LA Unified board picks Hazard Young to find next superintendent

Mike Szymanski: The LA Unified school board yesterday picked the search firm to find the district’s next superintendent, completing a relatively speedy process that suggests the members want a successor in place when Ramon Cortines steps down in December. The search process began Sunday, when the board narrowed the field to two head-hunter firms from … Continue reading LA Unified board picks Hazard Young to find next superintendent

Administration Memo on the Madison Superintendent Search

Dylan Pauly, Legal Services:

Dr. Nerad recently announced his retirement effective June 30, 2013. Consequently, over the next few months this Board will be required to begin its search for the next District leader. While some members of the Board were Board members during the search that brought Dr. Nerad to Madison, many were not. A number of members have asked me to provide some background information so that they may familiarize themselves with the process that was used in 2007. Consequently, I have gathered the following documents for your review:
1. Request for Proposals: Consultation Services for Superintendent Search, Proposal 3113, dated March 19, 2007;
2. Minutes from Board meetings on February 26,2007, and March 12,2007, reflecting Board input and feedback regarding draft versions ofthe RFP;
3. Contract with Hazard, Young and Attea;
4. A copy of the Notice of Vacancy that was published in Education Week;
5. Minutes from a Board meeting on August 27, 2007, which contains the general timeline used to complete the search process; and,
6. Superintendent Search- Leadership Profile Development Session Schedule, which reflects how community engagement was handled during the previous search.
It is also my understanding that the Board may wish to create an ad hoc committee to handle various procedural tasks related to the search process. In line with Board Policy 1041, I believe it is appropriate to take official action in open session to create the new ad hoc. I recommend the following motion:

Dave Zweiful shares his thoughts on Dan Nerad’s retirement.
Related: Notes and links on Madison Superintendent hires since 1992.

Madison Superintendent Art Rainwater’s recent public announcement that he plans to retire in 2008 presents an opportunity to look back at previous searches as well as the K-12 climate during those events. Fortunately, thanks to Tim Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web, we can quickly lookup information from the recent past.

The Madison School District’s two most recent Superintendent hires were Cheryl Wilhoyte [Clusty] and Art Rainwater [Clusty]. Art came to Madison from Kansas City, a district which, under court order, dramatically increased spending by “throwing money at their schools”, according to Paul Ciotti:

2008 Madison Superintendent candidate public appearances:

The Madison Superintendent position’s success is subject to a number of factors, including: the 182 page Madison Teachers, Inc. contract, which may become the District’s handbook (Seniority notes and links)…, state and federal laws, hiring practices, teacher content knowledge, the School Board, lobbying and community economic conditions (tax increase environment) among others.

Superintendent Nerad’s reign has certainly been far more open about critical issues such as reading, math and open enrollment than his predecessor (some board members have certainly been active with respect to improvement and accountability). The strings program has also not been under an annual assault, lately. That said, changing anything in a large organization, not to mention a school district spending nearly $15,000 per student is difficult, as Ripon Superintendent Richard Zimman pointed out in 2009.

Would things improve if a new Superintendent enters the scene? Well, in this case, it is useful to take a look at the District’s recent history. In my view, diffused governance in the form of more independent charter schools and perhaps a series of smaller Districts, possibly organized around the high schools might make a difference. I also think the District must focus on just a few things, namely reading/writing, math and science. Change is coming to our agrarian era school model (or, perhaps the Frederick Taylor manufacturing model is more appropriate). Ideally, Madison, given its unparalleled tax and intellectual base should lead the way.

Perhaps we might even see the local Teachers union authorize charters as they are doing in Minneapolis.

Green Bay school superintendent proposals sought

Patti Zarling:

The Green Bay School Board agreed Monday to send requests to about 17 search companies — including the one used to recruit Superintendent Greg Maass — for proposals to guide its efforts to find a new school leader.
Maass announced last week he will leave his Green Bay post at the end of June. He plans to accept a similar position in Marblehead, Mass., pending background checks and contract negotiations. He’s been in Green Bay for three years.
Illinois-based Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates, the recruitment company that the Green Bay board hired last time to conduct its search, said it would waive its consulting fee because Maass is leaving within five years, School Board president Jean Marsch said. The district paid the firm $22,000 and covered another $12,500 or so in additional expenses, for things such as advertising, travel and lodging, in the search for Maass, she said. The district still would be on the hook for the additional costs.
But members said they’d still like to hear what other search firms have to offer.

