Friday, June 10, 2011

DeKalb's Finalist Name Leaked in Fear of A True Leader Running DeKalb?

The DeKalb County School Board is running out of time in its search for a new superintendent.  One person interviewing for the position wanted to keep his identity out of the press during the interview process.  This is not unusual for employed high-level folks to keep their interviewing under wraps.  And the DeKalb superintendent search is not supposed to be a public process during the interview / candidate search stage. But once again candidate information was leaked by someone, most likely a Board member.

Why would a Board member (or high ranking DeKalb employee) leak the information?

Reason #1
To put pressure on the candidate.  Now his name is out there, his current employer will not be pleased.  There is a chance now the candidate may bail from the DeKalb search process.  If this happens, the DeKalb job will continue to be treated like toxic waste by potential candidates, leaving us with more of the same.

Reason #2
The candidate in question is Hispanic.

Reason #3
The candidate has a history of "cleaning house" at his current school district. He fired a high percentage of principals.  Ever hear of that happening in DeKalb?  DeKalb is nepotism HQ, and fired principals means fired family members.

Reason #4
A new superintendent would change the way things are done here in DeKalb, for the better.  Remember, our school system is treated not as an education system, but as a jobs program for family and friends.  Bringing in a new leader from the outside is a threat to a decade of "work" by insiders.

The candidate in question is from Texas.  He runs a district with 55,000 students, 90+% of whom are economically disadvantaged.  And guess what?  the test scores indicate that district's kids are doing a lot better than kids in DeKalb.

His district failed only one subgroup of AYP while DeKalb failed in five subgroups.

His district takes a test that is considered more difficult than the CRCT, and their scores are better and on the rise (not declining like somewhere else I know).

DeKalb business leaders need to contact the Board to offer support for this new candidate. Where are the great members of the infamous eduKALB? if you know someone involved with eduKALB, ask them to step up and be heard.  DeKalb schools needs a strong leader now.  Every time a Board member leaks candidate information the school system becomes less attractive to the type of candidate we need.  The Board members and staff need not fear change, unless they are guilty of something.

Look for leaks on how this superintendent failed at his job.  I researched his district.  He has done an exceptional job and I feel he is the ideal candidate for what is needed here. His district did get dinged due to nine student drop outs who could not be accounted for (Texas has rules whereas dropouts count against your school scores, unlike DeKalb, unless you can show where these kids go after leaving your school) and the Board, in an election year, did not support his efforts.

I hope interim superintendent Tyson as well as the other Board members do the right thing and offer him the job as 100,000 kids, tens of thousands of parents, and thousands of business owners in DeKalb County need for a turn-around in DeKalb schools.

Robert Duron is a great choice for new superintendent.  I'm not sure (actually I think I do) the reason the DeKalb Chamber is getting involved in the search for a new superintendent.  Let the Chamber stick to filling hotel rooms and promoting whatever it is they promote and let a proven superintendent join us here in DeKalb.

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