7/12/2011

Bradley to Be Superintendent

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News reported that Michelle Bradley, an assistant superintendent will be named the next superintendent.

Michelle T. Bradley, assistant superintendent for learning and assessment, is expected to be appointed Lockport’s next school superintendent, The Buffalo News learned Monday.
Bradley will be be named to succeed the retiring Terry Ann Carbone at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, according to sources who could not speak for attribution because the appointment was meant to be confidential...
How big was the pool of potential candidates?
...Board President John A. Linderman said the board interviewed one in-house candidate in an executive session Wednesday and was in the process of negotiating a contract, which he hoped would be completed in time for this Wednesday’s meeting...
As I alluded to in my post from Carbone's announcement, everything that I've heard from a few districts is that the next 2-3 superintendents are usually already lined up. Not that a person who as been groomed on the inside should not be given a fair, or even slightly preferential chance but in a publicly funded system, the public should at least be given some assurance that some of the better options were sought and interviewed and the best was chosen. This is not the British Royal Family.

UPDATE 7/13/11:


The LUSJ reported.My favorite quote:
“To look at one is not without precedent in my opinion,” Linderman said.
I think that is exactly part of the point. It is precedent but the public is not happy with said precedent.

40 comments:

Caroline said...

"...Board President John A. Linderman said the board interviewed one in-house candidate in an executive session Wednesday and was in the process of negotiating a contract, which he hoped would be completed in time for this Wednesday’s meeting..."-Buffalo News

While I have heard nothing but good about Michelle Bradley, this is like searching with blinders on.

Anonymous said...

Great choice by a Board that does not understand accountability. Where else would a leader be hired after pointing out in the interview how well she has done overseeing the decline of the district's test scores and ranking in WNY?

Oh, she was groomed for the position by the Master of Disaster. That explains everything.

Nothing will change (for the better) under this leader.

Patti said...

THIS is a VERY poor reflection of the wishes of the people of this City and Town. It's as if we never went to any meeting nor spoke out about the Budget and the Sports Palace - it was a total waste of time.
Here they are, raising the taxes BEFORE Cuomo could sign the 2% increase legislation and, once again, we have a bunch of people with no educational experience making this HUGE decision. I admit that a lot of these folks have learned a lot as they've served on the BofE - and I don't have a Doctorate in Education - but neither do they! I firmly believe that NO ONE runs for the BofE unless they want to help the kids #1 and the teachers #2. Obviously, they are NOT doing what is needed by our children and they appear to kow-tow to the teacher's union every time - although for this Budget I was very pleased to see that the teachers took it upon themselves to cut raises, time spent at conferences, etc.
I don't think a layman would be the correct choice to argue a death penalty case before the Supreme Court - nor do I think people who have spent the majority of their adult lives in other professiions are qualified to choose the Superintendent. NOT without a nationwide search and the hiring of the best candidate.
ONE in camera chat with ONE person is NOT how to choose someone who will be responsible for the education of our kids. And, yes, I think they should be required to live in the District.

Anonymous said...

This is a shameful choice made using a flawed selection process. It is bad when the newest member of the Board is the one that has the most insight, and courage.

Going further down the tube with this person being put in charge. Shameful.

MJ said...

Cleaned up for taunting.

If the public was glowing with praise for the previous supervisor and this one was hired as a groomed understudy I can see this process being valid. But that was not the case and would only rarely be the case in public office.

Are there any districts that also vote on supervisors or is that not allowed under state law?

Anonymous said...

You have to remember that our district has been doing good on budgeting (until the state aid crisis hit if anyone cares to remember we had years of 0-1% increases) and our scores weren't bad considering our socio-economic ratings. With our city consistently getting poorer and with our increasing amount of low income social service eligible children like it or not our scores will be going even lower.
And now with the 2% max tax raise we will see even more teachers laid off and class sizes increased, resulting in even worse scores. We are in a downward spiral I am afraid.
We could cut some costs combining districts, but truthfully - who would want to combine with us? We would need to combine with another struggling city as Starpoint, Newfane and Roy-Hart would be nuts to combine with us.

We are already pushing our kids to plan to move to Clarence or Amherst when they are done with college... and trust me we aren't happy telling them to move out of our home town.

Bradley has been known as a much stronger administrator than Carbone, things will be different. I also heard a rumor that one of the cost savings the board used last spring was to not plan to replace her in her current job, so hopefully promoting her will result in eliminating one board office employee.

MJ said...

People are overreacting to the 2% cap. The community itself can vote to go above that with a 60% vote. Give people a good budget, honestly explain the good and the bad, and you'd get the vote. Sugar coat the bad (see below) and expect distrust and no votes.

The only reason there have been low tax increases is use of reserve funds. The $4M that was used to account for personnel cost increases last year are going to need to be funded this year along with any new increases. The separate $4M in cuts offset the Aid loss. Yet we were all too busy fear mongering a new football field to realize they were pushing off an additional deficit of $4 million to be dealt with next year

- - - - - - - - - - - -

The "give up and move comments" have always been a pet peeve of mine. It's a great way to instill leadership, dedication and perseverance, no?

