TASB conducts Superintendent Searches in Secret Public schools are government entities, and as such, they should be open and transparent.

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Dec 19, 2017 No Comments ›› admin

By Lynn Woolley

The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) has a firm grip on the selection and hiring of school superintendents in Texas. A lot, if not most, Texas ISD’s contract with the TASB when they start looking for a new super.

TASB Headquarters

That means that this left-wing lobbying group is really choosing Texas school superintendents – and they’re got a method of making sure that pesky members of the community – and taxpayers that foot the bill – can butt out.

In more and more cases, the TASB convinces members of the local School Board to sign a confidentiality agreement that they will not reveal or discuss any applicants until the list is narrowed down to one finalist.

Here’s what this accomplishes for the TASB:

• The final five or so applicants are always acceptable to the TASB, meaning no serious changes or reforms will ever be brought up.
• No matter which of the final applicants is hired by the board, the TASB will have its person in place so that the status quo is intact.
• This confidentiality agreement removes the public from the selection process, leaving the lobbying group in total charge.
• The education bureaucrats at TASB earn a hefty fee for their “work” – usually $10,000 or more.

What about the applicants?

Most are from Texas; some are from out of state, but all must pass muster with the TASB. You might not think it at first, but this works in the applicants’ favor as well:

• Since the names of all applicants are secret until an offer is made, it’s easy to apply without offending the current employer.
• The applicant’s names stay out of their local newspapers.
• This means school superintendents can constantly be looking for a better deal without spoiling the one they have now.
• With TASB involved, the applicants have an advocate to make sure they get a fat salary with lots of perks and a golden parachute in case they get canned.
• The non-successful applicants can then go right back to their jobs – just like nothing ever happened.

Remember this about superintendent searches through the TASB: This is the education bureaucracy protecting and working for the education bureaucracy. If you work at the TASB, you likely have been a superintendent, and you’re likely drawing a fat retirement check plus whatever you rake in from conducting these searches.

It’s a closed loop system – and nobody cares one whit what the community, the taxpayers, or the parents think.

People in the community are good for only two things – providing the children needed to operate a school district, and paying the bills. There have been stories about how TASB works to answer public education critics – and how they try to shut them up.

Our public schools would be better off if TASB were abolished and local school boards took more power to run their districts.

Superintendent searches could be done locally with full community involvement instead of the poorly attended meetings they hold now that have no effect whatsoever on the naming of the finalists. The sooner we all understand that the TASB doesn’t care what we think – the better off we’ll be. Does anyone think these meetings make any difference as to whom the TASB recommends?

What is a “finalist?” 

Dr. Robin Battershell is the retiring Temple, TX superintendent. TISD School Board members all signed a confidentiality agreement for the TASB.

Since by law, any ISD must release the names of “finalists,” the TASB guards them and goads the School Board into promising not to release the names. It’s a fine legal line. The only reason these applicants are not legally “finalists” is because they applied to the TASB instead of to the District. This is BS of the highest order. It is a way to get around open records laws.

Your School Board is under the thumb of the TASB.

Any school board member in any district that agrees to the confidentiality agreement is giving the finger to the community. But in Texas today, the TASB is in charge. Today’s school boards seem to be puppet organizations that exist for the benefit of the education establishment as personified by the TASB.

The Texas Association of School Boards is part of the Swamp.

It’s why we can’t make positive changes in public schools. It’s why the public so often gets left out. It’s why school superintendents make such ridiculous salaries and get so many benefits that the rest of us pay for. It’s why we ALWAYS get a cookie-cutter educrat and NEVER get a successful member of the business community that might come in with new ideas.

Public schools are government entities, and as such, they should be open and transparent. That they are closed and opaque is the community’s fault. We should demand better from our School Board members. And we should kick the TASB to the curb.

lynn@BeLogical.com

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