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Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Apparently the Hartford legislative delegation has weighed in with their displeasure on the sham selection process and their thoughts on the inappropriate bonuses given by Hartford School's Superintendent Adamowski.

The issue of the bonuses was first reported here and WNPR's Jeff Cohen first reported on the improper lobbying efforts by Board of Education spokesperson David Medina. Hartford's legislative delegation sent a strongly worded letter to members of the Board of Education voicing their displeasure. Cohen posted the letter on his blog today, follow the link to the right to get to Jeff's blog.

Two names though were notably missing from the letter that listed all of Hartford's legislators with the exception of Senator John Fonfara and State Representative Kelvin Roldan. Their absence shouldn't be surprising though since Roldan actually received one of the bonuses that the rest of the delegation seemed to take exception with.

The letter can be read below:



peter brush said...

Profiles in courage. They "work" really hard to get $190million for Hartford schools? Excuse me, the Hartford District is a State entity. The State, by rights, should pay for the entire school budget. In stead, it has set up a Rube Goldberg arrangement whereby the municipalities pay with property taxes, but have NO say in how the money is spent. They can object to teachers contracts, but the State then requires arbitration by guys chosen by... the State.

I appreciate their concern about the bonuses recently paid out by Adamowski. And, the Board should provide an answer to their questions. They, in turn, should hold off declaring the bonuses "inappropriate" until they learn how they were established. Does the new contract include the bonuses? The only report I've seen about it in the Courant says yes, bonuses will be provided based on some sort of performance criteria. While they are asking, and while they so generously push to have the State fund the Hartford District, could they please ask if the new contract provides for salary increases in each of its three years even as Malloy says he's going to get $1billion/year in adjustments from state workers? For that matter, maybe they could ask if teachers unions are "appropriate" at all, and then change statute to allow districts to avoid dealing with them altogether.

The Super search "looks and feels
wrong," they say. As far as I can see the Board is not legally required to do anything differently than it did, and the Commissioner is by law required to sign off on the Super's credentials. Maybe they should give their acting Commissioner, one George Coleman, a jingle on his 311 number, and tell him the search smelled bad.

It is refreshing to hear that these guys have a "clear and focused vision of student success." On the other hand, how clear can their vision really be if they believe Hartford can "continue to be a highly successful" city if "we truly work together?" I say one thing that would go a long way to restoring Hartford's "success" would be the State's legislature doing away with its school districts and their residency requirements.

L. Deutsch, Hartford City Council said...

Below is a letter written shortly before Board meeting, distributed to press and handed to entering Board members; apparently too little and too late, after hoping many others in and outside City government would further intervene and change some Board minds:

Open letter to the Board of Education and its designated Selection Committee:

Many in Hartford are well aware by now of widespread doubts about the fairness and process in the choices made for the Selection Committee for Superintendent.
Doubts go back to October when a “Succession Policy” was launched.
Later, concerns were raised when the actual Selection Committee was formed, leaving out many representative voices. Later, there was recognition of this fact by the Board, with an poor and token attempt to add new members.
Most recently, openly as well as behind the scene, there were active, highly inappropriate, and unethical attempts by a Board official to influence the ultimate choice.

Many in the City are appalled at the slanting and bias of this process, and agree that the outcome is unacceptable. The Mayor is influential over appointments and decisions of the Board, and the City Council is responsible for accepting the Superintendent choice and the final School System budget. The Mayor rightly voiced concerns about the process as “flawed,” correctly saw the “perception in the city that the committee’s pick was ‘predetermined’, and rightly called for reconsideration -- especially after active biased lobbying by Mr. David Medina, presumably with Superintendent Adamowski’s approval.

Thereforeit is our obligation to presented this Open Letter to the Board, since it may be that the Chair will not permit the public - to whom the City Council is responsible - to express these directly:

1. The choice announced by the Board and its Chairman follows an invalid and biased process and is rejected by many citizens and several City Council members.
2. Revocation of recent bonuses for Mr. D. Medina and Dr. S. Adamowski, unless fully justified in writing for public examination, is necessary.
3. The immediate resignation of Mr. D. Medina and of Dr. S. Adamowski is demanded.

The Board and its Chairman are advised that many in the City will pursue appeals to legal and ethical authorities, and consider these items during upcoming Council budget decisions, regarding flaws and interference in what should have been a fair and transparent process in choosing for ALL the Hartford’s children the future course of the public education system in our City.

Representing views of many City residents and fellow Council members --

L. Deutsch, Hartford City Council March 3, 2011

Anonymous said...

If you take a look at all the contracts including the non certified you will see the bonus clause at the discretion of the superintendent. There is no mention of actual criteria. In the process of negotiations the unions were simply told that the superintendent wanted that as an option in the contract.

We all knew it was so that the central office administrators could get the big bonuses without criticism from the rank and file. But what are you going to do, go back to the members and say you turned bonuses down!