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Harries Named Schools Chief

by Melissa Bailey | Jul 23, 2013 2:00 pm

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

Posted to: Schools

Declaring a need to continue the “momentum” of New Haven’s school reform drive, the school board Monday night tapped Garth Harries as its next superintendent.

The selection was made by a unanimous vote at a regular school board meeting at 54 Meadow St. Monday night.

Despite being an internal candidate, Harries “is the candidate of change—the one who is best positioned to make dramatic impact,” said board member Alex Johnston, who led the search process along with the Illinois-based firm, PROACT Search.

Melissa Bailey File Photo Harries (pictured) starts Tuesday as superintendent—a position he has spent four years preparing for as deputy superintendent in charge of New Haven’s nascent school-reform drive. He’ll serve in the job in an interim capacity until he negotiates a one-year contract with the board. Contract negotiations begin Tuesday, according to board President Carlos Torre.

“This city has nothing more precious than its students,” said Harries after the vote. “That responsibility is humbling and exciting and intimidating and wonderful.”

He replaces Reggie Mayo, who has run the school system for 21 years. (Click here for a story about Mayo’s reflections on his tenure.)

The school board chose from among three finalists for the superintendent’s job. The three finalists—Harries; Dred Scott, deputy superintendent of Independence, Missouri; and Kriner Cash, until recently the superintendent of Memphis school—pitched their candidacies in a day-long public session that drew over 150 people to Gateway Community College. Read about that session in detail here; click on the play arrow to watch Harries make his pitch.

Harries was not present at Monday’s meeting; Torre said he asked all the finalists not to attend.

Reached by phone at Co-op High School, Harries said he felt the “city’s confidence” behind him in his appearance Saturday and plans to continue to earn it.

“We’ve done great things here,” Harries said. “And we all know we have so much further we can go.” He deferred conversations about his specific plans for the district for upcoming days.

Harries beat out 65 competitors in the search. Board member Mike Nast said he was struck by the “passion” Harries showed in his speech Saturday.

Harries, who is 40, first came to New Haven to attend Yale University, graduating in 1995. He got a law degree from Stanford, taught for one year at a private school in Vail, Colorado, worked in politics and economic development in Philadelphia; then got hired by the high-powered consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he worked for three years. He then took the leap into public education, joining the New York City Public Schools in 2003. He rose to be Chancellor Joel Klein’s senior cabinet member in charge of special education as well as portfolio development, which meant closing 15-20 schools per year and opening 300 new ones. He joined New Haven public schools in 2009 as deputy superintendent, in charge of the city’s school-reform drive. It is widely believed that he was being groomed to take over New Haven’s superintendency after spending a few years building relationships, knowledge of the city, and trust. (Click here to read his resume.)

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posted by: JohnTulin on July 22, 2013  6:31pm

Boom!  Congrats Garth, and good luck….

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on July 22, 2013  7:40pm

The New haven Board of Education has unanimously made its decision to select Dr.., oh, I mean, Mr. Garth Harrries as the next superintendent. If this had always been their plan, why did they not just go ahead and appoint him? Instead they duped the public into believing they were going to do a national search to pick the best qualified person in the nation to be the next superintendent, hired a private firm to do this search at the taxpayers’ expense, failed to inform the two well-qualified and better experienced outside candidates that they were considering an internal candidate, brought these candidates here at taxpayers’ expense, conducted public hearings and a full day forum to supposedly get public input in the selection process at the taxpayers’ expense, for what? New Haven could have saved tens of thousands of dollars if the Board had simply been honest with the public and not gone through this charade, wasting our time, our money, and the other two candidates’ time and energy. We have been hoodwinked and bamboozled by our appointed Board of Education. This action once again demonstrates the dire need for an elected Board of Education which should be more accountable to the taxpayers of this city.
I hope their decision does result in a school system that honestly and truly places “KIDS FIRST.” This entire selection process was much less than transparent. Maybe I am wrong. The Board was so transparent that the majority of concerned citizens suspected that this is what this Board intended to do from the start.

posted by: ELMCITYPROF on July 22, 2013  8:42pm

First let me say congrats to Garth. This sham of a search process is the very thing that discourages parents from attending forums/events/etc sponsored by NHPS. Are we really to believe that the Board of Ed had time btwn Saturday and today to evaluate attendees’ feedback, vote, and have a formal offer letter written and better by legal? Garth was clearly the heir apparent and there’s nothing wrong with that. But why waste taxpayer money and parents time bringing out the other 2 gentlemen?

posted by: swatty on July 22, 2013  8:44pm

hummm. NHI got scooped. I knew this 3 weeks ago…

posted by: Curious on July 22, 2013  8:50pm

Unanimous?  What a crock.  The BOE should cover the $20,000 that it cost to have PROACT conduct this sham search out of their salaries.

