Tuesday, December 11, 2007

On the witness stand, Lowell Billings admitted he never evaluated Danielle Coziahr

Chula Vista Elementary School District Superintendent Lowell Billings testified in the Danielle Coziahr case, and made one thing perfectly clear: he does not now have, nor has he ever had, the slightest clue about what went on at Silverwing Elementary in 2005-2006. His mission at Silverwing was simply to keep the principal happy.

Billings says, "I delegate." To whom? To Assistant Superintendent Tom Cruz.

Tom Cruz delegates, too. He also took the stand today, and made clear that no matter who first-year principal Alex Cortes wanted to fire, Cruz would not investigate. He would simply have the person dismissed.

Apparently a first-year principal was dictating decisions to the human resources department at CVESD in '05-'06, and the human resources department dictated to Billings, who dictated to the board. So why is Tom Cruz paid big bucks to run the HR department?

Clearly, there is no oversight by the district of CVESD schools, except to change principals if student test scores aren't high enough. What made Lowell Billings and Tom Cruz think that Alex Cortes was qualified to be a principal? Apparently he convinced them that he wouldn't let niceties such as human decency or the law stand in his way. They loved him immediately, and seem to have never questioned his judgment after the hiring interview.

Billings is apparently just a figurehead, and quite satisfied with his own performance, it appears.

Billings seems to think his job begins and ends with going around and being seen and making sing-song speeches about his "hands-on" approach. Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to remember what he himself has seen. On the stand, he admitted he'd never even looked at Danielle Coziahr's personnel file, but he took responsibility for the decision to non-reelect Mrs. Coziahr.

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