Well, this is getting interesting:
The other finalist for the DeKalb school chief job, Arthur Culver, has resigned as superintendent in Champaign, Ill. He told the local paper that he has also withdrawn his name from contention in DeKalb.
With everything that has occurred in the last several days, I felt it was in my best interest to withdraw,” Culver told the News-Gazette.
So, not one of the three original finalists is still in contention for the top slot in DeKalb, forcing the county to start anew. I wonder if this bizarre process and all the collateral damage along the way will scare away other prospects.
This very open search process seems to have destabilized Cox in North Carolina and led Culver to resign in Illinois.
Some of the fallout comes from the openness that the law requires and that even strong school chiefs like Andres Alonso in Baltimore decry as too risky.
At a panel here, Alonso made the point with which Cox is probably in full agreement: Once your current system knows that you were considering a job elsewhere, there is a wariness about your commitment and a skepticism about everything you say. I would not be surprised to see Cox take another job soon.
The law requires release of the finalists’ names, but many school systems skirt the law by releasing the name of a single finalist in clear circumvention of the transparency intent. (Fulton just did this, avoiding the messiness of open government that DeKalb is now seeing.)
Taxpayers deserve input on the school chief as they pay the salary, but it didn’t work in this case. The problem with closing the process and shutting out public — as some of you are suggesting — is that people can get enraged to find out there is only one option for school chief, and that they had no ability to participate in the vetting.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog