“Tonight Has Been An Embarrassment”

Christopher Peak PhotoBoard of Education members spent the bulk of their latest meeting squabbling over minor details about how the superintendent search process should continue: For nearly two hours, they argued about scheduling an end date in November for a final selection and adding two extra members to an advisory committee.

The rancor — which included member Darnell Goldson being told he was “out of order,” two other members being called “lame ducks,” and Ed Joyner temporarily renouncing his duties as president — looked similar to the infighting at recent meetings, where members have differed on whether internal candidates should have been interviewed, even though a search firm deemed them comparatively unqualified. Once again, at L.W. Beecher School on Tuesday night, the board members attacked each other, deadlocked in an even split, and finally came to some compromise, at Che Dawson’s suggestion.

But the drawn-out discussion earned the school board a particularly brutal lashing from observers, who called the meeting infuriating and embarrassing, as well as an admonition from one of its own members.

Like his predecessor Coral Ortiz before him, non-voting student representative Jacob Spell had to remind his colleagues to act like grown-ups. The senior at Cortlandt V.R. Creed High School said that, given the limited student involvement in the search process, he’d informally polled fellow students. They’re following along with the political drama on the board, he said, and they’re disappointed.

“Many students think there’s a lack of organization. They question how long our school system can go without a permanent superintendent. It looks like things are becoming more about the adults than the students,” Spell said in his report. “A lack of consensus that’s being conveyed by the board, from the student perspective, is discouraging. Because how can we expect consistency every day in class, when the students don’t see that being displayed by the people that expect it from them?

“Going forward, we need to ensure that we are moving in a more realistic and timely manner and making sure that we are choosing only the most qualified candidates,” he continued. “Disagreement is actually a good thing, because through the sum of our differences, hopefully we’ll reach the best outcome for our students. It’s just important that we disagree in a productive manner, so that things can actually get done. At the end of the day, I just want to fight for what’s best for the students, because that’s what I signed up to do.”

Before Spell weighed in, the board fought from 5:30-7:05 p.m about how to restart the superintendent search process.

Over the previous two weeks, board members had sent out competing schedules to the press, but each was soon retracted for not having the full board’s approval. Leading up to Tuesday, the three search subcommittee co-chairs — Goldson, Dawson and Torre — had tried to arrive at some consensus on dates to no avail.

Goldson, outnumbered on the subcommittee, brought his proposal to the full board. According to his calendar, three more forums would be held by Oct. 21, finalists would be picked by Nov. 5, a selection would be made by Nov. 13, and a contract would be negotiated by Nov. 27.

The benefit, he said, was more public participation. Dawson and Torre, in response, suggested everything moved up by two weeks to allow time for background checks and to wrap up the process before the holidays. Both of their terms will also expire at year’s end, leading Goldson to call them “lame duck members.”

Eventually, after an hourlong back-and-forth, Dawson proposed splitting the difference and moving the proposed end date to Nov. 20. Goldson agreed, and the entire board approved it unanimously.

“If the Congress actually debated this way and actually came up with something, we’d be a much better country,” Joyner commented, right after the vote. “Next item on the agenda—“

“Mr. President,” Goldson interjected, “I’m not finished with the superintendent update.”

In a second motion, which would take up another half-hour of consideration, Goldson proposed that the search committee be expanded. Four union reps, an alder and a parent had all been approved already, but Goldson wanted to include Jamell Cotto, the incoming school board member recently approved by the alders; one more parent; and — controversially — two picks from Mayor Toni Harp, essentially as stand-ins until they’d replace Dawson and Torre.

Harp seconded the motion.

On this issue, the Board of Education split into the two camps that have been divided since the beginning of the process: Goldson and Harp, who’ve eased the process for internal applicants, against Joyner and Torre, who prefer the most experienced outsider. One group didn’t want the other to tip a hiring decision by packing the panel.

Goldson argued that the mayor should get extra say, because of the constituencies she represented. “She’s been elected by and reelected by the citizens of 30 wards in this city,” he said. At one point, Harp whispered to Goldson that he should remove the language because she didn’t want to be attacked about this. But on the microphone, she defended the motion by noting that the committee was just advisory, and that the school board would still get the final say.

