That smell? That’s the lingering aftermath of yesterday’s fecal explosion over who the next Top Model Superintendent will be. In recent weeks there have been rumors about who would be appointed to this position, but instead of being straight with the people, we have been teased with coy statements.
Jeff Cohen of WNPR has been tracking the complete breakdown in communication, which points at how instead of addressing each other directly, the school system and the Mayor are going at it via the media. Instead of just answering Segarra’s inquiries about school bonuses, for example, school spokesperson David Medina sent Adamowski’s response in the form of a press release. And of course, the response to yesterday’s eleventh hour request by Segarra that the superintendent search be made national was met with the fury of those who are comfortable with the behind-closed-doors way of hiring.
Tuesday and Wednesday the Hartford Parent Organization Council, which speaks as if their opinions somehow represent those of all Hartford parents, sent two drastically different emails to Mayor Segarra, copied to the press. The less eloquent one sent yesterday afternoon screams at the Mayor with excessive use of ALL CAPS, which is not any different from how some of the HPOC conducts themselves verbally:
Good afternoon, Hartford Board Education members and Mayor.
I along with other parents are strongly disappointed in the Mayor’s
recommendation to do a National Search.
We as a search committee majority agreed on the candidate and not to do a
National Search. To do this will “DIVIDE THE COMMUNITY AND BRING ON LACK
OF TRUST ONCE AGAIN”. The parents and children of Hartford have worked
two hard throughout this reform to go “BACKWARDS”.
POLITICS AS USUAL WITH OUR CHILDREN. THAT IS WHY WE CAN’T GET ANYTHING
DONE. PLEASE STOP PLAYING WITH OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE.
WE HAVE ALOT OF REAL WORK TO DO LIKE PREPARE TO GO TO THE LOB TOMORROW TO
CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN.
THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS SOME OF US HAD TO ENDURE THREATENING CALLS FROM
REPRESENTATIVE MCCRORY AND OTHERS AND WE STILL DID OUR JOB TO LOOK AT EACH
OF THE CANDIDATES OBJECTIVELY AND RATE THEM ON THEIR QUALIFICATIONS AND NOT
GIVE IN TO OUTSIDE SCARE TACTICS AND PRESSURES.
PARENTS ARE JUST TIRED OF ALL OF THE NONSENSE.
MAYOR SEGARRA, YOU SHOULD HAVE A LEAST MET WITH US PRIOR TO YOUR BIG PRESS
I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO TELL PARENTS OTHER THAN IT IS POLITICS AS USUAL.
The second HPOC email was sent this morning and will not be republished as it does not appear to have been copied to the press; however, it takes on a much calmer tone and is requesting a meeting with Segarra.
Other discontent was expressed by Achieve Hartford!, a non-profit:
We are deeply disappointed in today’s actions, as the Mayor had ample opportunity to weigh in throughout this search process. The Mayor’s 11th hour call for a national search, together with the cancelation of tonight’s Board meeting, delays or, at worst, invalidates the search process and possibly voids the recommendation of the search committee. That search committee contains both the elected and appointed Board of Education members and five additional representatives drawn from the community and the ranks of parents, teachers, and school administrators.
The Board adopted its selection policy last October, which called for a national search in the event a qualified candidate was not identified internally. By all accounts, the search committee completed its work and the process should have concluded this evening with consideration by the Board.
Political bickering aside, a national search doesn’t sound like a bad idea, seeing how the almost-selected-Superintendent’s response to all of this was a statement to the press about how she was “disgusted.” Maybe I’ve seen too many beauty pageants, but what candidates do when they are disgusted and angry in a public situation is to be a good sport and at most acknowledge disappointment. Save the “disgust” for the city’s low literacy and graduation rates.
Reprinted with permission of Kerri Provost, author of the blog RealHartford.
To view other stories on this topic, search RealHartford at http://www.realhartford.org/.