To:  HISD Trustees

Re: Superintendent Search Criteria

The most important responsibilities of the Board of Education are the selection of the superintendent and the development of a contract that holds the superintendent to these criteria, not merely to test scores. 

The Superintendent sets the agenda and, equally important, the tone of the District. With this in mind, please consider these criteria prominently in your decision.


  • HISD needs a superintendent who is first and foremost a listener – someone who listens to the members of the community (parents, teachers, students, community members), especially those whose voices are not often heard or even solicited.
  • HISD needs a superintendent who will focus on public education, not privatization.
  • HISD needs a superintendent who understands the research on how using test scores to evaluate teachers, principals, schools, and students negatively impacts teaching and learning.
  • HISD needs a superintendent who is knowledgeable and supportive of community schools, a model which has been shown to improve schools and communities.
  • HISD needs a superintendent who values stability, not high turnover, in building leadership and teaching faculty.
  • HISD needs a superintendent who will ensure equity for all students, regardless of zip code.


In addition, it is important that you do your due diligence in vetting the candidates proposed by your search firm.  Do not accept everything they say.  Call Board members, parent organizations, and union leaders in the districts the candidates come from.  Do a Google search.  See what issues they have addressed and how the communities have responded.  Please do your homework.


Debora Banner

Member, Community Voices for Public Education