Torre argued:  “Until Dec. 31, at 11:59:59 p.m., Mr. Dawson and I are full members of this board, and we will exercise our responsibilities until that very last moment. So if the mayor wants to name some people in our places, as she has the right to do and she will be doing, they can come on some other way.”

And Joyner, who had railed against the mayor’s previous presidency on the board as a power grab, said that all the members are equal representatives. He added that he’d also been elected to represent half the city.

Joyner proposed that all the school board members be allowed to appoint one additional member, if the mayor was going to get two. That was shot down, in a tie 3-3 vote.

After Dawson asked several follow-up questions about what constituent group that Harp felt was missing, Goldson amended the motion. The mayor would still get two picks, but they wouldn’t necessarily be the next school board appointees and that they’d have to be medical professionals or experts in socio-emotional learning. Dawson switched sides, and on another vote, the motion passed 4-2.

The board also heard from the Educators Collective, a group of teachers who prepared a statement about what they’d like to see in the next superintendent. They argue that New Haven schools should spend less money on outside consultants, partnerships with charter organizations, and standardized-test prep, and more money on teachers, nurses, and guidance counselors, and trauma specialists helping students succeed. Click here to read the full statement, and here for a previous story and WNHH radio interview about the group’s positions.

After the votes, Florence Caldwell, a mainstay who usually preaches about maintaining civility at board meetings, said she was deeply upset by the way the board had conducted the meeting.

“Tonight was an embarrassment to parents,” she said. “The display that was done tonight doesn’t even befit you as board members. This meeting took two hours longer than what it should have taken.”

Tags: , ,

Post a Comment

Commenting has closed for this entry


posted by: THREEFIFTHS on October 11, 2017  8:19am

Gary Highsmith for schools superintendent .

posted by: LookOut on October 11, 2017  8:28am

....and we wonder why the New Haven education system has such poor results….with this sort of incompetent nonsense at the top, there is little hope of decent results.

Wouldn’t it be great in some future (likely fictional) world, the board of ed spends its time talking about how to better educate the students?

posted by: GroveStreet on October 11, 2017  8:46am

What has the mayor promised Goldson? How much does it take to sell out the students in the district?

posted by: connecticutcontrarian on October 11, 2017  8:56am

Deep Sigh. So much maneuvering and bickering and still nothing is done to support students in the district facing massive budget cuts and a general retreat from funding public education.

Kudos to Jacob Spell and Coral Ortiz before him. The student reps have better attendance records, better insight, stronger civility, and a deeper commitment to ACTION over personal agenda than the adults on the Board. They should be full voting members. Along with Blatteau as a voting member on behalf of educators

posted by: Dwightstreeter on October 11, 2017  9:37am

Having watch Dan Malloy and Toni Harp muscle their way onto School Boards, it is clear that mayors do not belong on them. They only increase the political maneuverings around political goals and do not advance education one bit.
  Leslie Blatteau and the New Haven Educator’s Collective are focused on ideas and programs that would make a difference.
  The ongoing psychodrama that is the Board of Education is a total waste of time and the Mayor owns it.
  Blatteau should run for election next time. Competence always embarrasses the others.

posted by: Brutus2011 on October 11, 2017  10:05am

I am numb to adult shenanigans re: the BOE and NHPS managers…

this has been going on for decades…

It is the citizenry that allows this bullsh*t; paying high salaries and benefits for obfuscation and disappointing results from fiascos of busing the kids to low SAT scores.

This is not rocket science ...

Change the top (not only the superintendent) ...

let’s see how that works.

Oh, and let’s get someone in who knows the law and who can work to have the Ct Assembly pass legislation friendly to real education reform.

And, can we somehow separate the superintendent from the mayor’s office?

posted by: RobertBaratheon on October 11, 2017  10:48am

I am awestruck by how little Toni Harp thinks of the residents of New Haven.

How obvious can she make her political patronage before enough is enough?

Just pick the most qualified candidate instead of whoever the job was promised to already.

Also glad to see the student rep Jacob Spell speak up in the meeting, the adults need to hear some reason sometimes

posted by: BetweenTwoRocks on October 11, 2017  10:55am

I’ve generally been a Harp supporter, but her political maneuvering here is totally gross. If the search committee feels an external candidate is better qualified, but all of our crony politicians demand an internal candidate… I’m starting to think an external candidate is clearly the better option.

