When Ray and Associates was selling itself to the DCSS Board of Education, one of the things that they indicated was that they would do a nationwide search and bring in candidates from far and wide. Unlike other firms, they assured us, they would go deeper than their existing pool of candidates.
Ok – BUT…..
Pretty quickly, after the announcement of the final 3 candidates, I realized that Gloria Davis had been placed in each of her superintendent jobs by Ray and Associates. I think she even said this during the public forum. She mentioned that Ray and Associates asked her to apply for the job. I learned recently that Arthur Culver got the job as the superintendent of the Champaign, Illinois school system through a search led by Ray and Associates.
So much for them finding new blood – at least from the consultant’s point of view. It doesn't appear that their search really started from scratch. In fairness, we don’t really know what role the consultant firm played in the board narrowing down the candidates. It just feels funny to me, that two of the top three would have a long established relationship with Ray and Associates.
Very disturbing to me is the fact that DCSS had a salary range and two of the three top candidates are already making close to that salary. Why are they even in the pool? Would they be willing to make a lateral move, salary wise, or will DCSS simply be forced to pay more because the systems in Illinois, even those with fewer than 10,000 students, pay such high salaries? (See the posted job position here: http://rayassoc.com/job-details.php?ID=90 )
A couple of weeks ago, the AJC ran an opinion piece by a teacher, Janusz Maciuba, at DeKalb Technical College. Unfortunately, it ran during spring break and I think a lot of parents missed it. Maciuba has interesting comments about the candidates’ current salaries and much more. Here is an excerpt, but take the time to read the whole thing.
The winning candidate will have to deal with scandal, lawsuits, a chance of losing accreditation, a county that is divided racially and socio-economically, inept principals leading failing schools, to name just the most obvious. The north end of DeKalb has parents who will hold their breaths until their neighborhood schools are saved and a south end that has become resegregated and has schools where the T’s outnumber the P’s in PTA.
It would take years just to find the closets holding the skeletons. It would take years to alter the downward course of education in this county, to stem the outflow of good teachers, to recognize effective administrators and to return the useless ones to classrooms, not put them back at the Board of Education working on “special projects” at full salaries. A new superintendent has to sweep in with dynamite and a crowbar to dislodge the bloat in having more than 500 administrators, including principals, at an annual average salary of $90,900 each.