LOTS of other cities and smaller towns have much more meaningful community involvement in the way they pick their superintendents.  Best man for the job or not, this was shameful.

posted by: Brutus2011 on July 22, 2013  8:56pm

Superintendent Harries said in the above article,” This city has nothing more precious than its students. . . And that responsibility is humbling and exciting and intimidating and wonderful.”

Show us, Mr. Harries, that those words are not empty by drying up the well of patronage hiring and giving our “precious students” the example of their community elders who are part of their cultural heritage.

In other words, put qualified community members in our schools to serve our children and stop catering to those who are culturally insensitive to our community and youth.

And, you can start with me.

posted by: Threefifths on July 22, 2013  9:13pm

Where are all the anti-union loud mouths now? Taxpayers money spent again on insider trading of jobs.This is why we need a full elected school board.Get ready.The New York Gang will be moving in.There is still hope people.The Judas goats may have sold the people out.We can still win.We must go to court.If not get ready for this like I keep saying.

Invasion Of The Charter Schools.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2013-01-30/news/Eva-Moskowitz-Bloomberg-Charter-Schools/

posted by: Threefifths on July 22, 2013  11:03pm

My bad. I for got.This will be the next move.

Breaking News: NC Legislature Approves Vouchers, Ends Teacher Tenure

By admin on Jul 22, 2013 in Politics


http://www.thisworldwelivein.com/2013/07/22/breaking-news-nc-legislature-approves-vouchers-ends-teacher-tenure/

posted by: Citizen X on July 23, 2013  4:47am

Seems like the sheep on the BoE must follow the herd. Nothing else explains the unanimous selection of the least-qualified candidate. Now let’s see if he will actually get to work on behalf of the city’s children instead of the work of propping himself up and playing backroom politics.

If public education is your top concern, one thing is more clear now than ever is that Elicker should not become the mayor. He is too close with the new superintendent to demand substantial change. Elicker was publicly hoping for and hyping Harries before we knew who the other candidates were. There is no quantifiable reason for such loyalty.

Politics and relationships trumped the well-being of the city’s students tonight. Let’s hope the new mayor — and at this point I hope it is Toni Harp — holds the school district accountable.

posted by: True that on July 23, 2013  5:27am

What a waste of taxpayer time and money, and I’m not just talking about the search process.  New Haven is okay with appointing a superintendent who

- has never taught for one minute in a public school
- has never been a school administrator in a public school
- who himself never attended a public school
- who now needs to move into New Haven ( because he works here but dies not live here)
- taught in a small private school for just one year and had all of 8 students in a class
- was run out of New York by parents of students receiving special education services
- voiced no objection to Mayo’s patronage-laden, bloated administrative and ancillary staff
- has no connection, and cannot connect to New Haven’s Black and Latino communities


Congratulations, New Haven Board of Education for hiring someone who worked in a PR firm longer than he taught, got out of the classroom as soon as he could (I heard he didnt even stay the full year), and struggled to get his administrative certification which I don’t know how he got because he was not a certified teacher in the state of Connecticut for five years.  You hired a superintendent who does not even have the credentials to teach in the district he leads.  We have the wisest school board in the world.  Thanks, our students real,y deserve Garth.

posted by: BornandraisedschooledinNewHaven on July 23, 2013  6:25am

@ Tom Yes politics as usual I’m sure the Top New Haven Official thought about this four years ago upon hiring Mr. Garth. Like you said “We were Bamboozled & hoodwinked” into paying tax dollars we can’t afford for the Charades that our Top official has done since entering office seemingly a lifetime ago. At some point hopefully the New Haven community will rise up and say Kids First shouldn’t be a dress up Sunday outfit for Church, but part of our daily fabric if and when we are truly, to put “Kids First”.

