Old 2006 superintendent search criteria misinterpreted in new criteria
By Elsa Maxey
Last month, Stafford Municipal School District (SMSD) asked the community and staff to complete a survey to be used as part of its search for a new superintendent, and the survey included profile criteria that had been used in 2006.
SMSD Trustee Ettienne Zak took exception with two characteristics in the superintendent profile information and the majority of the school board agreed. They retracted part of the survey last week due to what it called an inaccuracy, said the district.
A statement from the district said that the information furnished for the search with the two offending characteristics was never intended as such and had been sent only to share 2006 former superintendent search language for assessment.
The part of the survey which caused the consternation was the part that said: “responds to and respects the role of the board but will not buckle to individual agendas” although the characteristic in the 2006 brochure, had been “responds to and respects the role of the board and administration.” That same 2006 brochure with the superintendent characteristics also said“demonstrates the ability to make and defend difficult decisions.” The corresponding retracted language on this characteristic, however, was changed to say “demonstrates the ability to make and defend difficult decisions, even though unpopular, if they are best for students. This specifically includes dealing with local independent groups.”
When asked by the “Star”, Superintendent H.D. Chambers concurred that the 2006 criteria had been modified, however, he said it was retracted altogether and would not be used in the current superintendent search. “The original profile in 2006 had certain criteria and we wanted to make sure that the community understood we would be using things that are more relevant today,” he said about the surveys due this week.
Chambers starts working with the Alief school district on Monday. Currently, former Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Betty Baitland is serving as SMSD’s interim superintendent until the board hires Chambers’ replacement.