Given, I don’t know much about Boards of Education, but this strikes me as cronyism at its worst.

posted by: EducateourchildrenNH on October 11, 2017  11:08am

Going to these meetings is an interesting experience. We will certainly see people aggressively advocate for positions that they believe are in the best interest of the discredit.

@GroveStreet. I’m not sure why you would suggest that the mayor has offered Goldson anything. I’ve been attending these meetings for years now, and I found that his position as been consistent throughout his term on the board. He has pushed for transparency, as well as a strict following of the rules. When the mayor chaired the BOE, he rightly held her to account when she tried to ignore the rules and revaluations, as well make the BOE another department under her control. He is now holding Joyner to the same standards. I sadly have to admit that Joyner has been 10 times worse than the mayor in his leadership of the BOE. He has become a dictator with some sort of Napolean complex. He actually told Goldson that he was out of order for attempting to hold a quiet side discussion with Dawson while Joyner went on one of his 15 minute soliloquies, and ORDERED him to sit down. I’ve never seen anything like it in a democratic society. I can’t imagine that he will serve more than 6 months as Chair of the BOE. Sad, considering the fact that he is probably one not the greatest educational minds sitting on that board.

posted by: EducateourchildrenNH on October 11, 2017  11:22am

Things I learned last night but not reported by the press:

1. Joyner demanded that Goldson sit through his diatribe, forcing Goldson to ask for “a pass” to use the rest room

2. The search company is headed by a man who has no experience leading superintendent searches. Apparently he has a degree on ACCOUNTING, worked for IBM for 35 years, led a defunct web developing company, and is the leader of a consulting company that has no contact info as well a webpage that doesn’t work.

3. Joyner and Torre will argue against any proposal that Goldson suggests

4.  The teachers collective DOES NOT represent teachers in New Haven. Additional, from their attendance last night, it appears that the don’t have any minority teachers as members

5. Despite the jabs at Goldson, he seems to get things done. He led the opposition when Garth was superintendent and almost always got his motions passed, and now he has figured out a way to get the mayor, Redente and Dawson to vote with him when it counts. Impressive.

posted by: kenny joyner on October 11, 2017  12:17pm

I attended the meeting last evening and I fully endorse the report by student board member Jacob Spell and the comments by his mother, Maritza Baez, recorded in the NHR. ““The superintendent search is becoming a total fiasco and a circus of political gibberish and smoke and mirrors,” said Spell’s mother,
The BOE is budgeted and approved by the Mayor and BOA to receive in excess of $400M in ECS, city pilot funds, state & federal grants , as well as dozens of philtropical grants. Currently the BOE is spending at the same clip as FY 16/17, even though they have received no assurances of funding levels from the state of CT. As the bubget unfolds this board has spent the last two meeting arguing over five amendments, two last evening engulfing up to three hours.

Ilegality #1

Amendment #1 is a Goldson(chair of the search committee) amendment - a proposal to the full board recommendng three more forums be held by Oct. 21, finalists would be picked by Nov. 5, a selection would be made by Nov. 13, and a contract would be negotiated by Nov. 27. With time fram modifications this amendent passed.
What is being completely ignored by Goldson, the mayor , Dawson and Rendente is that the board has a signed contract with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates that is in full compliance. There are no provisions in the contract which allows the board to arbitraily and unilaterraly take over the search responsibilities with out first opting out of the contract with a 21 day notice, or, renegoiting an extension of the search criteria to re-include candidates already rejected by the consultant, and had already reported it’s findings to the Board. However as the minutes of Sept 25th report, both the mayor and Goldson did not attend when these issues were discussed on Sept 11th.

posted by: kenny joyner on October 11, 2017  12:53pm

Continued: (excuse the spelling errors in the first post- did not spell check).