Madison Superintendent Dan Nerad previous position was in Green Bay.

Two Finalists for Waukesha Superintendent

Amy Hetzner:

The finalists – Cudahy Superintendent James Heiden and Oshkosh Deputy Superintendent for Business Services Todd Gray – will each spend a full day this week touring the district and speaking with staff and community members. The board could make its choice on a replacement for Superintendent David Schmidt by the end of the week, School Board President Daniel Warren said.
Schmidt, who has been with the Waukesha School District since the 1998-’99 school year, is scheduled to retire at the end of June.
The district received applications from nearly 20 candidates for the job. Consultants from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates winnowed those down to six semi-finalists, who were interviewed by board members over three nights last week.
The board deliberated until about 12:45 a.m. Friday before deciding on their final candidates, Warren said.

Waukesha’s Superintendent Search

Amy Hetzner:

The board is in the midst of interviews with six semifinalists for the superintendent’s job, chosen from a pool “just shy of 20” applicants screened by search consulting firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. The interviews are scheduled to wrap up tonight, with the board naming one or several finalists afterward, Warren said.
That puts the district on track to bring in its finalists next week for meetings with administrators, community leaders, labor groups and board members, with the possibility that the board could know whether it has a final candidate by week’s end, he said.
The names of the semifinalists have not been released.

Waukesha Superintendent Search Survey

School District of Waukesha:

As you are aware, the Waukesha Board of Education has initiated its search for a new superintendent. To provide counsel to us in this important process, we have retained the services of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. (HYA), a search firm that specializes in assisting boards with the identification and selection of superintendents. Click here to connect to HYA’s website.
A very important early step in this process is to identify the characteristics we will be seeking in our new superintendent. We would appreciate your assistance with this task and invite you to attend a community forum meeting with a representative from Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. on Monday, May 5, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be held in the Media Center at Central Middle School, 400 N. Grand Avenue, Waukesha 53186.

Green Bay School Board Assesses Superintendent Wish List

Kelly McBride:

The next superintendent of the Green Bay School District should be an experienced, community-minded leader focused on student achievement and knowledgeable of changing district demographics, according to the search firm charged with finding him or her.
Those were just a few of the key themes that emerged as the result of two full days of interviews and written feedback submitted by about 275 district stakeholders earlier this month.
The School Board on Saturday assessed the results of that feedback in the form of a leadership profile submitted by search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the group charged with finding current superintendent Daniel Nerad’s replacement.
Nerad, who started as superintendent in 2001, will become the next leader of the Madison School District July 1. The search firm will use the profile to narrow a pool of perhaps 25 applicants to a field of five semifinalists.

Notes, links and video on incoming Madison Superintendent Dan Nerad.

Yin & Yang: Madison Superintendent Search 1999 vs 2008

Props to the Madison School Board for a process that has resulted in five interesting candidates. We’ll see how it plays out. Susan Troller on the current process:

The pool of five candidates for Madison’s top school district job includes two superintendents and high-level administrators from some of the largest and oldest school districts in America.
The candidates — four men and one woman — all have experience working in urban school districts. All have doctoral degrees, two are minorities, and three come from out of state. The out-of-staters have administrative experience in the Boston Public Schools in Massachusetts, the Miami/Dade school system in Florida and a combined district that includes schools in Columbus, Ohio.
The two candidates from Wisconsin include Green Bay’s current superintendent and the chief academic officer of the Racine Unified School District.
The semifinalists, chosen by the Hazard, Young and Attea national executive search firm, come from an original pool of 25 candidates from 11 states.
The districts where the candidates are currently working range in size from Green Bay and Racine, which have about 20,000 students, to districts like Miami/Dade, which has about 350,000 students.

