Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New JCPS superintendent has not signed contract yet

When I was asked by a long-time KSN&C friend (and a JCPS board member) to vet the finalists for the superintendency, I didn't have time to do it justice. I dug back a few years, but could not do the work I felt was necessary to make any definitive statements about the finalists.

Neither candidate presented major blemishes. Both seemed undistinguished in tough positions, but capable enough. They were given the OK by their state associations.

The passed over candidate had a Sally Kellerman-in-M*A*S*H kind of vibe, but had held the top post in her district and suffered the slings and arrows of a long series of Draconian budget cuts, courtesy of the Michigan legislature - or should I say Wall Street?

Donna Hargens, the successful candidate, seemed to lack leadership. She did not seem to lack the ability to do whatever the board of education told her to do, including the provision of special treatment for board members and their children.

About the time I suggested the JCPS board might want to pass on Hargens, they hired her. Or, at least, they're trying to hire her. Now, comments from the board chair have renewed my concerns. 

Did the JCPS board really want a leader, or a follower?

This from WDRB:
New JCPS superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens has yet to sign a contract with the district. School Board President Steve Imhoff sat down for an interview with WDRB in the Morning Tuesday, and said her contract is still being worked out.

Hargens will move to Louisville from North Carolina in just a few days. Her first day of work is August 1st, just two weeks before the first day of school.

Hargens has already faced criticism for avoiding questions about the student assignment plan, but Imhoff says what happens to the plan is up to the board: "She as our new superintendent will advise us as to her thoughts, but it is the board that ultimately makes decisions about what the plan is and what changes we will make."

By law, the district has to name an interim superintendent. Dr. Freda Merriweather will take over for Sheldon Berman July 1st.

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