Sergio Paez is not a good fit for MPS


Disastrous MPS leadership process led to his selection

ThroughMyEyesnewThe December 7, 2015 announcement by the Minneapolis Public School (MPS) Board of their intention to hire Sergio Paez as superintendent of MPS is now more and more recognized as a bad decision, making it one of those days that will live in Minneapolis Education Infamy (not to be confused with December 7, 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor. The good news today: unlike Pearl Harbor, the potential damage of December 7, 2015 can be avoided).

The Star Tribune reported that the district attorney in Massachusetts launched a criminal investigation into situations on Sergio Paez’ watch. And yet he told the board there are “no issues here to discuss.”

The Star Tribune also reported how Paez was clearly unprepared and unseasoned when he became superintendent of the Holyoke School District in June of 2013, a school district about the size of our Robbinsdale, MN, and he clearly has not progressed to qualify for Minneapolis. The district decreased in scores and was put into receivership on his watch.

The Star Tribune and others, including many parents, see that Paez is not the man to lead the MPS. The board needs to work on this until they get it right.

Will the MPS Board now understand what this newspaper meant in its editorial two weeks ago by its call for “new leadership” in various Minneapolis communities and institutions? Who will explain the empirical reality that the Civil Rights Movement in Minneapolis has far too long, as this paper pointed out, delivered only “empty diversity talk and growing achievement gaps,” along with rhetoric and meetings on one side and rhetoric and demonstrations on the other?

Who will lead the way to seek equality of opportunity and fairness in developing true diversity and significant and steady closing of achievement gaps? Who will explain to the MPS Board that the investigation regarding flawed superintendent candidates seems to have been done with malfeasance and fraud in their contractual relationships with the MPS Board. What will the board do to fix this flaw in its search and leadership process?

Who will tell the Minneapolis School District’s mix of both experienced incumbents and those newly arrived that they must deliver common sense and a disciplined empirical examination of the facts for the classroom, and for maximum and meaningful examination of individuals to be considered as leaders guiding the education and evaluation of students in the district?

The Civil Rights Movement today (especially the NAACP and BLM versions) have forgotten the heart of what brought civil rights success: L&Ls (nonviolent Litigation and Legislation), not through M&Ms (continuous meetings and marches devoid of the L&L twins and their formula for peace and progress for any issue). The movement must gather data, marshal arguments, develop briefs and go to court to advance.

Needed is new leadership, Black and White, to lead down this L&L path. Marches and demonstrations should be partnered with briefs presented in court. Why aren’t attorneys involved in the movement today doing so?

Nellie Stone Johnson’s mantra holds true:  “no education, no jobs, no housing.” Education is not a color nor a culture. It is the foundation for integration’s progress to jobs and housing. It also provides us with opportunity for liberty as citizens with civil rights for all, as we are the only nation in the world to define itself by laws and not by blood or land or color or gender. This is why the only successful formula for integrated civil rights has been not race, not ideology, but L&L:  Litigation and Legislation.  Little is achieved by endless M&Ms — meetings and marches — unless briefs in court accompany them.

We owe it to the children.

Stay tuned.


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