Miller Resigns From SBE, Blames Douglas

Miller angry after a SBE Board meeting earlier this year.

The cantankerous chair of the Arizona State Board of Education, Greg Miller, resigned from the Board today but not before taking a swipe at Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. Miller, whose abusive actions brought negative attention to the already distrusted Board, blamed his departure on Douglas.

Despite the fact that Douglas enjoys virtually no popular support in the state, according to a recent poll, she has used her position as the top educator in the state to fight Miller and do little else.

After Governor Doug Ducey asked Miller to step aside, Miller delivered his resignation effective immediately rather than allow for an orderly transition. The always angry Miller issued a very angry statement with the announcement that he was leaving.

Paranoia is the hallmark characteristic of both Miller and Douglas, and his announcement reflected it when he used Douglas’ term “Shadow Faction” when referring to himself and Vice-Chair Reginald Ballantine and insisted that Douglas’ questioning of Board actions were aimed at him personally. The announcement reads:

It has become obvious to the members of the “Shadow Faction” that the Superintendent is currently unwilling to fulfill her constitutional duties as it concerns this Board, and is impeding Board policy implementation by refusing to collaborate and provide all the needed ADE staff to support the critical work of the State Board. It would seem that 84% of the State shares this concern according to the poll/survey released by OH Predictive Insights on Aug. 1st. It has never been personal for me. It has always been about defending the integrity of the State Board and putting kids first, as I have done throughout 40 years of educational volunteerism.

As I have offered to do at other junctures in the past year, I am stepping down as the President of the Board, as the Governor has asked me to do this week. Hopefully this action will allow the Board to move forward with the very important work on its agenda & fulfill its constitutional role by encouraging the Superintendent to move beyond her personal issues with me.

I am not just stepping down as the President, but I am also resigning from the State Board of Education effective immediately. Remember it always needs to be about the kids, teachers, administrators, support staff and parents, NOT POLITICS!

In a survey conducted on Sept 2, 2015, of 857 likely general election voters statewide, Diane Douglas had extremely poor job performance ratings. Almost one year later, OH Predictive Insights conducted research to see if those numbers moved since the controversy surrounding Diane Douglas’ election.

AZ State Superintendent of Education, Diane Douglas Sept 2, 2015 Aug 1, 2016 % Change
Excellent 5% 5%
Above Average 7% 11% +4%
Average 34% 31% -3%
Below Average 17% 22% +5%
Poor 37% 31% -6%

*May not equal 100% due to rounding

“Almost 2 years into the Diane Douglas administration, she holds a 16 percent favorable and 53 percent unfavorable job approval rating among Arizona voters,” said Mike Noble, Pollster & Managing Partner of OH Predictive Insights.

The numbers show that ratings for both positive and negative perceptions have increased, which has caused the average rating to trend slightly better than September 2’s poll.

“Since the height of the controversy, Douglas has assumed a very low profile compared to her first 6 months in office, but the numbers indicate that voters are still dissatisfied with her job performance,” Noble added.

Many believe believe those numbers are a result of the continued assault on Douglas by Miller. For her part, Douglas says she is trying to focus on the real issues. On Wednesday, her office issued a statement saying her “focus has been on helping Arizona students since she took office last January, and that focus has never shifted. With that in mind, she has always been and remains committed to her roles as both the only elected member of State Board of Education and as the elected leader of the Arizona Department of Education.”

“The Board will be making several important decisions in the near future, including the consideration of new English language arts and mathematics standards and the adoption of a new accountability system,” the statement continued. “Superintendent Douglas will ensure that the Board has the resources and information it needs from the Department to do that work.”

21 Comments on "Miller Resigns From SBE, Blames Douglas"

  1. Now if we could do the whole tusd board to resign also it might make education much better in Tucson.

  2. Listen to a Mom | August 18, 2016 at 9:17 am |

    With every legislator in the House and Senate up for election this primary season, Noble’s group is hired by someone to take a poll on the popularity of the Sup of Public Instruction whose term doesn’t end for 2 more years along with the Governor, Treasurer, Secretary of State. Is someone paying to do a poll on these other elected officials not up for election this season?

