We’ve all now heard that Dr. Jason Glass rose to the top to become the new Jeffco schools Superintendent. Yet with all of the praise from numerous people and organizations not one mention was made of Dr. Glass’ record of improving education performance. That’s right, not a single mention by anyone, including quoted comments from every single member of the Board of Education.
There’s a reason for that – he doesn’t have a record of improving academic performance.
Shouldn’t that be the single most important quality that we, as a community, and the Board of Education, were looking for?
In Eagle County, where Dr. Glass is coming from, academic growth rates for Language Arts are 2 points below those of Jeffco and 3 points behind in Math, and both of those are below the state averages.
Colorado ACT scores actually dropped in Eagle County by .7 point from 2014, when Dr. Glass arrived, through 2016 while ACT scores rose by .1 point during that same time period in both Jeffco and the state. An .8 point difference between Jeffco and Eagle County is a fairly significant difference on that test and doesn’t bode well for our students.
With a track record of under-achieving academic performance, it wasn’t a surprise to me that Dr. Glass’ contract does NOT include a provision for a performance bonus as was the case with the previous Superintendent. If Dr. Glass’ past performance is any indicator, he wouldn’t have earned it. Instead, the Board of Education made him the highest paid Superintendent in the state ($313,750 per year including most of the identified extras) with no financial incentive to improve academic performance. I find that a hard pill to swallow.
Finally, with all of the talk about the transparency of the hiring process and the citing of various candidate numbers provided by the search firm, I think it is important to recognize that these same numbers were provided during the last Superintendent search in 2014. The current search was no more and maybe a little less transparent than before, since in 2014 we at least got to see the resume of Mr. Mcminimee which has not been provided for Dr. Glass. In addition, having a sole ‘finalist’ to skirt Colorado law was not transparent or right in 2014 the same as it is not right or transparent in 2017.
For the record, here are the publicly available numbers provided by Ray & Associates for the 2014 search – 257 individuals contacted by Ray & Associates, 63 completed applications, 11 candidates prescreened + 2 alternates, 6 candidates invited to interview, 5 participated with a candidate pool representing gender, racial and geographic diversity (California, Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington).
The bottom line is that I am extraordinarily disappointed in Dr. Glass’ track record on improving academic performance and the fact that his contract does not include a performance based bonus.
It might be time for us all to take a step back and recognize that we might not be getting what we need most with this Superintendent – someone who has a real record of improving education performance. We also have to recognize that just because someone says the process was transparent doesn’t really make it transparent.