Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Don’t waste money on school search

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Do we really need to pay $50,000 to an outside personnel firm to select the next superintendent of the Clark County School District? Don’t we have anyone in the personnel office who can select a person, and don’t we have someone qualified within the School District we could select to take the job?

The School Board is just wasting $50,000 hiring an outside search firm. Why should we pay a superintendent more than the speaker of the House of Representatives, a Supreme Court justice or a military general to run the district? This is just more waste of taxpayer money we don’t have.

We want results, not overpaid bureaucrats to run our schools.

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  1. I second Freeman's motion. The Super's position is unique. That's why the salary and benefits are competitive with those that are nation wide.

    Carmine D

  2. Truly qualified candidates are not that numerous to fill the Superintendent's job in a school district this large and with our problems. The $50,000 is a good investment to make sure we get the best field of candidates available.

  3. How do we know if a person can perform from within if we don't give him or her a shot? It's time to look at everyone and everything.

  4. Depends on what the community and the Board want in the way of a new Supt. Nevada overall has many of the poorest educational, social and health outcomes in the US. Similarly situated is Clark County and the School District. Every trusted commenter knows that changing the outcomes of a failing enterprise is a significant task requiring leadership, time, personnel, funding and community support. Realistically an eight to twelve year timeline is reasonable for major changes in outcomes. How long did it take IBM to remake itself from a manufacturer of hardware to a consulting designer of application software? The challenge to CCSD is equally daunting.

    Where will the Board find a person willing to stay the course for a number of years through significant challenges? The Board needs to identify achievable outcomes, a timeline for those outcomes and only then hire a leader to carry achieve those goals. If you let the Super dictate those terms and he/she finds greener pastures you are then left with yet another set of mods to then plan [to the extent that there ever was one]. Jones set himself up as Superman. Unfortunately the kryptonite brought him down. I don't believe that CCSD needs a superstar. It needs steady, confident leadership, committed to the long term which can set achievable, incremental short-term goals, bring the education community along with change and provide the greater community with accountability.

  5. Why will it take a Year to find someone? To increase the search bill? Do it in one month and spend only $5,000 looking. The school system doesn't have a year to wait.

    There are dozens of qualified people that will work for a lot less than Dwight Jones. Find a normal person, not a showman and the job will be done correctly.

    Taking a Year to find a superintendent guarantees nothing.