Illegality #2

“We’re not equal,” Goldson said of the board. He said the city’s voters gave Harp more authority to control the city’s schools by electing her as the top representative. Nonsense. The city voters gave Harp no such advantage. The city Charter provides that the Mayor is a member of all boards (appox. 33) in the city. The Mayor cannot be the overload having two selections to the search committee because of her elected position, and then have a vote to reinforce that illegality. As Joyner pointed out, he is also an elected rep. but has no such extra powers. From the charter:
Sec. 3. - Membership on Boards and Commissions.
A. General Rule 179. The Mayor may serve as a member of every Board or Commission of an executive or administrative nature as may be established by the General Statutes, this Charter, the Ordinances or executive order, so long as there is no conflict with Law. Said Mayor shall have the power to vote on all matters before any of said Boards or Commissions in accordance with the provisions hereof.
In a point of order the Mayor herself pointed out that “this board does a number of things which are illegal and out of order. Above are two of those examples.
The major problem for residents parents and interested parties remains, do we listen to a hired consultant under contract who Goldson said it’s head member was unqualified, or do we listen to a board of education who is violating its contract by now becoming the third search consultant and who is no more qualified than the consultant Goldson called “Just an accountant”.
What is hoped by the input of student’s teachers, parents and interested parties who attended this meeting and was vigilant to the end is that this selection does not end in the process that delivered the unqualified candidate in 2008… Harries.


posted by: Owlette on October 11, 2017  1:12pm

Well I think EducateourchildrenNH has been attending a different board meeting than the ones I have been attending, or maybe it’s just that we didn’t receive the same message out of the CHAOS that these board meetings have become. Goldson has not been consistent with his position at all. When he first came on he had one main focus and it was to get rid of Garth. Oh wait he has been consistent with his arrogant demeanor, lack of respect, thinking that his point of views are always right, on his cell phone when his fellow board members are talking, terrible attitude with the public, unprofessional by getting up in the middle of a meeting to have a sidebar with a board member who just walked in (didn’t even have the chance to sit down) then having the nerve to act so childish to mention if he needed permission to use the bathroom. My bad, Goldson calls all that nonsense DEMOCRACY give me a break!  He had the nerve to say that he wanted answers to why we didn’t have any Connecticut (*the candidate that the Mayor, Kimber, and Goldson want elected) is not in the final six. He should have came to the meetings he boycotted and he could of had his answer then.

Things I learned at the meeting last night:
1. Our students are losing out and might never be the priority
2. The Mayor is up to no good like she was with the Police department, Fire department, and the poor employees she unfairly dismissed from City Hall. (why does she have to create so much unnecessary drama)
3. Goldson doesn’t have our students best interest he is only looking out for himself (let’s stay tuned to see the perks he receives for selling his soul to the Mayor and Kimber!)
4. The student members are better fit to vote than the Mayor and Goldson.
5. Our students will pay the price for all the Mayor’s political agenda
6. The Mayor has to get off that board ( she is not for our student)
PS: It was so nice that Kimber was not at the meeting ( its good to get breathers from his nonsense)

posted by: EducateourchildrenNH on October 11, 2017  1:25pm

Kenny Joyner has attended 2 meetings and somehow he is some sort of expert. Unfortunately his facts are wrong.

1. He tried to infer that the BOE is ignoring the budget. WRONG, I’ve attended more than 2 meetings and I’ve seen plenty of discussion, though not enough.

2. He suggests that “there are no provisions which allows the board to take over search responsibilities.” Again, WRONG. The board alsways had control of the search process, they have farmed out certain aspects of that process to the form. They are legally tied to any results or conclusions the form draws, in fact, it would be illegal by state law for them to hand over the search to anyone, the board are fully and completely in charge of the search.

3. The majority of the board voted to give the mayor 3 additionally appointments to the search committee, you may not like it, but it is far from being illegal or counter to charter provisions.

4. Does the city of New Haven want to leave the choosing of its superintendent to an out of state accountant with mystelreious connections to some members of the BOE?

posted by: EducateourchildrenNH on October 11, 2017  2:08pm


1. If I remember correctly it was Joyner who had as a sole mission the removal of Harries
2. It was Torre who led the process who gave us Harries, and led the board for 20 years
3. If the mayor is so bad, how does she manage to get 70% of the vote in the primary, out running Joyner’s and Torre’s endorsed candidate?
4. If Goldson is so bad, how come he manages to patch together a majority for most of his motions?
5. I was at the meeting, and I saw Goldson get up and hand Dawson a copy of the motion they were discussing, how is that disrespectful (unless of course you live in Trump’s world)?
6. Joynor was the one who disrespectfully demanded that Goldson get back in his seat. He was clearly miffed that he was losing the argument and frankly lost his cool.
6. I challenge you to answer why Joyner and Torre were in such a rush to complete the process on Oct 15, the day before the new board member is due to join the board. It is because the have an external candidate they promised the job to, and are now fight to the death to still try to force that conclusion down everyone else’s throats. Fortunately for the students and teachers in this system, good overcomes evil, and their plan has been stopped cold in its tracks. 
6. Goldson on the cell phone? I never saw him on the phone. I do remember that he announced many meetings ago that he has a young daughter who leaves school late and he would have to monitor her by phone. But since you probably don’t attend many meetings you probably didn’t know that.

