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Inside Texas Politics: Why Dallas ISD trustees bet big on superintendent’s performance

How realistic is Dallas ISD's plan to improve student achievement and offer the superintendent a bonus to do so? That's just one of this week's topics.

DALLAS — As the president's impeachment trial captured national attention in the country's capital this week, plenty was going on at the state level here in Texas, especially in the 2020 races.    


The Dallas Independent School District board gave its superintendent, Dr. Michael Hinojosa, a bold plan to improve student achievement, and promised him a big bonus if he could successfully implement it. Eliminating failing schools and improving African-American performance in the classroom are two of those goals. Hinojosa has to reach all of the goals by the end of the 2020 school year to get the bonus.

But how realistic is the plan, and more importantly, isn’t that his job anyway? Dallas ISD Board President Justin Henry joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy, from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, to discuss whether it’s realistic to expect the superintendent to accomplish all the goals by that time.


Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg is betting big on Texas. He’s spending millions of dollars in the state, and outspending the other presidential candidates. His television commercials are saturating the market. And you can’t miss seeing his ads while you’re scrolling through Facebook. 

He’s putting a lot of resources in Texas and isn’t even campaigning in Iowa for the Democratic caucuses on Monday, Feb. 3. 

Ross Ramsey, the co-founder and executive editor of the Texas Tribune, joined host Jason Whitely to discuss whether Bloomberg’s strategy of spending big on ads while skipping Iowa and early voting states will work. Ross and Jason also offered perspective on the importance of the special election for a Texas House seat in Fort Bend County. Big names from both parties are campaigning there.


President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is underway.  Both conservatives and progressives claim they know how it will end. With this week’s My Voice, My Opinion, conservative Chris Krok - from WBAP 820 AM – said Democrats used the wrong strategy.


Political parties generally do not support or oppose candidates in their respective primary elections. They let their members decide collectively at the ballot box. However, in Austin, the Travis County Republican Party came out unanimously against one of their own before voting even begins. 

The GOP there opposes Republican Robert Morrow-- he’s running for a seat on the State Board of Education. Morrow briefly led the Travis County party before resigning to run for president. From Austin, Matt Mackowiak, the chairman of the Travis County GOP, joined host Jason Whitey to explain why the party opposes Morrow.


President Donald Trump recently let states decide if they want to continue resettling refugees, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott decided that Texas should stop.

A federal judge has since blocked Abbott’s decision, however. The decision by Abbott sparked this week’s Flashpoint. From the right-- Wade Emmert, the former chairman of the Dallas County Republican Party. And from the left -- LULAC's National President Domingo Garcia.


Ross Ramsey, Bud Kennedy, and Berna Dean Steptoe, WFAA's political producer, joined host Jason Whitely to talk about the $1 million ad campaign The Club for Growth is running for Chis Putnam. 

Putnam, a Colleyville Republican, is opposing U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, in the primary. Will The Club for Growth's advertising campaign make this congressional race competitive? 

Ross, Bud, Berna Dean, and Jason also weighed in on whether the number of Californians moving to Texas will start affecting Texas’ political campaigns.

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