Tag Archives: Edmond Heatley

School board launches new superintendent search

The new headquarters of the Berkeley Unified School District
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The Berkeley Unified School District board has launched a new search for a superintendent, following the failure of two attempts to appoint a new head last year. The board has engaged Ray & Associates, an executive search firm that specializes in education, to lead a nationwide search for a new superintendent. The job posting cites a “tradition of excellence rooted in a vibrant community.”

As part of the new search, the board is planning to issue a survey this Friday, and will hold community forums for input on Feb. 28, Mar. 1 and 2. The intention is to interview semifinalists for the post at the end of March.  … Continue reading »

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School board forum displays strong anti-Broad views

Candidates for the school board speak at Thursday night's forum. Left to right: Judy Appel, Norma Harrison, Tracy Hollander, Beatriz Leyva-Cutler. Photo: Lance Knobel
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At the only forum planned for school board candidates before the election, three of the four candidates criticized the existing board’s choice of a Broad Academy graduate as finalist in the superintendent search and committed themselves to an improved process for choosing a new superintendent. The three, incumbent Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Judy Appel and Tracy Hollander, were diplomatic, but all said Broad Academy policies did not fit in Berkeley.

There are four candidates for two school board positions — the fourth candidate, Norma Harrison, spent the evening not answering questions posed, but outlining her plans to “reform capitalism” and “build the struggle for socialism and communism.” Questions during the forum at LeConte Elementary School last night covered a wide range of issues, from the best policies for English learners (the forum was held by the Friends of Berkeley Two-Way Immersion), to what motivated each of the candidates to run for the school board, to their views on Berkeley’s school assignment system.  … Continue reading »

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BUSD board vows to be more inclusive in new chief search

The Berkeley School Board at its Wednesday night meeting. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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A seemingly chastened Berkeley school board announced Wednesday night that it will restart its search for a new superintendent in early 2013  and will be more open and inclusive in the process.

Before opening the meeting to public comments, Leah Wilson read a statement from an iPad that the entire board had put together, presumably at its Tuesday closed-door session when it was scheduled to discuss Edmond Heatley’s selection for superintendent. But Tuesday morning, before the meeting, Heatley withdrew his name from consideration.

“We agree with and respect Dr. Heatley’s conclusion that despite his experience, skills, and achievements as an educator, Berkeley is not the right fit and we support his decision to withdraw,” said Wilson. “The Board acknowledges how difficult this time has been for everyone involved. We are and will be committed to serving and supporting all our children and their families. When we re-initiate this search after winter break, the Board is committed to doing so in a manner that reflects our community’s request for greater inclusivity and transparency.” … Continue reading »

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BUSD: Potential chief had ‘too much explaining to do’

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Now that its one finalist for the post of superintendent has withdrawn his candidacy, the Berkeley Unified School District board will probably not begin looking in earnest again for a replacement to retired superintendent Bill Huyett until late winter or early spring 2013.

“Any superintendent of merit is already sitting in a superintendent job,” said Board President John Selawsky on Tuesday afternoon, the day Edmond Heatley, former schools superintendent of Clayton County, Georgia, removed his name from consideration.

Selawsky said Heatley’s withdrawal was provident, because there was so much negativity associated with him. “Could he possibly be successful here?” said Selawsky. “He would have had too much explaining to do.”

At issue, said Selawsky, was Heatley’s role in the passage of a resolution in support of Proposition 8 when he was superintendent in San Bernardino County’s Chino Valley school district. Selawski said the board did not hear about this until “very late in the process,” specifically shortly before the Sept. 12 BUSD board meeting when members of the public made reference to it. “It might have made it easier if we had known earlier,” Selawsky said. … Continue reading »

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Lessons learned from the Edmond Heatley fiasco

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Now that the search for the Superintendent of the Berkeley schools is back at square one, there will be plenty of time for members of the community to engage with the Board on the substance and process of their continued search. But the fiasco that just unfolded offers a few obvious lessons that the Board would be wise to heed.