    I post here a lot as I have followed the State Board of Ed meetings. Very often, Miller, the now former Board Pres didn’t put things on an agenda if it was Sup Douglas’ idea, he cut her off from speaking many times, and was rude towards her in general. Even Miller’s wife gave parents and the Sup dirty looks during the call to the public. Miller’s wife was even territorial on where she and the Millers daughter sat in the public board room! For Mr. Miller to say there was nothing personal against Douglas doesn’t pass the smell test of what parents witnessed attending State Board of Ed meetings. He muttered and mumbled like a teen anger back chatting their parents after Douglas and parents spoke. Parents are told to ‘just ignore Miller’s grouchy demeanor and are told that’s just the way he is.’

    There is a divide of sorts on the Board. It is between those who support Common Core and those who do not. The majority remains in support of Common core. When Gov Ducey and Sup Douglas ran for their offices, both were united in their platforms against Common Core. The appointed State Board of Ed continues to balk at the will of the voters. The Board has had a vacancy of a lay person (who is supposed to be the average Joe’s voice) for nearly a year. There are other Board members whose terms are up and could have been replaced last session. Many people are uneasy with the Board having so many of former Gov (I love Common Core and brought it to AZ sight unseen) Brewer’s people. Several of them could have easily been replaced at their term’s expiration date. Or thanks to a recent law passed, the Governor could appoint new members when he wished.

    This Board has not functioned with the spirit of representing the people by not being fully staffed with appointees. This understaffed body continues to make policy decisions some of which impact your tax dollars. They invite Gates funded educrat groups to give presentations on policy. There is a group-think mentality on the Board that needs to be broken. Fresh eyes and open minded people need to be appointed.

    Why did Miller wait so long to depart? Why wasn’t he asked to resign sooner? His resignation letter was unprofessional sounding and made him look small and spiteful.

    Another media outlet reported he wanted to control when he left, what his resignation letter contained, and he wanted to secure some protections for his charter school. That all sounds self serving and not looking out for the best interest of all students in District or Charter schools.

    I hope appointments will be forthcoming that will reflect the will of the voters who elected Douglas and Ducey to oust Common Core and return control of standards, testing, and data collection to Arizonans rather than to corporate interests and the US Dept of Ed.

  3. Stop the government lies | August 18, 2016 at 9:34 am |

    Amen Mom…….

  4. Governor Ducey should have requested Miller’s resignation long ago. You can’t keep the same people in place & expect different results. Does anyone know who conducted the survey, funded it, responded to it & how the questions were worded? I’ve reviewed enough surveys to know that they are designed to secure whatever answer the party funding the survey wants so I am skeptical about Douglas’ poor ratings. Moms are mostly pleased with her efforts but recognize it’s been an uphill battle. Perhaps with Miller gone & new blood on the Board of Education, AZ can get rid of Common Core & its propaganda.

  5. What a mess. I must re-iterate: Get Yer Kids Outta Public Schools!

  6. "Hap" Stone | August 18, 2016 at 12:04 pm |

    Douglas brought to the table something that was desperately needed: an ADE that would fight back and ground that fight in legislative priorities granted to the ADE. As I watch the battle rage I am astonished at how cavalier both the board and legislature are toward both the Constitutional imperatives and state statutes outlining the duties of each entity. I think it is accurate to say the Constitutional mandate demands that the statute should express the will of the people grounded in the Constitution above all else. That this has been aborted and the intent of the founding documents distorted by the legislature and the
    BofE should be of grave concern to every citizen in the state, children or no children, student in school or not. It is an ugly manipulation of our State’s founding papers. Once begun, the outcome is seldom rational, which should be clear in the egregiously arrogant behavior of the Miller board (and his wife and daughter, it must be added) and the man himself. The dismissal of Miller, while a start, is unfortunately, still way short of what is needed to give Az. a pro parent pro student committee dedicated to people for which the board was formed to serve: the parents and children of Arizona.
    I have written about this before: Do we really need the BofE! The board is an archaic artifice that has long since outlived it usefulness. I contend, inasmuch as the ADE was founded as the fourth estate by the legislature that the BofE should be abolished and the ADE assume the “cabinet” level of administration as was intended when it was established. Remove the middle man board and let the ADE demand from the legislature as the voice of the parents and students of the State the respect that all elected officials of departments are entitled to.
    This c**p has gone on long enough. It has always started in the board and it will always start in the board and the ADE has always been the whipping horse. End this NOW! If you have any doubts, look at AZ.’ standing among the states in education and ask yourself who is truly responsible: the policy makers-aka the Board of Education. What SoS could advance education with that mill stone tied to her derriere?! Dismantle the board, set free Dianne Douglas. Set free AZ education.

