School Superintendent search process

12/16/2006 Update:

life-is-unfair.gifHoboken strikes again. Apparently the fair and legitimate search process for selecting the new Superintendent of Hoboken Schools was just the opposite.

Here’s a letter from a Trustee:

“I need to start off by saying I’m sorry. I personally apologize to every parent and concerned citizen who asked me if the Superintendent search process that the board had approved was going to be legitimate. To each I said the same thing: the board was committed to an open and fair process, and had proven it when we hired the NJ School Boards Association to help guide us in this search.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

All illusions of fairness and openness were dispelled at tonight’s Boards Special Session. Board President Jimmy Farina began by introducing outgoing Superintendent Gagliardi who came prepared with pretty folders for each board member. They had our names on the cover and a “transition timetable” inside; Gagliardi was offering to step aside as of March 1, 2007 – becoming assistant superintendent of schools for four months at his same salary – so that the board can hire a new superintendent as of March 1, to “guarantee a smooth transition.”

This is a very reasonable offer from Gagliardi, and would have deserved very serious consideration had it been made last summer. Arriving as it did in mid-December however, it presented a real risk of derailing a very orderly process that had been on track since the Board adopted it in June. A responsible Board would have considered the offer VERY carefully before junking the reasonable, timely, open and transparent process already underway. But not THIS Board.

President Farina – who admitted to knowing of the proposal for weeks – recommended that the board accept Gagliardi’s proposal immediately, without even taking a break for us to read the six page report. All four lame duck board members – Farina, Burns, Porata, and Santana-Alicea – whose terms end in April, spoke strongly for the measure. Farina, in his remarks went so far as to admit the real reason for the change – unless the process was cut-short, an election might come, he (and the other lame ducks) might lose, and “new Board Members” might be chosen by the public to make this crucial choice.

Not surprisingly, the Board supported this last-minute plan to hold on to control of the schools, rather than risking a referendum by the voters in April. So the excellent process we had started had to go.

Cathie Sousa, our NJSBA rep tried desperately to maintain some legitimacy. When Farina demanded we advertise for our Superintendent over Christmas and New Years she stood her ground. “You’d only be wasting your money” she maintained. After some griping Farina relented and agreed to advertise on January 7 and 14.

He then left the meeting to make a phone call in the stairwell. I suppose he was calling to say “mission accomplished”, to whom I don’t know. He didn’t stay around long enough to contribute much to the draft of the advertisement. I suppose it really doesn’t matter what the ad says, his disappearance says it all.

His disappearance, and the new timetable. Applications are due February 2. The new person is scheduled to start on March 1. Even if we conduct all our interviews and reference checks in two weeks this doesn’t leave the successful applicant even two weeks to give notice to his or her current employer. By state law, educators are required to give 60 days notice to the districts they are leaving.

So who, really, are going to be eligible for the most important job in the Hoboken public schools? The unemployed, who have no employer to notify, and those already in the district.

I have already apologized to the public for encouraging them to expect a real consideration of all potential candidates. But the people who really need to apologize to the public, and i don’t expect they will, are the eight board members who broke the promise of a fair process they made in June. They are the ones who deprived the children and the public of a chance to find the BEST person for the job.

If you are as disgusted with their tricks as I am, please get involved, stay involved and be sure to make your voice heard on April 17th.”

The Hoboken Board of Education is beginning the process of selecting a new Superintendent of Schools.

What qualities are most important to you in a Superintendent?
What issues should be foremost on any new Superintendents agenda?
What kind of experience should the new Superintendent have?

Please come to the Forum and share your ideas and suggestions!

Wednesday, Sept. 27 @ 7pm – Wallace School

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

20 Comments on "School Superintendent search process"

newest oldest

That last comment should be clarified by mentioning that the finalist from Paterson was a woman of Puerto Rican descent. But I guess not Puerto Rican enough for the Puerto Rican “leadership” of Hoboken.


Naf — Raslowsky has ZERO public school experience, other than having attended Hoboken public schools until 7th grade and being a member of the Board of Education for a few years. His speech at the Superintendent public forum focused on his happy memories as a primary school student and how his goal was to have every child have a similar experience.

On the other hand, the other finalist was an assistant superintendent from Paterson, which has many similarities to Hoboken (Abbott district, primarily Hispanic student body). She spoke about her achievements and had perhaps her biggest mistake was to express her honest impressions on some things the district is doing, which were not clear endorsements of the policies. The minute the board realized this woman may rock the boat she was doomed.

Funny, the Hispanic “leadership” in this town loves to play the race card. But they have learned on the lap of the BnRs, so you are really not Hispanic unless you are also a BnR.


[quote comment=”15359″]um, Joel Klein who runs the NYC School System was making
$250K in 2005.

This was for a system with OVER 1 MILLION KIDS. According to the City’s “HobokenI” website only about 3000 kids to go public school in Hoboken

Now based on Klein’s figure either Raslowsky is really worth less about $750 per year, based on the NYC proportion of $250K Exec salary/ 1 MILLION student
by Raslowsky’s deal, Joel Klein should be paid on a scale commensurate with the size of the student enrollment which would bring Klein’s salary to about $58.3 MILLION per year. Anyone else think this is absurd?

Is this another reason to think that anyone associated with Mayor Dave is absolute POISON for every taxpayer in this town?

It’s an election year people LETS ORGANIZE!!!![/quote]

How much do NYC’s 3 deputy chancellors make?

How about the 10 Regional Superintendents?

And the 10-12 Local Institution Superintendents?

What about the 32 Superintendents NYC place in community school districts?


Red, I understand your concern. I’m just not up in arms about this because I think we ended up a qualified superintendent. I also don’t see how you can compare Jack Raslowsky, a man with Harvard degree, to a dope like John Correa, a man who probably can’t spell his name.

Red Haven
Red Haven

[quote comment=”15319″]What makes you think Raslowsky wasn’t the most qualified candidate? I don’t know too much about him, or any of the other candidates, but he has a masters degree from Harvard and ran St. Peter’s Prep in JC for years. Seems like a viable candidate to me.[/quote]

Naf, history is not on our side here. Sure, Mr. Raslowsky should be considered for the job, but how do we know one of the other applicants wasn’t even more qualified than him? We will never know, because the process was rigged from the beginning to make sure Raslowsky got the job. The “Search” was just a smokescreen.

When Roberts took over the Parking Authority so he could raid it’s bank accounts to keep growing his budget (now 75 million dollars!) he said he would conduct a “nationwide search” for a qualified Parking Director. What did we get in the end? A failed 2nd Ward Council Candidate who made a deal to support Roberts’ candidate in the runoff.

I sincerely wish our new Superintendent of Schools a lot of luck. No matter how qualified he is, he will have Dave Roberts and his 8 hand-picked School Board members breathing down his neck to keep the Patronage Mill running.