Thursday, June 04, 2015

Done Already?

FCPS Screening Committee starts work on Tuesday and finishes on Wednesday

Once again it appears that a screening committee (or perhaps, the FCPS Board) has blindly trusted their search firm to fully vet candidates. This is almost always a mistake. I say this because of the short amount of time taken by the committee to complete its work, which did not allow for any serious vetting.

Experience suggests that most search firms promise big, but deliver little. "Just let us handle it," they will tell the Board chair. "That's what you pay us for." But we have seen firms that only check with a candidate's listed references - folks who could be relied upon to provide a positive spin for the candidate. They do not always call off that list and make inquiries of a candidate's critics. And any superintendent who has ever made tough decisions has critics. We have seen cases where big problems with a candidate went undiscovered by the search firm when even a quick Google search would have produced cause for doubt. Search firms greatly prefer secrecy to openness. They will say it's because they don't want to scare off good candidates. But I wonder if it is not really to make their work easier by eliminating oversight of what they do - or do not do.

Since the committee is comprised of good folks, I'm wondering if the members were constrained from digging into anything. If so, it's a shame, and it underserves the public interest.

This from the Herald-Leader:
The Fayette County Schools superintendent screening committee issued a statement Wednesday night saying it had finished its work and would give the school board a list of candidates in closed session.
The statement said the committee received 57 applications "reflecting diverse backgrounds and professional experiences."

The school board is trying to find by July a replacement for Tom Shelton, who resigned as of December. School board members do not have to take the screening committee's recommendation into consideration.

The screening committee members are teacher representatives Meribeth Gaines and Jessica Hiler, school board member Daryl Love, principal representative Kate McAnelly, parent representative Sharon Mofield-Boswell, and classified employee representative Julane Mullins

Read more here:

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