Born into a household of educators, Dr. Mike Moses was destined to be one of the most celebrated leaders in Texas education to date.
“My mother and father were both teachers,” explained Moses. “My father served forty years in education in Texas as a school administrator and also in higher education. My teachers and coaches were also role models for me and I admired them greatly.”
With the passion of teaching in his blood, Moses began his successful career in education as many others do- as a teacher and an administrator in the Duncanville and Garland school districts. He was soon singled out from his peers, however, when he was named Educator of the Year during his tenure at Garland . In 1982, at just 30 years-old, Moses was approached by school officials in Tatum- a city located just east of Dallas- to serve as their superintendent. After accepting this position, his career quickly evolved. In 1989, he became the youngest person to serve as the superintendent of the Lubbock Independent School District , erasing the districts’ debt and completing their desegregation efforts within a few years. Claiming that it was the “best appointment that I have ever made,” Former Texas Governor George W. Bush appointed Dr. Moses as the Texas Commissioner of Education from 1995-1999, placing Moses as overseer of 1,046 school districts, 6,343 campuses, 435,000 employees, and 3.6 million schoolchildren.
Dr. Moses went on to serve as deputy chancellor at the Texas Tech University System, as General Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District where he spearheaded one of the largest school bond elections in the nation, and currently holds the Meadows Distinguished Visiting Professorship in Educational Leadership at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He also works with school districts in the area of school desegregation, student assignment, and educational leadership, as well as performs superintendent searches from time to time, regularly addresses school district convocations where all faculty and staff members are present, and finally works as a consultant to private sector groups that work directly with public schools.
Following his philosophy that all human beings, especially children are improvable and that the purpose of education is to help individuals progress, grow and improve, Dr. Mike Moses has enjoyed great success over the last 25 years. He has written a number of articles on student performance, accountability and teacher preparation, has given more than 600 speeches to education, business, civic and community groups, and has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Texas Business and Education Coalition’s “Distinguished Service Award”, Texas A&M University’s “Golden Deeds in Education Award”, and the Texas School Public Relations Association’s “Key Communicator for Public Education Award”. He was also selected as School Superintendent of the Year in two of Texas ’ educational regions and was one of the four national finalists for “Superintendent of the Year” in 2003.
When asked what he distinguishes as his three greatest accomplishments, Dr. Moses said, “restoring public confidence in the Lubbock Independent School District which was financially bankrupt in 1989, completing the rewrite of the new standards (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for Texas students as Commissioner of Education in 1997, and the passage of a $1.3 million bond issue and the termination of a 33-year old school desegregation case in the Dallas Independent School District.”
Although these are the great results that have placed him in public esteem, Moses’ passion for teaching and dedication to improving people’s lives through education is what motivates him to continue on in the field.
“The opportunity to continue to train and improve educational leaders is extremely enjoyable. I also find great pleasure in the opportunity to interact with teachers and staff members when working with school districts. All in all it is the continued opportunity to help improve the quality of life for others that makes me continue to look forward to working in our public schools.”
There is no doubt that strides have been made in improving the Texas public education system, but there is always more to do.
“There have been too many “knee jerk” changes made in public education over the past eight years in Texas ,” said Dr. Moses. “Every elected public official seems to want to have an education agenda. The system desperately needs stability for a six to eight year period if we are going to see continued progress. Given the constant change, it is very difficult for trends to develop. We have reached the tipping point on measurement and have moved into the area where over measurement has become demoralizing and discouraging to educators. As to where the system may be headed, it is difficult to say. However, it is my hope that we may be about to enter an era where we do a better job of connecting real world needs with the expectations of our high school graduates. We need more than a “one size fits all” high school diploma. Too many students are failing to graduate and it is not entirely because they cannot do the work. In many instances, they simply do not find school relevant to their interest or goals. The system must do a better job making it more relevant.”
Dr. Mike Moses will be a keynote speaker at TexasNonprofits’ The “State” of Education in Texas Seminar on February 7, 2007. For more information on the seminar, visit the events section of our website located at the top of our homepage or call Jacqueline Beretta or Denise McDonald at (210) 805-9505.