posted by: Owlette on October 11, 2017  2:25pm

4. Does the city of New Haven want to leave the choosing of its superintendent to an out of state accountant with mystelreious connections to some members of the BOE?

The answer is YES,YES,YES anyone would be better than leaving it up to the personal agendas and political corruption that is occurring. Better yet let’s let the student, teachers, and parents who have the best interest of the STUDENTS select. Give me a break with mysterious connections! The mysterious connections are Tony Harp, Goldson, Kimber, and disappointedly Redente I was hoping he came on to the board without corruption but I guess all it takes is an invite to a meeting at the Mayor’s office and you can’t leave the same way. You either leave disgusted of the political Bulls*** or you walk out with an offer you can’t refuse. 

My Gosh what has this world come to….

posted by: westville man on October 11, 2017  3:48pm

I submit it is precisely the political BS which is preventing the position to go to Gary Highsmith, someone who is eminently qualified and from New Haven. Some on the Board are letting personal grudges and politics get in the way.  He was not even a finalist from this “search” committee! He who pays the piper picks the tune…..

posted by: kenny joyner on October 11, 2017  3:53pm

Strange that your handle, educate our children NH, is never directly or indirectly addressed in any of your post, you didn’t even comment on the monthly reports by our two student board representatives. Maybe you had better get yourself a handle more representative of your defensive denials in the second person.
1. You write: Kenny Joyner has attended 2 meetings and somehow he is some sort of expert. Unfortunately his facts are wrong.

For the second time I repeat I am not some sort of expert, and you are far from an expert on board matters also.

2. “He tried to infer that the BOE is ignoring the budget. WRONG, I’ve attended more than 2 meetings and I’ve seen plenty of discussion, though not enough.”

I did not infer the BOE is ignoring its budget, I said quite directly that the BOE’s budget is $430M, and that they are currently spending at that clip, without an approved funding source from the city or state.

3.” He suggests that “there are no provisions which allows the board to take over search responsibilities.” Again, WRONG. The board always had control of the search process.”

Easily, verified, have the BOE lawyer who reviewed the contract before signing by the BOE, and then forward a opinion in writing. I’m not willing to go back and forth with you or contractual terms you created.

4.  The majority of the board voted to give the mayor 3 additionally appointments to the search committee, you may not like it, but it is far from being illegal or counter to charter provisions.

Yes they did, but that does not make the vote legal, the Mayor herself said “the BOE does many things illegally”.

5. “Does the city of New Haven want to leave the choosing of its superintendent to an out of state accountant with mysterious connections to some members of the BOE?

You and the board signed a contract to do just that.

posted by: positive4NH7462 on October 11, 2017  4:17pm

Given the sad state of our education system in New Haven, we need a Board that works for the children in unity.  It has to stop keeping our schools top heavy, way too many administrators throughout the city.  They need a balanced budget and end hiring friends of friends family.  Even though I like to stay positive for New Haven, this is a challenging subject for that, staying positive.  Our school system needs a major overhaul.  We need an experienced Superintendent, preferably one from New Haven and one that agrees that currently, we are failing our children. We need an open communicator that will listen to the people, and I think that it is a damn shame that we have hired an outside company that knows nothing about New Haven to pick the top position with the BOE. It’s also a shame that there is not a board that is working together, set aside their issues and work for the children of the cities future.  Right now we are doing nothing but failing our children academically.  Let’s pray there’s hope, try and stay positive for New Haven.

posted by: Flunky on October 11, 2017  4:45pm

Twice in the comments, someone mentioned Highsmith, who worked in New Haven before. In previous articles were mentioned other New Haven candidates Therrien, Garcia, and Tracy. For most of them, we can find teachers that have seen them be the kind of strict “my way or the highway” bosses that demoralize rather than lift up. There is no evidence that most of these candidates would be independent and be the kind of caring, inclusive leader that we need. If the Board is considering them, they are not keeping the needs of the system in mind at all.

