Dr. Heatley Withdraws from Consideration for Superintendent

As reported earlier on BerkeleySide, Dr. Edmond Heatley sent a letter to the Berkeley School Board informing them of his withdrawl as a candidate for Superintendent of Berkeley Schools. Dr. Heatley took the right step as it became obvious that positions he has taken in the past are in stark contrast to those of the Berkeley community. This action does not lessen the concern about a process which almost hired a candidate without finding such a basic difference in views. This result has brought that concern to the forefront over the lack of transparency in the process and information provided to the community.

It is clear that it is the School Board's responsibility to hire the Superintendent and that there are privacy concerns around recruiting and hiring. But there should be some mechanism through which the parent community can participate. As an organization which represents families in all our schools, the Berkeley PTAs can be a partner with the Board as recruiting restarts. Ty Alper, a parent at Rosa Parks, stated it really clearly in an opinion piece he wrote:

...Going forward, the Board needs to figure out how to harness the intelligence and creativity of this community to actually help it make this critical choice...

Our goals are shared, finding the best Superintendent for our district who will work with our entire community for the success of our kids and families.

 

Comments

The following statement was read by BUSD Vice President Leah Wilson at the September 19, 2012 Board meeting:

As many of you may have already heard, Dr. Edmond Heatley has notified the District that he has withdrawn his candidacy to be the next Superintendent of the Berkeley Unified School District and is no longer under consideration. We agree with and respect Dr. Heatley’s conclusion that despite his experience, skills, and achievements as an educator, Berkeley is not the right fit and we support his decision to withdraw.
The Board acknowledges how difficult this time has been for everyone involved. We are and will continue to be committed to serving and supporting all our children and their families. When we reinitiate the search after winter break, the Board is committed to doing so in a manner that reflects our community’s request for greater inclusivity and transparency.
The Board has full confidence that Dr. Neil Smith and Ms. Javetta Cleveland, acting as Interim Co-Superintendents, are a great team to continue our academic progress until the superintendent search has been completed. Under their leadership, we will continue the significant progress the District has made on key student achievement issues and the 2020 vision.
We look forward to working with everyone in our District and the wider community as we go forward and in our on-going efforts in advancing academic success for all our students.