Chris Murphy, writing in January, 1999:

The way is almost clear for Art Rainwater to be the nextsuperintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District.
Rainwater was the only applicant for the permanent post at the head of theMadison schools as of 11 a.m. today. The application deadline is 4:15 School Board will meet tonight to discuss the applicants, but membershave said they will make no hiring decisions because one of their number,JoAnn Elder, is out of town. The board planned to interview the superintendentcandidates on Feb. 1 and possibly make a decision that night.
“Of course, one could make the case that we’ve been interviewing Art forthe past five years, but another few questions probably won’t bother him atall,” said School Board member Deborah Lawson. She is one of three boardmembers who have been pushing to hire Rainwater since this summer withoutconducting a nationwide search.
The board reached a compromise last month in which only employees would beeligible to apply for the job. About a dozen district employees have thecertification to be a superintendent.

Madison School Superintendent Candidates

Madison School District Press Release:

Following their meeting this evening with Superintendent search consultants from Hazard, Young and Attea & Associates, Ltd., the Board of Education has selected five applicants as semifinalists for the position of Superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District.
In alphabetical order, the five applicants are:

The semifinalists were chosen from among 25 persons who sought the position currently held by Art Rainwater. Rainwater will retire on June 30, 2008, with the new Superintendent scheduled to begin on July 1.

Related Links:

Desired Superintendent Characteristics

The Board of Education of the Madison Metropolitan School District, after consulting staff, students, parents and community members, seeks an educational leader who is student-centered and demonstrates the following characteristics:

  • Leadership experience and demonstrated success in a diverse community and school district

  • Leadership experience and demonstrated success in challenging and engaging students at all points along the educational performance continuum

  • Effective communication skills

  • Strong collaborative and visionary leadership skills

  • Unquestioned integrity

  • Excellent organizational and fiscal management skills

Ability to:

  • Deal directly and fairly with faculty, staff, students, parents and community members

  • Be accessible, open-minded and consider all points of view before making decisions

  • Build consensus and support for a shared vision for the future

  • Develop positive working relationships with a wide variety of constituent groups

The individual selected is expected to be highly visible in and engaged with the schools and community. Successful experience as a superintendent or district level administrator in a similar urban environment and school district size is preferred.
Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. Executive Summary 960K PDF File:

