Mike Wiles

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Mike Wiles
Mike Wiles.jpg
Columbus Board of Education, At-large
Former member
Term ends
November 2013
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 3, 2009
Term limitsN/A
Military service
Service/branchU.S. Navy
Years of service1972-1976
Place of birthColumbus, OH
ProfessionTruck driver
Office website
Campaign website
Mike Wiles was an at-large member of the Columbus Board of Education. He was first elected to the board in 2009 after two failed attempts at a full term on the board and five applications for unexpired terms.[1] Wiles did not win his re-election bid on November 5, 2013.


Wiles earned his GED in 1976 after serving in the U.S. Navy the previous four years. He has volunteered for MDA telethons and the SCAA Buckeyes Youth Football Association. Wiles worked as a truck driver for 32 years before joining On Demand Storage LLC as a driver. He has three children and eight grandchildren, four of whom are currently attending district schools.[2]



See also: Columbus City Schools elections (2013)

Wiles sought re-election on November 5, 2013 but placed fourth out of six candidates for three available seats.


Columbus Board of Education, At-large, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMichael D. Cole 23.5% 32,756
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRamona R. Reyes Incumbent 18.6% 26,016
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngDominic Paretti 16% 22,380
     Nonpartisan Mike Wiles Incumbent 14.9% 20,791
     Nonpartisan Beverly J. Corner 14% 19,586
     Nonpartisan Hanifah Kambon Incumbent 12.9% 17,986
Total Votes 139,515
Source: Franklin County Board of Elections, "November 2013 General Election Official Results," accessed December 13, 2013


Wiles was one of four candidates in the board election who received an endorsement from the Franklin County Democratic Party.[3] He earned the endorsement of the Franklin County Republican Party in his 2005 campaign.[1]


Wiles first won election to the board on November 3, 2009, placing third in the race for four available seats.

Columbus Board of Education, At-large, November 3, 2009
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngRamona R. Reyes 32.9% 43,411
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngHanifa Kambon 30.7% 40,417
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngMike Wiles 29.1% 38,385
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngWrite-in votes 7.3% 9,557
Total Votes 131,770
Source: Franklin County Board of Elections

Campaign themes


Wiles discussed his themes for the 2013 campaign in an interview with The Columbus Dispatch:[4]

1. Do you support the Columbus schools levy and bond issue on the ballot this fall, which would share money with charter schools? Why or why not?

NO! I do not support the levy for several reasons. First, I believe the voters should be allowed to vote on each initiative separately (especially the Charter/ Community School sharing item).

Second, since almost the day I was elected I was told we would be going for a levy because we were going to need the money. But time after time I watched as the Board approved memberships, conference trips (the Board just approved 4 members to attend the same Conference Albuquerque, New Mexico at a cost of over $9,000 equal to the tax hike request we are asking of about 29 homeowners) , rental of facilities for meetings, etc, etc, etc. Doesn’t sound much like someone that needs money to me.

Many will say well “we cut the budget every year”, which is true. But, spending has gone up almost every year despite losing students! That’s because cutting a governmental budget isn’t the same as cutting spending. In the case of when mine and most households cut their budget that generally means we don’t go out to eat as often, keep the old car a few years longer, skip the family trip and probably don’t renew our membership dues; in short we cut our spending. In government it’s basically cutting down of a wish list (you know the one we all have if we ever hit the lottery) except every few years they do hit the lottery in the form of a tax hike, and for a little while the urge is quenched until next time. No, we must first trim our spending then ask the voters for more money and offer better academic programming.

Asking property owners for a 23%+ increase in taxes is asking way too much of them; many have experienced loss of wages, jobs, or are on a fixed income and it is unconscionable. The fact remains we must rely on taxpayers to fund our schools but that doesn’t mean we should take advantage of them. Our over reliance on home owners has to be reeled in. We need to start looking into other funding sources (i.e. an earned income school tax, or asking the state to allow sales tax funding). They may not work out but let’s at least discuss some new ideas.

Many cite that Charter/ Community schools work (which is to some extent is debatable) because they are independent of many government regulations & are freed from the traditional bureaucratic red tape. So how would requiring contracting (presumably adding governmental parameters to operate under) and oversight (presumably adding rules and regulations aka Red Tape) to comply with those contracted regulations) with the same government entities you are trying to circumvent increase their effectiveness?

Some have said if our school principals could have control over staffing, programming, & budget they too could show marked improvement. These things don’t cost a dime.

2. Do you support the ballot issue that designates an outside auditor for the school district? Why or why not?

NO! It arguably displaces the only group that did its job to the utmost! No the problem isn’t with the internal auditor’s office, it’s with the Board of Education who are supposed to ensure the independence and authority of that office. Using the ill-conceived independent auditor model would cross over too many boundaries (Treasurer, Administration, & Board) meant to provide the Checks & Balances this country was founded upon. It would add cost (much more than what is proposed I believe), add to an already bloated bureaucracy with even less direct voter oversight. No-one responsible for overseeing this newly formed politically appointed position is required to even live within the Columbus City Schools District except for the School Board President meaning many non-CCS residents would be voting on 4/5 of the selection and oversight panel, where is the representation in that?

3. How will you address the issue of data manipulation in Columbus City Schools?

Many of the issues have already been addressed with central registration, policy changes on when withdrawals & grade changes can be made along with who can, and can’t make them. We also have a new whistle blower policy and a hotline anyone can utilize to report wrong doing.

