Sutherland for Schools blog
Here is my response to the Star-Telegram’s request that we justify our positions on our upcoming vote for FWISD superintendent.
The Fort Worth ISD board’s 9-0 vote to choose Dr. Boyd as our sole finalist resulted from three interviews, one involving responses by 16 candidates to five questions via video and two subsequent rounds of interviews. The first of the subsequent rounds involved seven candidates. At the close of these interviews, we agreed on a further interview with three, selecting a fourth as a back-up in case one candidate withdrew. However, even after two of the candidates withdrew, the president declined to call the fourth person. Thus Dr. Boyd was the sole individual considered at our final interview. In retrospect, this was unfortunate.
These interviews were supported with statistical information provided by our search firm which we were allowed to read only during our interview sessions. Although we could search online, we were not allowed to talk to individuals in candidates’ districts.
Dr. Boyd’s performance during this final interview was outstanding.
our post-interview examination of Dr. Boyd’s tenure in
his final interview with us, I asked Dr. Boyd his opinion of FWISD’s heavy
testing regimen and the consequent need for many principal meetings. His response was that he did not see the need
for either a three-week testing cycle or lengthy principal meetings. As I indicated during our vote to announce
his candidacy, this was a crucial reason for my support. I now see that his management at
Our board’s #1 job is to restore a positive relationship between our school site staff and our central office staff. I will be voting “no” on any motion to employ Dr. Boyd.
I was given permission to post this anonymously. Both this writer and the previous one are very nervous about retaliation.
"Although our District constituents are elated at the prospect that "The Bully",as he is referred to by our parents and teachers, may finally be leaving I can't help but reach out and let you know your reservations are not unfounded.
"The SFPS Board is meeting in closed session Friday to discuss the Superintendents contract, that is Joel Boyd's ploy to convince YOUR board that he is wanted here. He has the Board in his pocket, but not the constituents. It's also a show by him so that he can "decline" your offer because his own board made a counter offer in the event you guys choose against hiring him. Manipulative. Read the article in today's New Mexican, it's sad.
The increase in graduation rates that Joel Boyd purports are not differentiated between the cohort and graduation rates. The general public doesn't know the difference, but you do!
He is not personable, he forces everyone call him "Dr" or else he won't respond. He never replies to constituent emails, rather pawns people off on "staff".
I really admire your being the ONE voice of reason and want you to know that your fears are right.
Check the Star-Telegram this weekend and this blog for updates.
This was sent to board members on Sunday, Feb. 22:
Recently, many of us who live in Santa Fe have read articles regarding Joel D. Boyd’s impending move to the Fort Worth Independent School District. So much of the rhetoric attributed to Mr. Boyd, subsequent to the announcement, is a carbon copy of Mr. Boyd’s words when he was selected to lead the Santa Fe Public School District approximately three years ago. During his tenure, nothing here has changed, except SFPS has lost hundreds of qualified teachers and administrators. I suspect if Mr. Boyd becomes the leader of FWIDS, the same will be true for your district three years from now.
I was heartened to read comments from members of your Board when they referred to Mr. Boyd as being Harvard “trained,” rather than Harvard “educated.” There is a difference – something people in Santa Fe failed to notice when Mr. Boyd was hired. The program from which Mr. Boyd attained his on-line doctorate, has, I believe, lost its affiliation with Harvard, perhaps because Harvard no longer wants the negative association with this type of program.
I also noticed your district is focused on the academic growth of students in Santa Fe, specifically, the graduation rates. This is an area which deserves your attention. The growth in SFPS, referenced by Mr. Boyd, is highly influenced by students graduating from on-line courses, taken at schools converted to promote virtual learning. Students review the same questions repeatedly, take the same rote “tests,” day after day, and eventually some pass the “test,” and some finally graduate.
In addition, many of these same students were actively recruited from the city’s two high school campus. When the recruiting took place, many of the current on-line students were currently enrolled at the high school sites. They were offered electronic devices to enroll in the on-line programs, and were quickly accepted into the virtual programs.
There is also a great deal of controversy, and many questions around the people with whom Mr. Boyd has contracted or attempted to hire to administer programs or obtain services. A name you may want to remember is Joseph Wise.
In the spirit of transparency, I was, until May of 2014, employed by SFPS. I left my ten-plus year teaching position to pursue other interests. I wish the best to the students and teachers in SFPS, and can say in all honesty, they are not receiving the “world class” education promised by Mr. Boyd when he rushed to Santa Fe in 2012.
Both Palazzolo v FWISD and Palazzolo v. Dansby are on the agenda for executive session on Tuesday. No action or vote is planned on either of these. Also nearly $300,000 worth of Xerox paper and almost $1 million in automobiles and trucks. And the coaches will be happy to know that staff is moving forward with the artificial turf. Some resignations, including 11 teachers (24 last time, as I recall).
With the campaign season starting, along comes the other aspects of the internet world.
If readers post comments that are critical of statements or votes, I will post them, but I won't post comments saying specific board members are bad. Readers will have to criticize positions.
I hope last night's board vote on the SCAs told you all you need to know about our sitting board members. They acknowledged there were big issues (but it wasn't their problem). That's especially hard to understand for the 4 who have kids in the system.