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Tuesday, March 1, 2011


It seems like all we keep hearing how wonderful our "strong Mayor" form of government is.

Well today the Hartford Board of Education seems to be sending a message loud and clear. The strong Mayor, Pedro Segarra, has been reduced to a weak and ineffective leader if he accepts the Board's message to him.

The Board has decided not to accept Segarra's request to begin over and conduct a legitimate search for a new Superintendent. Board President David McDonald, also not one to be known for his strong stances on anything, issued the following statement today:

Statement of the Hartford Board of Education
March 1, 2011
Last week, the Board cancelled its scheduled Special Meeting to consider the Search Committee’s recommendation to appoint Dr. Christina Kishimoto as the next superintendent of Hartford Public Schools. The decision was made, on February 22, 2011, to consider Mayor Pedro Segarra’s request to conduct a national search for our next Superintendent of Schools.As Chairperson of the Board of Education, I have reached out to and met with Mayor Segarra
to acknowledge and address his concerns. I want to thank the Mayor for meeting with me on two occasions on this critical matter and for also meeting with our parent constituency to discuss their concerns. I am pleased to hear about his continued commitment to our reform
work. We will mutually bring unity back to our city around Hartford’s education reform, and have agreed to work collaboratively with the new Superintendent, the Board of Education and all stakeholders.Additionally, the HBOE Superintendent Search Committee met last Saturday, February 26th, todiscuss the request made by Mayor Segarra. The committee deliberated for approximately two hours on his request and examined the strengths and challenges of different options. The Committee firmly stands behind the integrity of the search process and confirmed their recommendation for the Board to follow their policy, as written, by appointing Dr. Kishimoto
based on her qualifications, track record and interviews. It was also indicated by the Committee that the Board should continue discussions with the Mayor to work towards unity around building coalitions for the benefit of our children and families. In discussions with the Mayor, additional details about the Superintendent Search process wereshared in order to allay his concerns as follows: The process began with the development of a comprehensive Board Policy (Leadership Succession) in April 2010. The work on this policy spanned from April to October, 2010,at which time the Board adopted the Policy on October 19, 2010. In late December 2010, the Search Committee engaged the services of CABE (Connecticut Association of Boards of Education) Search Services to strengthen the objectivity and
transparency of the process. CABE’s consultant facilitated the process, provided training to the Search Committee, assisted in the development of interview questions along with the input of the committee membership, and beginning January 4th, assumed the leadership role for the process. All applicant information was sent directly to the consultant at CABE.
 During the search process, the Board engaged the community on many occasions and at several junctures in order to incorporate the wide and varied perspectives of our community at large. Community Forums were conducted by Achieve Hartford!, and a Board led focus group with key stakeholders was held, including Council members and representatives from the business sector in addition to the leadership of the Administrators union.
o A survey, seeking community input was available online in both English and
Spanish for nearly a month. Feedback was received from more than 700 students,parents, staff and community members. The feedback was used in the developmentof interview questions for the Search process.
o The Board also heard the concerns of our community and agreed to add a 13th member to the Search Committee and did so by seeking nominations from key active community leaders to ensure additional involvement. Those nominations were reviewed and the 13th member, an additional Hartford parent, was ultimately selected.
o Our CABE consultant met with the Hartford Federation of Teachers on our behalf,to seek its feedback and spoke with Connecticut superintendents and key professionals to gather feedback about desirable qualifications for urban leaders.Each of the steps and actions of the search process were routinely and repeatedly shared publicly at Board meetings. At critical stages during the search process, the Search Committee Chairperson and the consultant contacted key community stakeholders to keep them apprised
of the status of the search. Attention to detail and due diligence was the hallmark of the search process. The Superintendent Search Committee was shielded from all rumors and allegations swirling in the community about the candidates during the process and there was no undue influence on the process. We will continue to have discussions with Mayor Segarra in the coming days in an effort to move forward in unity to further benefit our children and families and the great city of Hartford. The Board of Education fully expects the new Superintendent to work collaboratively with the Mayor and all key constituents. The Board is also firmly committed to
following its Leadership Succession Policy, and as Chairperson of the Board of Education I am sworn to uphold all of our policies. In closing, the Board of Education will schedule a special meeting for Wednesday, March 2nd,
2011 to act upon the Search Committee's recommendation. We appreciate the Mayor’s stated commitment to collaborate with the new Superintendent and the Board. We look forward to beginning our transition in welcoming our new Superintendent of Hartford Public Schools.

