Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Embellishing Educators . . .

Nice . . . The top two BOCES-screened superintendent candidates for the Utica City School District have been caught by the OD "embellish"ing their resumes.
Neumann’s resume says she worked at the Wyandanch Union Free School District as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and technology from 2004 to present.

Neumann actually was hired as the director of technology in 2004 and promoted to assistant superintendent a year and a half later. . . .

Willis’ resume says he served as assistant superintendent of human resources and administration at the South Orangetown Central School District from July 2005 through July 2007. He actually was hired as the director of technology and was promoted to assistant superintendent in July 2006

. . . . And George H.W. Bush was President from 1981 to 1993 (12 years!) . . . wasn't he?

What's worse than candidates fudging (lying) on their credentials are our local officials minimizing it:
Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Superintendent Howard Mettelman, who serves as the district’s search consultant, said Tuesday the listing of the last title held is common practice.

“Some of it depends on the style of resume,” Mettelman said. “The purpose of a resume is to see the scope of experience. The other background information comes out in the interview.” . . .

“It’s generally a common practice to list the last position held,” said Steven Kalies, an associate professor at Utica College and retired BOCES superintendent. “You’re not going to get to that level of detail on a two- to three-page resume. That’s something for the boards to follow up on.”
Bull tickey! This has nothing to do with "style of resume" or "level of detail." Expecting it to "come out in the interview" is a deflection of responsibility. Do Mettelman and Kalies actually think someone is going to ask "Now what did you really mean when you said that you were assistant superintendent from 2004 to present?" How outrageous! They got caught . . . and Mettleman and Kalies are sanctioning dishonesty.

And speaking of Supt. Mettleman -- as well as other BOCES Superintendents, because the practice of offering so-called "free" superintendent-search services is wide spread -- "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts" as they say . . . and then "There is no such thing as a free lunch."

How about all those lucrative contracts between local school districts and BOCES? Isn't it nice that BOCES' superintendents are in a position to manipulate the process that will select the people who will ink deals with them later on? Ever wonder why a lot of superintendents seem to think alike? They are sorted that way to keep the "bloodline" pure.

The School Board will fix this right? That Lou LaPolla, who is a dependable voice of reason will take care of this . . . won't he?
Board Vice President Louis LaPolla also said he was not concerned.

“It is not a necessary requirement to be an assistant superintendent before becoming a superintendent,” LaPolla said. “I look at the educational qualifications and business experience to oversee tax money.”
Wow . . . So I guess people who would inflate their claimed time in a position by 100% or more can still be counted upon to present accurate financial information for the Board to act upon... or to accurately report student scores on standardized tests . . . or simply be honest in how district employees are performing.

The Utica City School District should reject these candidates and consider others . . . and get beyond the carefully screened Stepford Supts churned out by BOCES.

While Steve Schiavi (who publicly tossed his hat in the ring months ago) may be a tad too liberal politically for my tastes, he (1) is qualified, (2) is a known quantity, (3) is willing to work for less, and (4) based on his writings in the Life and Times, clearly holds the needs of the community paramount. He, or some other independent minded individual like him, should be given a shot.


Anonymous said...

You raise another great point in regards to BOCES picking the Super and the conflicts. Kinda reminds me of the County Executive appointing a three member panel to search for and appoint a new Mental Health Commissioner this year. Not only does this violate State Mental Health Law, which says the Community Services Board is supposed to handle the appointment of a Commissioner, but the three member panel consisted of two Non-Profit CEO's (Insight House and UCP) that have contracts with the county's Mental Health Department. Now, how would the Commissioner ever possibly cut those budgets when the CEO's are the ones that actually hired her? hmmmm.

Is this a trend here?

Greens and Beans said...

I could not agree more. Based on his “Life and Times” articles, Steven Schiavi is a bit too liberal for my liking. But then again like most educators, be they high school or college instructors, most are a bit too left of center for me. Notwithstanding, Mr. Schiavi may just deserve a chance at being Utica’s next school district superintendent. But unless anointed by the BOCES power brokers, Schiavi will never stand a chance.

