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Richmond County schools' hiring process criticized by board

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Editor's note:  An earlier version of this story did not accurately report the group that will continue to meet to discuss the problem.

The Richmond County Board of Education is not happy with the way the school system hires its faculty and staff and is demanding a change.

On the second day of the board’s fall retreat, Chief Human Resources Officer Nor­man Hill came prepared to offer a presentation detailing hiring practices and to field questions and suggestions for improvement.

However, he and board attorney Leonard Fletcher Jr. decided it would be best to hear board members’ concerns first Saturday to allow Hill to tailor his presentation to address those concerns.

By the time they were finished, Hill had little opportunity to give his prepared speech.

Board member Patsy Scott said she often hears from applicants who are frustrated because they are qualified for positions but never receive feedback after submitting their applications. She wanted to know why applications seem to get lost.

Hill said now that the system is using an online application system, there is no such thing as a “lost” application. But the system receives more than 250 applications per week, he said, and the demands on the human resources department make it difficult to respond to each one.

“I’m not going to say that the process is perfect and flawless,” he said.

He noted that there were more than 600 applicants for the 22 jobs that were filled at the beginning of the year.

“Of these 600 people, 578 people were disappointed,” he said. “It’s a highly competitive process.”

Board member Helen Min­chew said those who are rejected should get something more than just acknowledgement that their application was received.

Much of the board’s frustration with the system stems from a perception of “cronyism,” where people who aren’t necessarily qualified for a leadership position are promoted by their friends instead of more qualified candidates.

“They don’t have the experience,” board member Venus Cain said. “They have not put in their time in order to move to the next level. We’re missing out on some of our best and brightest because we’re not being really upright in our hiring practices.”

Board member Barbara Pulliam, who voiced her concerns via conference call, said she thinks applicants for a leadership position should have at least 10 years of educational experience to qualify.

Others agreed that experience is necessary but called a 10-year minimum excessive, saying it would exclude candidates who have clearly demonstrated leadership skills.

“I would hate to put a time limit and say they have to have 10 years of teaching experience,” board member Jimmy Atkins said. “If you’ve got somebody in the classroom for five years and they’ve proven themselves, and with what our scores look like right now and they could go into a leadership position and turn those scores around … I could support 5 years, but I can’t support 10 years.”

Cain suggested bringing back the pool system, in which candidates for leadership positions are drawn from a group of applicants deemed qualified. Candidates could be pulled from this pool to fill positions more quickly and efficiently than the current process.

Because of time restraints, the board agreed to that board President Alex Howard, Marion Barnes, Chief Human Resources Officer Norman Hill, Superintendent Frank Roberson and Roberson's cabinet will continue to discuss solutions to the problem and bring them to the board at a future meeting.

Comments (13) Add comment
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corgimom
38547
Points
corgimom 08/18/12 - 05:35 pm
6
1
Instead of a NEW GYM at Glenn

Instead of a NEW GYM at Glenn Hills, they need to spend that money on teaching students mathematics!

Cestlavie
147
Points
Cestlavie 08/18/12 - 06:02 pm
2
4
Well, based on my last

Well, based on my last experience on the bleachers at a basketball game, we would want the students to remain alive long enough to learn the math. Those bleachers are dangerous and I think Glenn Hills is the only HS without a new/renovated gym. In fact, it's the same gym they had when I was in school 30 years ago.

dichotomy
37536
Points
dichotomy 08/18/12 - 07:32 pm
5
0
"ism"s

"frustration with the system stems from a perception of “cronyism,”"

Many of the folks I talk to who work in the RC school system say that they are frustrated with another "ism" that plays a big part in hiring, assignment, and promotion. I understand how it happens....I even understand why it happens....but it has caused a failed system....mostly damaging your own kids.....and it is time to stop.

Little Lamb
49138
Points
Little Lamb 08/18/12 - 09:47 pm
6
1
Glenn Hills Gym

Corgimom asserted:

Instead of a NEW GYM at Glenn Hills, they need to spend that money on teaching students mathematics!

I don't think so, Corgimom. The teachers at Glenn Hills have given up on their students. They spend their classroom time pleading with students to stop talking, stop groping, stop drugging, stop fighting, stop bullying. With all that time spent on pleading students to stop, there is no time left to teach.

Spend the money on the gym and let them play ball.

Sigh. :-(

griff6035
4286
Points
griff6035 08/19/12 - 03:18 am
4
0
Because of time restraints

Kick the can down the road again!

lynn7044
190
Points
lynn7044 08/19/12 - 04:27 am
0
2
Well the truth is coming

Well, its about time the way they truth is coming to light. There are daughters that are in the school who's parent work down town and are not good teacher at all. See, the board is getting the heat and now they mush address the problem before law suites come to light. I don't see why the leaders at the school are making some choices on who they want and don't want. I would like to see what's the progress will be with a new person in charge at Glenn Hill.
With the board making some growth on start getting the school system back on track is it because its a election year or are they starting to do there job.
I have one question that no one seem to be able to tell me and if I don't get a answer I will call to Atlanta. Why the board don't come out with a out-line of the meeting. Being that you must submit a paper so that we as tax-payer can talk. With our taxes is the one that pay them. I feel more parents need to be at these meeting. Someof the things that are going on need to be stop. Our young people future are depending on it.
Mathematics will be better next year because RCSS when back to the basic. The incoming 9th graders are just doing alegebra and not adding 3 different math together. I don't know what dumb group down town came up with that system,when all the middle schools are not on the same subject. So now they got smart and seen that historty showed that the old way work better.
2012-2013 is going to be something to see.

