Dallas ISD interim Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told trustees on Thursday what he learned from his listening tour that saw him ask 100 Dallas ISD stakeholders 10 open-ended questions about the state of the district.
The 100 stakeholders Hinojosa interviewed included approximately 70 Dallas ISD staff members at various levels throughout the district, 20 community members, and the nine trustees. The listening tour was part of Hinojosa’s goal to reenter the district in an organized way that also helped him gather valuable input.
The questions that Hinojosa asked stakeholders included:
- If you were in my shoes as superintendent, what would you focus on first?
- Who are key external stakeholders critical to our future success?
- What are you excited about in the last three years, and what are you disappointed about over the last three years?
Hinojosa said a recurring theme in stakeholder responses emphasized that improving morale and communication should be a priority. Many stakeholders also said they hoped the superintendent could help bring everybody together and address teacher turnover. Click here to view all of the questions and responses from the listening tour.
In his opening remarks, Hinojosa said the district’s success depends on good communication and teamwork between trustees, staff, and the community. He said improving and fostering that communication is among his top priorities.
“If these three groups are moving together, we can accomplish great things,” he said.
Hinojosa said he also learned in his listening tour that many staff members don’t believe there are enough professional development opportunities. After hearing this, Hinojosa said he immediately worked with district leadership to increase those opportunities.
In asking stakeholders what they have been most excited about over the past three years, the answers included:
- A culture of high expectations;
- The Teacher Excellence Initiative;
- The new principal evaluation system;
- The district’s effort to increase early childhood education opportunities.
Hinojosa said his job as interim superintendent will be to work to build on those areas of excitement while also addressing the identified issues that need to be improved. At the end of his report to trustees, he again stressed the need to meet with and listen to all stakeholders, even those who don’t agree with everything happening in the district.
“We need to work with people,” he said.