Category Archives: Politics

What I want to see in the makeup of a Blue Ribbon / Search Committee

ED Reform in my view is very clear on who hires a a School Superintendent:

Superintendent: The school committee has the power to select and terminate the superintendent, and to establish his or her compensation. (G.L. c. 71, [[section]] 37)

However there are many many other people who also want to be part of the hiring process and some School Committee members eager to capitulate and accept a lesser role. Let someone else do the screening, that way they have an excuse, it’s what we had to choose from.

Among those who want a say are people who don’t want to run for office but want to decide who gets the Superintendent position, people who previously served in office, ran out a Superintendent or someone who should have been the Superintendent when they served want a say, even some of those that supported the last Superintendent and the fiscal malfeasance want a say.

UTL leadership for example, they strongly supported the past administration right up until Dr. K gave up. Paul Georges and his leadership team blindly supported the fiscal malfeasance that allowed us to end up in the current fiscal mess and owing the Food Service Acct $2,000,000 yet want a majority of seats at the table.

I’ve had parents and staff including UTL rank and file members reach out to share their thoughts and ideas. I respect and appreciate that, it’s what can make the system and process better.

Here are my thoughts on this “Blue Ribbon” Committee

If we must have one , than this Blue Ribbon Committee doesn’t have to be as large has past ones and should be full of new voices and faces.

1) No more than a 13 member committee no less than 9 members

It’s time for New people, no one who has served on the School Building Committee or past searches should be appointed. It’s time for new faces, diverse faces and different voices to be heard.

With respect and appreciation for what they have done for the city and school system, I’d prefer not seeing Michael Gallagher, Brian Martin, Jim Cook, LZ Nunn , Paul Georges or Karen Fredericks on the list for consideration for this committee.

I’d Prefer names like Noelle Creegan, Dan or Lisa Shanahan, April Rourke , Kamara Kay among many other new names.

2) No more than 2 UTL members should be on the Committee.

3) One LSAA member (Administrators), one Principal and one Representative of the clerks union should be on the Committee

4) Talking with some members of the LHS student Council Wednesday night, they would like to be included and I think they should have 1 member

5) 3 parents one from each grade level and preferably parents with multiple students and parents who ARE NOT part of the Lowell Educational Justice League or Project Learn. I appreciate hearing from them on a regular basis, but based on the LJA’s support for the shoddy fiscal practices of the past administration , this opening should be for people not so involved and who don’t appear and speak at meetings so often. PTA or school Site Council members not affiliated with these groups should be encouraged to serve.

That would make the 9 minimum, if we wanted more than I’d favor adding

1 representative from one of the many volunteer youth sports / youth groups that are run citywide. Many use our facilities and work with our students.

1 representatives from nonprofits, it doesn’t have to be CTI, UTEC , the Food Bank, LHA and Katie’s Closet are great partners

1 member from the business community (any business run here in Lowell)

1 member from the Lowell Health Community

I’d also like to see the School Committee reach out and ask one of the following people to be our representative on the panel. A NON-Voting Chair of this Committee. Someone to make sure all applicants who are qualified get interviewed, someone to guide the meetings and questions that come up and someone who is strong enough to not let any one person or group control the meetings.

That list would include former GLRTHS School Committee member Erik Gitschier, Former Deputy Supt. Ann Murphy, Former Asst. Supt. Claire Abrams, Former Cambridge City Manager Bob Healy and former Sun Editor Jim Campanni

I am going to do what I believe is best for the student, the system and city. I appreciate the calls , emails, text messages and in person meetings and I pledge to follow policy and honor the rule of the majority.

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