That’s right. Tonight, just one day after State Superintendent Jack O’Connell gave the school board the OK to hire a superintendent, they named an interim leader: Roberta Mayor.
Mayor is a chief management analyst for FCMAT (you know, the agency that rates the district’s progress under state control?). A pretty shrewd move on the board’s part, since Mayor’s team has dissected and rated OUSD’s operations from the low point in 2003 until now.
With high FCMAT ratings this fall in fiscal management and academic policy, the state-run district could regain full local authority within a year.
Mayor officially starts July 1, and is expected to serve for up to one year. Meanwhile, State Administrator Vince Matthews will remain on Second Avenue, overseeing the budget and academic policy. (A more apt illustration would have two birds at the top post.)
Before the announcement, when I asked a central office staffer whether he thought the board should hire someone or wait until the district was completely free of state receivership, he asked if I would leave a shiny new car in the garage if I were just handed the keys. (One might go further: “after riding a bicycle for five years…”)
Judging from the 4-3 vote, it proved a difficult decision. Kerry Hamill, Noel Gallo and Chris Dobbins voted against it during a closed session meeting. I’ll try to find out why tomorrow.
If Mayor’s appointment were on the regular agenda for tonight’s meeting, I definitely would have given you all better advance notice. But the announcement was made during a brief recess of the regular meeting, during which President David Kakishiba re-opened a previously recessed closed session meeting to report the news.
Clear as mud?
Here is a news release that details the board’s transition plan.
image from John_Locke77’s site at flickr.com/creativecommons