Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Super Watch

I had to wait until the smoke cleared before I said anything about our choices. I didn't want to become partial to a candidate only to have them withdraw their name from the race. Two of the candidates had already withdrawn from consideration. Leaving the board only three to choose from. Now that we have reduced that number down to two people. I'll now attempt to put some form of normalcy to this selection process.

Kriner Cash from Miami-Dade , seems to be the front runner so far. Considering the finalist will have to participate in a public forum. He comes from a system four times larger than the one in
Memphis. So, he has the credentials in addition to some other qualiities that might play to his advantage. I understand where board member Kenneth Whalum Jr. is coming from, in regards to needing a black school superintendent. That may have been more of a factor with the last school board, than it is with this one. I think the present board will be less likely to be in awe of a black male than the last one was. What we need is a task master, black or white . Who won't whisk in and shake things up, and leave as quickly as they came. That's what worries me most about Kriner Cash. I don't think he'll stay. If he does a good job, Memphis will just be another notch in his belt to gain leverage elsewhere. Read his plans for Memphis city schools and a short biography:
The other candidate is Nicholas Gleidich from Orange County Fl., the eleventh largest school system in the country. A system similar in size and makeup to the one in Memphis. I was impressed with his background in actual teaching. I think it's imperative that an administrator have some hands on experience with the children. It's hard to delegate when you don't know what's really happening yourself. Mr. Gleidich has spent his entire career in the same place. And has dealt with many of the same problems we are facing now. Instead of moving to a new job. He has worked the problem out and moved on to something else. That's what I feel this city needs. Like we have done in other high profile positions. We have drove the price of doing business sky high. We have to pay the new one just as much as we paid the last one. Even when they left much to be desired. I think pay should be based on performance. Though he has never held a superintendent job before. I like his record. Read what the newspaper said about him:


Blogger Kelvin Oliver said...

I hope the candidate that is chosen stays for a while. I am in favor of giving Nicholas Gleidich a try at giving him the chance. However, both of them could do a good job out with the school system and help with some of the problems that are happening with schools in the district. I am ready to move on to the next process and get this over with. Therefore, the person must be chosen wisely

2:32 AM  
Blogger Common said...

I'm with you Kelvin. I hope you are leading some of those other students you attend class with. You are a breath of fresh air.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Brief: Superintendent finalist sparks interest in Mass.
Friday, May 23, 2008

Miami educator Kriner Cash, who was picked Monday as one of two finalists for the Memphis City Schools superintendent job, has also been selected as a finalist for a similar job in Massachusetts.

The Waltham School Committee picked Cash, chief of accountability and systemwide performance for the Miami-Dade (Fla.) Public Schools, as one of their four finalists Wednesday night, according to The Daily News Tribune in Waltham.

Cash told The Commercial Appeal after his interview last week he is most interested in the Memphis job.

Cash and Nicholas Gledich, chief operations officer of the Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, are scheduled to return to Memphis for a two-day round of interviews with the public and other community members on June4-5.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mayor has declared the two finalist third tier candidates.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Common said...

Today I heard someone make a passionate argument for who I thought was Nicholas Gleidich. He stopped short of calling his name though. Whites are hesitant to support him for fear of being labeled a racist. Blacks are hesitant to support him for fear of being called an Uncle Tom.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Common said...

Finalists undaunted by crises with schools
By Dakarai I. Aarons (Contact)
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The two candidates for Memphis City Schools superintendent displayed a hunger to tackle the district's challenges during interviews Wednesday.

Kriner Cash, chief of accountability and systemwide performance for Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools, and Nicholas Gledich, chief operations officer for Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, spent two hours each answering a battery of sharply targeted questions from the Memphis Board of Education.

Board members asked about combating truancy, school violence, poor academic performance and sagging public confidence in the wake of operational scandals that have led to federal investigations.

As he looked at news reports in recent weeks, Cash said he had to ask himself a question: "Who in their right mind would want to come and take this position of importance and leadership in this community?"

The response from his wife, he said, was simple. "Go with your heart."

And in his heart, Cash said, he is confident Memphis City Schools can move from being a district with flashes of innovation and high performance in pockets around the city to being the best in the nation and then the globe.

Despite that confidence, Cash said it won't be easy.

"There are no panaceas or clear maps for the plan," he said. "You have to build the plane while you are flying it in each district."

