Thursday, May 14, 2015

...he was being groomed for leadership by Houston’s Superintendent, Terry B. Grier.

...School Board President Patricia O’Neill said the county school board was impressed with Houlihan’s energy and intellect, and that members interviewed him for a total of six hours. She said that he moved so quickly through positions in Houston because he was being groomed for leadership by Houston’s Superintendent, Terry B. Grier.
Montgomery school officials credited Houlihan for helping establish innovative programs, including dual-language and academy programs, while in Houston. They cited his experience working with schools facing high rates of poverty...

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2015/05/14/montgomery-county-taps-preferred-finalist-for-schools-superintendent/

42 comments:

  1. Did The Wizard of Oz apply for the position?

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  2. "Being groomed"... let him continue his grooming elsewhere. MCPS needs someone with more leadership experience. I can see why Palm Beach passed on him. I don't know why MCPS thinks that experience is a negative.

    We need someone who can turn around a school system that has been going downhill in recent years. It's been one negative event after another. We need strong, tested leadership who can clean house at the highest levels. We need transparent, accountable leaders who work with the community so that our children can get back to receiving a world class education that used to be one of the best systems in the nation. I don't know that he has been "groomed" long enough to possess the leadership skills to get started from day 1 shaking things up like we need in MCPS.

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  3. "Being groomed" in this county is usually associated with the shady characters that lurk in the school hallways.

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  4. This is a horrible decision. As someone who works in HISD, this is the superintendent's God son...check the records...both are from North Carolina, and he has moved him around to get him a job. Palm Beach, Spring Brach ISD, Spring ISD, and San Antonio ISD all said NO - WTH is MCPS thinking. Dr. Starr may have had his critics, but he his hands down better than this kid. Guarantee the board will be buying his contract out in less than a year if he is being groomed by Terry Grier...check his past.

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  5. Obviously, more of the same. Why not an older person with experience?

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  6. Good God - is anonymous of May 14 at 9:58 correct? If so, we are in for it. More of the same. This is why they do this in secret. Has this guy been hired for sure?

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    1. We posted the Palm Beach letter and his resume.

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  7. What is wrong with this BOE? Are the people on the selection committee all idiots? We just played this game! Is there no one of quality applying?

    Mrs. O'neill needs to allow DIFFERENT community groups to have an opportunity to be on the selection committee. Obviously the people getting an opportunity to select the superintendent failed the last time and are repeating the same mistake. The inexperienced young guy didn't work out ... the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

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  8. "I began my career in education in 2001..."

    They have got to be joking!

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  9. It is a well known fact in Houston that Andrew Houlihan is HISD superintendent Terry Grier's god son. It is true. Houlihan did not have any Principal experience prior to 2010-2011. He worked as an elementary principal for 2 years and then rose in each higher position and stayed for no more than 1-2 years, not enough to claim credits or make impact. He has never served as a superintendent, and was only promoted to be the Chief Academic Officer in Houston just a few weeks ago. His lack of experience is fully displayed to those who work for him. It is mind boggling that our Board of Education would consider someone who has such as stark inexperience and whose best qualification is being the god son of a superintendent of a large school school in Texas, which ranks consistently low in the nation. According to the latest US report card, the State of Maryland (not just Montgomery County) far outperforms Houston. Houlihan may look good on paper for having worked with low-income student population, but the truth is, Houston ISD has a much larger achievement gaps (in ELL, black and Latino students) than Maryland, much larger than Montgomery County. As a high performing school district, do we not deserve the a better qualified and more experienced superintendent? Can we do anything to stop this?

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  10. Well....he has an education degree and some classroom experience. That puts him ahead of Arne Duncan.

    *sigh*

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    1. Arne Duncan at least EARNED his way - whether you agree or disagree with his views on education. I respect that he worked his way into his positions.

      This guy is a product of the good old boys network. There is no way this BOE would have given a woman or minority with 14 years of work experience the job of CEO of MCPS! This is OUTRAGEOUS!

      This is the same BOE who says we need to increase minority teachers, yet brings in an inexperienced white male AGAIN who has been fast tracked by one person and has never led a major district. He has presented no plans for how he will close the gaps in MCPS because he has no experience doing so. What is O'Neill's obsession with these young men?

