Central Office embarks on journey to change MISD’s culture

Midland ISD Central Office employees recently have had an opportunity to take a hard look at the current state of the district. We’ve scrupulously looked at data, communicated with parents and community leaders, and we also have had to do some serious internal reflection.

We understand that the public at large has not been satisfied with the current state of our school district, and many have pointed to the MISD Central Office as one of the contributing factors. There have been numerous complaints: "There are too many people working at Central Office; the staff at Central Office are too heavy handed; Central Office employees are out of touch and don’t know what is happening on each individual campus."

The work of these critics is easy. They risk very little, but enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and themselves to the community’s judgment. Some like to thrive on negative criticism that incurs more views on social media. But the bitter truth critics must understand is that in the grand scheme of things, the criticism leads to generalizations that do nothing to attempt to improve the situation.

Several concerned community members decided to go beyond blaming and complaining. They dedicated themselves to be part of the solution instead of being part of the problem. Because of their efforts, a call to action was initiated.  Twenty employees from  Midland ISD Central Office, 11 concerned community members and several employees of Midland Memorial Hospital came together Jan. 31-Feb. 1 and put forth an effort to help build a new culture for our school district.

We were all led in a "Culture of Values" training facilitated by Joe Tye, CEO of Values Inc. In this training Mr. Tye steered us through his "12 Core Action Values" and helped all of us to focus on the individual values we have. He then helped us to see how we can act as catalysts for change in our school district. By doing this, we all have had high hopes that we can find a new path to improve the culture that had settled in at MISD.

More Information

Joe Tye's work on the Twelve Core Action Values can be accessed at www.valuescoachinc.com.

The training in "Core Values" includes many ways to empower employees and improve how we interact with the public. Almost all MISD Central Office employees have taken part in this training. Make no mistake, I am not saying this is a "magic bullet" that will solve every problem Central Office has. This is not "fixing" MISD, but it is focusing on the part each of us plays in our community. It’s about doing what we can to promote positive change in the circles of our influence.

We are embarking on a journey to change our behaviors. We want to focus on solutions and how we respond to the new challenges we face. Now is the time for us to step up and embrace a new culture; it is not a time for condemnation and blame. It is a time for action. I challenge the most ardent critic of Midland ISD to step up and work with us to make a contribution that you can be proud of.  

Joe Tye introduced us to a quote by Napoleon Hill," "The most successful people find that their greatest success lies just beyond the point where any normal person would have quit." This school district is not going to simply give up! We are all going to pull together and work diligently to ensure that all students get the education they deserve. Our next steps have to be to work together as a community and focus on the much -needed preparation of our children’s future.


Chris Hightower is director of social studies for Midland ISD.