On Wednesday, the Oakland school board might pick search firm Ray and Associates from Cedar Rapids, Iowa to help find a permanent leader for the Oakland school district.
The firm does searches across the country and, as one might expect, hasn’t batted 1,000. Here’s an excerpt from an article in the Louisville Courier-Journal about a new hire in 2007 that quit three days before starting her job:
The Iowa search firm hired by the Kentucky Board of Education to produce a list of candidates should have vetted Erwin more closely and targeted problems more quickly, the critics argue.
And they say board members failed to do their job, ignoring concerns raised by the media and the public over Erwin’s resume, which contained an award she hadn’t won and a presentation she never made, and her reputation for running roughshod over teachers and administrators when she was a superintendent in Texas, Arizona and Illinois.
“There is no shortage of places where it went wrong,” said Bob Sexton, executive director of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. “The board found out all sorts of things about Erwin too late. But in the end, it was the board’s responsibility to make sure that the best person for the job was named commissioner, and that didn’t happen.”
I’m sure that the OUSD board won’t make the same mistakes, and that its members will be vigilant about verifying content on the candidates’ resumes and seeking opinions from teachers and administrators at previous schools.
I’m also angling for the board to publicize the names of the candidates early in the process, to give nosy people like me (and some of you) a chance to do some research of our own.
You can read the full agenda for Wednesday’s meeting here.
Please note: Oakland school board meetings will now begin an hour later, with closed session beginning at 5 p.m.
image from Ray and Associates’ Web site