Hinojosa: Should he stay or should he go?

In the "I’m glad I’m not on the DISD school board" department, check out the comments at the end of this William McKenzie column in the DMN, titled "Why firing Hinojosa is a bad call": Anyone who publicly defends the superintendent these days probably needs to borrow Pacman Jones’ bodyguard if he or she intends go out in public.

McKenzie makes the argument that keeping Hinojosa is a tougher decision than firing him, because DISD needs continuity — he points out that DISD has had eight superintendents during the past 20 years, meaning that on average, every 2.5 years, the district receives a new leader. And given that it takes that new leader a year or two just to figure out what’s going on, which is just about the time he or she hits the road. Deciding what to do is a tough call right now; I admire the school board members (on the whole) for not being trigger-happy yet and doing what they can to resolve the issue as well as figure out what went wrong and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
But on the other hand, imagine if we each of us had a new boss every 2.5 years … new ways of doing things, new cronies of the boss to keep an eye out for, new goals, new performance measurements. It’s no wonder that DISD is messed up. That turnover along would wear me out as an employee, and as a boss, even if I was doing my job.

Hinojosa may be damaged goods at this point, but short of breaking up the district and starting over — something I’m in favor of considering, but I just don’t see happening in the current political and tight-money environment — I don’t know that there is anyone better out there who will last longer than 2.5 years.

And as for the people who say the school board members should step down, it will be interesting to see how many draw an opponent in the upcoming election. With all of the negative feelings toward the board and superintendent, we should have a regular free-for-all in the election, and no trustee should go unchallenged on the ballot. All of that is a good thing, too: Complaining about things only gets us so far. At some point, if DISD is going to be improved, more people have to step forward and volunteer their time to make it happen; serving on the school board is the ultimate way to do that.

And if you say you don’t have time to make that commitment (and I say that loud and clear), you have to at least give credit to the school board members who have stepped forward — like them or not, we elected them and they were the best of the available lot.


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