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The Search for a New SCUSD Superintendent Begins With These Requirements

 
Last night a group of teachers, parents, students and community members met at the offices of Sacramento City Teachers Association to voice our ideas about what we qualities we would  like in a superintendent for Sacramento City Unified. We have a common interest in who fills that role and all want to be active participants in the search for a new superintendent. This will be a team effort.  Last time the district searched for a superintendent , community meetings were held but the results were ignored. The consultants only looked in one applicant pool-the Broad Academy. We want this time to be different.
 
These were  the top qualities desired in a superintendent voiced at the meeting:
 

  • Education experience--someone who has both classroom teaching and school administrative experience.

 

  • Public finance experience--someone who will focus on budget transparency. Someone who will support citizen oversight and budget input. How they view the Local Control Funding Formula is critical. Monies generated by students in poverty, special education or English language learners should go to those students.

 

  • Connection with the Sacramento and familiarity with our diverse community--someone with knowledge of the history of the district and education in California.

 

  • Belief in public education-someone supports the values of public education and believes in making the system work. Someone who supports educational equity, not just a few "priority schools". Every child should have an excellent neighborhood school. Someone that supports qualitative measures of  school success, not just a quantitative ones.

 

  • Stewardship--someone who will keep what's working in the district. Someone who recognizes bottom line fundamental needs and ensures they are met. Someone who will work to restore services like schools nurses and custodians.

 

  • An inclusive administrative style--we want policies that come from bottom up not dictated from the top down.  Someone who will work with the team of teachers, parents, students and community . Someone who regards teachers as professionals and partners, not adversaries.  Supports actual student engagement not just lip service. We need an inspirational leader.

 

  • Humility--someone that can admit when they've made a mistake and change course for the good of the district and students.

 
 
The group who met last night will stay in communication and work to involve others in the community and in interested groups to get involved. SCTA is willing to send members out to facilitate meetings. We hope to engage the public through social media. Once we have input from all interested parties, the list of qualities/requirements for our new superintendent will be presented to the SCUSD board.  We will reach out to the press to influence the process and take the discussion to a wider audience.  We may also work to develop a questionnaire for the candidates.  There is a tentative six month timeline for the search.
 
We have to be mindful that some of the outcomes we desire cannot come about without a change in board governance. The coherent governance system that has been put into place by the board has eliminated much public input.  It has done away with board committees and keeps the board from directing staff.  It also reduces interaction between the board and superintendent. We can put pressure on the board to discuss those changes.
 
We also need to remember that school board elections are coming up in November 2014. We have the ability to influence the makeup of the school board through the democratic process and we need to be involved!

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