lynn7044
190
Points
lynn7044 08/19/12 - 04:27 am
1
0
Well the truth is coming

Well, its about time the way they truth is coming to light. There are daughters that are in the school who's parent work down town and are not good teacher at all. See, the board is getting the heat and now they mush address the problem before law suites come to light. I don't see why the leaders at the school are making some choices on who they want and don't want. I would like to see what's the progress will be with a new person in charge at Glenn Hill.
With the board making some growth on start getting the school system back on track is it because its a election year or are they starting to do there job.
I have one question that no one seem to be able to tell me and if I don't get a answer I will call to Atlanta. Why the board don't come out with a out-line of the meeting. Being that you must submit a paper so that we as tax-payer can talk. With our taxes is the one that pay them. I feel more parents need to be at these meeting. Someof the things that are going on need to be stop. Our young people future are depending on it.
Mathematics will be better next year because RCSS when back to the basic. The incoming 9th graders are just doing alegebra and not adding 3 different math together. I don't know what dumb group down town came up with that system,when all the middle schools are not on the same subject. So now they got smart and seen that historty showed that the old way work better.
2012-2013 is going to be something to see.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 08/19/12 - 06:55 am
0
0
They don't have a process....
Unpublished

They make up the rules as they go. A process would be require discipline, be restrictive and objective. Major obstacles of PC, OEO, AA, AAA, NOW, NOE, etc.

cheapster505
581
Points
cheapster505 08/19/12 - 10:39 am
3
0
it's richmond

it's Richmond county i'll bet 578 weren.t disappointed

countyman
21643
Points
countyman 08/19/12 - 11:44 am
0
2
I knew it wouldn't take long,

I knew it wouldn't take long, and things would get right back to normal... The same few people from the surrounding counties who make sarcastic remarks about Richmond..

I'm sure those 578 were disappointed considering there's not much employment outside of Richmond County.. Whether it's in the teaching profession, or other sectors of the economy..

noxiousfumes
493
Points
noxiousfumes 08/19/12 - 01:13 pm
1
0
@Lynn7044

The school board publishes its agenda on the Richmond County Schools' website, rcboe.org. Click on Board Meetings eBoard website, then click on meetings and you can see the agendas for both current and past committee and board meetings.

https://eboard.eboardsolutions.com/Index.aspx?S=4137

Also, the Georgia Dept. of Education came up with that "brilliant" idea of teaching math, geometry,and algebra all in the same class, not the people downtown.

AutumnLeaves
10317
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/19/12 - 03:45 pm
1
0
Praying...

I'm just praying good-hearted lynn7044 isn't one of the English Teachers.... and countyman, I live in Richmond County, just for the record.

Little Lamb
49138
Points
Little Lamb 08/20/12 - 07:05 am
0
0
Qualifications

From the story:

Much of the board’s frustration with the system stems from a perception of “cronyism,” where people who aren’t necessarily qualified for a leadership position are promoted by their friends instead of more qualified candidates.

Qualifications lie in the eye of the beholder. You can have degrees, continuing education seminars, and ten years in the classroom and still not be qualified to be assistant principal. On the other hand, you can have three years in the classroom and be ready to move up the ladder. In every endeavor worth its salt, it is the existing leaders who select the upcoming leaders. Accolades on paper are less important than how you conduct yourself on the job.

And from Venus Cain:

“They don’t have the experience,” board member Venus Cain said. “They have not put in their time in order to move to the next level. We’re missing out on some of our best and brightest because we’re not being really upright in our hiring practices.”

Once again, we see muddy thinking from board trustee Venus Cain. Hiring practices and promotion practices are two entirely different things. But Cain has mixed them up in her three sentences.

I'm Back Again
307
Points
I'm Back Again 08/20/12 - 07:31 am
1
0
Really? And you called them dumb?
Unpublished

@Lynn7044, WOW! I just pulled these sentences from your double post. Nice. Did you graduate from GHHS too?

1."who's parent work down town and are not good teacher at all"
2."I would like to see what's the progress will be"
3."I have one question that no one seem to be able"
4." and if I don't get a answer"
5." Why the board don't come out with a out-line of the meeting"
6."With our taxes is the one that pay them."
7."because RCSS when back to the basic."
8."alegebra and not adding 3 different math together."
9."So now they got smart and seen that historty showed"

And the list goes on and on. Seriously, you shouldnt be doggin' someone else when you cant even format 1 paragraph correctly.

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 08/20/12 - 07:36 am
0
0
The Richmond County Board of Education is not happy
Unpublished

Well fortunately for them and unfortunately for taxpayers, that will not reduce or eliminate their pay checks or their seats on the "Bored of Education" Circus. Aren't these the same clowns who tried to run the coliseum? My bad, their families. LOL LOL

soapy_725
44121
Points
soapy_725 08/20/12 - 07:40 am
0
0
Is it seniority with out knwoledge?
Unpublished

Or lack of seniority without time on the job and no skills? To be consciously incompetent or unconsciously incompetent? That is the question.

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 08/20/12 - 01:52 pm
0
0
Having worked in Richmond

Having worked in Richmond county I can assure you what Ms. Cain says is true. I know of two "ladies" during the Larke years who were in master classes with me who suddenly jumped from the classroom to the board office to become coordinator's. Now how were they more qualified than teachers who had been working in the system for more years and were more qualified. I have a good idea how they got the job and you can bet qualifications were not what got them there.

lovesit42
25
Points
lovesit42 08/20/12 - 02:43 pm
0
0
@Lynn704

Your lack of education is clearly evident. I can barely decode your "comments". I can only assume that because you have little knowledge of basic spelling and grammar rules, you must also be lacking in knowledge of other areas. If you can't spell algebra, then you arn't fit to be making comments on something you obviously know nothing about. A dictionary isn't expensive, please invest in one.

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