Are Georgia school systems hiring the wrong leaders or are bad school boards driving out good people?
We’ve seen a lot of school chief turnover of late, with DeKalb leading the pack.
And now the Bibb County school board voted 7-1 Monday to part ways with its controversial Superintendent Romain Dallemand.
The Macon Telegraph reports that the school system will pay Dallemand $350,000 to leave three years ahead of schedule.
Dallemand introduced the Macon Miracle, an ambitious plan to turn around the schools with a little bit of every sort of reform including Chinese. He has been a polarizing figure in Macon since he was hired in December, 2010.
According to the Telegraph story announcing his departure: (Please read the full news story before commenting.)
Talk of a possible buyout had rumbled for weeks. Last month, sources told The Telegraph that Dallemand approached board members in a closed session on Jan. 17 about a buyout, saying he thought it was time for him to leave the system.
Later, however, Dallemand told local media he planned to finish out the terms of his three-year contract, which was to end in December 2015.
Monday night, Bibb County Commission Chairman Sam Hart said the school board now needs to move forward.
“I thought (Dallemand) came with a great idea, but he had to have the support of the board,” Hart said.
Since he took the helm of Bibb schools in February 2011, Dallemand introduced major changes across the 24,000-student system, often stirring controversy. His Macon Miracle plan, aimed at improving student achievement through sweeping changes such as Mandarin Chinese instruction for students and an extended learning day, passed in a 5-3 vote last March, but not before public outcry. The system’s expenses on new furniture, as well as the costs of Dallemand’s travel, also have drawn criticism.
The Dallemand administration also has drawn scrutiny over how it’s handled the state’s open records and meeting laws. A complaint from The Telegraph to the state Attorney General’s Office about open record requests prompted a visit from the office’s senior assistant attorney general in May.
Others have criticized him for not being transparent with the board and not putting enough of an emphasis on student safety and discipline.
Dallemand’s buyout is not the first time in recent years the Bibb County school board bought out the superintendent’s contract. The board approved a $198,000 lump-sum settlement with former Superintendent Sharon Patterson in February 2010.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog