Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wanted: Superintendent, Practically Perfect in Every Way

The Richardson school district (RISD) is seeking a new superintendent. Everybody has an opinion. Expectations and demands are as high as those set by the George Banks family in Edwardian England when advertising for a nanny.

"If you want this choice position, have a cheery disposition.
Rosy cheeks, no warts. Play games, all sorts.
You must be kind, you must be witty, very sweet, and fairly pretty.
Take us on outings, give us treats, sing songs, bring sweets.
Never be cross or cruel. Never give us castor oil or gruel.
Love us as a son and daughter, and never smell of barley water.
Hurry, Nanny! Many thanks!
Jane and Michael Banks!"

Assuming that someone with the qualifications of Mary Poppins isn't available, what criteria should be used to identify the RISD's next superintendent?

That's how I started a post the last time the Richardson ISD was searching for a new superintendent. Then, in 2017, after an open search, the Board of Trustees decided that we had the right person for the job already doing the job — Dr. Jeannie Stone, our Interim Superintendent of the time.

The district now finds itself in another search phase, the goal of which is "for the RISD Board of Trustees to learn from all stakeholder groups what they believe is important in Richardson ISD’s next superintendent." A series of "Listening and Learning Town Halls", as well as other focus groups, roundtables, and surveys, will be conducted to hear from the public. That's you.

  • May 12, 6:00pm: Pearce High School Library
  • May 14, 10:00am: Richardson High School Auditorium
  • May 17, 6:00pm: Lake Highlands High School "H" Auditorium
  • May 19, 6:00pm: Berkner High School Lecture Hall

In 2016, I offered my own inputs, here in this space. I also did it in 2009, one of the previous times RISD was in this situation. Go back and read what I said then. Save me the trouble of cutting and pasting my inputs here.

OK, is everyone back? This year, my inputs are different. Kind of. If I were on the search committee and interviewing candidates, there's only one question I'd have to ask candidates to determine which one I would hire. That question is: "Is your name Tabitha Branum?"


Unknown said...

Do you remember who made this promise? I do. Even with a pass for the pandemic, it is very telling about the character of the person you are recommending.

Q&A: What measurable outcomes in student performance will RISD commit to if TRE passes?
RISD commits that all students will perform at or above grade level. (Editorial eye roll. Really? All?)

Marcia Grau

Mark Steger said...

I don't remember which RISD leader made that promise, but I did say "Editorial eye roll. Really? All?"

Unknown said...

It was Tabitha Branum. When a valid question is asked in a forum that is intended to convince the community to increase funding, I do not think it should be treated with contempt and dishonesty. The fact that that was her knee jerk go to, does not inspire me with confidence in her leadership. But I bet she does get the job because I think that decision has already been made and the BOT is just going through the motions to look like they considered other candidates.

Marcia Grau

Unknown said...

For the record, later on when the Bond was being touted and Dr. Stone was asked about living up to that promise, she said it was just a "community aspiration, not an actual goal". :)

Marcia Grau

Anonymous said...

Perhaps "Every student will make a year's growth" might be a better goal, "as measured by Benchmark tests, Performance assessments and Achievement tests."
Cathy L