Transparency, Trust and Voters – the losers in the selection process of Dr. Glass as Jeffco’s Superintendent

This past weekend the Denver Post published an article pointing to the hypocrisy in the selection of Dr. Jason Glass as Superintendent.

I agree.

The current Board of Education ran on a platform of Transparency and Trust. Yet, the selection process of Dr. Glass was, in my opinion, less transparent than that of Mr. McMinimee.

Yes, supporters of the current Board want you to believe that because they repeatedly cite the number of contacts, candidates and interviewees that the process was transparent.

Yet, only a sole ‘finalist’ was named.

Where is the transparency in that?

Isn’t the purpose of the Colorado law requiring that finalists for positions be named 14 days in advance to allow proper vetting of the candidates? Isn’t the purpose of the law to give the people impacted by the selection a chance to evaluate and compare all of the finalists? Isn’t an implied purpose of the law to give citizens a chance to evaluate their representatives on the selection?

The answer to these questions is a definitive ‘Yes’ and as citizens we were deprived of our legal right to evaluate and compare finalists. We were deprived of our legal right to evaluate the Board’s selection against other finalists.

Naming a single ‘finalist’ may barely follow the letter of the law, but it certainly doesn’t follow the intent of the law.

Naming a single ‘finalist’ implies there is something to hide. What is this Board attempting to hide? Was there a better candidate? Was there a candidate who actually has a track record of improving academic performance? Was there a candidate who was Superintendent at a larger school district and might have more experience in public school districts than Jason Glass? We don’t know now and never will. Transparency is the loser here, exactly the same as it was in 2014.

Following the letter of the law, but not the intent of the law, is not transparent, no matter how many people say it is. This is what destroys trust in our elected officials. Why should we ever trust this Board again?

The other losers in this process are the voters who voted for this Board believing that they would bring increased Transparency and Trust to their positions. They didn’t and we shouldn’t fool ourselves that they are any different or any better in that respect than the old Board. In fact, this Board is actually worse since that was one of principles they ran on.

Finally, I know there are still people who believe that because candidate numbers were released that this was a more transparent process. However, here are the publicly available numbers provided by Ray & Associates in 2014:

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).

Sound familiar?

In addition, in 2014 Mr. McMinimee’s resume was posted on Board Docs. Not so with Dr. Glass’ resume.

Can anyone look me in the eye and tell me with a straight face that the 2017 search was more transparent than the 2014 search?

Only if they are blinded by the light reflected by the opaqueness of this Board.

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