Saturday, September 23, 2006

By Tracy Jan and Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff | September 23, 2006

Ms. Jan and Maria:

I see you finally got the new superintendent.You did a good job of summarizing the main points of the choice. I was interested that he got a scholarship to Brandeis. Do you know what his major was? Did he file his Ph.D. thesis with the committee?

I live in the Tampa Bay Area. We have a forlorn record of undistinguished superintendents. There is an incestuous process of a scam national search with the local in-house candidate inevitably chosen. These people are thuddingly mediocre. I reviewed the finalists' resumes, and our new superintendent was the least qualified of the bunch.

She is marginally literate, groomed by the in-house power-greedy cabal for the job so that they can keep power and continue bloating their salaries. Teachers start at $32,000.

The School Board is either enmeshed in the cabal or suckers for the administration flattery and cajoling. In any event, the School Board played along with the new mediocrity, Ms. MaryEllen Elia.

No outside citizen committee was involved in this important decision. The new superintendent was the schools building supervisor and presided over a real-estate scam that cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars, overbuilt classrooms, and instituted a boundary change that tore up a community called Westchase to cover up this overbuilding, and fudged the enrollment figures for the Hillsborough County extract more money for her to squander The School Board considered that just a swell record, worthy of a ten percent raise. The new superintendent is the 3rd highest paid in the country although she can't punctuate.If she could punctuate, she would get her own nuclear deterrent. The Board just gave her another $12,500 raise, which brings her up to $262,500, while the bus drivers get less than $10,000, have a fleet of broken-down buses to transport the kids in, and not enough mechanics to fix them.

I attach my commentary on our superintendent selection. I always cite Massachusetts invidiously because it is the Number One school system in the country. Florida is 26 and has the superintendents to back up that pitiful place.

Where can I get a sample of Dr. Rivera's writing? Also, what about his thesis and his major areas of concentration in school? I have tried to emphasize the need for the candidates' thesis to review in the selection process, citing Dr. Johnson's dictum, "Let me hear the man speak so that I may know his mind." The School Board members don't see the connection between a candidate's ability to write and the ability to run an outfit that is supposed to graduate literate students. They don't know who Dr. Johnson is and don't care. We are hip deep in know-nothings down here in the education badlands of Florida.

I think y'all had one superintendent who had to take the literacy test three times with coaching in between to pass it because the hiring committee had jumped the gun and signed him up before it got his literacy-test results. Then it was stuck with him and had to provide him grammar tutors until he managed to squeak through the test on the 3rd try. I don't think any of our superintendents in either Hillsborough or Pinellas counties would have passed the test, and even Mississippi wouldn't hire them.

lee drury de cesare

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you might change the title of this blog to reflect focus on schools. People might find it easier. Good insights.