Monthly Archive for January, 2006

Taliaferro Running for Council

Retired Charlottesville Fire Chief Julian Taliaferro announced yesterday that he’s running for the Democratic nomination for City Council, John Yellig writes in today’s Daily Progress. A Vietnam Veteran, Taliaferro began working for the fire department in 1962 and served as chief for 34 years.

The only other candidate to announce is Dave Norris, who announced two weeks ago. Incumbent Blake Caravati announced earlier this month that he would not seek reelection, while Rob Schilling, who occupies the other expiring seat, has not announced his intentions.

The Democratic nomination is in a month’s time, and the general election is on May 2.

Superintendent Named Next Week

The Charlottesville school board is shooting to announce the new superintendent come next week, Bob Gibson reports in today’s Progress. Gibson has also managed to ID the second candidate as Donald Carlisle, the superintendent of Long Island’s Miller Place school district.

Some quick googling reveals that Carlisle dropped out of the running for the Burlington, VT superintendent two weeks ago, saying that it was only because “he and his family had decided this was not the right time to be moving to a new state and a new job.” Perhaps it’s a better time now? Also, 600 parents recently successfully petitioned the state comptroller to audit Miller Place’s business practices, which revealed that it’s “overall generally well managed.”

What can you find?

Superintendent Candidates Revealed

Ask and ye shall receive.

Bob Gibson has obtained some names and background information on the superintendent candidates, to the apparent displeasure of the school board, who want the candidates to be secret. Those candidates are Orange County superintendent William Crawford, Caroline County assistant superintendent Rosa Atkins, and an unnamed New England area educator. The former two are black, the latter is a white male. Interviews with associates of the two named candidates seem to indicate that they’re qualifies and well-liked.

Gibson also reveals that school officials are visiting each applicant’s communities to investigate the candidates, which is a significant improvement over the flying-blind approach that led to the hire of Scottie Griffin.

3:05pm Update: I’m told that Crawford pulled his name from the running earlier this week, meaning that there’s just two candidates in the running now. Of course, the school board is still confirming nothing.

Cav. Daily Columnist Caught Plagiarizing

A correction in yesterday’s Cavalier Daily indicates that a student got caught plagiarizing from another publication. No details are provided — presumably a note from the editor will be appearing before long — other than that a December 2 column “‘Browser Wars: A New Hope’ used a significant amount of ideas and conclusions without attribution from a Dec. 15 PCWorld column.” (The date different results from PC World columns being available on the website prior to publication in the magazine.) The column is not on the Cavalier Daily’s website. This is, of course, a clear violation of the honor code.

This last happened in late 2003, when two separate writers were discovered to have plagiarized from several different high-profile publications. If those two girls were ever brought before the honor committee, I can’t find any record of it. It will be interesting to find out what happens in this instance.

Superintendent Selection a Secret

Today I got the latest Virginia Coalition for Open Government newsletter in the mail, and it piqued my interest on the matter of the school board. Sarah Berry reported in the Daily Progress last week that there are now just three candidates for Charlottesville superintendent, but they’re a secret. Search firm Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates recommended found 61 candidates earlier this month, and planned to recommend a half dozen to the board. The board has rounded it down to three, and will presumably select one from there. All members of the selection committee have to sign confidentiality agreements. No information about any of the candidates has been made public.

I have to wonder if this is a good idea. One lesson from the Scottie Griffin saga was that a lack of sunshine leads to uninformed hiring decisions; Bob Gibson was able to expose Griffin’s background even though the school board didn’t discover a single one of her rich history of scandals in the hiring process. I imagine that there are benefits to the secrecy, but with a school board seen to be unresponsive and clubby, is this going to help?

(For more background, see A Brief History of C’ville Superintendents.)



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