Superintendent Interviews final thoughts

I didn’t like the process, if you wanted to see all the applicants you couldn’t listen to their answers to both sets up questions as two were going at a time. I ended up listening to two sets of answers to business/community members questions and three sets of answers to the questions from the teacher/parent group.

I also didn’t like that the questions were scripted. It gave no room for follow up and I hated most of the questions. There were for the most part terrible. I didn’t want to know about that one time you had to fire somebody, I want to know what you are going to do about the budget hole, the achievement gap and violent ESE students here and now if you get the job. I want to know how you are going to address teacher moral (which was asked) and how you keep arts in all the schools despite the budget cuts. What are you going to do about foreign language classes that have 50 students and so many other subjects. 

The most disappointing thing however was the make up of the groups. There were more members from the civic council than there were teachers. There were more people from Avondale than there were from the north side too. The make up of the community group was embarrassingly bad, it was a black mark on the day.

As you read on remember I was only able to see the applicants answers to one group of questions. They had three other meetings, two of which, with the cabinet and students, that the public was invited to and as I said above if you wanted to see all the applicants you could only hear their answers to one set of questions.

Micheal Dunsmore is probably a great guy but he is the wrong fit for the district.

Eric Pruitt seemed like a great guy as well, but he lost me with his fiscal responsibility thing. He wants to have at any time 250 million dollars in reserves? It was confusing to say the least.

Diana Greene superintendent Manatee was the front runner coming in, and I love that she helped her district get a half cent sales tax for education, something I have been suggesting for years. I also hear good things from her staff too but I found her answers were lackluster and they ran long.

Sito Narcisse, seemed sincere and prepared but I hated his answer about charter schools. He likes choice, but I am not sure if he knows that in Florida, choice really means privatization.

Harrison Peters was the most personable and engaging. He had good answers and memorable lines too but is that enough to be superintendent? I don’t know but if he performed as well in the other groups I am sure he closed the gap on Greene. 

I guess at the end of the day all I really learned was the school board seems to value the civic council more than teachers and that was incredibly disappointing.

I will say I do trust, Wright, Couch and Hershey to steer us in the right direction. I don’t think they will let us down, this dog and pony show of a day notwithstanding.   

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