If Segarra is going to reclaim any authority and look like a leader, he once again needs to shut this process down and start fresh. If it is not already being done, the Corporation Counsel should be drafting paperwork to take before a Superior Court Judge first thing tomorrow morning. The process was clearly inappropriate and enough information is available about unfair influence being used to select Kishimoto over Timothy Sullivan.

It shouldn't be too hard to convince a Judge that David Medina's actions were inappropriate or Precious Ross-Ellis or Millie Arciniegas. It would even be interesting to see David McDonald and others answering questions about the process under oath, before a Judge.

Like I said a few weeks ago, anyone that thinks Eddie Perez and his people aren't still running things behind the scenes, think again.

Only time will tell if Pedro Segarra has leadership qualities or is he easily squashed and silenced.


According to Jeff Cohen at WNPR, Mayor Segarra made the following comment:

“As a community member, educator and Mayor, I stood up and voiced my concerns and I will continue to do so in the future.

I will proactively work with the Board of Education for the good of all of Hartford’s families and children.”

Mayor, it doesn't matter that you "stood up". You need to stand up, continue to stand up and fight for what you believe in. We don't need a wishy-washy Mayor looking for headlines. We need a Mayor that is willing to take a stand and stick to it until all corrective actions are exhausted, That is what they call integrity.

If you can't or are unwilling to do it, we have other choices that we hope will in November.


Anonymous said...

The strong former Mayor still controls the BOE from behind the scenes while the weak strong present Mayor issued a lilly-livered press release acceeding to the power of Adamowski/Kishimoto/Roldan/Perez.

peter brush said...

You are bound and determined to find a problem where none exists. Neither the Mayor, whether a figure head or the CEO, has no control over the Board's actions. The law suit you suggest would be an expensive fiasco. The Board's statement is well done; gives Segarra the back of the hand in a polite manner, and gets on with the business at hand. Segarra, through Barr, did a nice job of saving some face. Let's move on.
Is it Mc or MacDonald? How about asking him what's the deal on the 3 year teach contract? A statement from the Board on that would be appreciated. Ditto, a statement on the consequences of the recent arbitration defeat of the District with respect to in-school seniority. Maybe you can find some illegitimacy or inappropriateness in those proceedings.

Big Zamboni said...

Sad day for the school system. It's hard to believe that there are no better candidates on the face of the Earth than her. The more things change the more they stay the same.



A lawsuit would be an expensive fiasco? And the current conditions in Hartford's schools have created an expensive fiasco?

Ron R. Test said...

"Like I said a few weeks ago, anyone that thinks Eddie Perez and his people aren't still running things behind the scenes, think again."


I'll quote that second guy "You are bound and determined to find a problem where none exists." Eddie Perez set-up a system going back to 2003 that would have the best chance of continuing even beyond him. This is highlighted now more then ever because he is not the Mayor.

It was the majority of the BOE (read...appointeds) who voted for "the process" via the succession committee.

Now for the people who are all gaga about the "reform" in the City's educational system, this will go down as Eddie's legacy. For those who have honest issues (or like yourself Mr. Brookman, just wanna complain about yet another thing) it's another example of the boogy man (Eddie Perez) coming to get you.

The silver lining in this whole thing is that all the term for the appointeds ends at the end of this year. So stay alert for Mayoral candidates who preach the "maintain the reform going" in Hartford. That's code for alot of the same crap that Cotto unveiled in his opinion.

peter brush said...

I don't know how expensive such a law suit would be, but I'd bet a cord of firewood, valued at .5 billable shyster hour, that it would be a pointless loser.

Bottom line; Mayor (how about that new left moonbat campaign guy?) and Council can't do anything about the School District except ask questions, make suggestions, and appoint (although, as far as I can see, not remove) Board guys. I don't know if they'd even have standing to bring your litigation. The State Education Dept. would have a clearer shot.

