Turns Out, Fort Worth ISD Wasn't On the Same Superintendent Time Line As DISD After All

Word got out that Michael Hinojosa was leaving the Dallas Independent School District 'round the exact same time Melody Johnson announced she was resigning as Fort Worth's superintendent. Which means both school districts have known for eight months that they need new leaders. But several fellow DISD parents have asked this morning: How is it Fort Worth's going to announce its sole finalist tonight at 5, while Dallas is only now wrapping its "public engagement meetings" and putting together a list of qualities it's looking for in a super super?

We were just here last week, when trustee Carla Ranger noted that the search process is "being dragged on too long." At which point a few Friends of Unfair Park chimed in with their own thoughts -- like, say, "grab the best rated principal in the DISD, put them in the job, and promise to fire them in 12-18 months if they are not doing the job" or "Keep Alan King and hire a Chief Academic Officer who knows curriculum" or, look, the longer we keep a super off the payroll the more money we save, so take as long as you need.

And in case you missed it, a week before Christmas, or right about the time the district started asking parents to fill out that online survey, I asked board president Lew Blackburn if DISD was taking too long. Because, sure, saving money's nice and all, but Dallas is far from the only urban district looking for a chief. To which he responded that he's "not concerned" at all because ...
"Most of, if not all of, the large school districts take six months before they name a superintendent," he said. "Fort Worth, they started the same time we did, maybe a month later. But they're in the same boat we're in in terms of a time line. They may be ahead of us because they've already started having meetings, and we'd hoped to start before Christmas. But if we rushed there's a good chance we would not be able to involve the community. The board could say, 'We're going to do this on our own,' and it could be a faster process, but I think it's more important we take our time and get our input from a broad spectrum of people in Dallas to make sure we get the best person. We have a greater propensity to get the best person."
I see Tawnell's done a little digging through the archives and confirms: This search is taking longer than the last. And on a very related note: Former DISD super Mike Moses was among those consulting on the look-for to the west.

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To further clarify, from the Dec 19 article featuring Mr Blackburn:"The meetings will give the trustees an idea what the general public wants, but you're right,we'll make the decision," he told Unfair Park. I'm guessing the high-dollar search firm they've contracted hasn't racked up enough billable hours to grease enough palms yet.  The search will continue until it runs out of walkin' around money, then they'll pick another 'rockstar', to deliver an $85mil budget shortfall, fire a bunch of teachers and then hire a bunch more.

I hear Slick Rick Perry and the Jeezus Wheezers will be wrapping up their current tour after the South Carolina show is over...., maybe they'd be interested in the job.

sandra crenshaw
sandra crenshaw

On Lew Blackburn,  it is always prudent to take time and make the right decision. Meanwhile, how can the voters in the TL Marsalis Elementary school area get DISD"s attention that they would like to have a parent drop off in addition to the proposed bus drop off like they have in DeSoto or at minimum like they have at Carter and Kimball. they would also DISD to request that the City of Dallas pass a City Wide ordinance that parents cannot drop their children off across the street from the school and allowed to run across in addition to  no double parking slowing down traffic.

This issue was brought to the attention of Emma Rodgers when it was brought to the attention of the Plan Commission and she choose not to follow up. Pauline Medrano, Dallas Public Safety Chair was contacted by the wrong person, so the kids safety issue went no where. We asked Joyce Foreman and she said this was Blackburn's district (which is wrong) and Carla Ranger said that the issue of expanding Marsalis school building and constructing the bus drop off was never brought to her attention at the board. (A good representative is on top of what is being built in their districts so????Blackburn said he doesn't want to get involved because it's Carla's district.  Willie Cothrum's PZ Consultant's office said the proposed drop off cost too much money (DISD has  money for professional services and lawyers but cuts public safety issues for children. The Parents may want to sell hot dogs at PTA meeting to pay the costs but give them the design what they want. No recalls for school board members, not a sexy cat fight issue for the media, Carla is not up for reelection until next term and the dropoff sans parent drop off got approved at city so it may be built before the parents get to address their concerns and then it's too late. Does anybody have suggestions on how to get something done for our schools besides fights over school name changes fights and searches. We don't need a superintendent to address this issue,just some school board members who are not petty and back bitters.  The parent drop problem is a city wide issue that the marsalis residents brought to my attention

Unedited "From Where I Sit"  Sandra Crenshaw  'cause I don't have to be a Pulitzer writer to post here


Leave Alan alone. There is no need to haul in another nightmare who drags in his own set of groupies.

The new superintendent will eat up half a million easy in perks, retirement package, and salary. He or she will also drag in a whole contingent of losers.

Alan needs to proceed chopping away the dead wood before the rest of the forest goes up in flames. That dead wood is sitting right in front of the board at every meeting and contains old Pcard offenders. Send all of them packing.


Instead of looking for an inspirational leader (who usually leaves in a few years) the board should promote King. We need someone who can make the trains run on time and get more good teachers into the classroom. The best superintendents in this area are low key individuals who just do their jobs. Let's quit wasting valuable time and resources on nationwide searches. 

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

We don't need to rush because we have Alan King as interim.

Other than lots of problems with the final exams written by bureaucrats at 3700, sanity seems to be slowly seeping back into the day-to-day operations of schools.

With Durant, Goodsell and Jones (?) gone as "executive" level bureaucrats during King's watch--along with  many others--, most people I talk to notice a positive difference. 

We still have too many people between teachers and King whose sole purpose seems to be coming up with tests for kids to take, but teachers I know have confidence that King will eliminate those positions.

Keep King or take time looking for someone very much like him.The positive tone on campuses benefits kids.


"sanity seems to be slowly seeping back into the day-to-day operations of schools."

You hit the nail on the head.  Long live the King!

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