Education News

Houston School Board Votes to Launch National Search for New Superintendent

At a special meeting Thursday night, several parents urged the board to be transparent.

At a special meeting Thursday night, board members were mixed, but ultimately decided to conduct a national search for a new superintendent.
At a special meeting Thursday night, board members were mixed, but ultimately decided to conduct a national search for a new superintendent.

It’s been six months since the last superintendent Richard Carranza left abruptly. Now the same firm that found him — Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates — will conduct a new national search. Because Carranza only lasted 18 months on the job before he left for New York City schools, there’ll be no search fee, just costs for incidentals like travel.

Some trustees wanted to give the district’s interim superintendent, Grenita Lathan, a one-year contract until September 2019, while that search is ongoing. That measure was postponed indefinitely.

“While I don’t agree with the search, it’s happening. And that is a reflection of some people’s communities wanting that to happen,” said Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones. “So we will go forward and do that with fidelity. But I also feel the people who feel she is doing a good job were not served well today.”

Jones said that next the board has to hash out what the search will look like with the firm, including details on a timeline. When the consultants were used previously, they conducted community listening sessions and the search lasted about five months.

At a special meeting Thursday night, several parents urged the board to be transparent.

“A promise has been made to all the people in (the Houston Independent School District) that you will be searching and looking for a superintendent. That means there should be an active process in which we do that,” said Mindy Wilson.

Trustee Wanda Adams unsuccessfully tried to award the interim superintendent, Grenita Lathan, a one year contract while the search is ongoing.

Adams said it was needed given the upcoming Texas legislative session and the need for “stability” in the district. Since she was tapped as interim, Lathan has overseen a difficult budget season and the turnaround of several long struggling schools.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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