By Marc Campos

You Call That A Secret
By Marc Campos

The secret part of the Houston Independent School District's super secret superintendent search was obliterated by the Houston Chronicle’s front page headline this past Saturday. Not only were the four finalists named, the Chron revealed that two are current big city superintendents whose contracts are not being renewed, and the other is a superintendent who was forced out of his last job. The fourth candidate named is HISD interim chief Abe Saavedra.

The article all but sealed the deal for Saavedra. How can the HISD trustees hire someone to run the district when that person was run out of their last gig? They would have some explaining to do.

You have to wonder who leaked the story to the Chron and what was their motivation. Was it a trustee? A senior school administration official? The staff of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) - the entity that was hired to conduct the search?

Why is TASB narrowing down the field by including folks that lost the confidence of their last employer? These aren't baseball managers - "Hey, so and so got fired so he's now available. Let's go sign him up".

The fact is, superintendent searches for big city districts like Houston are pretty sensitive. If you want a superintendent from a mid-size to large school district to apply, you have to guarantee them secrecy. They would not want their current school board to know they are looking for another job. It would most certainly create problems back home.

The blown secret probably will not matter much to the three out of towners because of their job status at home. What if one of the three had been a superintendent in good standing back home?

November 8, 2004, 9:00 AM

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