This is a staggeringly funny ending to Mike Miles’ brief and stormy tour of duty as superintendent of schools in Dallas. Miles, a Broadie, did all the Broadie-type things: firing principals, driving out teachers, installing a rigid test-based evaluation system, setting unrealistic goals, demanding total obedience. Like Michelle Rhee, the word “collaboration” was not part of his vocabulary.
The Dallas Morning News described his tenure as marked by “disruptions, scandals, clashes.”
Miles lost support — and not just from board members — because of his management style, some district observers say.
“Mike Miles shot himself in the foot so many times, and I believe that’s because he was not a lifelong educator,” said Michael MacNaughton, chairman of a district watchdog group called Dallas Friends of Public Education. “He was a military man who is used to giving orders and having them followed without question.”
As he was delivering his resignation speech, he stopped and said he was going off-topic. Then he proceeded to compare his departure to the conclusion of Camelot. (Will Richard Burton play Mike Miles?)
Here is the report from journalist Jeffrey Weiss of the Dallas Morning News:
For the next three-and-a-half minutes, he described the final scene in the movie “Camelot.” King Arthur and Lancelot regretfully determine there’s no way to avoid the war triggered by Lancelot’s affair with Arthur’s queen. A boy comes up to Arthur determined to fight. Arthur asks him why and the boy recites the ideals of Camelot. Arthur knights the boy and orders him not to fight, but to run away and retell the story of those ideals to everyone he meets.
“Run, boy!” Arthur yells.
Miles wraps up his anecdote with: “I would say to those who want to continue this vision, who are a little afraid we are not going to get there, to take heart. And to the city I would say ‘Run, boy.’”
Weiss notes that Miles did not say who was Lancelot or Guinevere in his re-run of Camelot.
Weiss added to the hilarity today by posting a reference to another “Camelot,” the one by Monty Python. Read it, it is funnier than the first one. Broadies do inspire thoughts of Monty Python.