test preparation time increases, and pressures to pass tests increase?

This page will continue to evolve as data is available or errors located. I will gladly explain the details related to these valuable academic measurements and the sources for the data to the best of my ability.  With this data and the overwhelming collection of articles and studies indicating problems with the management style of Mike Miles, it certainly appears that Dallas ISD students are in danger!

The above facts went into signs used to picket Mr. Miles as he spoke in a local Dallas church on Sunday morning.  The media went out of their way not to show these signs in their coverage of the event.  If you see otherwise, let me know.   All six signs were used.


Signs used 5-26-13 morning in picketing in front of True Lee Baptist Church, Dallas,
but never shown by the media. 

Can we avoid such questions?
6/9/13 8:30 AM
Bill Betzen
Comments regarding the accuracy of the above data are encouraged, bbetzen@aol.com .

6/29/13 the following post was made to a Dallas Morning News article about Mike Miles in Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, Colorado:
Posted by Theresa Null from Colorado Springs: ============================
Miles hurt D2 students in Colorado when he forced principals to expel students who performed poorly on statewide assessments while students who had the same infractions but did well on those tests were allowed to stay : over 400 students were forced to attend schools outside the district! Of course, the district CSAP scores LOOKED good, but it was at the cost of uprooting students and their families instead of solving the problems. Miles bullied teachers and executive professionals to the extent that they were afraid to use outside partnerships for scholarships, field trips and the like. The micro-management may have worked had Miles been open to use those civic organizations. Students, during their break and with permission, protested across the street from Sierra HS. Miles called the police to arrest the students and called them delinquents in the newspaper. As far as being fair by protesting at his home, well, maybe he should feel a little disruption to his home life compared to the disruption he caused in Colorado Springs.  (This was in response to statements that I and others would not picket Mike Miles  private home here in Dallas.)
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How is what happened in Colorado related to what happened in El Paso?  The El Paso Superintendent received state awards for raising test scores, but is now in prison for making low scoring students disappear: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/education/el-paso-rattled-by-scandal-of-disappeared-students.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0





Bill Betzen 6/29/13

=== Notes taken 07-21-13 ===

As we worked to find out what happened to the 33% of 12th grade enrollment that was missing from Harrison School District two by 2012, it would be logical to see what happened to the ACT scores in the surrounding districts.   In an August 2012 article at http://gazette.com/act-scores-mostly-steady-across-colorado-region/article/143367 it is verified that District 11 did in fact have a lower ACT score in 2012. It is alleged many if not most of the Harrison students who left went to District 11.   Were those low scoring students?  The ACT scores for Harrison went up, a contributing factor to the positive reputation for Mr. Miles that allowed him to be selected here in Dallas.  This lowering of the scores in District 11 is consistent with allegations that low scoring students were being pushed out of Harrison by Mr. Miles.

 


Miles hurt D2 students in Colorado when he forced principals to expel students who performed poorly on statewide assessments while students who had the same infractions but did well on those tests were allowed to stay : over 400 students were forced to attend schools outside the district! Of course, the district CSAP scores LOOKED good, but it was at the cost of uprooting students and their families instead of solving the problems. Miles bullied teachers and executive professionals to the extent that they were afraid to use outside partnerships for scholarships, field trips and the like. The micro-management may have worked had Miles been open to use those civic organizations. Students, during their break and with permission, protested across the street from Sierra HS. Miles called the police to arrest the students and called them delinquents in the newspaper. As far as being fair by protesting at his home, well, maybe he should feel a little disruption to his home life compared to the disruption he caused in Colorado Springs,