This report summarizes the findings of the Leadership Profile Assessment conducted by Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. (HYA) for the Board of Education of Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). The data contained herein were obtained from reviewing approximately 185 completed Leadership Profile Assessment forms, 220 emailed responses and interviews with approximately 240 persons identified b y the Board, in either individual, focus group or community input settings, on September 19 and 20, 2007. The questionnaire, interviews and focus groups were structured to gather data to assist the Board in detennining the primary characteristics it might seek in its next superintendent of schools. Through this process, the consultants attempted to identify the personal and professional characteristics desired in the superintendent, as well as the skill sets necessary to maintain what constituent groups value and to address current and emerging issues which the District might be facing.
Information obtained through interviews, emails and completed questionnaires reflects similar views from all groups with respect to the multiple strengths of MMSD. Respondents were extremely proud of their District’s national recognition for educational excellence. They voiced pride in their students’ excellent test scores, the District’s exceedingly high number of National Merit Semifinalists and its ability to provide top quality academic programs in an environment of rapidly changing demographics. Given the changes in the socio-economic, racial and ethnic make-up of the student body, residents identified as major strengths the District’s commitment to reduce the achievement gap between Caucasian and minority students, its willingness to address issues of diversity and its provision of training in best practices to assist staff in meeting the special needs of a diverse student population.
Respondents also pointed to MMSD’ s commitment to neighborhood schools, retention of small class sizes in most elementary schools, rigorous curriculum, support of music programs and the arts, broad range of sports and other extra-curricular activities, high expectations of a well educated parent constituency and its excellent special education program with the focus on the inclusion of students in regular classrooms. Residents cited the strong support for the District by caring, involved parents and by a community that values high academic standards and achievement. Other strengths cited included the District’s bright, motivated students and its highly competent, dedicated, hard-working teachers and support staff committed to the success of all students. Building administrators were commended for their dedication, accessibility and innovative leadership in providing programs that reflect the needs of their individual school populations. All respondents cited MMSD’s proximity to and partnership with UW-Madison and Edgewood College as invaluable assets.
The over-arching challenge cited by all respondents centered on the MMSD’ s future ability to maintain its excellent academic programs and student performance, given the District’s insufficient financial resources, significant budget cuts and ever-growing low-income and ELL student populations. These concerns are interrelated and if not addressed successfully could eventually become the self-fulfilling cause of what respondents feared the most: the exodus of a considerable number of high-performing upper/middle class students to private or suburban schools as a “bright flight” mentality overrides parental desire to provide children with a “real world” enviromnent of socio-economic, ethnic and racial diversity.
Concern over the funding issue was expressed in several ways: failure to cut the personnel costs of a “top heavy” central office, more equitable funding of the various schools, state level politics that restrict local access to property taxes and fail to increase state funding, the cost of responding to the arbitrary mandates of t he NCLB law, the future need for a referendum to increase property taxes and a strong teachers’ union perceived as placing its salary/benefit issues, restrictions on management prerogatives and undue influence over the Board ahead of the District’s interests. The impact of continued budget cuts strikes at the quality and reputation of the educational program, with fear of an erosion of the comprehensive curriculum and after-school activities, reduction in aides who help classroom teachers with ELL and special education students; curtailment of music, fine arts and gifted programs; increases in class size; lack of classroom supplies; postponed maintenance and renovation of aging facilities; need to update technology and the lack of long-range financial planning as the District confronts one financial crisis after another.
Concern over the impact of the changing demographics was also expressed in various ways: fear that the rising cost of responding to the special needs of an increasingly diverse student population and efforts to close the achievement gap will reduce the dollars available to maintain electives and enrichment programs for regular and gifted students; the changing school culture in which gang activity, fights between students, a pervasive lack of respect by students toward authority are perceived as the norm, which in turn generates fear that the schools are no longer as safe as they used to be; the need to provide more relevant programs for the non-college bound students and the need to address the high minority student dropout rate. Concern that students from minority group populations are disproportionately disciplined, suspended and/or expelled was also expressed.
Almost all constituent groups felt that the Board and Administration need to gain the trust of parents and the community through communication that clearly identifies the fiscal issues and the criteria on which funding and budget decisions are based. Many expressed the view that the Board and Administration’s lack of transparency in district decision-making and show of disrespect toward those who question administrative proposals have eroded constituent support. A concerted effort by the Board and Administration to become more creative in publicizing the successes of MMSD’s outstanding educational opportunities might encourage mor e young upper/middle class families to move into the District and convince others to remain.
Respondents agreed on many of the attributes that would assist a new superintendent in addressing the issues confronting MMSD. They want a student-centered, collaborative educational leader of unquestioned integrity with superior communication, interpersonal and management skills. He/she should have strategic plmming skills and feel comfortable with the involvement of parents, teachers and community members in shaping a vision for the District’s future direction. The successful candidate should be a consensus builder who has had experience in meeting the needs of an ethnically and socio-economically diverse student population. He/she should b e sensitive and proactive in addressing diversity issues and a strong advocate of effective programs for ELL and gifted students and of inclusion programs for special education students. The new superintendent should be open to new ideas and encourage staff to take risks with research-based initiatives that engage students in learning and maintain high academic expectations as they work together toward common goals. When confronted with controversial issues, he/she should be willing to seek the views of those affected, examine all options and then make the tough decisions. The new superintendent should have the courage of his/her convictions and support decisions based on what is best for all students
The successful individual should have a firm understanding of fiscal management and budgets, K-12 curriculum and best practice and the importance of technology in the classroom. He/she should be a strong supporter of music, fine arts and after-school activities. The new superintendent should have successful experience dealing collaboratively with a Board and establishing agreement on their respective govemance roles. He/she should have a proven record of recruiting minority staff and hiring competent people who are empowered to strive for excellence and are held accountable.
He/she should b e visible in the school buildings and at school events, enjoy interacting with students and staff, be actively involved in the community and seek opportunities to develop positive working relationships with state and local officials, business and community groups. The individual should be a personable, accessible, open-minded leader who engages staff, students, parents and the community in dialogue, keeps them well informed and responds respectfully to inquiries in a timely, forthright manner.
While it is unlikely tofind a candidate who possesses all of the characteristics desired by respondents, HYA and the Board intend to meet the challenge of finding an individual who possesses many of the skills and character traits required to address the issues described b y the constituent groups. We expect the new superintendent to provide the leadership that inspires trust and unites the community in its support for MMSD’s efforts to achieve an even higher level of performance for its students and staff.
Respectfully submitted,
Marvin Edwards
Jim Rickabaugh
Joan Levy

960K Executive Summary.

