5.14.2010

LaGreta Brown Steps Down; Calls for Ackerman To Be Next

So, you're not going to hear a defense of LaGreta Brown from me. There's just so much about her that I find troubling, not the least of which is the fact that she did not maintain her professional credentials when she knew that it was a requisite for her job. The whole thing reeks of entitlement.

But what you're also not going to hear from me are calls for Ackerman's head. I've seen a number of stories (and comments on blogs and forums) screaming about Ackerman's supposed lack of oversight in hiring Ms. Brown by not checking her credentials. I have to say, I think that anger is a bit misguided.

I've hired a number of people in my day. Many of those that I've hired are professionals who require a certain level of credentials in order to maintain their employment. The funny thing is this: in all of the interviews, resumes and references, I have never insisted on viewing credentials. As professionals, I have assumed that if you're applying for a job, you are telling me the truth and you are qualified to do the job. As part of the job, my hires are expected to maintain their credentials; I don't insist that they demonstrate this proof to me. I assume that professionals will act... well, in a professional manner.

And it's not just me. I've been on a number of interviews over my career and I've been hired quite a few times. Not once have I been asked to show my credentials, nor proof of my degrees. I've been asked about them, yes, but never required to prove that they exist. Again, I believe that a certain level of trust exists in the professional world.

So while I may question a number of things about what happened at South Philadelphia High - and while I may be shocked at Ms. Brown's appalling lack of judgment and character - I refuse to draw the line back to Ackerman. I don't think it's fair or accurate. Ms. Brown is responsible for misleading those at the SDP. It is her professional responsibility to remain certified and her professional duty to alert her superiors if there is a problem with her credentials. Her choices to do neither say a lot about her - and her alone.

3 comments:

  1. You are comparing apples and oranges. This is a state regulation. A lawyer, real estate agent, doctor or teacher who doesn't maintain his or her credential is fired. It happens every year on June in this school district. The state sends notices a year before the requirement must be met for teachers. Further, the state school codes says it is the district's responsibility to ensure that all background checks are complete - including licensure and criminal background checks. Would you be so laid back if it turned out a teacher had never been checked for a record of child or sexual abuse? Principals hold the lives of student and the jobs of educators in their hands. On the basis of an evaluation, a faculty or staff member can lose his or her job. The law requires rating officers to have an emergency or permanent state credential. When we ignore these regs, we end up with a whole slew of patronage jobs being handed out to somebody's friend. I don't know how we'll improve educational outcomes if the superintendent can ignore the rules and appoint incompetent people to high positions.

    ReplyDelete
  2. ...and I'm sure you hired people who lied and falsified their credentials. They probably laughed at you and called you lazy. Good for you. However, there should be no assumptions when dealing with credentials and clearances of people who are working with children. Period. It is not clear if Lagreta Brown could even get certified or pass the background checks required for certification, based on her track record in NJ. Ackerman knew she wasn't certified and approved the hiring, which was illegal. Brown should not have been allowed to walk into our school without, at the very least, an emergency certification. So yes, it does point back to Ackerman and is emblematic of the corruption and cronyism that is rampant in her administration. More than 30 kids got chased and brutally beaten and stomped because of a climate that was created by Brown. The attackers did it because they knew they would get away with it. And guess what? They did. Never lose sight of what happened in that school.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is this La Greta Brown, a graduate of West Chester University?

    AF

    ReplyDelete