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twoshort

GRPS Superintendent Search

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http://www.woodtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=4...44&nav=menu44_2

The article makes it clear that the parents want Taylor because he's black and they don't want Armstrong because he's Canadian. It also goes on to talk about how Armstrong is leaving because he can't get along with the school board and Taylor is leaving a school with declining enrollment because his contract wasn't renewed by the board. It reads like they can't handle the districts they're in, and now we want to bring them here. That's the impression I got which I find hard to beleive.

Something tells me there's more to this story :D (wierd, right ;) ). Was anyone there or has anyone followed this more closely? Care to share a less biased view than WoodTV?

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Again,

I have to be VERY careful what I say. One, thing that needs to be cleared up right away is that not one person who made public comment last night said anything about race. It was never mentioned even once.

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The fact that the entire school board knew before hand that Armstrong was Canadian reminds that maybe its time for a few members to step down... What you can't remember he was Canadian, so to justify your ignorance you say he isn't right for our system?!? Why bring him in and consider Armstrong as a candidate? WASTE OF OUR TIME...

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Andy, its not stupid. It's Grand Rapids, remember? Seriously, if you don't want a Canadian running GRPS don't ask him to come and interivew, simple... I beleive their point for not wanting a Canadian or foreigner for that matter is because they aren't US citisens and that would be a PR nightmare. Outrageous?

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The only way I can see it affecting him would be with a work visa, and having to be a resident of the U.S. Because this is not a contract job, maybe he needs a permanent residence here to be eligible. Just my guess.

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The only way I can see it affecting him would be with a work visa, and having to be a resident of the U.S. Because this is not a contract job, maybe he needs a permanent residence here to be eligible. Just my guess.

That's what I was thinking, he's not a US Citizen. No way could anyone logically argue that because of his nationality/herritage he wouldn't be a good fit.

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A quote not related to the topic at hand, but GRPS related...

"I'm embarrassed that this has to happen," President Amy McGlynn said. "Don't tell me that the children of Bloomfield Hills are worth more than my children in Grand Rapids."

http://www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ss...5380.xml&coll=6

About time somone stood up and said something...

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The fact that the entire school board knew before hand that Armstrong was Canadian reminds that maybe its time for a few members to step down... What you can't remember he was Canadian, so to justify your ignorance you say he isn't right for our system?!? Why bring him in and consider Armstrong as a candidate? WASTE OF OUR TIME...

Wow, where do I start? So much misinformation...so much misunderstanding. A question to everyone, not just you Rizzo, "where do you go to get your information?" If you go to Wood TV 8, or the Grand Rapids Press you are woefully misinformed.

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THANK GOD... I was wondering if my hostility to the members was misplaced. Don't let this affect your kindness to me :( ... If you're right Dave, please allow me to say that we should boycott both the media outlets... How terrible. Sorry

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This discussion proves many things, one of which is that the media outlets do not always report things as they are, simply because it would not sell advertising or newspapers. To boil this down to a race issue, as the press seems to want to do, is simply not telling the whole story.

From my perspective (parent with three potential in-district children) I do not care if the next superintendent is black, white, green or purple, or what nationality he is. It simply does not matter. I want the best person that we can get.

We have elected the school board to make these choices and we should let them make them, without letting the race issue become a factor.

For what it is worth, my choice would be Dr. Taylor. For two reasons. He is from an urban school district which has some of the same issues, rather than from a county school system, which may be similar "statistically", but is not an urban district. The other reason is that he has a doctorate, which should have some merit. Even though those two things are similar to an earlier superintendent's credentials, I really think Dr. Taylor is got a lot going for him and could help this district.

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I hope the tone in my initial thread-starting post was clear enough to show that I'm fully aware that the story on WoodTV.com is misleading. The point of this thread was to dispel the misrepresentations, not to debate the candidates based on what woodtv has to say about them.

Anyways, Rizzo: What exactly is the PR nightmare in hiring someone born in another country? He's already working in education in North Carolina, its not like he's never been on American soil. I'm with Andy, it doesn't matter that he's canadian.

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I dont get it. Our govenor is from Canada. Are these guys telling me that the guy running the school system cant be from there too?

Yah, I thought that was true. I'm with you, I don't get it.

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For what it is worth, my choice would be Dr. Taylor. For two reasons. He is from an urban school district which has some of the same issues, rather than from a county school system, which may be similar "statistically", but is not an urban district. The other reason is that he has a doctorate, which should have some merit. Even though those two things are similar to an earlier superintendent's credentials, I really think Dr. Taylor is got a lot going for him and could help this district.

I agree completly. For what its worth I don't care if the man is from Canada, or anywhere else for that matter. The best man for the position is how I look at this.

twoshort, I was thinking a PR nightmare based on what the media had reported (no one wants a white candadian)... As Dave said, I didn't know the media Yellow'd this so much... I won;t be reading the press on these matters nor will I watch any of the news programs. Maybe next time I will goto the source and visit the school board meetings or even talk directly with the board members.

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I can understand the hostility towards school boards, expecially if (as i'm assuming most of us) has had to deal with a suburban school board, I personally have experience with a school district that borrows its name from the two counties it resides in. :whistling: And if anything horrible is going on there, chances are its the school board meddling in things it shouldn't, and not the administration itself.

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The school board is worthless. We need some people in there with real operational experience, not a bunch of hacks and wanna be super parents. Even worse, every time a search for a new leader starts, all of the wrong people are selected for the wrong reasons. It seems like they are always too focused on gender and ethnicity and not real life achievement.