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    2. That was a rhetorical question, right?

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    3. Anon 8:35, Duncan didn't earn his way into the Secretary of Ed position - he was appointed. He was Obama's basketball buddy - talk about an Old Boys' Network!

      Surely there have to be better qualifications to the office than a BS in Sociology. Duncan has ZERO ed degrees, ZERO classroom experience, and was "CEO" of CPS because he wasn't qualified to be Superintendent.

      I was just trying to find something nice to say about this candidate's qualifications; the best I can do is that he's marginally more qualified that the US Education Secretary. LOL

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    4. For further explanation please see: http://www.amazon.com/The-Peter-Principle-Things-Always/dp/0062092065

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    5. Come on, I understand you you hate Duncan... fine, but be honest Sec. of Ed is an appointed position, so it has nothing to do with him being a 'good old boys' appointment. PRIOR to the appointment he had a similar background to others who have served at the pleasure of the POTUS, except for his Harvard magna cum laude background.

      He served as director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program mentoring children at one of the city's worst-performing elementary schools and then assisting them as they proceeded further in the education system. Later he helped to re-opened it as the Ariel Community Academy. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Chicago Public Schools, then as the CEO of CPS.

      You may hate him and disagree with his perspective on education, but that doesn't mean he is any less qualified for the position of Sec. of Ed than others who have served in the position.

      This guy is different. He has no experience leading a school system. He was just put in his current position a couple of months ago. They are taking the word of one man as a reference. You know that NO woman or minority lacking in qualifications like this kid would be given this opportunity.

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    6. Why our previous superintendent was a Harvard alumnus and his predecessor’s
      “. . . groundbreaking approaches to improving public education are the subjects of case studies by the Harvard Business School.” https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=Dr.+jerry+Weast+alma+mater

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    7. Anon at 3:59 wrote, "Sec. of Ed is an appointed position, so it has nothing to do with him being a 'good old boys' appointment."

      Who did the appointing of Duncan, then, if not his former basketball buddy Obama? The man has ZERO qualifications to be in charge of education at the Federal level. Whether or not his qualifications match those of his predecessors isn't the issue; there were plenty of much more qualified candidates Obama could have chosen. This is the epitome of a "good ol' boys" appointment.

      He did indeed serve as the director of the Ariel Ed Initiative - and was appointed to THAT position by an investment banker who was a childhood friend: another old boys' appointment on the ladder. He wasn't really qualified for that position either, not with a BS in Sociology. Also worth noting that the school where Ariel was based was closed anyway - and Duncan was instrumental in opening it as a charter school.

      I don't hate him - no need to put words into my mouth - but I think he is singularly unqualified for the job and has done far more harm than good in his tenure. It will take decades for US education to recover IMO.

      For the record, I'm not impressed with Houlihan's qualifications either, FWIW.

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    8. If you think the current POTUS is a part of ANY "good old boys" network, then there needs to be better understanding of this historical term and how the appointment and qualifications for Sec. Of Ed. are made. Duncan was the CEO of a major US school district... that is what has made him no less qualified than other Sec. Of Ed.

      You are steadfastly blinded by your bias against Duncan and the POTUS. There is NO comparison to made with this guy, so I don't why you insist on this analogy, except for shear partisanship which has nothing to do with this blog or this situation. If this current candidate had been the CEO of CPS, this conversation wouldn't be taking place.

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    9. OK, I wasn't using it in its historical sense but in the sense of "It's Not WHAT You Know But Who(m) You Know." What Duncan knows about teaching, about education, about how learning works, about schools and children and teachers would look a lot like this tome encapsulating his Brother From Another Mother in Britain, former Minister of Education Michael Gove: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Everything-I-know-about-teaching/dp/1492912417 He isn't qualified to be so much as a substitute teacher here in MCPS, where you need a teaching certificate (unless you were grandfathered in) to be hired as a substitute teacher now.

      And I don't really have much of a bias against the POTUS; you are inferring that from....well, I'm not happy that he appointed Duncan, but that's about it; otherwise, I think we would have done a LOT worse had The Other Guy taken the Presidency (although I did vote Third Party last election and wouldn't rule it out in the future).

