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Confused? Ask Her

by Melissa Bailey | Jul 29, 2014 2:04 pm

(6) Comments | Commenting has been closed | E-mail the Author

Posted to: Schools

Melissa Bailey Photo New Haven schools have hired away an administrator from Hartford to help make the city’s enrollment process less confusing for parents.

The school board on Monday hired the administrator, T. Sherry Davis-Googe (pictured), to serve as the new director of choice and enrollment. The job pays $122,000.

Davis-Googe currently serves as director of school choice in Hartford, a city that dramatically expanded school options in the wake of a landmark school desegregation lawsuit. New Haven has a popular school choice system, too: This spring, 8,130 students applied for 2,394 open seats in magnet and charter schools.

Her job is the latest version of the magnet coordinator role that has been vacant since Bob Canelli retired. Schools Superintendent Garth Harries redefined the job when he reorganized school district central office roles last year. Now the job is more focused on registration and enrollment instead of magnet themes.

Davis-Googe said her top priority will be communicating with parents and making it easier for them to choose the best school for their kids. In brief remarks before the board, she announced that she joins the city with eight years of Spanish language study under her belt.

She later clarified that she does not speak Spanish fluently. But if parents come to her and speak it, “I can understand what they say.”

Born in Hartford, Davis-Googe attended Howard University and St. Joseph College. She currently lives in Hamden. She joins New Haven at a time when the district has debuted a new software system that aims to make the annual magnet lottery easier. Her job won’t be in the administrator’s union. She starts her job Aug. 11, just in time to sign up the last straggling families for the first day of school on Aug. 28.

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posted by: connecticutcontrarian on July 29, 2014  3:06pm

So the Superintendent thought it prudent to dedicate $122K to hiring someone to oversee the enrollment process who is not fluent in the language spoken by a sizeable portion of the parents the district serves. Interesting.

I dream of a day when NHPS dedicates more resources to improving the learning outcomes and personal development of students than it does to increasing the number of administrators with overlapping duties, bloated salaries, and limited (measurable) success.

posted by: UBHolden on July 29, 2014  5:16pm

Are there any jobs at NHPS that pay less than $100K?  Maybe it’s me but why is there a need to hire someone to help parents navigate the registration and enrollment process?  Perhaps making these processes easier and transparent would help?  Especially when the person doesn’t speak Spanish!

posted by: Gauss on July 29, 2014  8:53pm

I agree with UBHolden. Instead of paying $122K per year (plus benefits, I imagine) for somebody to explain the process, how about actually making the process less confusing?!

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on July 29, 2014  9:58pm

What a colossal waste of the taxpayers money! How many teachers, teacher aides and paraprofessionals could be hired with this money? How many computers could be purchased? We need school nurses and school librarians! Do you know that every school does not have a library? Some have libraries with no full time library-media specialist!
What is going on with the New Haven Board of Education? They have hired a person with the title “director of choice and enrollment” at $122,000 to communicate with parents and make it easier for them to choose the best school for their kids unless those parents are Spanish speakers.
Couldn’t one of our highly paid and highly degreed administrators perform what appears to be a part time position that would not require an advanced degree. Is the “popular” school choice system so complex that we need a full time administrator to help parents to decide which school will be best for their child. Will this person meet with thousands of parent to individually counsel them and their children in order to point them in the right direction for the students’ best academic choice?
A waste I say. A total waste!
This is why we need an elected BOE. Call your alderman. Call the mayor if you agree. This total nonsense has got to stop.
As we New Haveners pay our taxes this month, look how the Board, the superintendent, and the mayor allow our hard-earned money to be cast to the winds!
The Board of Aldermen needs to place the BOE under tighter scrutiny because obviously the BOE is not wisely spending our money!
We need to wake up, show up and speak up at some of these Board meetings to put the superintendent and the BOE in check!
This talk about school choice in New Haven is a cruel joke to the families who lose the lottery or who are not politically connected to get their children into one of the “choice” schools.
When we have equal access to a quality education for ALL New Haven students this school choice system and this job will be irrelevant!

posted by: Brutus2011 on July 30, 2014  7:15am

I have always thought that tenured college professors were salaried at about 120k/year.

According to the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, this is not so—the average salary is much less, to my surprise, see:

http://www.cupahr.org/surveys/files/salary2012/NFSS12ExecutiveSummary.pdf

I know that attaining a academic PhD or MD or JD is rigorous and demanding.

Why are education administrators worth so much more?

Especially when they can’t seem to get it right?

posted by: Razzie on July 31, 2014  10:59am

Wow!! $122K to essentially coordinate the magnet school open house process. I would think that job could be done quite effectively at one-half the salary.

What a waste! Seems to be little wonder as to why the BoE budget is so out of whack with the reality of its real accomplishments. Maybe that’s just the new trend of discounting classroom resources and direct educational experiences for administrative paper-shuffling.

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