Why Would Anyone Want to Be the Superintendent of Dallas Schools Anyway?

KERA takes a look at the revolving door in the superintendent’s office at Dallas ISD, pointing out that, in contrast to other major districts in Texas, Dallas can’t seem to keep anybody in its top job for long.

If you exclude all the present occupants of the posts, as well as James Hughey, who was only acting superintendent for Dallas ISD (albeit for two years), here’s how the average length of service breaks down since 1997:

Dallas:  4 supers, 2 years and 10 months

Houston: 3 supers, 5 years and 1 month

San Antonio: 2 supers, 6 years

Austin: 1 super, 10 years

This issue is being raised because the Dallas school board will discuss the findings of the Coggins investigation at a closed-door meeting on Saturday. There’s a possibility they could move to fire Mike Miles, who’s been on the job just a little more than a year, as a result.

From the way the KERA piece describes the demands of being a superintendent of a major urban district, I’m not sure why anyone would want the gig. Here’s what former Fort Worth superintendent Melody Johnson said:

“You’ve got nine bosses who call you every day- 10:00, 11:00, midnight- that’s not unusual in an urban system,” she explained.

“You have members who want to micro-manage, whether they have the knowledge or not, and have strong opinions about what should or should not be happening.  And that’s where you get into a lot of tension.”

Could they pay you enough to become Dallas ISD superintendent?
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