BY BUDDY NEVINS
The following e-mail was sent to dozens of school employees and the School Board on Monday attacking the decision to rehire a principal who just retired.
The e-mail rehiring during a financial crisis “reprehensible and insulting. It is, in fact, cronyism at its’ worst.”
Strong stuff. Will the School Board listen?
Remember this proposed rehiring is coming at the same time employees are being laid off and programs cut.
Here is the e-mail:
Date: Monday, May 3, 2010, 6:52 PM
Good evening School Board Members,
In the year since I was ‘retired’ from my position as Director, Dropout Prevention / Alternative Education (and the department was eliminated), I have tried to be a gentleman and to stay above recriminations. Reviewing tomorrow’s Board agenda, however, is infuriating. I see where Mr Robert Crawford is being rehired after barely retiring. This is reprehensible and insulting. It is, in fact, cronyism at its’ worst. I want to say clearly that I am not – in any way – casting aspersions on Mr Crawford. I am disturbed at the cavalier manner in which your Superintendent flaunts his power.
When Dr. Harrison was rehired, I kept my tongue. It was ill-conceived. Again, I make no claim against Dr Harrison or her level of talent. As I recall, the Superintendent clearly made the point that her re-appointment was necessary because – in a transitional period for the district – she carried forward critical information to insure the continuity of the functioning of the division. In point of fact, that was nonsense. First of all, Dr. Harrison had been in the position for one year – hardly a period of time to become an expert. In reality, her departmental leaders were – certainly at that time – more experienced in the intricacies of the division than she was. Secondly – and perhaps more critically – she was initially appointed to the position with the Superintendent fully aware that she was approaching the end of her DROP period. That foreknowledge smacks of either a collusional deal being struck or exceptionally poor planning on the part of your Superintendent in regard to proper succession planning.
Now your Superintendent wants to return Robert Crawford to a position from which he chose to retire. If this is not collusion, then what is it. The same questions / points I just raised in regard to the process used in Dr. Harrison’s case are germane in this case. This is a Superintendent that you have placed absolute trust in. Trust to the point where proper and appropriate questions are not being asked. If this is the case, what is the level below which we will not allow our educational – teaching and learning – standards to fall?
As a dedicated educator and disillusioned member of the community (not to disregard voter and taxpayer), I am appalled by your Superintendent’s (lack of) leadership and by the blind eye being turned toward the realities of that leadership.
Joel L. Smith
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