Lesson #1: This is a smart, thoughtful, resourceful community. We know the difference between real engagement and lip service. This … Continue reading »

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Heatley withdraws candidacy for BUSD Superintendent

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Edmond Heatley has withdrawn his candidacy for the post of Berkeley Schools district Superintendent. Heatley was the only candidate in the running, after the school board let it be known on Aug. 31 that they had narrowed to field down to one.

An alert released by BUSD at 8:38am today reads:

In an email to Board President John T. Selawsky Dr. Edmund Heatley said: “I want to thank you personally for all of your time and support. I have attached my letter of withdrawal from candidacy for the position of Superintendent of the Berkeley Unified School District. I wish you, the Board and Community of Berkeley nothing but success in the future.”

The Board will be meeting in the days and weeks ahead to determine the next step. President Selawsky stated, “We will advise the community as soon as we have determined what that next step will be. Fortunately we have two very capable interim superintendents doing a great job of running the District while we work this out.” … Continue reading »

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BUSD board meeting 9.12

The Berkeley Unified School District Board has announced that it will hold a special meeting tomorrow, Tuesday Sept. 18, at 8:30pm at its new offices at 2020 Bonar Street.

The agenda at the closed meeting includes discussing the appointment of a new superintendent, a subject that has caused heated debate in the community over the past couple of weeks. At its Sept. 12 meeting, the board said it would be slowing down the recruiting process to continue doing due diligence on Edmond Heatley, who recently resigned from his post as Superintendent of the Clayton County, GA, school district, and is the only candidate in the running. The agenda also includes collective bargaining, student expulsions and conference with legal counsel. As is customary, the board will hear public testimony for 30 minutes before going into closed session.

The Board’s previously scheduled meeting on Wednesday this week will go ahead as planned, in the Old City Hall at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr Way, beginning at 7:30pm, although its agenda has been revised to reflect the addition of the new meeting.

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Questions about Heatley’s role in Prop 8 resolution swirl

Anti-Heatley campaigners at Wednesday night's school board meeting. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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The pending appointment of Edmond Heatley as superintendent of Berkeley schools has been vocally protested this week by parents and teachers who are concerned about his role in the passage of a resolution in support of Proposition 8 when he was superintendent in San Bernardino County’s Chino Valley school district. But the then-president of the Chino Valley board said yesterday that Heatley was merely putting together an agenda item on his instructions. Proposition 8 sought to outlaw marriage equality in California.

Yesterday, teachers at Oxford Elementary School wrote to the school board “in strong opposition” to the hiring of Heatley: “We write to you today as advocates for ALL students and families. We oppose the hiring of Dr. Heatley, and are appalled that he is the sole finalist for the position of superintendent.” An informal survey on Berkeleyside yesterday had 401 votes (74%) advocating the board withdraw Heatley from consideration, 74 (14%) urging more time for investigation, and 66 (12%) urging that the board keep Heatley as a finalist.

Neither Berkeley school board members nor Heatley responded to Berkeleyside’s requests for interviews.  … Continue reading »

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Should BUSD withdraw the Heatley nomination?

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According to information uncovered last night, Edmond Heatley, the sole finalist for superintendent of Berkeley schools, pushed a resolution supporting Proposition 8 when he was superintendent in Chino Valley in 2008. The school board announced last night that it was slowing down the process of appointing a new superintendent, so next week’s scheduled vote on Heatley’s appointment will not take place.

Berkeleyside this morning contacted a number of school board directors to discuss Heatley’s background, the details of the … Continue reading »

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Superintendent candidate supported Prop 8 in Chino post

Anti-Heatley campaigners at Wednesday night's school board meeting. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Edmond Heatley, the sole finalist for the vacant post of superintendent of Berkeley’s schools, wrote a memo in 2008 urging Chino Valley’s Board of Education to approve a resolution in support of Proposition 8, the measure to prohibit marriage equality in California.

