Widely Distributed E-Mail Attacks Principal’s Rehiring


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

9 Responses to “Widely Distributed E-Mail Attacks Principal’s Rehiring”

  1. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    This is horrible, we save money by attrition a new principal waiting the sidelines to prove his expertise, thereby leaving positions open down the line to people with young families who need to pay a mortgage and put food on their table. I would like a reuest made to provide the names of all DROP employees that have reentered the school system, at the same pay the went out earning. I believe the “policy?” was that if someone did reenter, they would reenter at thw lowest level of pay. i.e. teachers returning would receive a beginning teacher’s salary???

  2. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Joel Smith is absolutely correct and I believe it is far more widespread than we can imagine. The two principals at BA High are retirees that DROPPED and returned.

  3. lookbehindcurtain#3 says:

    This is all very interesting but you have to look behind the curtain of what is actually going on. Why does the School Board have 2 Full Time Paid Principals at BA High? You’re talking over $200,000 per year! How many teachers can be paid on the cost of the Lease for the Sawgrass Technology Center!!!! How many schools are under enrolled that can be closed and used for Administration at no cost! All the Board Members are using smoke and mirrors and we the tax payers keep paying!!

  4. rest of the story says:

    Crawford would be coming back at the beginning principal salary. The contracts for two princpals at Boyd Anderson are only through the end of this year, there will probably only be one next year given the current budget situation. The lease for the Sawgrass Technology Park comes out of capital dollars not operating dollars, so that $$ could not be used to pay teachers in any event. However, what could be done is consolidating schools, eliminating more middle managers, etc. There is money that can be saved but not with this position.

  5. Joel Smith says:

    Mr. Nevins,
    While I did not send you my original email, I am totally and completely comfortable with it having been published. For too long, regardless of oversite (sic) or public opinion, the Superintendent has created a climate of ‘fear and loathing’. If someone has a thought about serving our youth but that thought is not generated from upon high, that individual is looked at a pariah. Rather than being viewed as a team player, that person is viewed as a rebel. In a climate of fiscal disaster, aren’t the ideas of rebels as valuable as anyone elses? It is existing thinking that (across the Nation, State and locally) that nurtures thecurrent level of calamity. I believe that the critical question is “where do we draw the line in the sand insofar as what we consider absolutes for teaching and learning are concerned?” I do not believe that this Board, and certainly not this Superintendent, has a clear vision. It seems to me that vision is what should be driving responses to the existing fiscal crisis rather than allowing the existing crisis to whittle away the basic principles, educational standards and values of education in Broward County. Ms. Kraft is not seeking reelection because she stated her daughter will no longer be a student, but the basic creed should be “if it is not right for your child than it is not right for any of Broward’s children” Do you think that is the current standard?
    Joel Smith

  6. nowandthen says:

    The DROP program has become a sham. It started out to encourage higher paid employees to retire at a specific point in the future so that average pay scales could be lowered by getting rid of the top. Now the top dogs retire and then come back to “double dip” back at their old jobs. This restricts the upward mobility of the work force. It is hard to believe that no one else in the District could become a vocational/tech school principal in place of Crawford, or that other very talented individuals could not have become a Deputy instead of Harrison–and there are at least a dozen other similar situations in the District. Probably the state legislature will put an end to the DROP program thus hurting the little people who would be saving for their retirement in their last few years of work. It seems that any good program just has to be abused…especially by the most powerful. Maybe that is the system…

  7. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Now and then….I have family working in the system and you are correct people trying to get into DROP for their future may not have the opportunity. However, there are many other entities in the DROP like police, fire fighters, etc., that have much more clout than teachers and maintenance workers.

  8. Beth The Bounty Hunter says:

    Back to a request in the previous blog. Expose the SOB’s and let’s see how they feel, and sadly some are my friends and I have expressed my feelings to them.

  9. want to know says:

    The Sun Sentinel had a data base a few months ago where you can find all of the people who are collecting retirement and working for the school board. Most of them have gone through at least five years of DROP, have that money, collect their pension and then are rehired. There will be several more administrators that will be rehired this year. I believe the Mcfatter principal was rehired, as well as a few others beside Crawford. Word is out several more will be approved at the next two board meetings.