In Wake of Townview Changes, Dallas ISD Super Hinojosa Insists He's "Not Anti-Magnet"

townview1.jpg
The battle over Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center -- which Dallas Independent School District Michael Hinojosa is splitting up in order to excise five of its seven principals next school year, over parents and Carla Ranger's objections -- has reached The New York Times, via its relationship with the Texas Tribune. Writes Morgan Smith, the cuts at Townview only serve to underscore what the super's critics have maintained for years: He's never liked the magnets, and is using the current budget crisis prompted by the state's budget shortfall to slowly but surely chip away at them -- including not only Towniew, but also Booker T. Washington.

Hinojosa disputes that:
"I'm not anti-magnet," he said. "Our magnet schools are great, and we're very proud of them. But what keeps me awake at night are the students at the 22 other comprehensive high schools."
And incoming trustee Mike Morath, who will replace Jack Lowe on the school board, agrees. To a point.
He noted that magnet school parents were typically more engaged than those at traditional high schools -- but that should not mean, Mr. Morath said, that their children should get more resources. "To the extent that we are essentially robbing from the poor to give to the more politically organized, that doesn't strike me as all that right," he said.

But Mr. Morath said that if the administration weakened the schools, it risked losing the last remnant of middle-class confidence in the district.

"We've seen middle-class parents leave D.I.S.D. in droves," he said, adding that the economically disadvantaged population in the district had grown to 86 percent from 75 percent in the past 10 years. "To the extent you damage the magnets, you accelerate that trend, and you've got a real problem."
Read the whole thing.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
24 comments
 Ace Gold Exchange
Ace Gold Exchange

 This is a great way to make a little quick cash though it is not a get rich quick scheme. Remember that it is a permanent exchange. You cannot go back and get your goods out of pawn later, as they are being melted down for reuse.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

One thing we should note quickly. The issue with per student spending is not total spending, it is net spending. The magnets are very low when you look at total spending per pupil. The difference is when you exclude the Title I funds (as required by the Dept of Ed) the spending differences are apparent.

The point of the comparison is not to see if they are spending too much at one campus, but rather too little at another campus. The Title I funds are meant to "enhance" the basic programs at the campus. DISD has shown a trend of using the Title I funds to offset their required spending at the Title I/Comprehensive campuses. This is a violation of the Federal governments compliance requirements regarding the use of the federal funds, the technical term being supplanting.

Instead of allocating money from the administrative budgets, the MO of the DISD has always been to level spending by taking money away from the Magnets (sometimes its reallocated to comprehensives sometimes to administration) to make it even.

Therefore, what Hinojosa spins as favortisim towards the magnets is actually neglect towards the comprehensives. He whips the comprehensive parents into a fury to say that they are oppressed and their oppressor is the magnets. No one will then spend the time to look into the budget detail and see that the oppressor is actually 3700 Ross.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

He noted that magnet school parents were typically more engaged than those at traditional high schools -- but that should not mean, Mr. Morath said, that their children should get more resources. ------------------------------------------------------------

And the enemy is finally named. The magnets aren't the real problem, it's those pesky involved parents who refuse to settle for a second-class education for their kids. Hiney's not anti-magnet, he's anti-parent.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

From day 1, Hinojosa has been clear in his disdain for magnet schools and other "elite" programs. People need to realize that there is a strong contingent of employees at headquarters and throughout the system who do NOT like the magnets, can't stand involved parents, and are sick and tired of giving what they consider special treatment to students who are aggressively attempting to get a better education.

But he did manage to use the school district get one of his kids in to an Ivy League School.

So his disdain must be about others having a chance to excel.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

One other thing to remember, whenever the media talks about a middle class exodus, our minds go back to 1972's white flight. This is not a "white flight", this is middle class flight. Point in fact, Lancaster ISD annouced last week that 93% percent of its graduating seniors were accepted to college.

With this exodus, residential home values will suffer. This should be a major platform of all of our mayor candidates. Whenever I leave Dallas, it will be a result of the end of the magnets and DISD's focus on the lowest common denominator.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Look at the distribution among the various comprehensives, and you'll see that there are gaps there that are as big or bigger than those between many of the comprehensives and the magnets (and not always in the magnets favor). Hinojosa seems perfectly comfortable with some comprehensives being more equal than others, yet he continues to sell his myth that spending on the magnets is what hurts the comprehensives. Of course, he also ignores the fact that were you to take the few magnets that do get higher spending and amortize that amount across the other DISD campuses, it would come out to next to nothing on a per campus basis. It's all a smokescreen to distract from his administration's failure to improve anything at any of the comprehensive high schools.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Hinojosa has time after time pushed the myth of the spending per pupil as the root of DISD's problems with the magnets. Depending on the model you analyze, the spending per pupil is below or just immaterially higher than the comprehensives. These few students are not the root of DISD's problems.

If you look at the staffing levels at 3700 Ross, you will see some of the roots. If you were to apply the same staffing reductions in several departments currently being employeed at private sector companies you will save millions. Departments such as internal audit and legal are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to staffing levels too high. If you back into their salaries, you will also see a significant amount of waste. If you include maintenance, HVAC and janitorial staff, the ratio of administrative assistants to total employees is 11 to 1. That means for every eleven employees, including police officers and maintenance/janitorial workers, share a secretary. Several departments consist of only 2 employees - a director and admin assistant. Excluding the Sup, the CFO and the Chief of Staff, there about 10 departments wherein the average salary is over $100,000.

