Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

Help Wanted

Headless in Beantown

By Alexander Russo | September 2006
Boston Public Schools is still looking for a new leader.
Boston Public Schools is still looking for a new leader.

Whoever wants to run the Boston Public Schools, please raise your hand. Even though former Superintendent Tom Payzant announced his retirement more than a year ago, in June 2005, the city's search committee recently announced that a permanent successor wouldn't be named until at least January 2007.

The position would seem to be near perfect. The medium-size urban district, which has 58,000 students and 145 schools, has enjoyed a lengthy period of stability and success over the past decade. The board-appointed by the mayor-worked well with Payzant, and the district is well regarded for a number of education innovations.

So why can't they find a replacement? Blame the media. In late June, the Boston Globe unexpectedly-and some would say prematurely-published the names of five possible finalists for the superintendent's job, creating a political firestorm. Four of the five candidates who were named quickly withdrew or denied ever having sought the job, leaving only one of the original candidates-Nancy McGinley, chief academic officer in Charleston County, South Carolina-in the running.

That led to an intense round of local and national debate about whether an open selection process can work anymore. Back in 1995, the school board put finalists through a public interview process in which they met with community groups. Now increasingly uncommon, open hiring processes can be extremely awkward for candidates who currently run other districts or who wish to avoid having the public find out that they want a job they may not get.

Besides the public disclosure fiasco, other factors appear to be contributing to the delay. The district's stability, ironically, may contribute to making the selection process so difficult. Who wants to fill a slot in which its reputation can only go down? Also, Payzant never apparently groomed a successor. Michael Contompasis is serving as interim superintendent until a replacement is named. Interested? You can find out more at

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Everyday Book Box: Red

    Everyday Book Box: Red

    Engage your young readers with this great-value collection of books! Everyday Book Box includes fiction and nonfiction titles for independent reading and developing fluency. Brightly colored illustrations and photos help students develop vocabulary and build comprehension skills. Also includes 100 reproducible activities, a parent letter with reading tips and more!

    Books included:
    Hurry Up
    I Do Not Want To
    I Like Shapes
    I Need A Little Help
    Is It Time
    Just Like Me
    Lara Ladybug
    Lost Hat, The
    My Cat Muffin
    New Roof
    Noisy Breakfast
    Not Enough Water
    Old Mo
    Please, Wind
    Grandpa's Quilt
    Haircut, The
    Bears Bears Everywhere
    Big And Small
    Box Can Be Many Things
    Bubble Trouble
    Car Wash Kid
    Catch That Cat
    Fresh Autumn Leaves
    I Am The Artist
    I Like Shoes
    Swing, Swing, Swing
    A Tooth Is Loose
    A Tree Can Be
    Water Everywhere
    We Are Painting
    We Like To Play!
    What Am I?
    What Can I Be?
    Who Am I
    Work And Play
    Rosa Loves To Read
    Big And Little
    Beautiful Bugs
    I Can See
    I Can, We Can
    What Comes In A Shell
    Where Do Insects Live?

    • 50 fiction and nonfiction books
    • CD with reproducibles
    • Sturdy storage box

    $101.21 You save: 25%
    Boxed Set | Grades K-1
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Everyday Book Box: Red
    Grades K-1 $101.21
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Little Leveled Readers: Super-Duper Sandwich (Level D)

    Little Leveled Readers: Super-Duper Sandwich (Level D)

    by Maria Fleming

    This Level D little reader is designed to support children at the emergent stage of literacy, and features the following characteristics:

    • One to two lines of text per page
    • High-support illustrations with close text-to-picture match
    • Repeated and recognizable high-frequency words
    • Challenging vocabulary words supported by picture and context clues
    • Varying sentence length, including sentences which connect across pages
    • Familiar story themes that build on children’s experience

    $0.94 You save: 25%
    eBook | Grades PreK-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Little Leveled Readers: Super-Duper Sandwich (Level D)
    Grades PreK-2 $0.94
    Add To Cart
Help | Privacy Policy




(Separate multiple email addresses with commas)

Check this box to send yourself a copy of the email.


Scholastic respects your privacy. We do not retain or distribute lists of email addresses.