By DAVID BOYLE
Most large organizations have basic requirements for positions within that organization. If you are applying for a job, you must meet these minimum requirements.
The Anchorage School District School Board hired a contractor, Ray & Associates, to appropriately screen the superintendent candidates for further evaluation based on the school board’s requirements. It seems that the minimum requirements mandated by the state didn’t even matter.
As in a previous article, The selection of the new Anchorage School District Superintendent, Dr. Jarrett Bryantt, was flawed. The selected individual did not meet the minimum requirements – at least three years of face-to-face teaching.
But somehow his application was accepted by Ray & Associates for consideration.
The application form for the ASD superintendent was problematic. It was very general and did not refer to any laws or regulations of Alaska regarding qualifications. However, most of us look for the qualifications ourselves when we apply to make sure we meet them.
The application form asks the following questions from candidates regarding superintendent qualifications:
These are open-ended questions unrelated to Alaska State requirements. These minimum requirements are set out in Alaska Administrative Code 4 AAC 12.345.
The chosen candidate, Dr. Bryantt answered “YES” to all three questions. Here are his answers:
According to his own statements, Dr. Bryantt for confirming his suitability for the position. How can that be when the regulation requires three years of teaching experience?
Likewise, the remaining two questions should also relate directly to the requirements of the position.
dr Frank Hauser, one of the unselected candidates, answers the questions as follows:
Note that Hauser answered “NO” to the first question. He then explained in detail why he did not hold a superintendent’s license later in the application. He explained that his “superintendent approval is pending with a completion date of June 2022.” He is completing his Superintendent Endorsement at the University of Alaska Southeast.
At the time when dr. Hauser had filled the superintendent position, he would have held a superintendent’s license and would have been fully qualified.
The third unselected candidate, Dr. Mathew Neal, answered the questions as follows:
dr Neal received a Superintendent’s Certificate from Harvard University in 2014.
Both of these unselected candidates appear to meet the qualifications, and one even stated when it would have met the requirement.
The question is, did Dr. Bryantt, a human resources officer, confirms that he meets this requirement? Or did he falsify his application? Did the contractor, Ray & Associates, adequately screen the candidates for their three-year teaching mandate?
Even ASD board member Andy Holleman commented publicly on Nextdoor, “I can’t say for sure that he (Dr. Bryantt) qualifies, but I think he will, but only DEED can answer that question” (May 8th). May 2022). Here’s a screenshot of Andy Holleman’s comment:
after dr Bryantt was selected as the top qualified superintendent for ASD, his information was sent to the State’s Department of Education & Early Development. The certificate details are listed below:
Note that Bryantt has not received any preliminary confirmation from DEED. At the request of the ASD, he received only a temporary “restricted” permit and only a limited administrative license. And it’s only good in the Anchorage School District.
Regulation 4AAC 12.346 is very clear regarding the issuance of a “limited” superintendent’s certificate.
The department issues a limited administrative certificate (Type B limited) with a superintendent’s endorsement, valid for one year, if: “The school board for the district in which the applicant will be employed has requested, through its school board president, the issuance of a limited administrative certificate for the Applicant…”.
Like many other “highly qualified” candidates like Dr. Bryantt didn’t apply because they didn’t know ASD would ignore state regulations? ASD could have just asked for that particular restricted certification for everyone.
The ordinance further states: “The school board of the district in which the applicant is to be employed must provide an experienced mentor as principal for at least the first two years of the applicant’s employment with the school district; The mentor must hold or have held the position of superintendent in a school district in that state with a valid certificate.”
Therefore, the ASD has to hire a mentor for two years to support Dr. to qualify Bryantt as superintendent. And that mentor must also have a valid superintendent certificate issued by the State of Alaska.
One of these possible mentors could be Dr. Bishop, the current ASD Superintendent. What is the cost to the district of hiring a mentor?
In the end, it appears the process was flawed, biased, and not thorough. The Board has not shown due diligence to ensure candidates meet the basic requirements and may have modified the requirements during the process to achieve its objectives.
Transparency and fairness are values of ASD and they should be held accountable for all decisions. Taxpayers and parents are the shareholders, the ASD board is supposed to represent them.
was dr Bryantt the “best qualified” to run our largest school district? Or was he the nominee the school board wanted regardless of qualifications/government regulations in order to meet the school board’s top priority of equity and inclusion?
We deserve the best to lead this district out of the education hole it is currently in. It does not appear that this was the school board’s priority.
David Boye is the former executive director of the Alaska Policy Forum and Alaska’s Must Read Educational Writer.