Yes, the comprehensives have been robbed. However, it wasn't the magnets who received the spoils of those crimes, it was 3700 Ross. Any "political organization" as Mr. Morath puts it, has only just prevented or at least sounded an alarm whenever Hinojosa and his thugs come to loot the magnets. Woodrow Wilson is an example that with parental involvement a comprehensive can have a top program. Despite that, they have not been immune to Hinojosa's Koolade that they could be better without the magnets. As long as HInojosa keeps the magnets and comprehensives fighting each other, they will ignore his behavior.

My only fear now is that with national attention, no one will take Hinojosa off our hands. Lasy year, one parent in Carson County, NV did a 2 minute google search and brought Hinojosa's anticts to the boards attention when they were announcing him as a finalist. Unfortunately the DISD board failed to watch the live stream of that meeting and voted to extend the contract of someone who Las Vegas did not want.

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

Danger, Danger Dallas ISD lies, cheats, steals and conceals all their dirty deals no newsreels to reveal so surreal.

Their stealin’ and being sneaky boy it’s been creepy! It can make you dizzy and sleepy but, we got them up in a tizzy. See they have a heart of stone, and won’t leave us alone invading our schools and homes!

The shameless attempts to bulldoze a beloved part of our neighborhood will be disclosed and overexposed. We will not sit quietly while they build their dynasty. We will not sit quietly on the side while an entity that is supposed to help our community takes an opportunity to destroy it instead of working to preserve it. What did we do to deserve it?

So, ya’ll please help us all! Before you go the mall, down the hall or Montreal give DISD a call don’t let them waste any more of your tax dollars on their twisted plans.

To learn more about this song and the crisis in Jubilee Park visit www.StopDISD.org

Click on the link below to view Satire Video on DISD's Land Grab

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Concernedparent
Concernedparent

Let's focus on working toward the lowest common denominator, while parents keep moving out of Dallas.

RS1963
RS1963

"To the extent that we are essentially robbing from the poor to give to the more politically organized, that doesn't strike me as all that right,"

Hasn't it been proven that the magnet schools do NOT get proportionally more $$$ per student than other schools? If that is so, then how can an incoming board member make that statement? Is it actual ignorance of the facts, or a willful ignorance.

From day 1, Hinojosa has been clear in his disdain for magnet schools and other "elite" programs. People need to realize that there is a strong contingent of employees at headquarters and throughout the system who do NOT like the magnets, can't stand involved parents, and are sick and tired of giving what they consider special treatment to students who are aggressively attempting to get a better education.

RareEarth
RareEarth

I've worked at a school that got literally tons of Title 1 monies and I've worked at a magnet. MD has it right- involvement of the parents and/or students.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

The DISD is too large for its own good, Hino and the board need to be removed and their power moved under the mayors office, plain and simple..

md
md

Hurting successful magnet schools doesn't improve the 22 other schools. It falsely assumes their success is due to funds spent and not the involvement of the students and their parents. Note what JS reported:

"Of the 10 magnet high schools, eight are below the average per-student expenditure, some way below. Eight magnets are in the bottom quarter of the list.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

I have been wondering How many slots at the Magnets are open to the Buy a place Out of the district students ?

Guest
Guest

If thats the case - what authority can hold DISD accountable for the financial wrongs?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Yes, yes, yes.Everything you say is so true.

Magnet and comprehensive parents alike--and the mayor and city council--need to turn on the school board members and the superintendent who are approving millions of dollars worth of consultants' fees and multiple overpriced, crony salaries.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

He's especially anti-being held accountable for his dishonesty and inability to turn the comprehensives around.

I know it's a daunting task. But Hinojosa's doubletalk about "Look what a great job I'm doing" and "Those damn magnet parents are keeping me from saving DISD" aren't doing any kids at any school any good.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Not only did Hinojosa use DISD to get his kid into an Ivy League, but more importantly, he used a program designed to get historically disavantaged students into Ivy League schools. He stated that there was an empty spot so he took it.

We crucified the Frontburner guy for getting his kid into the pre-K program, but at least he paid tuition to do it. So if there was not enough eligible kids to participate in the Ivy League program, doesn't that say a lot for Hinojosa's academic leadership? Or is that the magnets fault as well?

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

I agree that the District has grown too large. The answer is not to have the city run it (look at NYC Public Schools), but possibly break it up. Outside of Dallas and Houston, most large District's in Texas are around a 50,000 student max.

As a side note, the few jewels in the NYC school's crown are its magnet schools.

Guest
Guest

Because the city counsel does such a bang-up job allocating resources?

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Also, his attacks always seem to coincide whenever the reports that DISD is not a finalist for the Broad Prize are issued. He is like the dad to beats his kids when the Cowboys lose.

Rumpunch
Rumpunch

Sorry that should be "the dad who beats his kids".

My bad spelling is not my fault, GPISD made more programs available to the other "richer" high school is my home district, or at least that was what I was told.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...