A head hunter has been chosen to assist the Committee, however I have yet to see where the Community will be able to give some input on this important position. Does the 10 member Committee appointed to review potential candidates cover the Community input aspect?
The 10 member Search Committee appointed to hire the new Superintendent consists of Dr. Andy Chiou, a local physician, who considers changing Peoria a "hobby". Dr. Chiou is thoroughly excited about the possibility of charter schools. Dr. Chiou, along with Glen Barton (retired Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, Inc.) also sit on the Governing Board of the District’s Community Foundation (Mr. Chiou is the Vice Chair). For those who are not familiar with the Community Foundation:
The District's Community Foundation clearly has input into the hiring of the new Superintendent and have shown that they believe Peoria should be moving towards charter schools. As a result, is the 10 member Search Committee also looking for a Superintendent who will embrace charter schools, lottery systems and choice for parents? Is our community on board with school choice? Is our School Board on board with school choice? What impact will it have on the inner city? Does this explain why Edison is here to stay and why newly built schools are more like community centers? Can we afford it?
The Community is crying out for transparency in the District’s finances. Since the decisions the District's Community Foundation make have such an enormous financial impact on the District, hopefully they too are being transparent about their plans for the District's future.
The District's Community Foundation plans need to be conducive to the District’s overall financial picture as set out by the Budget Committee and the Board - not driving it.
If we as a Community are opposed to school choice, charter schools and lotteries, now is the time to be proactive. Make it clear before the Search Committee of 10 sends forward a specific type of candidate.
Related articles: Hiring a New Superintendent – Some Appropriate Roles; Obama vows to double funding for charter schools; Our View: Give charter school a shot; District 150, BU look at partnership, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) program."; District 150 works on charter school, opening in 2010, slated to cost $12 million; Word on the street: Charter schools a hot topic; Op-Ed: Save money by eliminating Illinois' cap on charter schools; Inner-city culture and the charter school self-sorting effect; Superintendent search committee appointed.