HIBOE Testimony [5/11/2017]: Superintendent Search -- Building trust
TESTIMONY ON MAY 11, 2017
TO THE HAWAII STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION
By John P. Sosa
Good Morning Chair Mizumoto members of the Board
My name is John Sosa, Executive Director of EIH.
Since May 2nd 2017 Principals and teachers have approached our Board members seeking information on the Superintendent Finalists. Unfortunately we have been unable to provide meaningful information due to the limited dialogue that has been made public. The brief Q & A with the media is the only reference we could refer inquires to. We understand there were selected sessions with role groups but no information regarding the candidates’ positions was forthcoming.
At the heart of any educational system lies the relationships between the teachers and student’s…positive student/teachers relationships lead to positive learning. At the heart of successful schools you find positive relationships between the teachers, support staff and the Principal.
Relationships between the schools and the system that serves them, complex and state support staff, determine the effectiveness of the system.
The building of trust is based on the actions taken at every level.
We had the opportunity to start building trust through the development and execution of this selection process. Certainly what has occurred has been better than past selections, however if we were asked to evaluate this process on a project based assessment model, the conclusion would be, at the minimum, please make some adjustments so those that the system serves feel comfortable in the decisions made.
We are fully aware you serve as voluntary members with limited support resources. But teachers, principals and the public look to you to lead this system, to guide significant improvements.
Your on the verge of making a final decision on who will be the face of this system for the next 3 to 5 years we hope at the minimum you will ask the in-depth critical questions. Questions that will give you confidence that teachers and principals will truly be supported through positive actions and seen as the center of our system.