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Andre J. Hornsby

Andre Jose Hornsby was born on October 7, 1953, in New Orleans, Louisiana; his mother was a seamstress and his father was a carpenter and bricklayer. An early learner, Hornsby began attending school when he was just two and a half years old and was able to read at three. Hornsby's parents divorced during his early childhood and his mother moved the family to Gary, Indiana. In 1971, Hornsby earned his high school diploma from Bishop Noll Institute Catholic High School in Hammond, Indiana, where he was a star athlete excelling in football and track.

After high school, Hornsby attended Arizona Western Community College on a football scholarship, where he earned his A.A. degree in pre-medicine and education in 1973. Hornsby then went on to attend the University of Tulsa, earning his B.S. degree in education in 1975. Hornsby received his master’s degree in health and physical education from the University of Houston in 1976 and began his teaching career that same year. In 1982, Hornsby earned his doctorate of education from Texas Southern University.

From 1995 until 1998, Hornsby served as superintendent of the South Central District of the Houston Independent School District. In this position he founded a 21st Century Laboratory School with Texas Southern University and restructured more than 200 schools in the district. In 1998, Hornsby served as superintendent of the Yonkers, New York Public School system; during his tenure, standardized test scores improved and he increased the number of reading, math, and technology programs in the school system. From 2001 until 2003, Hornsby worked as president for the National Alliance of Black School Educators, a nonprofit organization devoted to furthering academic success for the nation’s children, particularly children of African descent. In 2003, Hornsby served as supervising superintendent of Executive Leadership Development, working with district superintendents, local school boards, and communities to implement an executive leadership development program in New York Public Schools. Later that year he was hired as the chief executive officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland.

Hornsby has received numerous awards for his educational and civic accomplishments.

Accession Number

A2004.250

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/7/2004

Last Name

Hornsby

Maker Category
Middle Name

J.

Schools

Martinez Kindergarten School

Bishop Noll Institute

Holy Rosary School

First Name

Andre

Birth City, State, Country

New Orleans

HM ID

HOR01

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

Louisiana

Favorite Vacation Destination

South Africa

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

District of Columbia

Interview Description
Birth Date

10/7/1953

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Washington

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Beans (Red), Rice

Short Description

Education chief executive Andre J. Hornsby (1953 - ) served as superintendent of the South Central District of the Houston Independent School District; superintendent of the Yonkers, New York, Public School system; president for the National Alliance of Black School Educators; and supervising superintendent of Executive Leadership Development for the New York Public Schools.

Employment

Crawford Elementary School

Roberts Elementary School

Houston Independent School District

Yonkers Public School District

National Alliance for Black School Educators

New York City Public School System

Prince George's County Public School System

Favorite Color

Blue

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260676">Tape: 1 Slating of Andre J. Hornsby's interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260677">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260678">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby describes his mother and his childhood household</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260679">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby describes his paternal family history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260680">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his parents</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260681">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his grandmothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260682">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby remembers attending Martinez Kindergarten School, New Orleans, Louisiana at a young age</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260683">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby describes his earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260684">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby describes his childhood neighborhood in New Orleans, Louisiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260685">Tape: 1 Andre J. Hornsby describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260686">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his brother</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260687">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby recalls moving to Gary, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260688">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby remembers his early schooling in New Orleans, Louisiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260689">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby remembers his experience at Holy Rosary School in Gary, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260690">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby recalls his childhood aspirations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260691">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby recalls observing racism as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260692">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby describes his childhood activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260693">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his time at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260694">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby talks about the influence of the Civil Rights Movement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260695">Tape: 2 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his athletic hopes while at Bishop Noll Institute in Hammond, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260696">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby describes a high school sports injury that derailed his college plans</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260697">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby talks about gang activity during his youth in Gary, Indiana</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260698">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby explains how he obtained an athletic scholarship at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260699">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his experience at Arizona Western College in Yuma, Arizona</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260700">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby describes his experience at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260701">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby describes his activism at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260702">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby talks about earning his master's degree from University of Houston in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260703">Tape: 3 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his early teaching experiences in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260704">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his gymnastics school in Houston, Texas</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260705">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby describes his desire to head a large urban school district</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260706">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby describes the challenges of administration and teaching</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260707">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby describes moving to the Yonkers Public School District in Yonkers, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260708">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby describes the conflict over his new implementation plan at Yonkers Independent School District in Yonkers, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260709">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby talks about his work for National Alliance of Black School Educators and New York City public schools</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260710">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby describes his struggles after leaving Yonkers Public Schools in Yonkers, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260711">Tape: 4 Andre J. Hornsby talks about becoming CEO of Prince George's County Public Schools in Prince George's County, Maryland</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260712">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby describes his work as CEO for Prince George's County Public Schools in Prince George's County, Maryland</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260713">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby talks about challenges and accomplishments at Prince George's County Public Schools in Prince George's County, Maryland</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260714">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby talks about the reputation of Prince George's County Public Schools and the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260715">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby responds to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's allegations against him</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260716">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby reflects upon his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260717">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby describes how he would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260718">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby thanks important people in his life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/260719">Tape: 5 Andre J. Hornsby narrates his photographs</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

