Education

As Hinojosa Prepares For New Job in Cobb County, He Takes Parting Shot at DISD Board

Patrick Michels will be at that 5:30 p.m. meeting at 3700 Ross today, where the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees will discuss naming an interim superintendent now that Michael Hinojosa's all but boarded that midnight train to Georgia. Or: You can always watch it live -- no doubt it'll make for must-see streaming video.

And speaking of the board, Hinojosa did just that yesterday when he made the first of several pre-Signing Day visits to Cobb County, where he met with district officials, parents and media in an effort to prove the Cobb County School District board made the right move by offering up just the one finalist for the super's gig. Seems it worked: The Kennesaw Patch's account is headlined "Hinojosa Charms With Talk of Listening." A story in this morning's Marietta Daily Journal is equally effusive about Hinojosa's promises to listen before he leaps. But further down, he hints at something that's been spoken about privately since Thursday's surprise adios: He's leaving Dallas, in part, because he's tired of dealing with the DISD board of trustees.

He's watched several months' worth of board meetings online, and he said Cobb's board "is much more professional" than the nine-member board in Dallas.

"They disagree, but they're much more professional in how they disagree," he said. "Some of my board meetings are not that professional."

School boards, he said, "have authority and responsibility to request information, request reports about how the district is accomplishing their goals. ... They have a very critical role of oversight and asking questions and making sure you have things on track. In my opinion, the board sets the 'what,' and the administration figures out the 'how.'"

On hot-button issues, Hinojosa said, "there's going to be an elaborate discussion. Right now, the national funders are pushing Dallas to be involved in charters. I told them, 'I don't mind having a conversation, but I am not going to push this if my board doesn't want to go there.' My board. A body corporate. A majority of the board."

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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