MJ said...

And the low increase prior to the state cutbacks was because state aid kept increasing. We found a way to spend it instead of lowering taxes.

Jim said...

Anonymous 10:06 You just proved to us the lack of transparency that has been ocurring in our school district. Increasing our budget with the plan already in the works to eliminate the district's assistant superintendent, move her up to superintendent, and claim the praises of how wonderful we are for saving that money... It's all a scam! MJ,I am glad that you mentioned the fact that state aid kept increasing and we were just finding ways to spend it rather than lower taxes. It amazes me to see that the district will never admit to that.

MJ said...

Along the way there were increased state mandates and they do still remain. The system as a whole from the state down is flawed. A while back I posted some figures that show the inflation adjust costs of educating our children over the last several decades. About 3x the costs per child with no gain in achievement. No one is willing to step back and look at how that money should be re-purposed. That's the problem in the public realm. It won't go out of business. It will only take more money.

Concerns on the local level are valid, but the bigger boat anchor is on the state level.

Anonymous said...

"I also heard a rumor that one of the cost savings the board used last spring was to not plan to replace her in her current job, so hopefully promoting her will result in eliminating one board office employee."

Even if this is true they will end up dishing the savings out to other Administrators as raises and promotions for taking on Michele's responsibilities.

Michele may very well be the right candidate, but how could they honestly know she was without interviewing other possible candidates. This is a public position and it shoudl be open to the public.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but public interviews are a stupid idea, imho. Yes they should have interviewed others, but when you are looking for a job you don't want everyone (i.e. your current employer) to know. Democracy means you elect people to do a job for you, you elect people as you can't have the 30,000 people they represent all involved in every decision. As I said, they should have interviewed others, but it should have been done in exec session.
If you want to be involved in the hiring process run for a seat next time.

hitler said...

who pissed in your corn flakes?

i don't think anyone was advocating that each interview should be done in the middle of the town square, just that other people should have been able to apply

or do you like to keep the apperence of a board of education where everything important is done in secret without regard to the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if any of you actually attend the Board meetings and voice your opinions or just sit on here and complain where no one really cares except the same people who complain about eveything!!

Patti said...

Seems like Lockport is emulating Buffalo in the practice of hiring upper-level management.

Pity.

Patti said...

Oh - to anon 7:00 pm.
Yes I have and I have also expressed my opinions. Look where it got me (and the rest of those who went and spoke out...) They, obviously, didn't listen to the well over 100-150 people who attended the Board meetings to discuss this school year's budget.
To use the word "meetings" is a laugh and a half. Those meetings are nothing more than an affront to the residents. The disconnect between the Board and the residents would be funny if it wasn't our money and our children at issue. The Board sits up high and "allows" the residents to speak for 3 minutes - there is no back and forth - the residents are preached to and are told the error of their ways. Public comments are not encouraged nor does the Board deign to reply or engage in a discussion with anyone but one another.
I've often said that those who run for a School Board do so in order to improve the children's learning opportunities. Over the past year I've come to know that some people might run for less than virtuous reasons - who knows? Only those who run for the positions. There will never be an improvement in the relations between the Board and the residents until they at least pretend to listen to what we have to say.

Anonymous said...

Do you know anything at all about her? I agree they should have put on a show and interviewed others, but she has been groomed for years for the job, she is very competent, she doesn't live in Lockport but just outside of town in Pendleton but she is active in many groups here, and she is a very businesslike person.
Pity you for just putting someone down and comparing her to the Buffalo hires.

Anonymous said...

She would not get an interview in Clarence, or Williamsville, or any other district that believes a leader should be able to impact how well our students learn and perform. Only in Lockport, a district that is headed in the wrong direction would the Board conclude that is was important to have the "seamless transition" that Carbone bragged would happen when she retired. Elevating the person who should be held acoountable for our lack of academic progress is impossible to comprehend. Seamless transitions only make sense when the district is making progress.

Hope you folks grasp that logic because it is very simple. Something is very wrong here.

Anonymous said...

and how do you know she wouldn't get an interview there? More lies. and I am glad you see a conspiracy behind every curtain.

MJ said...

A lot of people have attended board meetings the last few years and their concerns are well known. I'm not sure we've seen the board act on any of them.

Can anyone point out any? I know many are pie in the sky and there are realities but regardless, can we name any?

No doubt she is probably a good person. If she was the best she would have stood out regardless. As mentioned above when citizen's are unhappy with a district a seamless transition is not one of the public's priorities.

How is the Super chosen exactly?

Anonymous said...

People have asked the Board to save money on administration costs, and they are doing that by hiring Mrs. Bradley. People have asked the board to cut costs and they are doing that by not going to a search. They wasted over 100,000 dollars going to search last time and ended up with an internal candidate, so why do it again and waste the money again?