And Then There Were 3: Finalists for the Madison Superintendent Job

Madison Board of Education:

Following a first round of interviews with the five semifinalists, the Board of Education has selected three candidates as finalists for the position of Superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District.
In alphabetical order, the three candidates are:
Dr. Steve Gallon, District Administrative Director – Miami/Dade Public Schools, Miami, Florida [Clusty Search / Google Search / Live Search / Yahoo Search]
Dr. James McIntyre, Chief Operating Officer – Boston Public Schools, Boston, Massachusetts [Clusty Search / Google Search / Live Search / Yahoo Search]
Dr. Daniel Nerad, Superintendent of Schools – Green Bay Area Public School District, Green Bay, Wisconsin [Clusty Search / Google Search / Live Search / Yahoo Search ]
The Board interviewed the candidates last evening and today.
Each of the three finalists will spend a day in Madison on January 22, 23 or 24. In addition to a second interview with the Board, the candidates will visit some schools and see parts of Madison, talk to attendees at the Community Meet and Greet, and speak with district administrators.
The community is invited to the Meet and Greets scheduled from 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center on January 22, 23 and 24. In the first hour, attendees will be able to briefly meet and greet the candidate as part of a receiving line. From 5:00 to 5:15 p.m. each day, the candidate will make a brief statement and might take questions. The session will end promptly at 5:15 p.m.
The schedule for visits by the finalists:
Tuesday, January 22 Steve Gallon
Wednesday, January 23 James McIntyre
Thursday, January 24 Daniel Nerad
On January 26 or 27, the Board will identify a preferred finalist. To ensure the Board’s research will be as comprehensive as possible, a Board delegation is expected to visit the finalist’s community during the week of January 28. The announcement of the appointment of the new Superintendent is scheduled for early February.


Madison School Board August 2007 Progress Report

Arlene Silveira: Superintendent Search: The search for our new Superintendent officially started on August 27. The Board met with our search consultant, Hazard, Young and Attea, to plan the timeline and action items for the search. Ideally, we would like to have a new Superintendent in place in the February time-frame. This will give the … Continue reading Madison School Board August 2007 Progress Report

Madison School Board selects a firm for superintendent search

For immediate release: Friday, June 8, 2007 (sent late Friday afternoon) The Madison Board of Education has selected the firm of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates of Glenview, ILto conduct the search for the hiring of a new superintendent. HYA was selected from among four businesses which applied for the search contract. Board President Arlene … Continue reading Madison School Board selects a firm for superintendent search

The Rise of Peer Review: Melinda Baldwin on the History of Refereeing at Scientific Journals and Funding Bodies

Robert Harington: What led to your writing this article about the history of peer review? I think my peer review project started when I discovered something really unexpected about Nature: that it hadn’t employed systematic external refereeing until 1973! When I first learned that, I assumed Nature was unusual, but as it turned out, a … Continue reading The Rise of Peer Review: Melinda Baldwin on the History of Refereeing at Scientific Journals and Funding Bodies

Who Prepares our History Teachers? Who should prepare our history teachers?

Diane Ravitch via Will Fitzhugh: This is an exciting time for history education. States across the nation are strengthening their history curricula and expecting youngsters to learn more American and world history. Even the vitriolic controversy over the national history standards serves to remind us that people care passionately about history. Not only is there … Continue reading Who Prepares our History Teachers? Who should prepare our history teachers?

When did fiction become so dangerous?

Lionel Shriver: The assignment of books for review has always been haphazard. Fellow fiction writers can be tempted either to undermine the competition, or to flatter colleagues who might later judge prizes or provide boosting blurbs. There are no clear qualifications for book reviewing — perhaps publication, but most of all, because reviewers are paid … Continue reading When did fiction become so dangerous?

