The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: All Politics is Local

This is an article I submitted to my local paper in reference to my ciies ongoing search to find a new superintendent of schools.

Middletown School Board: Mission Accomplished?

After seven months and $30,000 what do we have for candidates for the position of Superintendent of our schools? We have one seemingly nice guy from Kansas. Mr. Greg Rasmussen. Where does that leave our schools? The best option with which the citizens were presented with by our “search experts” and the School Board has taken another job. The other “suitable candidate” withdrew after it came to light that he was Mansfield’s version of Steve Price.

I attended the community forum on Friday evening and learned of Dr. Martin’s withdrawal from the process when I arrived. I asked two of our board members if those in attendance might have a chance to question Mr. Rasmussen but was politely told that the community’s input would be limited to filling out cards. Apparently, the only input the School Board wants from the community is financial. I owe Mrs. Andrew an apology for my tone in our conversation got a little heated after she suggested that voting against future levies would hurt our students. My feeling is that the conduct of the Board is hurting our students and that voting against levies is the only way citizens have to show the depth of our displeasure with their direction.  

I listened to what Mr. Rasmussen had to say and let me try to sum it up for those who couldn’t attend. He’s for building good relationship, building trust and working together! He doesn’t know a lot about our schools but should be up to speed somewhere between three to five months into the job.

Is there anybody out there against building good relationship? Anybody want to be against working together and building trust? Good! Now that we’re all on the same page let me ask a question or two. If you were going to interview for a job you wanted would you do a little research before you arrived? Would you know why the last person in your position left? Have some knowledge of past problems in the job? Would you have some information on the problems in the schools? Perhaps you might even have a few suggestions on the budget after having looked at it before a meeting with community members.

If you were interviewing someone for a job and in the interview they said, “I don’t know a lot about your company or its problems but if you give me three to five months I should be up to speed and ready to go,” would you hire them? If I had to take a chance on Mr. Rasmussen I suppose we could do worse but is that what we want for our schools?

There is another option, demand a refund from our search firm and do the job ourselves like we should have in the first place. The school board should form a committee of parents, voters and teachers to review applications and recommend several new candidates to the board. This could be done out in the open and with no back room dealing. Then the Board and the public can interview and hire a new superintendent from the committee selections. If the Board would like an internet and background search on anyone they want to consider I’ll do it on my laptop and it won’t cost them 30 grand.

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