Left In Lowell

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July 6, 2013

Hogwash over School Hiring

by at 9:06 pm.

It would not strike me as odd, should you click away from ANOTHER one of my ‘Blog of Record’ rants. But here goes, and I think this one is a keeper.

Part I: Sabotage

Kim Scott wants to stop the gravy train of family hiring in the Lowell Public School System, especially for administrative staff.

She says there’s an epidemic of nepotism when it comes to hiring decisions in the schools. Job candidates should be treated equally, says Scott, and no one should get a leg up because of political or school connections.

On the face of it, it’s a well-intentioned idea from the Lowell School Committee member.

The way Scott sees it — and we do, too — there is a growing concentration of power among a few people who are charged with making important hiring decisions affecting the education of the city’s 14,800 students.

Suffice to say, The Sun editorial has hijacked Kim Scott’s effort and intent with the developing motion to place procedural safeguards to diminish the practice and /or perception of the practice of nepotism and other facsimiles, thereof. The words blockquoted above, ALL belong to the ghost writer. They try to frame Kim’s mindset to appear simpatico with their breathy, hyperventilating panics. But, Kim doesn’t need to sell newspapers. Campi does.

To read more of Kim’s direct comments on this matter, and the speculation whirling around it, please check out these links:
http://www.leftinlowell.com/2013/06/27/all-in-the-family/
http://gerrynutterslowell.com/2013/06/28/already-a-state-law-to-cover-nepotism-issue/
http://gerrynutterslowell.com/2013/06/27/nepotism-ordinance-lowellians-need-not-apply/

This episode, around the Lowell Public School District, is one of The Sun’s most reprehensible.

But, WHY has the Sun descended so low? Let’s dig in a little deeper. Please, hold your nose.

Part II: The Usual Suspects

The School Committee began discussions on reducing the number of members who serve on personnel selection committees, which are normally used in high-profile hirings, like, for example, for superintendent.

Connie Martin, who chairs the committee’s Personnel Subcommittee, said generally selection committees have become “unwieldy.”

The talk is that some School Committee members, namely Martin, no longer feel the need to have representatives from UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College and the local business committee lending advice.

The idea is being roundly criticized. The city and schools have flourished on partnerships, so why break those ties?

Okay. Deep breath time. Let it out.

We all know that jobs and contracts are the mother’s milk of transactional politics. So, it should surprise no one that when big wigs are hired, there needs to be a sufficient dog and pony show, a true tour-de-farce, to ward off criticisms (most of the time, but not always). Thus, when the School System hires big wigs, there is a tendency to form a “Blue Ribbon Panel,” designed to place a fig leaf over the predetermined outcome.

To that end; we enlist Admins, teachers, Union reps, parents (for good measure) &, The Sun’s faves, “representatives from UMass Lowell, Middlesex Community College and the local business.” Would you be surprised if there was a VERY short list of who are selected for these fig leaf panels? Look. We can whine that Paul Georges is ALWAYS there. He IS the Union President. He is there as LONG as the Union elects him. But, who we pick from the community could be varied to a much greater extent. IT IS NOT!

So when you see The Sun flail and sputter, screaming ZOMG!, be suspect of their intent. They want the game rigged to support what they want. And, they will print deceptions in their 75 cent, wafer thin, newsletter; trying to convince Lowellians that they are watching the watchers.

They want the short list of THEIR pals from UML, MCC, Lowell Plan, Chamber of Commerce & various local banks to get placed in the filter. Why? To make sure that the right candidates get passed through. (Usually, a couple of sand bags & their anointed pick)

On occasion, The Sun is so blatant, so arrogant, they don’t even bother to construct a façade.

The selection of Brian Martin, as the High School Headmaster, was a done deal. DAY 1. That poor prick Ed Rozimarek was a dead man walking, even before he thumbed his nose at Kendall Wallace and the Distinguished Alumni clique over commencement ass kissing protocols.

Here is a crumb trail of 8 pieces, over 2 months. One is a Sun editorial (Saturday Chat) where Martin is lifted on a pedestal. Soon after, two finalists dropped out. (This happened, also, when John Leahy went on WCAP asserting that Jay Lang should be thrust into the finalist pool back when Dr.Scott needed to be replaced. And, let’s not forget the fateful musings of Mike Lenzi, just before GLTHS picked their babe.)

I selected out key lines(bold mine), but the titles tell you most of what you need to know.