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on October 11, 2017  8:55pm

Selecting a superintendent should be simple. Do a national search. Pick the best candidates. Solicit community involvement in the screening process. The Board interviews the candidates. The Board makes a decision to choose the best candidate.
Pretty simple when you follow agreed upon plans and stick to a timeline. When there is political arm twisting, secret meetings, political schemes and sabotage, board member boycotts of meetings and raw, unbridled politics injected into the process, it makes it very difficult to select a superintendent.
Selecting a superintendent is simple when everyone puts kids first!
The twisted scheme appears to be to delay selecting a superintendent until after January 2018, when new board members are in place and the experienced “lame ducks” are out of office. A plan may be floating to not have a new superintendent in place until next school year according to a statement Mayor Harp made to the Register (9/8/17). Harp said “many school board members believe if they could get someone good, they should wait until the next school year for them to arrive instead of attempting to pull them mid-year.” Most BOE member consider such a suggestion preposterous!  Although the BOE agreed last night to pick a superintendent by November 20, who knows what delay tricks Harp and company may pull out of their hats.
Back in June, the two BOE members who now loudly (Goldson, one-time chair of the Search Committee) and softly (Harp) complain that not enough has been done to get community involvement in the selection process, did ABSOLUTELY nothing from June to September to reach out to the public and promote, organize and advertise forums for public participation, even after being admonished at a BOE meeting by several members of the public. They never did anything differently to reach out to parents, teachers, students and the general public.

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on October 11, 2017  8:56pm

Part 2.
The BOE may vote to dismiss the superintendent search agency, forfeit the $30,000 in taxpayer funds paid to them to do the national search, and pick an internal or Connecticut candidate NOT recommended by the search firm. Some board members and their community co-conspirators have endeavored to slander and besmirch the reputation of this professional search firm to inject doubt and confusion in the process.
The initial goal of the BOE was to pick the best qualified and experienced candidate for superintendent, not the best local candidate whom the mayor may want to control and manipulate.
There has been no leadership from the mayor to sit down with the warring parties on the board to reach some agreement months ago. Maybe there was no desire to do that. The mayor, however, exacerbated and further delayed the selection process by boycotting several meetings along with Darnel Goldson, and by implying the board members would be willing to wait until next school year to pack a superintendent. Another board member was even approached indirectly and asked to feign illness to miss a few board meetings!
Something is seriously flawed in the current state of the superintendent search process.
It is all about power and control and not a thing about what is right and best for the students, their teachers and our schools. The parents, students, teachers and resident-taxpayers of New Haven deserve and expect better than what we have seen.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on October 11, 2017  9:45pm

posted by: Owlette on October 11, 2017 5:21pm

I don’t want to hear that Garth wasn’t from New Haven because in my book if he worked as an assistant superintendent in New Haven and was groomed by a New Havener then he was an insider when he became Superintendent!!!

You need to read the history of Garth Harries.

Garth Harries Leaves New York City, and This is a Good Thing


A man by the Name of Joel I. Klein was Garth mentor.

The Education Business: Teachers Missing At The Top


Garth Harries, who oversees the creation of new schools, has investments that total between $3.9 million and $6 million.

Read the rest.


Like I said Gary Highsmith for schools superintendent .

posted by: 1644 on October 11, 2017  10:09pm

Question: When this search firm was hired, did anyone vote against it?  I recall reading there was another search firm that was rejected, but surely there are more than two search firms that could do this job.  BTW, I don’t see any relevance as to who is the head of the firm.  My question would what other folks are in the firm and who would actually be running the search.  If this is a bad firm, that’s on the board members that selected it.
If an internal candidate was preferred, why did the board tell the search firm to give extra weight to internal candidates?  Did any of those now wanting to weight the selection suggest that when the search started?  I am not understand the allegation of promising the job to an outside candidate.  The whole point of having a professional do a nationwide search is to prevent such things.

