Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Worcester Public Schools superintendent search: public session

liveblogging from Doherty Memorial High...about thirty people here so far...updating as we go
Biancheria, introducing committee
"take qualities...the community of Worcester is seeking in the superintendent of the Worcester Public Schools"
have a list of nine people
"looking for skills and qualities"
give name, residence, only citizens of Worcester
Gordon Davis: being able to speak a foreign language, previous experience as a superintendent

former D5 City Councilor Wayne Griffin
I'm sure you've been hearing a lot about what is needed during campaign season, "hopefully a lot of what you're hearing is reaffirming"
"someone that spent time in the schools, starting from being a teacher, working their way through to possibly being a higher management position"
"that's why the city pays taxes to educate kids, not to educate Irving Street"
"continued record of success, and success can be measured in many ways"
"familiarity with the community"
"would have been recognized by the community for promoting Worcester and promoting the school department"
"someone who is innovative"
"has to know to do the right thing, not the political expedient thing, the right thing"

Zalauskas, asks if that's what they're looking for
"we requested a seat on this search committee"
disappointed that no one has responded to that, hopes it will be rectified immediately
need someone who is fair in their dealings with everyone

Mary Mullaney, former SC member
past two searches: commend for not hiring search firm that was hired then
"I think we're here tonight because that was not handled well"
"if you're having any second thoughts about limiting that to a local community"
Worcester a very unsung community
"should be growing people from the ground up"
have already identified two good people
would be well served by either of them
now a tutor, have been a sub, until you've been a sub you don't know what's going on
"coming face to face with the little children whose names had just been names to me"
Biancheria asks her to finish up
"What I saw in the schools is something you all should know about...there is so much emphasis on data..."
"Pick someone who will be a cheerleader for this school community"

James Kobialka: teacher in system
need a good communicator
"Worcester's greatest strength is its diversity and its size" likewise its weakness
"whoever our next superintendent is needs to remedy that"
"want to work for and want to work with"
WPS "has the potential right now to be a national model"
"or in the wrong hands it could just fall apart"

Amy West, parent
"Worcester is not in a vaccuum, we function in a state and in a nation"
should know not only local issues, but should know state and national"
should be able to work with people on those various levels

Karin Valentine Goins: disappointed about selection process
"city of Worcester's size needs a robust process"
"commitment to meet the needs of high achievers...and subjects outside of testing"

Bill Bernheart (sp?)
"this is a short treatise on school safety"
"respected, practiced, and absolute"
"need to look for a great person"
"process of finding a superintendent seems to have stalled" (I should comment that he has the date wrong; Boone left in October)
internal search assumes we have the right person; "I don't think so"
someone coming from an urban environment, "or even more difficult than Worcester"
"Worcester has a terrible habit of making these decisions in a vacuum"

Ken Person: "I hate to give you all the bad news...two years in the Chicago Public Schools"
"we are good!"
"we have to be numbers driven"
"need to have that rigor in the administration"
"need someone who can go up to the state level"
"yeah, we may have our little problems, but have you seen Chicago? Detroit? We have no danger of that"
"keep everything going, let's keep the ball rolling"

teacher "have been for many years"
"fair, firm consistent discipline policies"
"don't need to fall to where Chicago is...if we aren't consistent with discipline, we have could fall"
"interested in discipline being carried through"

Helen Martinez: begins to tell a story about her son
needs some sort of ethics class

teacher: "someone who is personable"
"manufacture and mold the children"

parent of Doherty: community and social activist
"my son who is 13 says 'needs to be relaxed and under control"
daughter who is 14 "should have a good personality that can be goofy at times but serious at others"
someone who doesn't try to just change things "because that causes things like PARCC"
"instructional leader, effective communicator, not afraid to take risks"

Rep Mahoney: "knows this system inside and out"
"been a teacher and a principal"
show teachers that there's a pathway to be anything you want"
"thank you for taking control of this meeting and listening to what people have to say"

"there are over 90 languages represented in the Worcester Public Schools"
"someone who has taken that immigrant voyage and has landed on dry ground"
"whose face reflects" their experience

parent and WEC board member: strategic vision that draws on best practices from across the country
"needs to share the success" of buildings
"forceful advocate" to get FBRC funding

Rob Cohane, parent and graduate:
"we've made an awful lot of progress these past few years; we really are a model"
"has experience, has a track record of success"
"Somewhat disappointed to find a candidate" haven't looked nationally
"recognize changes in demographics"

Cathy Whalen, Doherty teacher
conversation that the kid in Newton is not the same kid as a kid in Worcester
"and if they don't have the same scores"
Bring the narrative that we don't come across as an underperforming school system

reminder that there is a second meeting tomorrow at North High at 7 pm

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