My Goal in Blogging

I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Please Come Meet the Superintendent Candidates

The Screening Committee for the Superintendent Search is pleased to announce that three candidates have been selected as finalists for the position of Superintendent of Schools. The three candidates are:

Dr. Alberto Rodriguez -- visit on February 4 and 5; Public Forum from 7 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, February 4th (high school library); Community Breakfast from 8 to 9 am on Thursday, February 5th (middle school cafeteria);

Dr. Isabellina Rodriguez -- visit on February 9 and 10; Public Forum from 7 to 8:30 pm on Monday, February 9th (high school library); Community Breakfast from 8 to 9 am on Tuesday, February 10th (middle school cafeteria);

Dr. David Sklarz -- visit on February 11 and 12; Public Forum from 7 to 8:30 pm on Wednesday, February 11th (high school library); Community Breakfast from 8 to 9 am on Thursday, February 12th (middle school cafeteria).

All members of the community are invited to meet the candidates, ask questions and offer written feedback to the School Committee about the candidates.

Dr. Alberto Rodriguez currently serves as Principal of Westland Hialeah Senior High School in the Miami-Dade School District, a position he has held for two years. Dr. Rodriguez has worked in the Miami-Dade District for approximately 12 years and has held the positions of Region Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and was Principal at both Miami-Killian Senior High School and American Senior High School. In his current position, Dr. Rodriguez opened this 21st century high school, based on the philosophy of preparing students to become productive citizens in an increasingly diverse, global economy. Prior, as Assistant and Associate Superintendent of the nationally acclaimed The School Improvement Zone, Dr. Rodriguez successfully led school reform of 39 chronically low-performing schools. Dr. Rodriguez obtained his undergraduate degree in Social Studies from Florida International University, followed by an M.S. in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Barry University. Dr. Rodriguez is certified as a Social Science teacher of Grades 6-12, holds K-12 School Principal certification in Florida and is licensed as a Superintendent of Schools in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Massachusetts.

Dr. Isabellina Rodriguez is currently Superintendent of Schools in Northampton, Massachusetts, a position she has held since 2004. Dr. Rodriguez began her work in Northampton as Director of Pupil Services in 1994. In her current position, Dr. Rodriguez has worked collaboratively with the administrative team, the School Committee, and the community to design a comprehensive plan to address the achievement gap, which is proving successful. Prior to joining the Northampton School District, Dr. Rodriguez worked in the Springfield Public Schools, serving first as a Bilingual Special Education Teacher for six years, then as an Evaluation Team Leader/Crisis Support Teacher, and finally as Supervisor of Special Education. She has been an adjunct faculty member of both Elms College and of Westfield State College. With an undergraduate degree in Special Education from Westfield State College, Dr. Rodriguez secured an M.Ed from the same institution in Educational Administration, then an Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Rodriguez holds Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education certification as follows: Teacher of Students with Severe Special Needs, Supervisor/Director of Special Education, and Superintendent of Schools.

Dr. David Sklarz currently serves as Superintendent of Schools in West Hartford, Connecticut, a position he has held for 14 years. Prior to assuming this role, Dr. Sklarz served as Superintendent in Santa Cruz, California; Deputy Superintendent in Charlestown, South Carolina; Middle School Director in Ridgefield, Connecticut; Middle School Principal in Marblehead, Massachusetts; and Interim Principal and Assistant Principal in Concord, New Hampshire. In addition, Dr. Sklarz was a Department Supervisor/Teacher in Ipswich, Massachusetts. In his current assignment, Dr. Sklarz has led a large, diverse district with rapidly changing demographics; a district in which six of sixteen schools is nationally recognized as exemplary by the United States Department of Education. Dr. Sklarz obtained his undergraduate degree in Education and History from UMASS/Boston, then secured his MA in History and Asian Studies from Salem State College, completed a CAGS in Management Systems from Boston University, and obtained an Ed.D in Administration and Policy Analysis from Teachers’ College at Columbia University. Dr. Sklarz holds licensure as Superintendent of Schools in the State of Connecticut.

9 comments:

Ed said...

Two random comments - and I am trying not to be political here.

First, someone raised somewhere a response to me that it is cheaper to have all the ELL students of the same language segregated in the same school. Fine - but the nondiscrimination laws don't consider cost savings to justify discrimination. For example, female employees sometimes get pregnant and either take maternity leave or resign their positions outright -- and hence it would be cheaper for an employer to only hire men for key positions.

It would be cheaper to discriminate, and I do have problems assigning students on the basis of national origin, a protected category...

Second, there is no way that Obama is going to solve the school budget. All of his stuff is going to be paid for via inflated money and inflation is not always bad (William Jennings Bryant and the "Free Silver" movement for example) and we are actually flirting with deflation right now.