posted by: Honest in New Haven on July 23, 2013  7:24am

Congratulations to Garth Harries, but unfortunately the way you got the job had no credibility, therefore you have little credibility walking into this. I’m sure this is not what you wanted.  This BOE needs to go!  The right move here would have been to appoint Garth as the Interim for one year (which few would have argued with), and give him time for an on-the-job audition which even though it would have given him an advantage in a national search, it would have been a more credible process for all—especially Garth.  Instead, they put on this process that insults our intelligence and was a farce.  Carlos Torre is the first person that should be removed by the next Mayor—he has shown no leadership whatsoever in this process or as the long-time (10 plus years) chair of the Board.

posted by: streever on July 23, 2013  8:37am

I am sure that Harries will do a good job, but I am disappointed that the board conducted a farcical search when they’d already made up their minds. It wasn’t fair to the other candidates, and I’m disappointed in the Board.

Mr Scott in particular, who grew up in poverty and has faced challenges that most members of the board can’t even begin to fathom, presumably spent money & time to campaign in good faith for a job that he thought he had an honest chance of winning.

To deceive him, Cash, and the other candidates was morally wrong, and there is no mitigation of that. There is no end result that justifies it.

AT the very least, the Board should have had the decency and the honesty to tell the candidates involved that they had a very strong local candidate.

This is why New Haven needs a strong ethics commission: this was an unethical move, and the board should have been advised that it was unethical before they did it.

posted by: Teachergal on July 23, 2013  9:08am

LOL, what a surprise! And to all those feeling sorry for the other two applicants, this is what happens to NH teachers all the time. They interview for jobs that have already been filled by other people who are connected. The process is a sham. Qualifications and education mean nothing. It has always been who you know in NH and as far as I cam see it remains the same. So, congratulations to Garth, good luck, and to the others so sorry for your wasted time.

posted by: BornandraisedschooledinNewHaven on July 23, 2013  10:25am

Unfortunately it’s the way new haven has been operating for years. Wait to you see the mess that the next Mayor and/or the Superintendent will have to clean up after this regime leaves, keep your eyes open!

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on July 23, 2013  11:08am

We have all taught our children to work hard in school to prepare for a better future. Education is the key to success. To get a good job, get a good education. Education is the doorway to upward mobility. Hard work pays off. Knowledge is power. The more you know the farther you"ll go.
The New Haven Board of Education has taught our children a different lesson: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.”

posted by: Blue on July 23, 2013  11:30am

True that is spot on.  New Haven has far too many assistant superintendents, department directors and instructional coaches who serves as go-fors and pets to their principals.  Resources should be put into the kids through schools.  New Haven already has enough queen bees; it needs more worker bees.

Garth was absolutely run out of NY.  How can he possibly have a grip on the issues of urban education when he taught for merely a year in a private school and had a class size that is only a third of most class sizes in New Haven schools?

In any case, here’s hoping he’ll hold principals as accountable as Reggie Mayo did teachers.  That would be a refreshing change.  Garth could start at Celentano and Troup, both of which have inexperienced principals with poor track records, as indicated by the poor school climate surveys and microscopic academic progress.

Garth needs to look closely at the staff turnover rates at Celentano and Troup.  Both figures are incredulously when you think about establishing continuity and relationship-building opportunities for students.

It’s not a matter of them “weeding out” bad teachers.  How could that be when so many people leave and flourish in other schools and districts?  Or when the academic progress of those schools is microscopic leaving them far behind the city and state averages?  Or when their school climate surveys are consistently poor?

Of course, Garth wouldn’t have to do all that if the teachers’ union stopped protecting these two principals.  But then, why rock the boat when your name’s in lights?  Kids Last.

posted by: speakingthetruth on July 23, 2013  12:45pm

Excellent post by True That.  Do yourself a favor and scroll up and read that post.  Its all about who you know not what you are made of when it comes to New Haven education and politics.  The fact that Harries got the job doesn’t surprise me in the least as I knew the whole “search” was an expensive dog and pony show but to choose Harries with some many red flags on his resume is the stunner.  Its too bad New Haven cant attract any genuinely qualified candidates for Superintendent.  Probably has something to do with the overall dysfunction in the various systems as a whole.

posted by: FacChec on July 23, 2013  2:38pm

My apology to both Dr(s). Scott and Case. You were not too good for New Haven; New Haven is not good enough for you. Thank you for your effort to introduce New Haven to the possibility of a real educational experience.
For sure, you will do well elsewhere for those in need of real change and improvement.