posted by: Thomas Alfred Paine on October 11, 2017  10:13pm

Did anyone notice that Mayor Harp arrived at the BOE meeting after Darnell Goldson made his motion to introduce his time schedule for the superintendent. When very shortly after she sat down next to Goldson and Ed Joyner asked if anyone would second the motion, the newly arrived mayor seconded the motion without having had time to read Goldson’s suggested time schedule.
Did the mayor read and discuss Goldson’s proposed time schedule before the meeting?
One last observation. The parents and taxpayers sacrifice their time to express their views and opinions about educational matters. They spend and hour or more in each Board meeting waiting for the public comments segment to begin. The speakers want to be heard. They want answers to their questions. They want to be respected as parents of children in the New Haven public schools and concerned residents, taxpayer and constituents.
Could someone please tell Mayor Toni Harp that her body language at the Board meetings speaks loud and clear volumes! She appears bored and disconnected from the public and disinterested in what they have to say. Instead of maintaining some level of eye-contact with the speakers and expressing a visible interest in what people are saying, she is often preoccupied looking down at her cell phone, looking up at the ceiling, or looking off in an entirely different direction from the speakers.
It is not good optics for the mayor to look disinterested in what her constituents, the voters, have to say. There are a few other board members who occasionally do the same. Harp and others may hear the comments from the public, but the people want to be listened to attentively as if they are important and vital to the process of educating the youth of this city.
The least the Mayor could do is pretend to be interested, and look like it!

posted by: Callisto on October 12, 2017  6:32am

Smoke and mirrors. The reason this search firm was chosen is its deep ties to the Broad Academy which grooms superintendents to privatize public resources (the same training ground that certified Garth Harries). The goal is to hire another data-obsessed corporate crony who will purchase more ed tech on the taxpayer dime. Hedge fund investments in education must be made to pay off. http://www.eclectablog.com/2015/07/how-is-former-eaa-chief-john-covington-still-being-considered-to-run-schools-two-words-broad-foundation.html

posted by: Brutus2011 on October 12, 2017  9:31am

to “darnell” and others:

noun: pseudonym; plural noun: pseudonyms

  a fictitious name, especially one used by an author.
  synonyms:  pen name, nom de plume, assumed name, false name, alias, professional name, sobriquet, stage name, nom de guerre
  “Geisel was best known by the pseudonym ‘Dr. Seuss’”

Use of a pseudonym has historical precedent dating back at least to the revolutionary period.

The marketplace of ideas was populated by use of a nom de guerre.

Use of a real name in this forum is one’s choice and no more “gallant” than my use of the Antifederalist “Brutus.”

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on October 12, 2017  12:08pm

These ad hominem attacks on Darnell are unwarranted.  How dare you bring the care of his child in this equation?  And to Darnell, never think you have to defend your child’s care by responding to these ridiculous critics.

Darnell, you’ve been elected by the people to do the best job that you can in the realm of being fair; and though at times I disagree with you, I have never lost respect nor accused you of ever being unfair.


Clearly the board has to adhere to a process by which to hire a new superintendent, I get that. However, the city has at its disposal an extremely talented young man in Gary Highsmith who is well respected citywide and deserves to be installed as the next superintendent of schools. 

Because the selection committee fumbled by not choosing him to be the top candidate, doesn’t mean that he isn’t.  In fact, not only does his resume reflect his brilliance, his love for the students and their success supersedes his personal accomplishments.  That’s why Gary should be installed as superintendent.

posted by: darnell on October 12, 2017  12:28pm

@ Brutus,

If you want ant to tonattack an institution with a pseudonym, then fine, I’m good with that.

If you want to attack a public figure like me with facts and truthful statements, then I’m ok with that, this is a democracy and I signed up for the good and the bad.

But, if you intend to slander people, whether or not they are public officials, with lies and scurrilous accusations, then you should be gallant enough to publish under, as we say in my community, your government name. Fake names have good reasons for use, especially in totalitarian societies. But there are also dark uses also. In this instance, those using the fake names I referenced are trying to hide the fact that they are authored of slander and protect themselves from lawsuits after making such unfounded and debunked statements.

