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The Hunt Begins
by Thomas MacMillan | Feb 26, 2013 9:05 am
Posted to: Schools
Now that Reggie Mayo’s retirement intentions are official, the Board of Ed Monday night plotted out a plan to find a new superintendent of schools.
The Board of Ed voted to appoint itself as the official search committee for the next superintendent. Board of Ed members will conduct a national search for a successor, whom they hope to have in place by July 1, when Mayo steps down after two decades as superintendent.
Mayo announced his retirement plans last week. He’ll be ending his tenure six months before Mayor John DeStefano, who will close out his final term and step down after 20 years in office.
The school board Monday night appointed several members to quickly draft either a request for proposals (RFP) or request for qualifications (RFQ) to begin the process of hiring a consulting firm to assist with the national search.
Board Chair Carlos Torre said he’s unsure how much it will cost to hire such a firm, but estimated it at about $50,000. That’s an unavoidable expense, he said. “We’ve got to do a national search. That’s usually the going rate.”
School board members expressed their intention to have an open process with lots of opportunity for public input. Torre mentioned the ongoing charter revision process as a model. The special commission looking at revising the city charter has held a number of lengthy public meetings to gather input from neighbors throughout the city.
Torre said it’s important to avoid a gap between Mayo’s departure and his successor’s start. The city has too many important school reform efforts underway to not have a superintendent in place, he said.
At least one candidate is guaranteed to be available to take the reins in July: Assistant Superintendent Garth Harries.
Torre said Harries will be an applicant in the mix like any other. Harries has taken the leading day-to-day role in directing New Haven’s ambitious school reform drive; he is considered a leading contender for the superintendent’s post.
Click here to read Mayo’s advice for his successor.
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I wonder will Michelle Rhee Or Joel Klein who is a good friend of Garth Harries will apply.
So, they put out an RFP “quickly,” then wait for proposals, review proposals, and pick a vendor to facilitate the national search. How long does that take? A month? More?
The executive search firm perfects the job description with the Board, posts it, collects applications, vets them, maybe does preliminary interviews, eventually makes some recommendations to the Board. How long does that take? Three months minimum? How much time to we have to allow to be sure that the national audience had time to find the posting?
Now we’re in June. And we still don’t have a superintendent in place. Wouldn’t it be more realistic for the Board to name an interim superintendent and take the time needed to do this process right?
Although I understand the school board needs to conduct a national search, it would seem that Garth Harries has been working hard for the schools to really make a difference in the city. I cant imagine a better candidate coming forward. He knows our schools, he knows our kids and he has worked well with the teachers in the city. Leading up the reform drive in this city was a challenging job - but he has been committed to it. I hope he is considering staying. Will be interesting to see how it plays out.
posted by: Tom Burns on February 27, 2013 12:28am
We will do a national search, of course, at a cost——we already have the best candidate possible right here in New Haven—so lets save the money—there are no better candidates—anywhere—Garth Harries has proved his worth and if we lose him—well—we just lost Babe Ruth—-and other urban districts know this and can’t wait to pick him up—-he will have offers—he already does—-but he believes in New Haven—he believes in our kids, our parents, our teachers, our administrators, our PLAN and he has earned our respect—without accolades for himself—quietly making a difference—a BIG difference—as the VP of the teachers union I had my doubts—but he has proven his mettle and has earned the trust of all—Garth Harries is the real deal—-He’s a keeper—Tom Burns
Be very careful with regard to Harries. He is a graduate of the Broad Foundation superintendent training academy. Do some research. Its a program that is mired in controversy. Parents should read the following link very carefully:
Do your homework folks. New Haven should go after the best possible candidate…not necessarily someone who is already in-house and has ties to the old regime. Make it a national search, make it competitive, and do what is right for the students and teachers of New Haven.
Well, this is depressing. After school board members attend the charter revision public hearings talking about how inclusive they are to public input, they appoint only themselves to the search committee and plan a rushed 3-month process.
Consider this my vote of no-confidence in the process.