FOR YEARS, THE HOUSTON INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT HAS DEFIED TRADITIONAL ASSUMPTIONS ON WHETHER LARGE URBAN SCHOOL SYSTEMS CAN EFFECTIVELY SERVE THEIR STUDENTS.
While other urban districts including Chicago, Detroit, Newark, and Oakland were losing thousands of students and being stripped of their governing authority due to continued low performance, H.I.S.D. retained the confidence of both the business community and its families.
Students of diverse ethnicities, income levels, languages, and cultural backgrounds chose H.I.S.D. campuses even when presented with alternative options in the charter and private school sectors.
Though by no means perfect, H.I.S.D.’s continued record of innovation, academic performance, and thoughtful governance garnered respect and recognition well beyond our city limits. H.I.S.D. emerged as the only district in the nation to twice receive the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education.
IN RECENT MONTHS, PUBLIC CONFIDENCE IN THE STABILITY AND DIRECTION OF OUR DISTRICT HAS BEEN UNDERMINED.
Citizens coming to board meetings expecting to see a deliberative governing body in action have increasingly observed interactions that more closely resemble an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
Campus leaders have faced abrupt organizational shake-ups that have forced them to divert their attention away from their schools and students.
Front-page headlines in the Houston Chronicle describe systemic issues in the service of our students with special needs as well as multi-million dollar spending overruns.
THE CORE INGREDIENTS THAT HAVE FOSTERED H.I.S.D.’S SUCCESS OVER THE YEARS ARE STILL THERE, BUT REQUIRE LEADERSHIP ON THE BOARD LEVEL THAT UNDERSTANDS HOW TO BRING THEM TOGETHER IN A UNIFIED AND THOUGHTFUL STRATEGY.
It was based on this strongly-held belief that Dr. Lundin felt compelled to serve Houston students in a new way. He decided to leave his role as an H.I.S.D. senior administrator in order to represent the students and families of District VI as their elected advocate on the district level. As a veteran educator who brings insights drawn from educational leadership on the local, state, national, and international levels, Dr. Lundin passionately believes that great schools must begin with effective governance.