Gledich, who promised to be honest and open, would require a "students first" focus from everyone in the school district, whether they teach in a classroom or manage contracts.

To reduce high school dropouts and increase the graduation rate, Gledich said he would put an emphasis on the attendance patterns of sixth- and ninth-graders. Truancy issues there often translate to a higher dropout rate.

Freshman high school students would be taught by teachers working in teams with a common planning period and a focus on literacy.

Both candidates oppose corporal punishment, saying research doesn't support its use.

Gledich said he once used paddling as a classroom teacher and principal, but stopped cold one day nearly 20 years ago, feeling it was ineffective.

"I know that I didn't help children make good choices by paddling them. I helped them make good choices by teaching them," he said.

Cash and Gledich said their desire for the job hasn't waned, despite Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton calling them "third-rate," and the Memphis City Council's Tuesday decision to cut more than $50 million from the district's operating budget next year.

"The mayor and members of the community are entitled to their opinions," Gledich said. "There's no waffling in my choice right now."

Cash, however, did say that if the board is dissolved and the schools are taken into the county system, he would not want the job.

Cash and Gledich meet with local officials today before public forums in the Board Auditorium, 2597 Avery. Cash will meet the public at 6 p.m.; Gledich, at 7 p.m.

Meet the candidates

Kriner Cash and Nicholas Gledich, finalists for the job of Memphis City Schools superintendent, will take part this evening in public forums in the Board Auditorium, 2597 Avery. Cash will meet the public at 6 p.m.; Gledich at 7 p.m.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Common said...

Public grills finalists for city schools chief
Cash, Gledich make pitches for job to be filled on Tuesday
By Dakarai I. Aarons (Contact)
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Friday, June 6, 2008

More than 50 Memphians quizzed the two hopefuls for the Memphis City Schools superintendent's job on Thursday night.

In separate sessions, Kriner Cash, chief of accountability and systemwide performance for Miami-Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools, and Nicholas Gledich, chief operations officer for Orange County (Fla.) Public Schools, answered questions from the public for an hour each.

Memphis citizens listen as finalists for city schools chief answer questions during the public forum Thursday night in the main auditorium at MCS headquarters on Avery.

Audience members focused on waste, nepotism, school calendars, dual enrollment programs in high schools and No Child Left Behind.

Cash told audience members that within five years, Memphis City Schools would again be a system students would be proud of and at least 80 percent of them would go on to the world's top higher-education institutions.

"Memphis should be a city of the world. We have a way to go," he said. "But we are strong in many, many areas we can build on."

Part of that, Cash said, will be creating academy programs at every high school much like the current optional school program.

Gledich said he favored strong and consistent staff development that would boost the quality of teaching and learning in the district's schools.

He said creating smaller communities within high schools, along with outside opportunities, will help keep students engaged and ensure they walk across the graduation stage.

His staff recently negotiated a contract with a firm that allowed students to get hands-on experience with school construction.

"We need to create the conditions of lifelong learning."

Asked about tackling gang issues, Gledich said early intervention is key with students in elementary and middle schools, as is a partnership with law enforcement and community groups.

And it requires sustained effort, he said.

"It can't be a one-shot wonder. This is something that needs to be ongoing and something that needs to be done with intent and purpose," Gledich said.

The school board's search firm, Ray and Associates, had audience members write their questions down on note cards to weed out duplicate questions or those that might cause legal problems.

Al Johnson, the firm's regional search director, commended Memphians for their high attendance. He said Thursday's audience was the largest he has seen in three years at public forums with superintendent candidates.

Audience members also were given a sheet to give their impressions of the candidates. Johnson said board members would be given a copy of each sheet to help them in their final deliberations.

The Memphis Board of Education plans to select either Cash or Gledich as the new superintendent on Tuesday.

Interim Supt. Dan Ward said in an e-mail to staffers that the freeze does not mean the positions will never be filled. The number of affected positions has not been determined.

The freeze is one of several cost-saving measures Ward is looking at while he and his team begin combing through the district's budget again.

"The superintendent wants to review how the district can better manage its resources," said spokeswoman Rita Cooper.

Ward said the freeze won't affect any positions where job offers have already been made.

School officials are considering court action to reverse the council's decision, but haven't decided.

8:13 PM  

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