  7. Dale Brethower | August 18, 2016 at 12:30 pm |

    I’m curious about the polling methodology and the idea that Douglas has little public support. The polling methodology would have to be very good for me to believe it instead of what I see and hear. Maybe we could have an article that rates the methodological adequacy of various pollsters.

  8. I can not write or speak about this subject without getting so emotionally charged, it is difficult to express my thoughts. I was thankful that I was one of a select few that, very early on, saw what was happening to parental rights, our students, and the education system as a whole. I was honored to travel all over the state with Diane Douglas, as her campaign, Chief of Staff. Diane was elected by A LARGE margin!! She was elected because people were awakened to the TRUTH, which was repeatedly denied by the likes of Greg Miller.

    When Doug Ducey was campaigning for Governor of Arizona, he and I had one-on-one discussions. I almost felt guilty of my lack of trust. I thought Doug Ducey was a very good Treasurer for our state! However, that sense of distrust lingered. I was not convinced of his commitment to the Republican Party Platform or to his promises. When he won, I had hopes of being proven WRONG. Well, needless to say, that didn’t last long…

    What Ducey has done to continue the squelching of parents, good teachers and informed citizens, let alone the authority of the ELECTED SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION has been egregious. DUCEY has done so much to aid and abet the destruction of the ‘WILL OF THE PEOPLE’ in the education of our students, AS HAS GREG MILLER.

    I will defer many of my thoughts, as they have been very well penned by others. “Hap Stone”, two thumbs up on your comments. However, I think that showing boldness in speaking the truth and letting people know who you are should ‘OUT TRUMP’ (doesn’t that take on new meaning, now) fear of reprisal.

    With that said, GOOD RIDDANCE, mR. Miller! Our State Superintendent of Instruction position was ACTUALLY SUPPOSE TO include being THE CHAIR of our State Board, BEFORE THAT WAS STRIPPED AWAY. We will all be better off without YOUR inappropriate behavior and self interest goals. Unfortunately, we, the citizens can not hope for much in your replacement. But, bye bye for now

  9. Good Riddance Mr. Miller. Perhaps, now, Diane Douglas can be effective in her elected job – won by a substantial margin in her favor.

  10. Diane Douglas could be a great Superintendent of Public Instruction, if the Governor would allow it. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is a constitutionally-designed elected member of Arizona Government. The Governor should allow the Superintendent of Public Instruction to function as the Arizona Constitution states. It is clear that the Superintendent should be permitted to lead the Department of Education as she was elected to do. The State Board of Education responsibilities are advisory within the Arizona Constitution guidelines. The purpose of the State Board of Education is to facilitate better K-12 education, not to hammer “COMMON CORE” into the our young people.

  11. I think the comments in this article that Diane Douglas enjoys virtually no popular support are quite wrong. Based on my own observations mainly in Legislative District 22 (which is mostly in Maricopa County) where Diane Douglas won every precinct when elected; the poll results reported in the article lead me to draw different conclusions. First, the hard core pro-Common Core crowd is still very against Diane. Based on many conversations, I think many voters wish that Diane Douglas would be even *more* combative than she has been and that may be reflecting in a lower approval rating for her among voters that oppose Common Core. However, the fact that there are many voters who wish she was doing more against Common Core implementation does not mean that they do not continue to support her! I’ve heard only minor rumblings about Diane Douglas among those who say they voted for her, while a number who say they voted for Doug Ducey say they now *regret* having done so. On a favorable note, the opinions expressed have seemed primarily *issue* driven not personality driven.