Alex Johnson of all people, the guy critical of the New Haven education policy for years, has switched jerseys and now proclaims;
Harries “is the candidate of change—the one who is best positioned to make dramatic impact,” Really?

What has changed is the no child left behind standard ...New Haven passed them all, even the adults… replaced by the nationally funded and state supplemented School reform.
Board Member Liz Torre said to the New Haven Register: “My decision was based on Garth’s knowledge of our district and Garth’s knowledge of our students”. How pathetic is that.

“Harries beat out 65 competitors in the search. Board member Mike Nast said he was struck by the “passion” Harries showed in his speech Saturday.
Imagine that, beating out 65 competitors while having zero experience in any of the prerequisite areas.

I don’t know what happened along the way, where the demand had always been for the candidate with the most education the most exceptional experience, only to be cast aside by New Haven for…in the words of Dr. Carlos Torre to the NHR….
“We’re not where we want to be, nor where we need to be, but of the 66 candidates, the one we selected can get us there the fastest”.
Ok, we are in year two of the five year reform plan…tick, tock, tick, tock.

posted by: Hemp_Shirt_Rocker on July 23, 2013  4:02pm

The censorship pen is WAY too heavy on this site. The overseers need to (re)read their own policies. Going to “My Left Nutmeg” from now on, a superior site.

posted by: urban ed on July 23, 2013  5:21pm

Garth now has a one-yr appointment. De facto ‘interim’ That’s all the charter allows.

There is a well established precedent in this country for hiring superintendents with no teaching and/or edschool credentials. Usually these hires are hailed as change agents. Often, they faceplant.

In contrast, Garth is a *learner*. He’s studied the district: Its community, teachers, school leaders, politics, structure, and most importantly…kids. He listens before he speaks and builds consensus before he acts.

Many of us were skeptical when he arrived in town. Most of those skeptics are now converts, and will do our utmost to follow his informed, inclusive leadership.

You know what else? We’re pretty comfortable telling him when he’s full of crap and we can do that without fear of reprisal and most of the time he will at least listen to us. That’s a breath of fresh air.

His work on the eval process and leadership trajectory demonstrate that he is working hard to ensure quality reigns in the classroom and main office. Those cases where these systems have been circumvented are not attributable to him. So get ready for change there.

And congratulations to Garth on his one-yr contract. He’s earned it through diligent work. I think he will surprise many of the current commentariat. Just as he has surprised many of his district colleagues.

And yes. The search was a sham. Anyone who studies the district felt this when Garth was appointed and KNEW it when Doc retired and the search parameters were set. I’ve said as much in this forum. The BOE sux. Not for picking the wrong candidate, cuz they didn’t, but for not exhibiting the guts to appoint Garth outright and save the community and the other sacrificial candidates the expense of this sham search.

And for those who insist on harping on Garth’s lack of a P, Ed, whatevs (h)D., (if bothers you that much, he has a JD, so might we call him ‘doctor’ anyway?) Shut up. Those degrees are mostly BS. Teachers know this.

posted by: Threefifths on July 23, 2013  9:34pm

posted by: urban ed on July 23, 2013 5:21pm

And for those who insist on harping on Garth’s lack of a P, Ed, whatevs (h)D., (if bothers you that much, he has a JD, so might we call him ‘doctor’ anyway?) Shut up. Those degrees are mostly BS. Teachers know this.it is B


And if Those degrees are mostly BS. Then why are J D who take over the public school give a Waiver.

My bad.If they can be BS.Look at what happen.
Judge rules Bridgeport superintendent not eligible to run school district

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas
Friday, June 28, 2013

http://www.ctmirror.org/story/judge-rules-bridgeport-superintendent-not-eligible-run-school-district

posted by: True that on July 24, 2013  7:51am

@urban Ed,  I am curious as to what evidence you ave that his initial critics have been converted.  You may be converted, but I remain critical for the reasons I outlined above, and these additional concerns:

1) how do you design a superior teacher evaluation process if you never even evaluated a teacher?

