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 DouglasSept 2, 2015Aug 1, 2016% Change
Above Average7%11%+4%
Below Average17%22%+5%

*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.”