But if Obama has funding to the point where it bails out municipal school budgets, it will be a net neutral wash - over 18/36 months his actions will cause inflation which will mean no net gain in real dollars to the schools. It could result in a situation like the late '70s where teachers' salaries plummeted in inflation-adjusted dollars to the point where the low pay of teachers became a national crisis in the early '80s, and reducing teachers' salaries would balance the budget.

But if you are talking inflation-adjusted purchasing-power dollars, in the canoe that is the American fiscal system, Obama isn't going to be able to help the ARSD...

The Way I See It said...

The children are integrated into the regular classrooms like all the other children. It is a way to pool ELL resources and it does benefit the children. Do not try to find illegal discrimination where none exists. When you compare this to replacing pregnant women with men, it is really comparing apples to oranges legally! It might be different if the children were segregated in each of their schools so they were just with ELL students all day away from the other students.It definitely does not rise to the level of separate and unequal treatment and is a little different than discrimination based on national origin in the traditional legal sense.

I don't think that we should expect the federal government to get us out of our budget crisis any time soon and our leaders should be more responsible when it comes to long term planning for the future. Any decisions should be made in a deliberative and thoughtful manner after carefully looking at possible alternatives if various budget items are cut. The federal government has bigger fish to fry right now.

Before any drastic decisions are made, I believe that the incoming suerintendent, whoever that will be, should be part of the policymaking and long term planning process.

The Way I See It said...

The children are integrated into the regular classrooms like all the other children. It is a way to pool ELL resources and it does benefit the children. Do not try to find illegal discrimination where none exists. When you compare this to replacing pregnant women with men, it is really comparing apples to oranges legally! It might be different if the children were segregated in each of their schools so they were just with ELL students all day away from the other students.It definitely does not rise to the level of separate and unequal treatment and is a little different than discrimination based on national origin in the traditional legal sense.

I don't think that we should expect the federal government to get us out of our budget crisis any time soon and our leaders should be more responsible when it comes to long term planning for the future. Any decisions should be made in a deliberative and thoughtful manner after carefully looking at possible alternatives if various budget items are cut. The federal government has bigger fish to fry right now.

Before any drastic decisions are made, I believe that the incoming suerintendent, whoever that will be, should be part of the policymaking and long term planning process.

Anonymous said...

Will there be an on-line feedback form for members of the public to submit their evaluations of the candidates? If so, can you please post the link? Thank you.

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Anonymous:

There will NOT be an on-line forum, because we are looking for feedback from people who attend one of the forums/community breakfasts (not just based on resume/googling, etc.). But every community event will have feedback sheets, and those feedback sheets will be reviewed by the School Committee PRIOR to the vote. So, please try to attend a forum to meet each candidate, and share your thoughts.

Neil said...

c'mon Ed, is this really the thread to debate the merits of educational policy? No. This is about three candidates for superintendent.

Did you read their brief CVs? I was impressed. On paper, I see two of the three as a good fit and one as extraordinary .

Declaring your comments random doesn't excuse it. You were probably one of the students who was still fingerpainting during story time, the teacher's exhortations notwithstanding.

Ed said...

One issue: the ability of someone else to read my handwriting is somewhere between nil and nonexistant. Yes, I do have some impressive scars from my fishing days and that likely is part of it.

And there is a lot to be said for reflecting on what someone said, not the initial view but what you think about it after driving home.

So, if nothing else, can these feedback forms be snailmailed somewhere to someone? So I print out my thoughts and staple it to the form, possibly writing in freehand "aren't you really glad that I typed this" if I want to be obnoxious. There really is no sense in me doing anything else because there is no way that anyone is going to have any clue as to what I wrote.

And you will get a much higher feedback rate if you do something along these lines because there are going to be people who were there and who are willing to provide feedback but aren't going to (or be able to) hang around to finish the form then.

I understand

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Ed:

Two thoughts on the issue of how to get feedback.

First, I haven't seen the forms we are going to use yet, but from my experience in last year's principal searches, the feedback form was largely circling numbers (e.g., this person understands our district is the question, then 1 = not at all, and 5 = very much). So, handwriting should be less of an issue.

Second, the School Committee hopes to make a decision quite soon after the last candidate comes ... because good people will have other offers and could be gone if we wait. So, waiting for forms to come in by mail might well be too late. So, circle as best as you can!

I do think that having time to process/ponder the candidates can be helpful -- I know my opinions of earlier candidates (in the principals searches) changed as I saw later ones. I do think there would be room on the last evaluation to make general comments about the relative ranking of any of those you saw.

Thanks for your interest in being involved.

Anonymous said...

Please make a note of the postponement of Dr Alberto Rodriguez's visits.