There's no reason to read this (or any) blog if the information isn't trustworthy. That means if I mess up...I've gotta fess up. And, I may have messed up.
As a result, the issue over the veracity of Barbara Erwin's vita has flared up again.
Here's where I may have gone wrong:
I wrote to Amy Vogt, Communications Director for the Texas Association of School Administators, and asked, "Can you confirm That Barbara Erwin was the recipient of AASA's Superintendent of the Year somewhere around 2000?"
Amy directed the question to Darlene Pierce, Director of the National Superintendent of the Year Program. Ms. Pierce wrote back and said, "Yes..." But that's not all she said.
The full statement was, "Yes, in 1999 when she was a superintendent in Texas she was that state's representative in the National Superintendent of the Year program."
Well, that's like, "Yes, we have no bananas." It was a curveball, and I missed it.
So, the "case" is reopened. There is smoke, and there may yet be some flame.
Richard Innes, of the Bluegrass Institute called me last night and we were comparing notes. He told me he spoke to the Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Administrators who said TASA has NEVER designated a Texas Superintendent of the Year. Not in 1998. Not in 1999.
However, adding to the confusion, the TASA web site does make reference to a regional "TASB Superintendent of the Year." For example, in 2006, Superintendents from 16 public school districts were nominated for TASB's "regional" Superintendent of the Year award. It shows up on TASA's web site because the two groups cooperate in their recognition programs. But if Erwin won one of those, it would hardly validate a claim that she was "Texas Superintendent of the Year. It's not the same thing at all. That would be like making it to the Sweet 16...and then claiming a state championship without playing another game.
It's good to keep in mind that we are working from press reports here. What really matters is how Erwin represented herself to the state board of education. If she claimed to be the 1998 TASA Texas Supt of the Year. It seems clear, she was not.
So to recap where we stand on Erwin's claims:
TASB Supt of the Year 1997 - confirmed
TASA Supt of the Year 1998 - unconfirmed - and apparently unconfirmable - The Executive Director says TASA has no such program
TASA Supt of the Year 1999 - unconfirmed - and apparently unconfirmable - The Executive Director says TASA has no such program
TASA representative to the AASA national Supt of the Year 1999 - confirmed - Erwin was nominated but she did not win.
Stay tuned as this develops.