6$5

DATitle
Andre J. Hornsby describes his activism at the University of Tulsa in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Andre J. Hornsby describes the conflict over his new implementation plan at Yonkers Independent School District in Yonkers, New York
Transcript
The incident with Stokely Carmichael [Kwame Ture] did that happen at (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) [University of] Tulsa [Tulsa, Oklahoma].$$Arizona Western [College, Yuma, Arizona] or Tulsa, okay.$$University of Tulsa.$$So tell us a little bit about that particular incident at the University of Tulsa.$$I, I guess some of my experiences in life, you know I talked about the other influences along the way, the, they, we didn't have a Black Student Union, we wanted one. It was only one black assistant professor, black female who was on the faculty at Tulsa at that time. And we were part of wanting the black expedience on our campus, and we wanted things for us, we were paying our fees like anybody else. We were a part of the program (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Do you remember what the black student population was at the University of Tulsa at that time?$$Maybe less than three hundred, maybe less than three hundred.$$Un-huh.$$Mostly athletes, most of us were athletes, very few student students on the campus but a few. Some of my colleagues that we started the ABC [Association of Black Collegians] and I can't tell you today African Black, I don't know, I don't even remember what the acronym stands for today but (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) But it was a organization for African Americans students.$$That is correct. And we wanted to bring in Stokely Carmichael as a speaker at the student union; we felt we had just as much right as anybody else. And that the university had a responsibility in making that happen, we wanted our student fees to go to bring Stokely to University of Tulsa. And naturally we were told that there weren't any monies available for that, the monies had already been committed to other speakers. We needed to follow the procedures, we should've done that a year in advance, you know the systematic way of saying no, but yet not saying no but yet saying no. So what we did was we found a way to raise our own money to and try to negotiate with Stokely to come and said you know, we can't pay an honorarium that kind of stuff, but we'll buy you a plane ticket. And you know we just want to hear you, and so we had our event with Stokely Carmichael, and since the university wasn't paying for it, they couldn't deny us the use of the space on the campus. So we had our first speaker, and that was him.$$And, and after that did you continue to have other speakers come in and then (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) The next year we brought in [HistoryMaker] Nikki Giovanni. Black poet. And we used our student activity money to pay for that, we followed their procedures we got it all in, we requested who we wanted to be the speaker and that was my second year. And that was my--I was there only there two years, that was also my junior and senior year.$$And do you think that was the beginning of like the activist coming out in you?$$I think I was always an activist. I think I was always one that would challenge a status quo; I was always one that was willing to ask the questions nobody else would ask. I was one who would stand up for what I believed in, I think my experiences in traveling as I did as a young child, I was exposed to so much. And it helped to make me, give me a stronger resolve as to who I was. I knew what it was to be a black in America, you know James Brown, 'Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud.' I was part of that whole movement that was the evolution, I was part of the Motown experience, Gary [Indiana] was heavy in Motown back then. And you know Detroit [Michigan] was where it was, you can't take a black community like Gary and it not be a major focus. I remember the Jacksons and I remember the first time I ever saw Michael [Jackson] perform. I think he was five and a half or six years old in the citywide talent show in Gary. Gary had a citywide talent show, that's where Diana Ross was introduced to the Jackson 5, and she learned the Jackson family, the lived on Jackson Street. One of classmates in high school [Bishop Noll Institute, Hammond, Indiana] lived on Jackson Street with the Jackson family, so I'd go over and visit him. They lived right there in the white house on the corner, right by Gary [Theodore] Roosevelt High School [Gary, Indiana], I mean so that was all a part of the social environment, you know what was happening. Naturally Michael was too young to be socially involved but his brothers were. You had Jermaine [Jackson] and Tito [Jackson] you know they were more my age group, so that was just part of the social experience.$[HistoryMaker] Dr. [Andre J.] Hornsby why was this plan, why was the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] at odds with your implementation approach?$$Because they had collaboratively developed this plan [Education Improvement Plan II (EIP II)] with the teachers union, with parents in the community and they felt that the plan that they had put together was the right plan. Based on the money that was available for the window of time that they knew this plan would exist. On the other hand, I, I believe something very different. I believe that knowing that the City of Yonkers [New York] was against the school system in the lawsuit, we were in opposite ends. I was in a dependent system, I depended on the city to give me revenue to run the school system; I was not independent. I felt because the city was against that, and they were actually co-plaintiff with the state, against the school system. That in fact that if for some reason they were able to stay the order that we would not get all that money. And I was correct, the $35 million we received that first year, I put that money in the new reading, math technology programs, throughout all the schools in the system. Trained our teachers up and implemented those programs with that new money. At the end of that first year, we already begin to see the backsliding occur. That summer the appeal, appellate court basically agreed with the state and the city and stayed the funding order, which meant we were not going to get all of that money that we were promised, that we would receive. Because of the investments we had made in the first year, I was able to convince the mayor [John Spencer] to give us some additional funding out of the city's budget, city's coffers. And we did a lot of, a lot of restructuring of our existing expenditures and our existing debt. Which allowed us to continue to implement those programs beginning year to lowered class size, all day four year old programs. All day five year old program, technology infused throughout the curriculum, pre-K [kindergarten] to twelve, new reading, new math programs, similar to what I'm doing now. And I began to replicate the same experiences I had had in the prior school system. Because I knew, I knew those methods work, it was no doubt in my mind that minority children could achieve beyond what anybody expect if I basically pushed the workforce to the wall. If I pushed them to their, their highest limit or beyond what they felt they could believe. My workforce was 88 percent white, my school district was 75 percent minority. Fifty some percent Hispanic [Latino], twenty some percent African American. High poverty, large free and reduced lunch population, very similar to what I left in Houston [Texas]. So the, the dy- dynamics, the basic make-up of the environment was very parallel to that which I had experienced before.