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Controversial education leader quits Texas job, plans to return to Colorado Springs

June 23, 2015 Updated: June 24, 2015 at 1:52 pm
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photo - Mike Miles spoke with Harrison School District 2  teacher Eunice Diaz in the language lab where she teaches a Rosetta Stone class in 2010 at Gorman Middle School. Photo by CAROL LAWRENCE/The Gazette file
Mike Miles spoke with Harrison School District 2 teacher Eunice Diaz in the language lab where she teaches a Rosetta Stone class in 2010 at Gorman Middle School. Photo by CAROL LAWRENCE/The Gazette file 

A controversial education leader is returning to Colorado Springs.

Former Harrison School District 2 superintendent and 2004 Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Mike Miles resigned Tuesday as superintendent of Dallas Independent School District in Texas.

A disagreement over contract amendments Miles requested led to an abrupt parting of the ways, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Miles announced his resignation at a news conference Tuesday morning.

Miles had been superintendent at Dallas ISD since 2012, after working for six years at Harrison D-2. He still had two years left on his contract in Texas.

He became a controversial figure in both school districts because of his top-down, no-nonsense leadership style and techniques he used to turn around failing schools, such as implementing a pay-for-performance advancement system for teachers in Harrison D-2, and automatically holding back failing third graders.

In Dallas, Miles increased teacher observations, instigated a rigorous principal evaluation system and gave high salaries to his top administrative team.

During his first year on the job in Dallas, an investigation into his work and calls for his removal led protesters to picket near his house.

The negative attention led to his wife, Karen, and son, Anthony, moving back to Colorado Springs after one year of being in Dallas.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Miles wanted three changes to his Dallas ISD contract, including that he would have immediate access to the $50,000 per year that the board has set aside and wouldn’t allow him to obtain until 2017. He also wanted his contact to note that the school board would be required to follow its Board Operating Procedures and that trustees would not look for a new superintendent while he was still there, the newspaper reported.

Miles wanted to discuss the possible changes with the nine trustees at Thursday’s school board meeting but after being told by the school board president on Monday that it was not the right time, the conversation immediately shifted to Miles leaving.

Miles said he will return to his family in Colorado Springs after the last school board meeting of the school year on Thursday. Miles refused to elaborate why he has decided to leave, according to the Dallas Morning News.

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