Thursday, January 21, 2016

Worcester School Committee: the superintendent search

Petty reads a motion coming out of executive session: to REJECT all bids

Foley: best practice to engage in a community conversation before a search
what are our community priorities
"you need to know as a district where you want to go and where you want to be"
community based planning process
then you can identify the characteristics you are looking for
"and this is not for local versus national candidates"
strong national searches previously sometimes does yield local people
"selection of a local person was validated by a national search"
"I can read the newspapers and I can count"
"based upon principle, I will still support a national search"
"Worcester deserves a deeper and a richer process in determining who the next superintendent of our public schools will be"

former district councilor Wayne Griffin starts by question judgment of city council
dollars should be spent in the classroom
"I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for if you look south"

EAW president go on record supporting an internal search

Petty: "because we're the second largest city in New England...we have a huge district....validate whoever we pick, you choose the best candidate"
"competition brings better people in, compare ideas, learn a lot"
"part of the whole process of the search firm is to go out and greet people, and really understand what they want, and where they want the district to go to"
"fully understand why people want an internal search"
sometimes goes in waves

O'Connell speaks highly of Hazard, Young, which was the search firm that was recommended by F&O
"really believe we would have had some outstanding candidates apply" if we'd reached out
vital signs are very solid
good solid school district to offer
biggest challenge to develop a "comprehensive safety plan"
"orderly environment, a stable environment"
"that's something that somebody who knows Worcester is best able to achieve
push students to work harder than they think they can do
"need to start immediately...address proactively right off the bat"
Research Bureau work on community outreach: bringing nonprofit and for profit entities for ongoing support
articulate through a strategic plan
"not the time we can provide somebody a somewhat luxurious learning curve"

reject all bid: passes 5-2, Foley and Petty opposed

Monfredo's item for an internal search
"time to start process for hiring a new superintendent"
material from last search is in clerk's office
ideally will be in place by mid-March to recommend
Petty: internal search meaning? Just people who work for the WPS?
Monfredo agrees
Biancheria asks to amend: "under Mayor Petty and school committee members"
Petty: are we excluding with those who have worked for WPS but have moved on to working other districts?
Monfredo: that's fine
Biancheria: that totally changes the item
"then it would completely change the item and the intent of the item"
Petty "then I'm not sure what internal means"
Monfredo "within the system"
Foley: just to throw a little more fuel on the fire, "internal" could mean we're conducting it ourselves
talk to law department to be sure the language here is tight
Petty then "employees of the Worcester Public Schools"
Monfredo "and if it doesn't work out, we'll look elsewhere"
language being used is "that would only include employees of the Worcester Public Schools"

they're now passing out a draft timeline
Petty name two committees: one to do the search, one to do outreach to the public; will name week of February first
public hearings first week of February
once job description is done will create an advertisement through HR
search committee will recommend up to three finalists to full committee

O'Connell on the Research Bureau report
"strong recommendations that we develop over the next few years"
refer to task force to look at where WPS wants to be in the next years
"important to get the community's buy in"

Biancheria; what subjects need to be looked at reviewed
wants colleges involved in planning

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