I’ve heard from other education reporters that Ray and Associates (the Iowa search firm hired to help OUSD find a permanent leader) requires most school districts to withhold the names of its superintendent candidates until the final selection is made — except in states such as Florida, which have more open public records laws.
I understand why the district wouldn’t want to announce everyone who had applied for the position, as it might discourage top candidates from applying. But what about the finalists? I observed an interesting process at Cal State East Bay in 2006, before the CSU trustees settled on Mo Qayoumi.
The first few months were very hush-hush. The selection committee was pledged to secrecy about who had applied, and who they had interviewed, for the very reason I described above. But then four finalists were announced, and the process opened up — wide. Each candidate took the stage, gave a short talk, and fielded questions from professors and students about. Throughout the day, they mingled with faculty and student leaders, who sized them up and gave their assessments to the selection committee.
It was fascinating to watch. You can find the story here.
Do you think such a process could work for the Oakland school district? As I mentioned in a previous post, the process will be established tonight, at a 6 p.m. public board meeting in the district office.