The board must change its mindset from passenger on the bus to driving the bus, from simply being an on looker at 30,000 feet to providing oversight at the treetop level. To that end, I have developed a “Board Governance Model” to replace the current (and in my opinion the root cause of many problems we face) “Policy Governance Model” . Board Governance re-establishes the Checks & Balances, provides true and complete oversight (without micro-managing), and provides avenues for everyone to become part of the decision making process. I believe involving the whole community will build towards the success of our schools. (for more on my Board Governance model go to www.votewiles.com)

4. What can Columbus schools do to ensure that all children in the district have a spot in an effective school?

There is still plenty we can and must do to ensure “all” staff, students, and schools become A+. We need to engage and allow neighborhood parents, neighborhood leaders, and neighborhood businesses to re-establish ownership of their neighborhood schools and feeder patterns (for more go to https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://votewiles.com/board-governance/ look at Columbus City Schools Region Committee).

We need to hire and retain the best and the brightest staff.

Allow the Principals more autonomy over their staffs .

Allow Neighborhoods more influence over their academic feeder focuses

Well defined Board Academic Targets and standardized grade scale.

My P.R.I.D.E. Idea,

Every Feeder Pattern has an PreK-College2 Academic Focus,

Extend the School Day.

Extend the School Year.

Every Grade Guarantee.

Graduation Guarantee.

Community Bridge time for Parent /Community Consultants.

Establish Parent Universities in each high school feeder pattern.

Parent Mentorship Programs.

Establish trade programs in partnership with local trade organizations.

Require greater emphasis on the arts & foreign languages at all grade levels.

Require that an equal number of seats on all building, regional, or district level committees be reserved for CCS parents, neighborhood residents, and neighborhood business.

Better Customer Service and become more user friendly.

just to name some ideas.

That being said; I must point out that I think anyone can get a quality education in any of our schools. Because the PARENT is the “Silver Bullet” in obtaining the most out of any educational system. We have many amazing staff providing almost heroic efforts everyday in every one of our school buildings. Most of our students go on to lead very successful lives. Many attend and graduate college, Most go on to have productive jobs, complete military service and have full quality lives all from the same schools labeled as “ineffective”.

5. What makes you the best candidate for this job?

About 20 years of educational activism. I have lived, worked, and raised a family in Columbus City Schools District. This is my destination; I feel serving as a School Board Member is the highest office one can hold. I’m an independent thinker. I try to objectively research and evaluate every issue. My sole focus is on our students, parents, schools, neighborhoods and making sure they have everything they need to thrive. I bring a working person’s viewpoint and work ethic to the board. I believe in “Leadership not Followship”. I don’t automatically vote “yes”.

Note: The above quote is from the candidate's website, which may include some typographical or spelling errors.

What was at stake?

Incumbents Wiles, Hanifah Kambon and Ramona R. Reyesran for re-election to the board in 2013. They competed with challengers Michael D. Cole, Beverly J. Corner and Dominic Paretti in the November 5, 2013 general election.

Issue 50

A major issue in the school board campaign was the property tax changes embodied in Issue 50. This proposed tax levy would add $0.90 per $100 of assessed property value to support renovation and maintenance in the district. A portion of this tax levy totaling about $8.5 million per year would be earmarked for charter schools with high performance indicators. Mayor Michael B. Coleman and other community leaders held a rally on September 9th to support the levy while no board members spoke during the event.[5] Voters rejected the tax levy with a 69% majority.[6]

"Scrubbing" investigation

The district also faces an ongoing investigation by the Ohio State Auditor regarding attendance practices during the 2010-2011 school year. An investigation by state officials as well as the FBI looked into the practice of "scrubbing" or removing students with frequent absences from school to skew test scores. The state investigation is currently looking into allegations of grade adjustments and other practices by district employees with subpoenas issued in July 2013. The district could lose state funding related to student performance in the 2010-2011 school year if the investigation reveals grade and attendance manipulation.[7] On October 22, the board unanimously voted to create new attendance policies that would require court hearings and district investigations into student whereabouts before removal from attendance records.[8]

About the district

See also: Columbus City Schools, Ohio
Columbus City Schools is located in Franklin County, Ohio
Columbus is the county seat of Franklin County and located in central Ohio. The city's population was 787,033 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[9]


Columbus lags behind the rest of Ohio in terms of median income and poverty rate while outpacing the state in higher education attainment. The 2010 U.S. Census found that 32.3% of Columbus residents over 25 years old held undergraduate degrees compared to a 24.5% rate for the state of Ohio. Columbus had a median income of $43,348 in 2010 compared to $48,071 for Ohio. The poverty rate for Columbus was 21.8% in 2010 compared to an 14.8% rate for the rest of the state.[9]

Racial Demographics, 2012[9]
Race Columbus(%) Ohio (%)
White 61.5 82.7
Black or African American 28 12.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.3 0.2
Asian 4.1 1.7
Two or More Races 3.3 2.1
Hispanic or Latino 5.6 3.1

Presidential Voting Pattern[10]
Year Democratic Vote (%) Republican Vote (%)
2012 60.5 37.8
2008 59.6 38.9
2004 54.3 45
2000 48.8 47.8

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[11]

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