Wednesday, October 28, 2009

School Changes in Retrospect

Image: My heavily annotated list of new job titles from May 2008.

At the risk of upsetting somebody, may I point out that the big change in job titles took place before Dr. Steve Gallon III was on the job.

The initial vote was at a May 5, 2008 school board meeting. See archived preview here. At the time, Dr. Garnell Bailey was serving as both interim superintendent and Human Resources director. She became assistant superintendent for Administrative Services after Gallon took office.

Gallon was hired in February, although his contract was not finalized at that time. A special closed meeting on his contract was held the night before his July 1, 2008 start date. No doubt he was apprised of the changes, but could not legally have had input in May. Click here for the blog post on the May 5 meeting and here for a follow-up.

Plaintalker commented on the controversy over Gallon's contract on this post.

In June 2008, names were attached to the new titles, but only for the month of July. A preview of the meeting noted that Gallon's contract had not yet been reviewed by Union County Executive Superintendent Carmen Centuolo. Read about the meeting here.

Plaintalker reported on a state-mandated audit report that was unveiled in July 2008. It covered the school years 2004-05 and 2005-06. The time frame would seem to indicate that any audit called for now would not be complete for a couple of years.

Here is a preview of the July 2008 meeting at which the two assistant superintendent roles were up for approval. This post, on Gallon's "dashboard" and the job changes, was one of three Plaintalker posts on the July 15 meeting. Please note the high volume of comments.

Plaintalker found analysis of the changes difficult, as personnel guidelines call for names of terminated staff to be on file but not made public.

In August 2008, Bailey and Gallon revealed a plan for ongoing assessment of administrators' performance. At the Aug. 13, 2008 meeting, Gallon pledged districtwide change. Mark Spivey reported on the meeting for the Courier News.

And there you have it, dear readers, Plaintalker's coverage of the job changes and Gallon's official entry as superintendent. This is the kind of reporting I can no longer do, much to my regret.

Perhaps this context to the current controversies will shed some light on the timetable of changes and the extent of scrutiny at the time. And maybe it will cut down on the sale of political wolf tickets.

--Bernice Paglia


Blogger Rob said...

Would that political Big Bad Wolf be our own frighteningly real Jerry Green????? Bernice, you have to admit though, the more he speaks or writes the bigger fool he makes himself look like ( to those educated enough to see past his posturing ). It is true, give a man enough rope and they will hang themselves with it. And WELCOME BACK!

4:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if Bernice is advising temperance or what. I mean, heavens, why take your time reaching a conclusion? For example, I personally found Mr. Cooke's column in the Courier to be a delightfully stupid read.

12:20 PM  
Blogger RASRAHMATAZ said...

Bernice -- just a few points of clarity: Dr. Bailey made interim appointments from July 1 - July 31 and this did not include the Floridian Trio.

It wasn't until Gallon officially took his seat in mid-July that He in fact offered contractural employment to the Floridan Trio that was subsequently approved by the BOE.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Gallon most CERTAINLY had input before May (legal or not)...Kemp, Borge and Kelly are listed on your notes in the picture. Without his input, I would find it very difficult to believe these 3 women would have been offered job as of May 2008.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Bernice said...

To 4:01 p.m.:
The job title list is from May. I filled in names and salaries later as they became known. That's why they are in pencil or colored pen. Once a job title list was established, wouldn't it be possible for outsiders to apply for the jobs?

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Florida Trio" statement reveals what some of this is really about. This clearly appears to be an issue about Gallon and these ladies being from Florida. Most of the people working for Plainfield are not from Plainfield. Besides, those of us who are from here and are now here came from somewhere else. How many of the previous, I lost count, superintendents were actually from Plainfield? Give me a break. Let's focus on helping these kids read and lowering my taxes!

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 5:38 get a grip... I refer to them that way because it's easier to type. Grow up! And yeah -- Let us focus on the children.

10:33 PM  

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