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NAACP Discussion Questions for Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Wednesday, August 15, 2007

National Association of Colored People (NAACP)

Discussion Questions for Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District – Monday, August 7, 2007
______________________

Student Achievement:

Question 1.

How do you plan to involve the parents and community in improving student achievement to grade level and above proficiency, particularly in low performing schools that are in low income neighborhoods?

Question 2.

Do you plan to support and / or expand In-District Charter Schools as a strategy for improving student achievement ? If so, how and when? If not, why not? This seems to be an effective way of holding campus instructional teams accountable for teaching and learning. Principal and teachers tend to take ownership, support and implement strategies they select or create.

Question 3.

Do you plan restructuring of major programs such as Curriculum & Instruction; Training/Development; Sub-District configurations in an effort to improve student achievement?

A. Do you plan to add any new programs or strategies to increase student achievement in low performing schools? If so, what?

B. Do you plan to reduce or streamline any programs to support other low performing schools? If so what?

Page 2. Questions for Superintendent

Question 4.

In order to improve student achievement, do you plan to assign some of the most successful teachers and principals to low performing schools to assure equity in teaching and learning across the entire district.

A. If so, when and how will we be informed of the efforts?

B. If so, what will be done to ensure a smooth transition?

Question 5.

How do you plan to ensure that professional development is implemented for each campus- based needs identified by teachers and principals?

Questions 6.

Are you familiar with the commitments the DISD’s Board of Education made with regards to the Desegregation Court Ordered program strategies that were successful in improving student achievement, such as Early Childhood Education (Prek-Grade 3)?

A. What are your plans for supporting the Board in their efforts to keep their commitment?

B. Do you plan to hold staff accountable for the commitments?

Page 3. Questions for Superintendent

Communications/Community Relations/Partnerships:

Question 7.

How do you plan to keep parents and community informed regarding on-going program progress, needs, changes and successes?

Question 8.

Can parents and community count on you to be visible in the schools and the community?

A. To what extent will you hold community forums for parents and community?

B. Will you be open and receptive regarding constructive criticism and feedback and/or opposing views?

Dallas Achieves:

Questions 9.

What is Dallas Achieves? What can we do as an organization to help
you achieve your bottom line of becoming the number one urban
school district in the nation by the year 2010?

Question 10.

Is Parental Involvement/Engagement a component of Dallas Achieves? If so, the NAACP is going to launch a Parental Involvement program at three DISD schools this fall. Would you support an initiative such as this to improve student achievement?

Page 4. Questions for Superintendent

Question 11.

How is Dallas Achieves funded? Did you have to cut any positions
and/or programs to implement and execute Dallas Achieves? If so, what
positions and programs were cut and what new programs have been
implemented?

Hiring Practices/Selections & Retention of Quality & Effective AA Personnel

Question 12.

Are you a supporter of diversity and inclusion both in the classroom as well as staffing? If so, please explain some of the recent decisions that have been made with regard to your hiring practices.

A. Are there any African-American employees in the new office you created, Office of Professional Responsibility? If so, what position do they hold? If not, why?

B. Your new organizational structure calls for Executive Directors instead of Associate Superintendents. How many Executive Directors are over the elementary and high schools and how many African Americans occupy these positions?

C. Is it true that the Athletic Director, Chief of Staff and Human Resource Director (all African Americans) have all been replaced by two Whites and one Hispanic? If so, did you interview and/or consider other qualified African-Americans for these positions?

D. What plan do you have in place to retain effective, tenured teachers and administrators who do not speak Spanish?

E. What is your plan to fill the (15) principal vacancies prior to the start of the 2007-2008 school year?

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