2) a leadership trajectory?  You mean the program where our teachers go to a charter school and learn from uncertified school administrators that’s paid fr by a federal government grant that was earned through a political quid pro quo involving the teacher evaluation program ?

3) there is not one scintilla of evidence that the teacher evaluation process has improved student learning.  In fact, anyone who knows even the most basic research regarding school improvement knows that you cannot evaluate teachers to get better performance.  Teachers perform better when they are supported, given scientifically research based professional development, and have principals who know about teaching and learning, and treat them as adults.

4) teachers do not believe the teacher evaluation model helps to improve their instruction.

5) Garth has proven unable to connect with certain types of people - especially the “little people” (I.e those who don’t work in Central Office). 

6) the superintendent’s most important job is hiring the right people.  Garth has no experience hiring people, and no idea of how to develop talent.


Finally, it is truly sad when the two top most qualified candidates were African-American, in an urban area, and a white man with fewer credentials is selected.  I am not just talking about the Ph.D issue, I mean teaching, being a school leader and connecting with the community.

posted by: Brutus2011 on July 24, 2013  8:47am

We all need to wait and see who is elected mayor in November and what the new administration decides to do about the BOE and NHPS.

Garth Harries was the only logical choice under the circumstances.

The BOE pulled another dog and pony show thus continuing their near-contempt for transparency with the public they are supposed to serve.

Instead of asking questions about the so-called leader of the pack, we should be pressing for complete transparency of education spending. For example, no one except for Mayor DeStefano and Dr. Mayo knows what the line by line spending is for NHPS. Even the BOA cannot find out.

Something is amiss if we can’t find out the precise spending of an institution with a budget of almost 400 million dollars.

Find that out and I bet we will quickly forget who is superintendent.

posted by: teacherNHPS1 on July 24, 2013  8:52am

I have taught in both urban and suburban districts, and I have seen more of Garth in my school than any other super, ever. He is in schools and listens to the teachers voices. No matter the doubters say, he is right for the job.

As to the others, what does race or gender have to do with qualifications? If a person is right for the job, they are right. Look beyond the surface, do they:
1) Have what it takes to put kids first?
2) Do they put the right people in the leadership positions?
3) Do they play political favorites?
4) Do they listen to the students, parents, teachers, administration, and community?
5) Do they make the decisions that are right, despite politic?

I think that my interactions with Garth, he meet these qualifications, but what do I know, I am a teacher.

As a teacher I have the right to teach where I want to, I came to New Haven by CHOICE! I am not bound to the district, like some tend to believe. I put kids first, challenge them to: * BELIEVE in themselves
* NOT TO ACCEPT, where they are and they can succeed
* RESPECT themselves and others
* Show KINDNESS towards themselves and others
I use my content to embed these values into my students, and this is no different than I raise my own children.
I feel that I have a leader who shares my same views and that is someone I can work for.

posted by: Threefifths on July 24, 2013  9:39am

posted by: teacherNHPS1 on July 24, 2013 8:52am

I have taught in both urban and suburban districts, and I have seen more of Garth in my school than any other super, ever. He is in schools and listens to the teachers voices. No matter the doubters say, he is right for the job.

That was when he was not the Superintendent of schools.Ask the parents and teachers in New York about his record. look at his statement rom the New York Times.

There are already 27 charter schools inside traditional public school buildings, Mr. Harries said, and 10 more such placements are planned in the next school year. That right he put Charter schools in side the public schools.and New haven you better get ready for the same.Look who is on the board of National Association of Charter School Authorizers.You got it.

https://www.qualitycharters.org/about/board-of-directors

Garth Harries (Board Term 2011-2014)
Assistant Superintendent for Portfolio and Performance Management, New Haven Public Schools (Connecticut)

Garth Harries was appointed Assistant Superintendent for Portfolio and Performance Management in New Haven Public Schools in Connecticut in 2009. Previously, Garth was Chief Executive for Portfolio Development at the New York City Department of Education. Harries also served as CEO of the Office of New Schools (now part of the Office of Portfolio Development), creating 269 new small secondary schools and 63 charter schools between 2003 and 2008.Do you know what there mission is.The mission of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers is to achieve the establishment and operation of quality charter schools through responsible oversight in the public interest.

I feel that I have a leader who shares my same views and that is someone I can work for.