  12. Amen AZ Mom and Beth Hallgren! I’m a mom and leader of Arizonans Against Common Core and frequently attended SBE meetings. I sit at these SBE meetings amongst a pool of education lobbysts and testify when I can against Common Core. I have personally witnessed the verbal abuse of Superintendent Douglas by President Greg Miller. Her microphone has been ripped from her hands numerous times by President Miller; and she is not allowed to speak or call “a point to of order” when she challenges Miller’s votes or testimony on policies. She is sticking to her election platform that she ran on “to rid the stay of Common Core.” Superintendent Douglas doesn’t “tow the Common Core or big government line” that is why there is conflict between her and President Greg Miller. Douglas refuses to be a “team player” for big government policies or to be on the “wrong side” in the fight against Common Core! She is in this fight for our children AND NOT herself!

    Greg Miller is a Brewercrat that helped bring Common Core to our state through his acceptance vote in June 2010 as an SBE board member. He’s NOT willing to loose his precious standards since that would mean he would have to admit he was wrong. It’s all about “his pride” and NOT about “the children.” I have to gag everytime I hear him use that rhetoric.

    Us mom’s know the truth! I too have been screamed at by Greg Miller’s wife and daughter when I have testified against Common Core and AZMERIT at the SBE meetings. Is it really about the children Greg our YOUR image?? I know which one it is…your image with the education lobbyists. The Chambers of Commerce are more important than our children or the voices of the parents. Shouldn’t you be listening to “We the people of Arizona” NOT lobbysts?? Soo grateful Ducey asked Greg Miller to resign! Maybe now we can have an SBE board that listens to parents that are directly affected by this Common Core nightmare where our children are the guinea pigs. “We the People” want our voices to be heard! Let’s clean shop and appoint members that will listen to concerned parents not to unelected, education lobbyists! We have spoken, listen to us Ducey!

  13. Education Watcher | August 18, 2016 at 8:53 pm |

    An end to an era that finally and hopefully is a step forward for the parents having a true say in the AZ education system. This is now almost two years past due. Come on Gov you have done some good things since being elected but you seem to have been very tentative to challenge this Bully and his supporters since the start of your term.

    Parents in the know are probably dancing around the school yards to finally see this person that has been one of the biggest obstacles to getting back to the basics without government oversight that has depressed our education system here in AZ. Don’t let the door hit you in the you know what as you finally leave the room, and hopefully the scene.

  14. I am a citizen of this state, who is not that knowledgeable of the details like some of these posters here, and never heard of this Miller guy until after Diane Douglas was ELECTED by the people of Arizona.
    I too do not think Common Core is a good thing for our children and our future. I believe strongly that education should be a state and local based and not dictated by bureaucrats in Washington.
    This Miller guy has come across as a total jack*ass. He should have been gone a long time ago.
    I always laugh when politicians try to use the “popularity” argument. She WON THE ELECTION. It’s the only poll that counts!
    Douglas is a duly ELECTED officeholder. Miller was a political appointee.
    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. You have been a model of bad behavior for our children. GOOD RIDDANCE.

  15. I became actively involved in the State Superintendent/State Board controversy very soon after Supt. Douglas’ Chief of Staff fired the two political, at-will, AZ Dept. of Education employees whose services were engaged to indulge the unconstitutional powers and duties abrogated by the state legislature to the state board.

    That said, it should be glaringly obvious which “side” my activities support.

    That “side” is squarely located within We the People of the Great State of Arizona!

    We the People spoke in August and November, 2014: WE ELECTED Diane Douglas to serve as our STATE-LEVEL EXECUTIVE OFFICER RESPONSIBLE FOR EXECUTING OFFICIAL EDUCATION POLICY ENACTED BY OUR ELECTED STATE LEGISLATURE WITHIN THE STRICTURES OF OUR STATE CONSTITUTION! (That description says nothing of the state board creating policy and subjugating the superintendent!)

