Three prominent North Texas school leaders spoke at length this week about their feelings on each of these contentious issues like critical race theory, the pulling of books from school libraries and remote learning during the pandemic.
The Texas Grandstand hosted a roundtable with the superintendents of the two largest local school districts, Michael Hinojosa of Dallas ISD and Kent Scribner of Fort Worth ISD, as well as Jeannie Stone, who resigned as superintendent of Richardson ISD at the end of the ‘last year.
Hinojosa, who is expected to leave his post before the end of 2022, pointed out that the high-profile concern about how to teach and discuss race in schools, which has been widely labeled as critical race theory, is purely Politics.
“It’s a manufactured crisis,” Hinojosa said. “It’s not real. This is a national playbook written by very smart and organized people.
Each of the three headteachers agreed that critical race theory is not taught in their schools.
“There’s definitely something that’s a ‘critical race theory,'” Stone said. “It’s not taught in schools,” Stone said. was conceived really last summer and it took, it took like wildfire. I’ve never seen anything like it. “Equity” became a four-letter word. And the work that we were doing that was doing a huge difference for our children was suddenly, much of it was called fake.
Scribner, who announced he would step down at the end of his current contract in 2024, noted that much of the supposed controversy over these issues is injected by a vocal minority, rather than a reflection of the thoughts of the general community.
“And I think one of the challenges is that there’s an imbalance in the ecosystem,” Scribner said. “We hear about a small strategic group that is well organized and nationally funded, and there is a large group of our population that has remained silent.”
Each of the three headteachers said the pandemic and the pivot to remote learning had negatively impacted the education of the vast majority of students.
Hinojosa said a “supermajority” of ISD Dallas students, between 90% and 95%, struggled in the remote environment.
“I had problems with the governor, but the best thing the governor did was force us back and tell us we wouldn’t have any money if we didn’t come back in October,” said said Hinojosa. “Now we had a disagreement on how we come back. We felt like the masks were needed. So it was one issue after another, and none of those things were in our strategic plan.