Do you share the same view.

In fact get ready for the NEW York Crew to come to New Haven.

posted by: urban ed on July 24, 2013  9:43am

@True:  Like you, I can only report on what I’ve observed, and on the numerous conversations I’ve had within the district at all levels. I’m just one guy; it’s a given that ‘your mileage may vary.’ To your points (this answer will require multiple posts):

1.  how do you design a superior teacher evaluation process if you never even evaluated a teacher? You solicit the input of many teachers and their union, which was the genesis of the TEVAL.

2.  a leadership trajectory?  … the program where our teachers go to a charter school and learn from uncertified school administrators that’s paid fr by a federal government grant that was earned through a political quid pro quo involving the teacher evaluation program ? You’re referring to one part of the trajectory: The Residency Program, which results in participants earning their 092 admin certification in place of a grad school program. There are also other, larger parts: for teacher leaders, teacher leaders who wish to become administrators, and administrators who wish to move up the ranks.

3.  there is not one scintilla of evidence that the teacher evaluation process has improved student learning.  In fact, anyone who knows even the most basic research regarding school improvement knows that you cannot evaluate teachers to get better performance.  Teachers perform better when they are supported, given scientifically research based professional development, and have principals who know about teaching and learning, and treat them as adults. Absolutely correct. Which is why the TEVAL process provides a structure for delivering that support….that’s meant to be the central part of the process! Obviously it is not yet being appropriately practiced by all school leaders. But the district is riding herd on us with training and coaching and accountability to ensure uniformity and propriety of practice by all of us.

posted by: urban ed on July 24, 2013  9:44am

Continued:


4.  teachers do not believe the teacher evaluation model helps to improve their instruction. Unless they do. See point 3. This is a work in progress. The teachers I supervise and evaluate know that out interactions are about supporting better practice. Not ‘gotcha.’

5.  Garth has proven unable to connect with certain types of people - especially the “little people” (I.e those who don’t work in Central Office). Gets back to my initial point. Your observations differ from mine.

6.  the superintendent’s most important job is hiring the right people.  Garth has no experience hiring people, and no idea of how to develop talent. First, that’s untrue on its face (see point 2). Further…that doesn’t happen in a vacuum, unless you’re Reggie Mayo. Garth has spent four years learning what to do…but also what NOT to do. He’ll solicit and internalize the input of his stakeholders in hiring decisions. Indeed he has already done that, and those hires he has been able to influence have been super!

7.  Finally, it is truly sad when the two top most qualified candidates were African-American, in an urban area, and a white man with fewer credentials is selected.  I am not just talking about the Ph.D issue, I mean teaching, being a school leader and connecting with the community. Credentials do not equal qualification. Race is not an indicator of ability. Can study, interaction, listening and learning make up for the fact that Garth has never been a public school teacher or school leader? Where Garth is concerned, based on my observations of him, I’d say yes. He’s got one year to prove it. I think he will.

posted by: True that on July 25, 2013  7:14am

@urban Ed,  I ave always appreciated and respected your posts.  They are consistently honest, logical and results-oriented.  And while we disagree on Garth, I will always hold your post in high esteem.  With that said, let me address some of the issues you raised:

- you work with teachers and the unions to design a teacher evaluation process if you have never done one.  By that logic, I could improve surgery by working with doctors and the AMA even though I am never performed a surgery.  Not likely, is it?  First,Imma Canelli, the other assistant superintendent who actually taught that no one ever mentions, played a critical role in the development of the process.  And I will say again, teachers are not finding that the process is improving their obstruction, or student learning. 

- You can talk about a leadership trajectory all you want, it’s New Haven and
politics have trumped competence for the last 20 years.  Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone who got a job in New Haven engaged in pay for okay (wink wink), but I do know that such a policy is well-established in New Haven.  When you know as many educators in the system as I do, a very clear picture emerges.  Couple that with real evidence from the personnel department, and members of interview committees, then a clear picture emerges about your so-called leadership trajectory.

- the tval process allows for secondary evaluators from an educational company.  There is no requirement that these complimentary evaluators be certified, and God knows how effective they have been at other schools before becoming complementary evaluators.  Unless the district develops a long term plan to fundamentally change the principalship and assistant principalship so that they are spending so much time engrossed in administrivia and paperwork all day, there will always be questions about the efficacy of teacher evaluation.
- It is a gotha process.  The union completely sold teachers out, giving principals the opportunity

posted by: True that on July 25, 2013  7:33am

Capriciously transfer them at will.  Teachers should never work in school environments where fear rules the day.

