This decision sets a dangerous precedent going forward for superintendent / school board relations. The role of the superintendent should be to manage the district, including instructional practice, facilities maintenance, and personnel issues. Hiring and firing are placed in their hands by the board who selects them as a capable steward of the district. The Board makes policy, determines the budget, and responds to the needs of the communities they serve. That broke down yesterday.
There is an appeals process for people terminated to have that decision changed by the board. That was not respected yesterday as the board jumped over that process to block the decision to fire made by the superintendent. Like I said above, I understand the decision and would likely have done something similar considering the level of dissatisfaction of my constituents. You can't stand by idle when the community you serve is seemingly under attack, but the proper channels were ignored and the power of the superintendent and the board were called into question. This was overstepping by the board.
Who is to blame? You could blame the superintendent for pushing the board to what I think is an extreme action. This wouldn't have been necessary if such an abrasive and uncompromising leader was at the helm. You could blame Eric Cowan for bowing to the pressure of his constituents who are making acting on emotion and not the cool head required of an elected official. Cowan stood with Miles when his people called for the superintendent's head, why did he bend to the will of his people this time and not back then? You could also blame Dr. Blackburn, Jones, Foreman, and Nutall for cultivating and acting upon a personal conflict with the superintendent rather than falling in line with the approved system of evaluations for principals. What about big money reformers who have backed some people in education into a corner by funding "reform" candidates in elections that challenge their hold over their districts?
The point here is that DISD is a powder keg ready to explode and we've seen nothing yet. The attempt to fire Miles, this grab for authority by the board, the protests, the rallies, and everything in between are just flashes that preceded the big one. What will it look like? No idea, but our students are going to be the ones hurt the most.