Daniel P. King, PhD
Superintendent of Schools
A public school superintendent for the last 18 years, Dr. Daniel P. King was recently named the 2013 Texas Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and was the 2006 Superintendent of the Year for the Texas Association of School Boards. Since July of 2007, he has led the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District (PSJA). Under his leadership, PSJA has made tremendous progress on some of the most significant challenges that face our state and nation.
A border school district serving more than 32,000 students (99% Hispanic and 89% economically disadvantaged), PSJA ISD had a dropout rate almost double the state average. The number of annual dropouts has been cut dramatically, and the dropout rate is now less than half the state rate. The number of annual high school graduates has almost doubled and the four-year graduation rate and overall high school completion rate has increased from 62.4% to 90.1% during his tenure, surpassing the state average. PSJA has become a state and national model for dropout prevention and recovery, inspiring state legislation (SB 975) and replication of its innovative initiatives across Texas and the nation.
In the meantime, PSJA has undertaken an even bolder initiative College³ (All students: Ready.Connected.Complete.™) Initiating and scaling up a network of Early College High Schools, concurrent and dual enrollment opportunities, and college and career connected career pathways, PSJA is determined to offer every single student the opportunity to earn at least 12 college hours by high school graduation, with many earning more - up to an Associate’s Degree. By 2010, PSJA had already almost doubled the number of graduates enrolling in college after completing high school.
Before coming to PSJA, Dr. King led Hidalgo ISD (3,300 students) for eight years. Under his leadership, a district that had once been among the lowest performing in the state of Texas became the first Early College School District in the nation. In 2006, Hidalgo High School transitioned into an Early College High School for all students. This initiative acted as an accelerant to the rapidly improving district. Hidalgo ISD had already seen a dramatic increase in student performance and was rated Exemplary or Recognized by TEA for 9 consecutive years. The dropout rate plummeted. The graduation rate climbed. College enrollment increased dramatically. In 2006, Hidalgo ISD (99% Hispanic, 93% economically disadvantaged) earned the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award as the most outstanding school district in Texas, and in 2007, U.S. News and World Report named Hidalgo High School the 11th best High School in the nation and #1 in Texas.
In both Hidalgo and PSJA, Dr. King has committed to replacing outdated bilingual education models with a dual language or dual immersion program, with the goal of developing college ready bi-literacy. With ever larger cohorts of bi-literate students moving up through the system, PSJA is on a course to become a national leader in producing college ready, academically bi-literate high school graduates.
Dr. King earned his PhD from The University of Texas. His undergraduate and Master’s level work was completed at the University of Texas-Pan American.