I'd have no problem agreeing that there were imperfections in the process, or questioning the caliber of the candidates, but the imperfections were not critical and the candidate they selected should be fine.
I suppose at this point I might admit that I don't expect much improvement in the product of our government school district no matter who the Super may be. I wish them well, of course, love the kids, etc, but, thank God, at this point my primary interest in the operation is as a taxpayer. So, speaking of taxes, and their impact on the remnants of our fair town, what do we think of the pending teacher contract? Is there an opportunity for you to flex your FOIAbility in that context?
Speaking of Mayor's new handler:
"In 2008, we were able to drive WalMart out of New Britain. Though WalMart does provide jobs, discount shopping for residents and increased the tax base for the city, we did not feel that their non-union stance was appropriate."

Anonymous said...

I love Dr. Kishimoto's work and still know, like everyone else that it was a setup. Seriously, CABE consultant and former BOE chief of staff Jackie Jakoby running the search where Dr. Thompson is a candidate. No loss for him. Dr. Jakoby is the superintendent in Bloomfield. Who's the incoming Bloomfiled superintendent hand picked by the Bloomfield council and Dr. Jakoby? That's right, Dr. Thompson. Everyone sing's a small world after all.

Anonymous said...

If this was a so-called "set-up" as you claim, then her first course of action as the Super should be to fire Kelvin Roldan and his fake, over-paid position; fire David Medina for over-stepping; don't hire Millie as the new director of the Parent Academy; prevent Precious from selling her uniforms to HPS; investigate what behind-the-scenes deals were made for MacDonald to become the next BOE deep does this go? Most people in Hartford are against this, yet the BOE moved ahead for selfish interests. Such a sham.

peter brush said...

I'll take a "strong" mayor like the one down in NH. No new taxes in his budget. Pedro; get off the school super non-issue, and get serious about your bailiwick; Hartford's fiscal situation

Pensions and health care combined have risen from 12 percent to 22 percent of the city’s budget over 10 years, or $44 million to $105 million, according to the mayor.

Anonymous said...

Ron R. Test is completely on the money.

Eddie was an extremely insecure person (bravado and bullying = insecurity), and only appointed and endorsed people he knew he could control, i.e. people with less political, negotiating and/or bullying skills than he had. This included every council person he endorsed (look at how none of them ever stood up to him when they could/should have)and all the BOE members he appointed and/or controlled the endorsement for (can you say school building committee corruption going straight through the BOE approval process?). These people are still in their positions but their skill sets haven't miraculously changed since Eddie was removed. Their political and practical abilities are a complete joke - cluster@#$& when replacing councilmembers, continuing to spend money like it grows on trees, proposing ordinances to outlaw certain cigarette lighters instead of solving the huge problems this city faces, being completely rolled by the outgoing School Superintendent so he can get a consulting job from the BOE until he finds another city to prey on, and on and on and on. This is why Mayor Segarra could get nowhere with resolving the BOE's misguided procedures which were allowing Eddie's old appointees to continue running the show for their own benefit. Segarra called that press conference out of desparation, after being stymied by people's ignorance of reality, who couldn't see what was really going on right beneath their own feet.

As Ron claims the Eddie people are still

Anonymous said...

The truth about healthcare...Hartford is self insured, like most large organizations. The cost goes up because the usage goes up. It's ass simple as that. If you want usage to go down you might want to add options like gym memberships (not at city hall), weight watchers or other options for people to be more healthy.

Employee payments have gone up 10% at the board annually plus having 25-50% increases in copays.

These are all rational moves, but the only way to drive down costs is to decrease usage.

Anonymous said...

Only Two Canidates to choose from ? What a Joke ? Adamowskis Pet and Brad Noels Son in Law! Wow I was surpised that Eddie Perez wasnt given an interview? He could have opened up the new Home improvement Academy !!!

Anonymous said...

The Mayor need to step up and do his job. Run the city. He allowed the current city treasure to demand a certain pay or he was not going to take the job. He should have told him to take a hike. His wife still works for the Treasurer's department and Mayor is not uttering a word about this arrangement. I do not see any reason to vote for him now. He do not speak up.