- our experiences differ regarding Garh’s connectedness.  Maybe so, but it is a common refrain in the black community that Garth seems uncomfortable around black people.  One has to wonder about his life experiences:  did he grow up around black people?  Go to school with any? Socialize with black people?  Will he care about diversity in the workforce?  Can he understand that what goes in the Black community actually impacts schools?  The proof will be in the pudding, and we should all watch very carefully as he hires people.

If you think for one second that Garth had any influence over hiring, you are either overly optimistic or easily fooled.  Mayo and the Mayor, more so the Mayor, decided who would be hired.  There were many talented, bright people who interviewed in New Haven, only to be hired in other districts that had real openings.  New haven has a long history of posting jobs that were already filled before the posting even went up.  Garth will find himself unable to hold up to the political pressures of the superintendence because now, it won’t be about his wonkiness, but about his ability to successfully navigate a rugged political terrain.

-finally, it’s easy for whites to say that race shouldn’t matter because they benefit from white skin privilege, as did Garth.  I find it impossible to believe that a black person with inferior credentials would be hired over two white candidates with far more experience and who are better credentialed.  If you disagree with that, you must not live in America.  Yes, race does matter.  And while I do not believe that people should be hired because of their race, let me ask you this:  If the races of the candidates were reversed, and they were competing in Avon, Darien, Trumbull or Greenwhich, would Garth had been chosen?  Just reflect on that and tell me again that race doesn’t matter.

-

posted by: urban ed on July 25, 2013  10:21am

@True: Thank-you. The respect is mutual. I find myself wishing we could continue this conversation over a beer someplace. It’s clear we’ve seen a lot of the same stuff—sometimes come away with different conclusions. Also its clear we’ve seen some different stuff which has shaped our opinions. In spite of the fact that I’ve been here working and living in New Haven for a very long time (perspective on my suspicion of outside candidates…my experience during the John Dow years) It is a fact that I come from a white rural/suburban upbringing. Which means for all my study and thought, I will always be a rank amateur when it comes to racial issues. But just as I am committed to living my life, pursuing my career, and raising my kids (proud NHPS students of a neighborhood school) here, I am also committed to personal growth in this area. Thank you for giving me some rich stuff to think about.

posted by: Brutus2011 on July 25, 2013  5:13pm

to “urban ed:”

I realize that you extended an invitation to another to discuss urban education here.

I would like to meet with you over coffee and have such a conversation.

If interested, please post in the affirmative and I will post how to contact me.

posted by: Tom Burns on July 26, 2013  2:26am

I have soo much to say—but I refuse to respond to simple opinions of posters who have no idea of what is going on—and have their own negative agenda—simply said-Garth Harries is the most sought after school leader in America—not because of NY but because of New Haven—he has no peer other than Ravitch or Darling_Hammond who I hope he appoints as his Asst Super to continue to facilitate all his/our initiatives—for he is practically irreplaceable in his former position—True—take your race issues and throw them out the window and come back to reality—all Garth thinks about everyday is diversity—but how could you know this? So postulate from afar and try to validate your own existence or be a real professional and call Garth and have a talk—(the funny thing is—he will actually answer)—I’m done, I am happy, I am content and we have a lot more to accomplish—Tom

posted by: Teachergal on July 26, 2013  8:46am

Tom burns quotes…..he has no peer other than Ravitch or Darling_Hammond who I hope he appoints as his Asst Super to continue to facilitate all his/our initiatives.

Wow Tom, as a HUGE fan of both, that would really help turn things around in NH, BUT neither Diane or Linda would not buy into New Haven’s testing initiatives. Additionally, charter schools are definitely not part of their view for American education. Let’s hope you are right and he brings their mindset into NH and we might begin to see some real change.

posted by: urban ed on July 26, 2013  10:19am

@Brutus: I would welcome that.

posted by: Brutus2011 on July 26, 2013  10:54am

to “urban ed:”
Thank you for accepting my offer.

Perhaps you could email me at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Or suggest another way….

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