2013:
Lowell High alumnus new headmaster (4/5/13)
Martin named new Lowell High headmaster (4/4/13)
Finalists for LHS job lay out priorities (4/3/13)

Martin now one of two Lowell High principal finalists (3/27/13)

LOWELL — Former City Manager Brian Martin ’s only competition to be the next headmaster of Lowell High School is another high-school principal who remains on paid leave following his disappearance in January.

Superintendent of Schools Jean Franco had said Friday there were four applicants for the position. By Monday, Franco said, two candidates dropped out, leaving only Martin and Saugus High School Principal Joseph Diorio.

Martin is the ideal choice to lead LHS (2/23/13)

“He knows how to partner with the business community and with the university and community college.” – Kendall Wallace

Brian Martin seeks LHS headmaster post (2/23/13)
Ex-mayor and manager seeks LHS headmaster post (2/22/13)
Lowell schools to post headmaster job (2/7/13)

Does anyone really think Ed Rozimarek wasn’t a seat warmer?

2010:
Martin out of mix for LHS headmaster (2/3/10)
Martin not among the semifinalists vying to be new LHS headmaster (2/2/10)
Martin hopes to add title of Lowell High headmaster to long local resume (1/30/10)
A history of working for the city (1/30/10)

SATURDAY CHAT (1/30/10)

Former City Manager Brian Martin is the only local candidate for the LHS headmaster ’s job. He certainly brings an interesting history and dynamic to the high-school job …

Now, if The Sun and the Brahmin that rule the dole want to speak to us with a straight face, they can try to ratchet their scam up, a bit more.

- How about diversifying who makes it on to the fig leaf panel? Why use the same folks from the same institutions? The fix isn’t in?
- How about the Lowell School Committee make rules that force the committee make up to be rotated? Maybe, no one can sit on two committees in a row. No one institution can serve in selections for the same position, e.g. Supt., back to back?

If Campi, et al, really meant to thwart the “growing concentration of power among a few people who are charged with making important hiring decisions,” it won’t be to hard. They can start by STFU. Then, support reform efforts, posed by honest people.

We’ve got a few in Lowell. Some are even elected!

8 Responses to “Hogwash over School Hiring”

  1. Taxpayer Says:

    Guess your “Old Lowell” wins again…… keep crying

  2. Jack Says:

    Are you saying “Old Lowell” are a bunch of dirty dealing, back stabbing, power mongers? That’s not nice, Taxpayer.

    There’s Lowell and there’s “shady Lowell” or “crooked Lowell,” if you like.

    Being of Lowell is not inherently suspect. Pulling shenanigans to feather your nest, with our tax dollars IS.

  3. Taxpayer Says:

    IM just kidding Jack, Brian Martin is great man who fought for the Hamilton Canal, has grown lived worked attended Lowell schools and knows what Lowell is all about and how it should go. There was no better person for the job than him. As for the nepotism, just this past weeks all Lowell employees had to take and ethics test which had a multitude of scenarios regarding nepotism of what is considered right and wrong. Mr. Lang had nothing to do with the hiring process and if its not about that one incident please name some then instead of making general statements about it and whining.

  4. Jack Says:

    I think Brian Martin is a great choice, too. The only reservation I have ever expressed is that he COULD be an ‘Imperial Headmaster.” Meaning, his political stature which rivals Meehan and Pangi, in some respects, would make him immune to oversight. I think that is a valid concern.

    I prefer to keep things general, so as not to make it about a person and their situation. I brought up Brian Martin because:
    1) He is a big boy.
    2) The process around him lays bare the craven nature of the Sun’s hypocrisy.

  5. Taxpayer Says:

    That’s fine I do you agree with you on the evaluation part. Keeping things general and trying to make it into one issue is completely invalid and rivals propaganda.

  6. Taxpayer Says:

    That means you have no specific answers and being a “big boy” is bs.

  7. Jack Says:

    If you like political porn, maybe we aren’t what you’re looking for. I have no problems naming names to make a point, but not just to make someone squirm.

    I do think Brian Martin is a “big boy.” For sure, I could write some shit that would get under his skin, but why? To what end?

    Martin’s career is unparalleled. Some have climbed ‘higher,’ but Martin has covered a lot of turf locally. I admire that. Does that mean he is above being challenged? Well, that’s just a silly notion. Isn’t it?

  8. Taxpayer Says:

    Yes so challenge him, its his fault he hasn’t been challenged? Maybe you should challenge him, with generic rhetoric! I always root for the underdog

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