Anonymous said...

Ms. Phelps has repeatedly requested that administrative cuts be made. At every budget meeting Ms.Phelps would state this was why she could not vote for the budget. If they do not replace Mrs. Bradley's Assistant Super's position this will be a huge savings in central office. What part of this doesn't Ms. Phelps understand. What part of this do you people not get? Mrs. Bradley has a contract and if they hire from the public she keeps her job. No savings there.I think there is quite a bit of grandstanding going on.

MJ said...

Who's to say that they could not have hired a new super from outside the inner loop and laid off one of the current assistant supers, be it this position (assessment and learning) or another?

Are assistant super contracts guaranteed? Are there buyouts? Was part of the vote that the vacant assistant super position will not be filled and thus an actual savings next year? Can they now bring back 2-3 teachers that were going to be laid off?

It is not unreasonable to ask for some type of open process to make sure we are picking the best from a group to run our $80M ship that is having some problems. The only way that search money is wasted is if the process is a sham to begin with(already committed to internal person.)Saving money by not "doing a search" is just an excuse for protecting the political hierarchy 99% of the time.

Is it possible that the public would have been happier with say a $80,100,000 budget instead of a $80,000,000 one if someone with a bunch of worthwhile new/different ideas was brought in?

MJ said...

I wish the LUSJ would have put today's article online.

Anonymous said...

No, the public would have screamed if they spent an extra $100,000 in a search. You have to remember, the only ones you usually hear from are the complainers - and they would have screamed loud!
Personally, I think they did the right thing - saved money on a search, got a good local person and did it in a timely manner.
But of courxse it doesn't matter, no matter what they did someone would have a complaint.

MJ said...

You are correct in that one will never get 40,000 people to agree. Though I do agree that if they would of spent it and just picked someone inside there would have been additional screaming. And where does 100k go to in a search anyways?

We will see what changes she brings. That may be the biggest question. What change will she bring? Will there be any or will it be status quo?

The fact that she didn't pursue other super openings hints at the succession plan was there all along. The biggest deal here is that the district just didn't come out and say that.

My question above still remains. Who chooses who to interview, present to the board, etc?

Anonymous said...

MJ - from the blog header you mention other districts have their next 2-3 supt's already lined up. I know this would just kill a lot of people on this board but.... could they actually have done something smart and had this planned a few years ago?
But please, don't any naysayers give them any credit it might go to their heads!

Anonymous said...

The BOCES Supt. did the last search for under $7,000 --basically printing and advertising costs. Who is spreading the lie about $100,000 for the cost of a search? And why would they keep telling that lie?

MJ said...

Anon 11:38

As I alluded to above, it is a good plan if everyone is generally happy with where the district is going, it is based on performance and not politics and if the district is honest about it.

It should also be a no brainer in case a super etc were to have to resign etc on short notice.

Anon 11:57

Maybe it's round up to the nearest 100k?

hitler said...

i love how some people think that opinions are lies, and cannot tell the difference between an opinion and a statement of fact

just sayin

GI Joe said...

look who's talking......

hitler said...

really joe? you are one of the ring leaders. if you don't agree, its a lie. if it's someone's opinion that you don't like, it's a lie.

i don't think i've ran around calling people liars like yourself.

wait, i know i have not.

(waiting for joe to find where i sarcastically called him a liar as proof)

GI Joe said...

Hitler...this is always about you isn't it..

I haven't used the word liar..your wrong and this is bickering and will be erased anyway.

GI Joe said...

ya..ring leader...

Anonymous said...

Why would they lay off Mrs.Bradley when it has been stated that the board has been grooming internal employees to take the place of a Super? Look at the mess Buffalo and NT has from hiring outsiders. This is so silly brought to us no doubt by disgruntled people that were unelectable.

madasheck said...

Well the school board did it again. Ed Sandel now managed to get his THIRD relative hired! And they did it without even interviewing other candidates!! She just graduated from college and they hired her as a phys ed teacher even though many others applied that have been out of school for a few years subbing in the district.
Sandel now has his wife as an administrator, sis-law as a teacher and niece as a teacher. Great job Ed, is there anybody left you need to get a job for or can you retire from the board now?
I don't know if this appointment has been officially approved by the school board yet, but if it hasn't everyone should call the board members and question how someone right out of college should be hired over others with experience.

Anonymous said...

I heard they didn't even interview someone who was a long term sub all last year or a few other Lockport grads who have been subbing for years.
I hope bradley get's involved with this mess.

Anonymous said...

I hope it all gets straightened out because..

GOD! I AM SO TIRED OF HEARING ABOUT IT!

Anonymous said...

Nemi also pushed to hire the Dembrow (Dimillo) girl. Ir's just like the credit union, which is run by the Nemi's and Dimillo's, now they are doing the same thing to the school district.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? And there are bunch of other school board members who must have approved.

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