As the Duval County School Board moves forward with its search for a new superintendent, the community is exploring numerous questions about what the process of selecting a superintendent will look like, and how it will take place.
We thought we would post a few media stories from locally and around the country looking at some of these issues.
What should the timeline be? This is a question that has emerged because four of the seven school board members are up for re-election, with the primary taking place on August 14. The Florida Times-Union editorial board has called for the board to wait. But outgoing board member Tommy Hazouri had a thoughtful response on why the search cannot wait here.
Jacksonville Public Education Fund board member Cleve Warren weighed in on this in one story with a sensible point:
"It's the job that we elected them for," he said. "It doesn't matter to me that they're short-timers or long-timers. I don't think that kids can afford to wait on something else to happen."
Warren said it makes no sense to wait because it would push the selection of a new superintendent back a full school year.
"I think it's one of those 'damned if you do, damned if you don't,' so you might as well go ahead and do," Warren said.
The search comes at a time when many large urban districts are looking for a superintendent. Some have said that the competition for the best candidate will be fierce. These include Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the School District of Philadelphia and the Dallas Independent School District. In Florida, Pinellas County (St. Petersburg) is looking, as is Seminole County. (You can click on the name of each community for some additional information.) The Palm Beach County search for a new superintendent lasted a year before they selected the formerly interim superintendent Wayne Gent last month. In Orlando, the Orange County School Board last night selected Barbara Jenkins, formerly the district's deputy superintendent. However, in Duval there are no clear internal candidates. Duval's Deputy Superintendent, Patricia Willis, announced this week that she would leave at the end of June to care for her parents and finish her doctorate.
The board is currently devising the process through which the community will be involved in the decision-making on a new superintendent and setting meeting dates for the "Envisioning Committee." Read more about the Envisioning Committee made up of community stakeholders here.
Are there questions you have about the process? Please post below and we will try to find answers for them.