Several years ago, I had the experience of being a local school district civic member who was requested to interview candidates for a school principal position. The district Superintendent accepted a BOCES offer to prescreen the perspective candidates for FREE. Of course, the Superintendent was also a BOCES disciple. The BOCES prescreening process served to save the local district time and money. It also doubled to grant BOCES an excellent venue to present their handpicked finalists. It was obvious that the first three finalists interviewed poorly as well as being only marginally qualified for the position. But then, there was candidate number four. This candidate had the proper qualifications and interviewed superbly. After the euphoria of finding the ideal candidate subsided, I suddenly felt that something smelt corrupt. Because out of the field three ugly weeds emerged one attractive rose. The convenient emergence of the seemingly perfect candidate was too staged for my liking. Consequently, candidate number four was successful in terms of acquiring the principal position. The intended consequence insured a loyal and collaborative customer for the comprehensive line of BOCES goods and services.

clipper said...

Just another case of having to go out of town to pick a candidate when there is local talent every bit as qualified right under their noses.

Will the out of town candidates be required to move into the city proper withing 6 months as are the other city employees, under the residency law just reinforced by the city administration?

Just a question driven by curiosity. Who selects the BOCES superintendent and how does THAT selection process play out? Do the local school district supers have a say in who runs the show at BOCES? Is he appointed by the county legislators in the counties served?

We complain about employment in our area, and then when a decent postion and a position that will affect our children and our school budget, we go out of town for a candidate. What is with that crap?
I am sure that a hired "headhunter" such as is used in industry and business, could have recruited more local talent to apply, than the BOCES super did, and with no local political interest or influence involved. Our local school districts are probably full of qualified administrators that would jump at a chance to step up, but were not considered as serious candidates because they were not favorable to the agenda of Mettelman.

Lying on a resume is reason for dismissal in most professions and jobs. Why is it acceptable even BEFORE hiring for this position? It is disgusting that it is minimized by those in power and involved in the selection process.

If I were the dogcatcher, with aspirations to ascend to the office of mayor, would that make me an assistant mayor for the years it took me to climb the ladder?

Anonymous said...

Strike, you're missing the most important point of this issue.


The administrators lie. Therefore, they are perfectly suited for positions in the public school system.


Greens and Beans said...

Mrs. Mecomber hit the nail right on the head! We can agree that integrity is not their strong suit. I often wondered what would happen if all School District Administrators had to be connected to a lie detector machine when addressing the School Board and the general public? Perhaps the indicator needle would run off of the paper or shatter the glass. Perhaps even registering a ten on an earthquake Richter magnitude scale. I actually had a school administrator lie to cover a prior lie that supported another administrator’s lie. Moreover, after the lie was unconditionally exposed, the administrators lied to further cloud the issue again! They wear you down until you throw their hands up in frustration.

Anonymous said...

BOCES Supt. Mettleman should not be part of the review process.

Taxpaying residents should be the ones who select any Superintendent not the locally connected educators whose careers are incestuous, if you no what I mean.

It is long overdue that we start picking individuals from the Business community whose credentials are more than just worrying about Educating, if that is what they really are doing today?

I do know one thing that School expenses MUST be REDUCED drastically. Whether this be 10% or 20%; it must be done. To allow school budgets to increase annually does a dis-service to the very taxpayers whose hard earned dollars are going up in smoke.

It is long overdue to insist that Performance Contracts be demanded of each Educator (i.e. Administrators and Teachers). If there is no noticeable improvement then we let them go and look for better talent.

NYSUT should be mothballed and pay for performance instituted. Then we will see the "RUBBER MEETING THE ROAD!"

Greens and Beans said...

James Willis has been named as the next Utica School District Superintendent. And the School Board members unanimously voted him in. The audience gave Willis a standing ovation. Willis prevailed despite the fact that he and the one other applicant apparently falsified (or deceitfully embellished) their professional credentials when applying for the Superintendent position. Rewarding those who see no harm in lying when applying for the top school position should give us some insight in terms of what we can expect to see in the future. This in light of the fact that today, in a letter to the OD Editor “Utica School Official’s Information Inaccurate”, Steven Schiavi points out some rather interesting “inaccuracies” that were made by Maureen Albanese, Utica School District Business Officer when persuading the School Board to choose a certain retirement financial company.

As have previously pointed out in this string of posts, School Officials couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it. And it is crystal clear that with the deceptions that have been exposed in the OD, the Utica School Board obviously does not desire to deal with the truth. Without the truth this Board will never know if they are dealing with reality or fantasy. The sad part is apparently they are comfortable with operating in an atmosphere laced with falsehoods that could cultivate bountiful opportunity for propaganda.