DPS superintendent search takes wrong turn

Last week, out of the pool of what Dr. Baguirov keeps calling a “highly qualified candidate pool” – the board had it narrowed to 3 candidates from six.

They were current Dayton Public Schools Chief of School Innovation, David Lawrence, relatively new hire- Gregory Roberson, Ed.D. Chief of Office for Exceptional Children and a curriculum chief from Beavercreek, who was picked to be superintendent elsewhere after applying for every job she could.

I chastised DPS BoE president Baguirov for fiddling while Rome burns. After the only outsider left, left, there was a quick scramble to enlarge the pool- and more candidates were considered, including some retreads like Debra Brathwaite who was the number two that was previously passed over when Dr. Mack left.

In fact, if you read the post about Brathwaite, you could be saying history is about to repeat.

Greg Roberson, candidate for Superintendent of Dayton Public Schools

Greg Roberson

For the three finalists tonight at the public forum- we have internal candidate Greg Roberson with less than a year in the district, and a very short career in education, starting in 2003 after a long career as an enlisted man in the Air Force.

Roberson is the newly hired head of the department of exceptional children. A job he got after the Trotwood public schools did a talent raid last year- hiring away 9 of our more talented people- including Tracy Mallory, who was at Horace Mann as principal before being promoted into this position. That’s also when we lost David White, who had turned Belmont around and was currently assigned to Ponitz. He was the highest paid principal in the district- making $15K a year more that Erin Dooley at Stivers- who hasn’t received a raise in years- despite having guided the districts only success story for years.

If you wonder why we’re constantly short of teachers, maybe the board can look back at their previous decisions, and come to a conclusion?

Rhonda Corr- finalist for Dayton Public Schools

Rhonda Corr

Rhonda Corr– coming out of Indianapolis, who hired her after there was a meltdown in Chicago, where Ms. Corr worked with former Chicago schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett. An article on Cleveland.com talks about how Parma (a large suburb of Cleveland) rescinded their offer to Corr- referred to as “Corr-Saegert” – but couldn’t find out if the issues in Chicago had bearing- they define her leaving Chicago:

Corr-Saegert was laid off her job as the chief of 36 Chicago public schools in June, the day after Byrd-Bennett resigned. Byrd-Bennett, who headed Cleveland schools from 1998 to 2006, had been on leave since April amid a federal investigation into a controversial, no-bid $20.5 million contract with a principal training academy, where she once consulted.

Corr has been busy applying for superintendents jobs elsewhere- Salt Lake City, and the Washington Local superintendent position, where a great pool included 19 candidates according to the Toledo Blade. Maybe there is a reason she keeps getting passed over?

Dan Schroer candidate Dayton Public Schools

Dan Schroer

Last person added to the final three is Dan Schroer, who has also been busy applying for Superintendents positions, including Beavercreek. His background is mostly agrigultural and voc-ed, but has been the Superintendent of the Margaretta Local Schools, Erie County, Ohio up around Sandusky. He seems to have job hopped his way around the state for years.

The Board Of Education, seems to think that there is no reason to hire a Dayton Public Schools graduate, who is in one of their top leadership positions- whose job function is “Innovation”- who has dedicated his life to working in the Dayton Public Schools- and has letters of support from 28 principals. Leaving David Lawrence out of this public “audition” is clearly a strategy to show the city who the new sheriff is in town.

The votes last night were all close- but, the two women on the board seem threatened by a strong, no-nonsense leader that knows the district inside out- and Dr. Baguirov, who thinks he should be in charge, is flexing his muscles. Note- Baguirov and Rountree are both serving their first term of unchallenged election. Sheila Taylor, apparently thinks that no internal candidate would be a good choice- because, well- despite her slightly longer tenure on the board, she still is mostly a labor puppet, and Lawrences strong belief in using pay for performance doesn’t sit well with her.

How any superintendent from out of town is going to figure out how to turn around a district in 2 years, is a mystery to me. This is a large organization, one of the biggest in the county, with many moving parts, different regulations, funky constituencies and big challenges.

Unfortunately, we can’t recall the Board of Education. What we can do is show up in force and demand that the board reconsider their picks, after we hear from these three Dayton rookies- and ask that the board reconsider Lawrence as an option.

Just remember- “A” people hire “A” people, “B” people hire “C” people.

 

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