    We elected Diane Douglas to RID OUR STATE OF THE COMMON CORE AGENDA!

    We elected Supt. Douglas—and Gov. Ducey—with a mandate to eradicate the EVIL that is the Common Core Agenda! I haven’t agreed with certain of Supt. Douglas’ choices, but most of her actions have been more in-line with the inherent constitutional nature of the office she holds, than have the actions of the other principals in the controversy, including Gov. Ducey, Greg Miller and other board members, and legislators.

    And, We the People as the body politic, are long overdue to step-up and remind Gov. Ducey that he made promises to get rid of Common Core—albeit he must have had his fingers crossed when he always qualified his answer to that inevitable question by invoking committee-style review of it!

    The truth is Supt. Douglas has inspired and disappointed We the People as she fights resistance on every front, to do the job we hired her to do—but, through it all, she has tried find ways to keep her clear campaign promises.

    While on the other hand, Gov. Ducey has acted in numerous ways to undermine and usurp the inherent constitutional authority, powers and duties of the Office of the Superintendent.

    As an integral component in the nationwide governors’ conspiracy to negate and eliminate the ELECTIVE state-level offices of state superintendent, Gov. Ducey has usurped our own superintendent’s inherent authority, powers and duties, by declaring the fired employees reinstated WHEN HE HAD NO AUTHORITY TO INTERVENE!!! by establishing his unconstitutional Shadow “Office of Education,” by all accounts colluding with the chambers of commerce and certain legislators in the unconstitutional act that pretends to have transformed the constitutional, advisory, state board into a state agency!

    You cannot change the nature of a constitutional entity by legislation and a governor’s signature! It requires a constitutional amendment!

    As long as members of the state board feed the apparent executive hunger for control of the tax dollars allocated to our public school system, they will be safe in their positions. The demands of We the People never appeared to even nudge Gov. Ducey toward asking for Greg Miller’s resignation from the board when we were certainly making our disgust and indignation toward his uncouth and tyrannical actions, known to the governor for more than a year!

    During her campaign, Diane Douglas repeatedly cautioned voters across the state that we had to elect a governor who would nominate state board members who in-turn would do their part to reverse the action that brought Common Core into the lives of our children.

    2014 gubernatorial Candidate Frank Riggs, told the plausible tale of the then soon-to-be null and void contract between Gov. Brewer, Supt. Huppenthal and the corporate owners of the “Standards” that tied the knot between the Common Core State Standards and all its evil tentacles, and the legally responsible adults who then imposed it upon our children. According to Riggs, when the principals who signed that contract left office, the contract was automatically nullified! (Could that be why last Fall, the board members overwhelmingly voted to sever the ties between Arizona and the owners of Common Core standards? Was it already moot?)

    Well, Jan Brewer and John Huppenthal left office in January, 2015. . . .

    If Gov. Ducey really wants to eradicate Common Core—which was never imposed lawfully in the first place—why have we heard narry a word since the 2014 Primary Campaign about the contract becoming null and void, if Frank Riggs was right?

    Arizonans, WHY ARE YOUR CHILDREN STILL SUBJECTED TO THE EVILS OF COMMON CORE, if Frank Riggs was right????

  16. The only SEB meeting I went to was the one in which they were going into executive session to discuss suing Douglas and the Education Department. Douglas wisely chose not to show up for Miller’s Star Chamber. Bullies are bullies until someone fights back. Maybe Miller can perceive a new right or entititlement for conducting business as usual and sue Ducey for interfering with it.

  17. Mom2Two Against Common Core | August 19, 2016 at 5:09 pm |

    Good Riddance Greg Miller! Diane Douglas, please keep fighting to rid our state of common core. My children and I appreciate your hard work and persistence despite the obstacles and hurdles you’ve had to jump to do the job you were elected (in the majority) to do!

Comments are closed.