Investing in Human Capital
An investment in ‘human capital’ sets Dallas Independent School District apart. The term refers to the teachers and school leaders who support the classrooms. Believing that a team of quality teachers is the single greatest component to moving his district’s students’ academics forward, Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles restructured the district’s human resources department so it would focus more on recruiting and developing an outstanding cadre of instructors.
He did that when he hired Charles Glover this past summer as chief of the Human Capital Management (HCM) Department, replacing the HR department, and ensuring practices were about more than just hiring and firing. “Our work and our organization will only be as strong as our people, and I wanted to find someone who would build a comprehensive system of recruitment and selection while contributing to the overall strategy of our district,” says Miles.
Stumbling Blocks Eliminated
Miles, who became Dallas’ superintendent in July, says he knew that a large part of ensuring the district could recruit and train the best leaders would be to address various systems within HR that “were holding us back.” Some of those barriers included antiquated workflows.
In coming months, Glover’s position will help the district automate administrative processes away from paper-based streams to creating a web-accessible self-service portal for viewing and recommending potential applicants for hire. Miles also hopes to reorganize the functional structure of the department to align with the district’s “Destination 2020”—the protocol for having the highest percentage of college- and career-ready grads of any large U.S. urban district.
“Human capital is something that should be grown and nurtured—an investment—and will continue to return dividends for our kids,” he says.
Effective Leaders at All Levels
The first step Glover made was recruiting a top-notch cabinet and executive team to lead the district under Destination 2020. Believing the “largest impact on a student’s academic trajectory is their teacher,” Glover says he aims to redefine and rebuild recruiting at Dallas and establish a performance-based selection model.
Recruitment’s New Tactics
As a part of natural attrition and strategic talent planning, Dallas hires hundreds of teachers annually. And for Glover, he will evaluate whether the right people are in the right positions, and whether recruits are positioned to equip students with 21st-century skills.
One of his key recruitment tactics will include growing relationships with local universities and organizations that are looking to measure programmatic effectiveness with classroom impact. He also will oversee Dallas ISD’s Alternative Certification Program, which, since 1986, has helped thousands of teachers prepare to teach in the district. Glover plans to expand and create new partnerships with other providers, such as Southern Methodist University, the U Teach Program at the University of Texas, and Texas Tech University. “People are not widgets,” he says, “they are the foundation of our work and they are the greatest asset we can plan for and build capacity within.”
Glover is also involved with helping administrators expand academic offerings, like the Career Readiness Certificate. The certificate is designed for students interested in pursuing more than their diploma and opt into additional criteria aligned with career readiness. He hopes to work closely with Dallas’ Fortune 500 companies to learn what companies are looking for in future employees, and to get them to commit to providing opportunities to Dallas graduates. “There is a ‘renaissance’ in Dallas education right now,” says Glover. “It’s exciting to be a part of [this].”
- Chief of Human Capital Management, Dallas Independent School District
- Age: 29
- Salary: $182,000
- Tenure: 4 months
- Students: 159,000
- Staff and faculty: 19,000 employees
- Per-child expenditure: $9,000
- Dropout rate: 13%
- Students receiving free or reduced-price lunch: 89%