The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil

Camille Paglia Young women today do not understand the fragility of civilization and the constant nearness of savage nature The disappearance of University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham two weeks ago is the latest in a long series of girls-gone-missing cases that often end tragically. A 32-year-old, 270-pound former football player who fled to Texas … Continue reading The Modern Campus Cannot Comprehend Evil

Social Studies Standards: “Doing” Common Core Social Studies: Promoting Radical Activism under the Obama Department of Education

“Were the Common Core authors serious about ‘college-readiness,’ they would have taken their cue from publisher Will Fitzhugh, who for decades has been swimming against the tide of downgraded writing standards (blogging, journal-writing, video-producing). To this end, he has been publishing impressive student history papers in his scholarly journal, The Concord Review. The new (CC) … Continue reading Social Studies Standards: “Doing” Common Core Social Studies: Promoting Radical Activism under the Obama Department of Education

All schools in China to hire security guards after Henan knife attack

Amy Li:

Repercussions from a Henan school knife attack that injured 23 pupils last month are still being felt as Beijing security officials announced on Wednesday that every kindergarten, and primary and middle school in China will hire at least one full-time security officer.
The officials, from the Central Comprehensive Social Management Commission that oversees law enforcement, said they had ordered a nationwide crackdown on crimes in neighbourhoods near schools. Illegal businesses and hazardous roads and construction projects nearby are also being inspected.
The announcement, reported by the People’s Daily on Thursday, comes weeks after a man stormed into a village school and slashed several young children in a.brutal attack.

‘Outsiders’ who teach in Seattle fly under the radar to find success with kids

Craig Parsley

One teacher learned in the Peace Corps how to sidestep bureaucrats to get things done, and he says educators with the most unconventional career tracks often make the best innovators.
Thirty years ago I was a Peace Corps volunteer drilling water wells in Liberia, West Africa. It was rough, dirty, sweaty work fraught with all the hazards and obstacles associated with operating dangerous machines in jungle environments. My overseers were generally low-level operatives working for USAID (and the CIA) or corrupt local politicians looking to maximize their status (or fill their pockets) through the successes of others.
As a young idealist, the Peace Corps taught me much about the strategies necessary to navigate past government bureaucrats to get a job done. My job was saving children’s lives from the multitude of waterborne diseases prevalent in Africa.

Driver’s education and more for 3 teens

Kirk Dooley:

Ralph and Robin Burns have three teenage boys, each one armed with a driver’s license.
Nick, Zach and Lucas Burns are good drivers, but like most other relatively inexperienced motorists, they have yet to hit a slick patch of ice on the road or to hydroplane on rain-soaked pavement. When any driver faces such road hazards for the first time, the outcome is usually determined more by luck than skill.
If a young driver hits a patch of ice for the first time and loses control of the car, it could be the last mistake he or she ever makes.
Ralph took a special driving class sponsored by Lexus a few years ago at Texas Motor Speedway and remembered being impressed with the program as it simulated emergency conditions in a controlled environment. When a friend recently told him that he had sent his daughter to a similar program geared for teen drivers, Ralph’s ears perked up.

Even background TV can impact kids’ attention

Greg Toppo:

Pediatricians have long said children younger than 2 shouldn’t watch any television. But in new findings from a small-scale study, researchers say that even having a TV on in the background could be “an environmental hazard” for children.
For the study, released today, researchers observed 50 children, ages 1 to 3, for an hour at a time as they played alone in a small room with a variety of toys. Parents sat nearby, and for half of each session (starting either at the beginning or 30 minutes in), a small TV broadcast a taped episode of Jeopardy.
After videotaping and carefully analyzing the children’s reactions, researchers found that kids watched the TV only in snippets but that it modestly shortened their playtime. TV decreased play’s intensity and cut by half the amount of time children focused on a given toy.
The researchers chose Jeopardy on the theory that it would be “nearly incomprehensible” to toddlers.

New Minnesota School Safety Center Established

Minnesota Department of Education: Governor Tim Pawlenty today announced the establishment of the Minnesota School Safety Center, which will develop a framework for all-hazard safety planning for schools and will coordinate activities of federal, state and local partners. The School Safety Center will be housed at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and will work … Continue reading New Minnesota School Safety Center Established