Hiring a private superintendent search firm to assist with the process of hiring the new permanent Rochester City School District superintendent would be an utter waste of time and money. We already have a superintendent for the district, albeit an interim one. Nevertheless, Bolgen Vargas seems to have the support of the general public, so why mess with things?
Trolling various social networking sites the past few evenings, I could not help but notice how much support Vargas appears to have from students, teachers and parents alike. Not everyone is on board with him, though, with there being complaints that he has not returned calls that were originally placed a few months ago or that he has followed up on initial programmatic or other meetings.
RCSD Needs A Leader, Not A Celebrity
Sure, Vargas is not perfect, but who is? Yet he is trying, as evidenced by the extraordinary number of social engagements in which he has actively participated. Vargas has readily availed himself to large segments of the city population. In essence, he appears to be genuinely trying to make things right, which is a lot more than can be said about most of his predecessors.
Still, the RCSD school board is determined to hire Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Ray and Associates to help with the location of our next permanent honcho. The board has promised this will be a robust search process, one that will incorporate the services of a community-based committee that broadly represents the Greater Rochester community. The selection of an ad hoc, locally-based search committee notwithstanding, I am getting the feeling that this is going to turn out to be a giant-size dog and pony show, with well-funded orchestration provided by the business community – locally and beyond.
No Teachers On RCSD Search Committee
It was of little surprise to me and many others that the board chose not to sit on the search committee even one RCSD teacher (and just one student, who has been representing the student body on the board for quite some time). The board, which ostensibly takes its cues from local business, academic and political leaders, is so determined to shut out the voice of teachers and support staff in the search process, that it is presenting what already has the semblance of a disingenuous process, into a complete sham.
Regardless of what was said before and at the Tuesday, October 25 press conference, the board has only reversed its course on allowing Vargas to apply for the permanent position as a means to temporarily placate the masses. It’s not like there aren’t other qualified local candidates as well. The board, nonetheless, has other plans and will ultimately function in accordance with what is being dictated to them by more influential interests.
Most of us, particularly city children, stand to lose if this flawed process is carried out to fruition.
Lankes, T. (2011). Rochester school board forms committee to aid in superintendent search. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
Francis, L.F. (2011). Education Accountability For Rochester Schools.
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