      And really: "If this current candidate had been the CEO of CPS, this conversation wouldn't be taking place." Seriously? I'm not impressed with the qualifications of *either* - not Duncan's for his position or Houlihan's for the position of MCPS Superintendent. You can keep reading what you want into what I write, but that doesn't make it so. I think you're completely misreading my first response. O.o

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  11. Again a candidate that has not been a High School Principal and has little or no experience with 2 billion dollar budgets. How is this individual any better than Dr. Starr? Again the BOE seems smitten with style over substance. In my line of work we toss the resumes of Job Hoppers in the trash. Long term continuity is the only way to succeed.

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  12. Well we have seen the legacy of the previous scholars, let someone who lacks experience use some common sense instead.

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    1. That is the question.

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    2. That is the question.

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  13. I think the BOE wants someone as their mouthpiece who can handle the press and give MCPS a good reputation. If he is young and good looking, all the better. They have lots of highly paid administrators who can handle the details of a $2B school budget with 145K students in a way that is outside of the spotlight and meet the needs of MCEA. The Superintendent that many commenters want is not the kind of person the BOE would hire. They want someone to toe the Apple Ballot agenda.

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    1. Does anyone know what the KSAs of the BOE happened to be?

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    2. Who are these "lots of highly paid administrators who can handle the details of a $2B school budget" and where have they been hiding? They don't show up at work in central office.

      If you recall Durso said if at all possible the person should come from inside the school system so they can get started right away, well that person doesn't exist. There is no big talent pool of capable school superintendents just sitting around waiting to be plucked from within MCPS.

      Wake up call, all of the real talent left MCPS. While people have been asleep the people with talent have been taking flight. Howard County has taken some and others have left the area. People on the inside have seen the writing on the wall for the last couple of years. Take a look at PGCO. Ask people who were around when their school system started to decline. Kim Statham is a Howard County reject. They got rid of her after she had them change her daughter's grades. Now not only is she in MCPS, but she got her daughter a job too.

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    3. They must be CPAs!

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    4. She was cleared by the states attorney after an investigation. Must I take everything I hear on this website with a grain of salt?!

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    5. "She" was cleared of what? Who is the she? You aren't talking about Kim Statham and her disastrous time as superintendent in San Diego are you? Never heard that the states attorney investigated her mismanagement of the San Diego school systems budget. Did that happen? Granted her performance there was abysmal, but was there an investigation?

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    6. That's not saying much.

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  14. Is this a joke?!! His God son? How insulting to staff, students and parents of MCPS. He will have 0 respect from this community. BOE, shame on you. A new low.

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  15. I say give him a chance (and some slack!). If he isn't good, then he won't get another term, plain and simple. But I am interested to see what he has to offer MCPS.

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    1. We don't have time to get this guy up-to-speed. Look how long it took Starr to finish up his listening tour! I have one question: does he come with the necessary training wheels?

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  16. This county has many, many challenges and a lot of clean up to do in the coming years. A person with no experience as a superintendent and little experience in education is a poor candidate for the position. We can not afford to "take a chance" on a person with such a lack of experience. Our children deserve better than a gamble on someone who has been "groomed" through various short term positions by his Godfather. Ridiculous.

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    1. If you could name some of these challenges that the county needs to clean up, it would be much appreciated. I love hearing other people's prospective.

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  17. The last superintendent didn't even finish his term.

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    1. He couldn't handle the truth.

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    2. I couldn't handle his bald spot.

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  18. It is unbelievable that as recently as 2010, Houlihan, age 31 (at that time), became the principal of Parker ELEMENTARY School in North Carolina, fresh out of the University of Texas in Austin, shortly after obtaining his doctorate in education administration*. And now he’s going to be the MCPS Superintendent to over 150,000 students… making how much money?!

    Also, just curious, where will Mr. Houlihan’s daughter and son attend school (2nd and 3rd grade respectively as of September 2015)? Will they go to an MCPS school or attend private school? This information would be quite telling.

    *Article cited: http://www.chron.com/news/article/New-Parker-school-principal-wants-to-take-data-to-1706265.php

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    1. Oh his children attend a public school - in Bethesda or Potomac, of course. And the job now pays ~$300,000.

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