DALLAS — The Dallas Independent School District has gone back to the future for its next leader. Trustees have unanimously voted to name Dr. Stephanie Elizalde as their lone finalist to become the district’s next superintendent.
While Dr. Elizalde currently leads the Austin Independent School District, before that job, she was DISD’s chief of school leadership.
And DISD Trustee Joyce Foreman says Dr. Elizalde made a big difference in a short amount of time.
“We had 43 low performing schools. So, Dr. Elizalde came to work in the district and she reduced those schools to four low performing schools,” Foreman recalled on Inside Texas Politics.
And that’s why Foreman is convinced they’re making the right choice. She told us on Inside Texas Politics she truly believes Dr. Elizalde will be able to move student achievement forward.
Foreman also wants to work with the new superintendent on ways to improve teacher retention and recruitment, which has become a major problem for districts all across the state. And Foreman says that may require thinking outside the box and looking for teachers in different types of fields
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“I also want to look at alternative certification, to really make sure we’re doing our very best to bring in bright people who might be teachers through our alternative certification process,” she said.
At the same time, Foreman made it very clear she does not support a school voucher program in Texas, a concept Gov. Greg Abbott has been pushing recently.
Vouchers, Foreman insists, do not help Texas children.
“When you look at a student population that’s about 88% poverty rate, where would those students go?” Foreman asked. “When you look at voucher programs, vouchers don’t really pay the full amount of the tuition. And I don’t believe we should be taking money out of public education.”
If everything goes as planned, Dr. Elizalde will take over for current DISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa, who announced his retirement earlier this year. Hinojosa has said he’s willing to stay on the job through the end of 2022 to help with the transition.