Frank Hernandez holds the Annette and Harold Simmons Centennial Chair in Education Policy and Leadership and serves as the associate dean in the Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Previously, he served as dean in the College of Education at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB). Before joining UTPB, he was the associate dean of the School of Education at Hamline University and executive director for the Center for Excellence in Urban Teaching. Frank has 25 years of experience in both K-12 and higher education, and has recently published a book with Elizabeth Murakami called Brown-Eyed Leaders of the Sun: A Portrait of Latina/o Educational Leaders.

I believe this group can provide the network needed to improve the readiness of our teacher candidates.

Why did you decide to join Deans for Impact?

As a dean of education, I have often felt isolated and alone in deciding what is good enough for my college and our teacher candidates. I am a member of Deans for Impact because I believe in its mission and believe this group can provide the network needed to improve the readiness of our teacher candidates. Collectively, Deans for Impact can assist in driving innovative programming and policy changes that support better data-driven and research-based decisions.

What is one pivotal moment in your career in educator preparation that left a positive impact on you or others?

When I was an associate dean at Hamline University (Minn.), the Bush Foundation (Minn.) awarded a $7 million grant to Hamline and five other private colleges in the Twin Cities to transform teacher effectiveness in Minnesota. As a result, Hamline and its five partners developed the Twin Cities Teacher Collaborative (TC2) and launched several evidence-based initiatives: a rigorous recruitment process, an institute for professional mentors, a residency program, an induction center, and an assessment/ accountability center.

What most excites you about the opportunity to transform the field of educator preparation in the years ahead?

Deans for Impact is a new voice in teacher preparation – a voice that is raising expectations for how we train our teachers and how we measure the impact our graduates have on their own K-12 students. Consequently, more K-12 students will graduate from high school meeting expectations, more students will be college-ready, more students will have the skills and knowledge for their chosen field of study, and more students will be taught to high standards.

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