New Leadership for Dallas Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke for

The students and teachers of Dallas Schools now have new leadership at the helm. In an effort to meet an ambitious 100-point improvement plan for Dallas Schools, the superintendent has put together a new leadership team with the intention of giving the school system the chance to continue improving.
This seems a good idea; while the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a great guideline for school reform, it does, quite frankly, address the need to “fix” the problems faced by Dallas Schools.
Over the past 10 years, large school districts like the one serving Dallas Schools have hired top officials from outside the education profession. By doing so, school boards and superintendents are able to take advantage of these professionals’ fresh ideas and energy. Even though they may not know much about how schools operate, just working within the system will give them the immediate, hands-on experiences they need to learn how the educational process works.
In addition, by hiring gifted leaders from all over the business world, the superintendent is sending a message that he is serious about bringing in the best talent to help turn the Dallas Schools system around.
While some teachers, staff, or even parents may feel like hiring people outside the world of education is a bad idea, most can understand the reasoning. That reality is that there are people from all walks of life who believe in public education, and are willing to commit themselves to doing whatever they can to see the Dallas Schools excel.
New Positions in the Dallas Schools
The new administrative team leading the Dallas Schools consists of 8 positions. The chief operating officer will oversee business services. The Chief human development officer will oversee campus staffing, teacher recruitment, professional development and management of employee benefits and compensation. The executive director of the Office of Professional Responsibility is responsible for watching for possible fraud, waste and abuse. This director will also conduct ethics training for all Dallas Schools employees. Overseeing the implementation of the reform plans for the Dallas Schools is the Chief transformation officer, and the Chief of Staff oversees operations throughout several district departments. Two more positions are included in this team; the Chief administrative officer, who is head of School Leadership and Administrative Services, oversees school operations, including student discipline and alternative programs. Finally, the executive director (a member of the Superintendent’s Learning Community) oversees school improvement for 14 of the lowest-performing Dallas Schools.
All of the people who have been hired to fill these positions come from a variety of backgrounds. Since it is said that “variety is the spice of life”, it can also be said that adding variety to this leadership team of Dallas Schools will greatly contribute to leading the Dallas Schools to become the best they can possibly be.