Hell, the last Super was from a suburban district with nothing in common with GR. Who knows why they chose him, I mean, really. There was nothing at all impressive about his resume. Before him, Newby (sp???) came from a bankrupt and failed district (on of the worst in the nation) - to do what? Save ours. Come on, she just helped destroy another more complicated one and they expected her to work wonders here... I mean, this ignorance is absolutely stunning. It is amazing that an elected group can act so stupid so often.

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Nobody with any skills wants to run because they see the bunch of lame do-nothings on the board that they'd have to deal with. I watched the board meeting the other night for a few minutes and I was laughing about how they couldn't even figure out how RObert's rules work. What a joke. No one with half a brain would want to deal with that bunch for $200 a month.

The next superintendent will be ready to quit in about a month, after he sees who he has to work with on that board.

Saying that we, as citizens of grand rapids, have no right to complain is to ignore the reality that we pay the bills and have every right to criticize the board and the operations of the district. I just think the far majority of people have completely given up caring because the district has shown us that they're incapable of self-governance.

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I do not want to assume anything when I say this, but I think I am pretty close to the truth with the following: I would believe that a majority of the people on the school board as well as a significant portion of those who do not want a Canadian running our school system were actively involved in supporting the election of our current Canadian governor. Not that I am saying that she is doing a good job. But it is common knowledge that minorities and school officials tend to vote for a democrat. If someone is willing to support electing an official as governor who is from Canada, then the argument that a school official from Canada cannot do a good job kind of gets tossed out the window.

Again, I am not saying that one person or another is the right choice. But c'mon, race, Canadian, these are weak arguments. Show me that one candidate has a better success track record and that their vision is a vision that makes sense. Neither one of these finalists did better than the other in their past positions, from what I can tell.

I do not think that the Southern US Canadian white guy is any better/worse than the central US black guy. If we get lucky, one of these guys, and I really do not care which one it is, will deliver a vision that encorporates personal respect, a disciplined process, and expectations of the parents, students, faculty, and community that will lead to exceptional results. That is what really matters. In other words: Where do we want to be in 5 years and how can we effectively work together to get there. Let's not be a bullet on either of these candidate's resume. Let's provide them with incentives that make then commit to turning this big ol' ship around.

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Nobody with any skills wants to run because they see the bunch of lame do-nothings on the board that they'd have to deal with. I watched the board meeting the other night for a few minutes and I was laughing about how they couldn't even figure out how RObert's rules work. What a joke. No one with half a brain would want to deal with that bunch for $200 a month.

The next superintendent will be ready to quit in about a month, after he sees who he has to work with on that board.

Saying that we, as citizens of grand rapids, have no right to complain is to ignore the reality that we pay the bills and have every right to criticize the board and the operations of the district. I just think the far majority of people have completely given up caring because the district has shown us that they're incapable of self-governance.

It is so easy to rant and complain about easy targets, I fall into that trap, too.

What makes more sense is to take your ideas, show up at meetings, get involved,

run for an open seat, and take action. Give your complaints legs. So many of you

here have the knowledge and visibility in your respective jobs to actually get

things done. I would encourage all of you who wish to give real voice to your

thoughts to take it off this board and bring it to the school board. Clearly,

we all want Grand Rapids schools to improve in order for the rest of the city

to work. Everything is connected. Go!

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It is so easy to rant and complain about easy targets, I fall into that trap, too.

What makes more sense is to take your ideas, show up at meetings, get involved,

run for an open seat, and take action. Give your complaints legs. So many of you

here have the knowledge and visibility in your respective jobs to actually get

things done. I would encourage all of you who wish to give real voice to your

thoughts to take it off this board and bring it to the school board. Clearly,

we all want Grand Rapids schools to improve in order for the rest of the city

to work. Everything is connected. Go!

Plenty of people have tried. The board and district administration have shown themselves to be completely uninterested in fixing the systemic issues preventing positive change. That's why not many people really care what the board and superintendent do any more.

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Plenty of people have tried. The board and district administration have shown themselves to be completely uninterested in fixing the systemic issues preventing positive change. That's why not many people really care what the board and superintendent do any more.

That's a pretty big accusation there :huh: Please enlighten me with these people who have tried and been totally shut out. I think the board does care, that's been shown even here by Dave (who is an active member of UP and member of the Board). You're accusing everyone from the Super down of just being content with showing up and collecting a paycheck and not caring? Wow.. :unsure:

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That's a pretty big accusation there :huh: Please enlighten me with these people who have tried and been totally shut out. I think the board does care, that's been shown even here by Dave (who is an active member of UP and member of the Board). You're accusing everyone from the Super down of just being content with showing up and collecting a paycheck and not caring? Wow.. :unsure:

Oh, they care. But then again, don't we all? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Caring does not equate with management skills.

There have been a number of groups which at first tried to work with the administration over the last six or so years, then that turned adversarial. There were literally hundreds of folks who tried to present alternatives to the current board and administration's "reaction" mode so that the district could become proactive and address the underlying management issues, but those ideas threatened the bureaucracy. The result? Rejection of change and the further embrace of mediocrity.

There are plenty of examples of urban schools in the same situation as GRPS schools which have addressed the problems inherent in urban education and successfully overcome them. The challenge for GRPS is to engage in self-examination. They will not and cannot. It's a self-perpetuating bureaucracy and the board is essentially there as window dressing.

In the mean time, parents with school-age children are fleeing the city and those left behind are getting stuck in a system (poorly) managing its own decline. The kids who need the education most are getting shafted hardest.

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