posted by: Markeshia Ricks on October 12, 2017  3:31pm

Heads up, folks. Several comments will be disappearing because after further review we believe that they violate our rules. Be mindful, your follow up comments will be getting additional scrutiny too. Please stick to the issue. And please be mindful of our rules:
No gratuitous swearing.
• No allegations of criminal behavior or other extreme personal wrongdoing based on facts that haven’t been published in articles.
• Wail away at public figures’ policies and records and article subjects’ and other commenters’ quotations. Ixnay on the personal attacks.
• No demeaning comments about religious or ethnic groups.
• No comments making fun of people’s physical appearance.
• All viewpoints are welcome — left to right, and all points in between.
• It’s preferable to use your real name, but anonymity is fine. Please use the same handle every time you post; don’t make up multiple names. Readers will take comments more seriously if posters put their real names on them. On the other hand, we’re interested in hosting the most diverse and free-flowing debate possible within civil limits; we want the most ideas possible to be published. That’s why we allow anonymous posts. We trust readers to be discerning in judging them.
• If you’re trying to hijack a comments thread to link with ads for your personal business, invective aimed at a person or a group against whom you have a personal vendetta or long rants about unrelated issues or crusades — we’re going to zap them. Helpful hint: If it reads like a late-night TV commercial, a passage from a lawsuit you’re filing, or an excerpt from a KKK website, don’t bother

posted by: westville man on October 12, 2017  3:33pm

Hey Brian-  I TOLD you we do agree on some things!  :)

posted by: kenny joyner on October 12, 2017  3:44pm

@ Darnell:
You just contradicted yourself once again…on October 12, 2017 7:15am you wrote…
....“I have refrained from commenting on this site because it is a no Win situation, you are basically fighting ghosts and could spend your entire day fighting”. Subsequently on October 12, 2017 12:28pm you wrote…“If you want to attack a public figure like me with facts and truthful statements, then I’m ok with that, this is a democracy and I signed up for the good and the bad”. If you have previously refrained from commenting on this site why do it?
Now that we have dispensed with your false reasoning, let us examine just what your differences with me over policy this issue may have exposed. However, First, I agree, as should we should you with the statement made by student rep. Jacob Spell..He wrote above..

“Disagreement is actually a good thing, because through the sum of our differences, hopefully we’ll reach the best outcome for our students. It’s just important that we disagree in a productive manner, so that things can actually get done. At the end of the day, I just want to fight for what’s best for the students, because that’s what I signed up to do.”
The key to his statement to me is “disagree in a productive manner.” You have not shown that ability to the board or to the public. You disagreed with me because I said we are wasting $50,000 re-doing the work the consultant had completed and prepared to produce results to the board? You disagree because I challenge your pronouncement that the Mayor has a right supported by the voters to pick two others as search participants, when the charter conveys no such right endorsed by voters. This action and her vote is a conflict of interest. You disagree that the clause in the consultant/BOE contract supports the consultant should the board start a new search outside and beyond the scope of the current terms? To be continued.

posted by: darnell on October 12, 2017  4:55pm

K Joyner,

Do you have a difficult time understanding the word “refrained”? How is it a contradiction that I state at 7 am I have refrained in the recent past from posting, and then posting once more at 12 to state that I think it is unfair for persons to make scurrilous statements under assumed names?

I stated that you and I disagree on some recent issues, I don’t believe that I ever stated what those differences were, but instead stated that I respected the fact that you used your real name.

Frankly I don’t understand how you attribute the comments you claim I made to me. What were you reading or watching?

Maybe we all should go to bed a little earlier these days. It seems that we are starting to imagine things which have not occurred. And by we, I mean you.

Now I am finished commenting. I’m dropping the mic and am not returning, so please don’t try to bait me.

posted by: Brian L. Jenkins on October 12, 2017  5:55pm

Westville man,

You’re now catching up to the many things in which I agree with regarding your comments.

Just another 350 accordances and you’ll be caught up.  (Laugh)

Enjoy your evening my friend.

posted by: Teachergal on October 12, 2017  7:22pm

Ok, first, it seems like NH board of ed has met lower standards….shame on you. Second, find an internal candidate or one from CT who is not afraid to make changes, personnel and programs. Third, get input from teachers I’m sure they could make recommendations for super. I am now retired, lucky me, because I could not stand for one more minute of this inefficiency. Get your sh__together NH. You are an embarrassment to our state.

posted by: HillNorth on October 13, 2017  8:44pm

TO GroveStreet, You hit the name on the head. And once again Harp has used that poor judgment of hers.