I was interested in this passage from Susan Luzzaro's story below:
In retrospect, some people still wonder how Gandara was selected back in 2006. The district initially paid a headhunter group $30,000 to select him.Susan acts as though Gandara is significantly different from most other superintendents. I would say that Gandara's mistake was getting involved in small-time corruption. He should have stuck with the corruption that is sanctioned by San Diego County Office of Education. I myself consider the crimes Gandara was charged with to be less harmful to the public good than the wrongdoing that is considered normal policy by SDCOE.
The fact is, it's both extremely difficult and extremely easy to know what you're getting when you hire a new superintendent.
First, the easy part. You know you're almost certainly getting someone who goes along to get along because that's how a person becomes a candidate for most big jobs. Sometimes you get a surprise, like the cardinals got recently when they chose Pope Francis, but usually you get someone who won't rock the boat.
Then there's the difficult part. Your husband could have told you about this, Susan. I remember in the eighties at Montgomery Elementary in Chula Vista when I taught with Frank Luzzzaro. He was on the interview committee that chose a new principal. The female candidate interviewed well, charming everyone. But Frank soon regretted his choice, and said that he would never again sit on an interview committee. He voluntarily transferred to another school.
As Frank learned, it's just not possible to truly know most of the people you meet in this world. In fact, most of us don't even know how we ourselves will behave until we are tested.
By the way, kudos to whomever it was who came up with the great headline for this Reader story: