A few minutes ago, the Clark County School District announced: Sure enough, Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's a finalist for the superintendent's job there --no surprise
. Joining him on the short list:Colorado Commissioner of Education Dwight D. Jones
andJames Browder of The School District of Lee County
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in Fort Myers, Florida.
Shortly after the Clark County school board made its announcement -- which preceded one wild ride of a meeting that had to be adjourned briefly when one audience member shouted down Hinojosa's selection, citing DISD's low graduation rate and the '08 budget crisis -- the super issued the following lengthy statement:
I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a finalist for the position of superintendent of Clark County Schools, Nevada. Clark County is the fifth largest school district in the country and it serves more than 300,000 students in Las Vegas and the surrounding area.
This is not a position that I sought; I was contacted by the firm conducting the search because there was apparently interest in me. While that is indeed flattering, the accomplishments made in Dallas ISD during the course of the last five years are not my work alone but rather the result of the work of many people including current and former school trustees, current and former top-level staff, principals, thousands of dedicated teachers, aides, counselors, librarians and other staff members, parents, community partners and, of course, students. Dallas' success' story is beginning to be noticed by other urban school districts throughout the country and, as a community, that is something for which we should all be proud.
Tomorrow, we will announce our final budget numbers from the 2009-10 school year. These figures will indicate that major efforts have been undertaken in the last two years to bring our finance system in line and rebuild our school district's fund balance.
While these numbers will be positive, their importance pales in comparison to the academic achievements over the last five years. In 2005, Dallas had 6 exemplary schools. This year, there are 66, along with 59 recognized schools. In addition, more students graduated from high school this year in Dallas than at any time since the mid-1980s. Of course, no one person can take credit for these achievements and, of course, there is still work to be done. We should all however, be proud that our progress has been a community-wide effort.
Again, it remains a privilege to continue to serve this board of trustees, our committed staff, parents, students and stakeholders as superintendent of schools, particularly since this is where I was raised as a child.
During the meeting, trustees described Hinojosa as "nationally known ... nationally trusted ... visible ... articulate ... somebody who has all the experience ... creative ... innovative ... energetic ... known for team building." They also pointed out that he's bilingual and has "established powerful associations with national entities." The man who shouted down the board, incidentally, called the trustees "good-for-nothing" and asked of Hinojosa's selection, "What the hell is wrong with you?"