At the time, Heatley was superintendent in Chino Valley. His memo stated:

“If Proposition 8 is not successful, then school districts throughout California will inevitably be required to adjust their policies and curriculum to align with the Court’s recent redefinition of marriage.

“This resolution also recognizes that the ideal learning environment for children is within a nurturing home governed jointly by a mother and a father as primary educators of their children.”

The resolution was passed by a 4-0 vote by the Chino Valley board. The memo was on the agenda of the Sept. 4, 2008 board meeting in Chino Valley USD.

Berkeley schools, in contrast, adopted the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools curriculum in 2010, and BUSD and the City of Berkeley have sought to be in the forefront in LGBT-friendly policies. Heatley’s support of the controversial Prop 8 came under fire during public testimony at last night’s meeting of the Berkeley school board. The board announced last night that it is putting the brakes on the appointment of a new superintendent and taking more time to assess Heatley.  … Continue reading »

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Heatley’s Broad Academy connections attract criticism

Edmond Heatley, who briefly was a candidate for the superintendent's job at BUSD.
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The credentials of Edmond Heatley, the only finalist for the vacant Berkeley schools superintendent post, have come under fire from the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, as well as from individual teachers and parents.

The BUSD board is scheduled to decide on Heatley at its meeting next Wednesday night, but vocal opponents of the appointment are expected to be out in force for public testimony at tonight’s board meeting. The board is also expected to discuss the Heatley appointment in closed session tonight.

The focus for much of the criticism is Heatley’s training at The Broad Superintendent’s Academy, a program designed to take people who may not have education backgrounds and train them to lead “large urban school districts, state departments of education and high-growth public charter systems”. Broad Academy graduates run many of the nation’s largest school districts, including the Chicago Public Schools, where teachers are now on strike.

Cathy Campbell, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, sent her executive board an email on Monday raising questions about the Broad Academy connection. … Continue reading »

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Likely new Berkeley school superintendent under scrutiny

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The Berkeley school board tonight will hear a report in closed session on the site visit to Clayton County, Georgia, to assess the lone finalist for the district’s vacant superintendent post, Edmond Heatley.

The board released Heatley’s name on Friday, although there is no contract yet approved. Heatley resigned from his Clayton County post last Wednesday. According to school board members, the expectation is that Heatley’s formal appointment will be considered at the September 19 board meeting.

While Heatley is reported to have made significant improvements to a troubled school district in Georgia, he has also come under fire for his management style and actions he took there, such as having his wife on the school district payroll at a time when budgets and jobs were being cut. His children also had summer jobs with the school district. According to BUSD director Wilson, these and other issues were considered in the board’s due diligence.

“In the aggregate, we were satisfied that a number of issues that had been raised in the media in Georgia had been addressed,” she said. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley school district names likely new superintendent

Edmond Heatley, the unanimous finalist for BUSD superintendent
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Berkeley Unified School District looks set to name Edmond Heatley as its new Superintendent, pending agreement on his contract.

Heatley is currently Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer of Clayton County Public Schools, a school district near Atlanta, Georgia.

BUSD says they have narrowed the field of candidates down to one and that is Heatley. Once due diligence is completed, the Board will be in a position to formally offer Heatley an employment contract.

Heatley announced his resignation from his post yesterday, saying he was leaving for an unspecified post.

“The board believes we have our superintendent,” said Board President John Selawsky. “We just need to fill in the details.”

Selawsky added that even though the appointment is not confirmed, the board wanted the community to know that they are in the final stages of finding a replacement for Bill Huyett, who recently retired.

A district team, headed by School Board member Karen Hemphill, is today in Georgia completing a site visit in Clayton County Public Schools where Heatley is superintendent. The visit consisted of interviews with school board members, parents, teachers, staff, district administrators, union leadership, and community leaders. Selawsky said Hemphill had reported that the visit went well. … Continue reading »

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