Trails in the Sand by Peter Traciet, the Street Detective
Even the sand was chilled Monday morning for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but Ol’ Peter was determined to get out there and do some dragging. Things began to warm up around 9 AM and Ol’ Pete was able to make it to the annual parade down Sistrunk and the one in Pompano.
The Street Detective was not surprised that Super Cartwright was in Pompano with a plastered smile and a beauty pageant queen wave. She was working the crowd better than the pastor during tithing and offering time. Cartwright seemed to be getting a trail of positive feedback until she stepped in some manure in the sand. The band was playing, and the crowd was cheering and on their feet. Cartwright made her rounds to the band and began engaging with the students. It was reported that Cartwright shoved both feet into her mouth and deep into her throat.
Peter Traceit learned the Blanche Ely band parents are hotter than Smokey the Bear about forest fires concerning a comment she made. It is said, Cartwright told band students that she, too, was in the band and she also lived in poverty just like them.
Did someone just scratch down the center of a chalkboard? That is right up there with “I have a Black friend”. Cartwright later apologized, but The Detective doesn’t need to do any sleuthing to conclude that Cartwright’s efforts to make good with the North Corridor has fallen flat as Grandma’s flapjacks on her hot iron stove.
The Detective got excited when the names of the applicants for the interim superintendent position were released. They were discussed at Tuesday’s Board meeting. There were six candidates, three who are formidable contenders and three who figured if Cartwright could do it, so could they.
Ol’ Peter will focus on the three formidable candidates. Pete was glad to see that Dr. Earlean Smiley made the list of those being considered. She didn’t formally apply, but Board Chair Alhadeff said she is still in the running. Smiley was informally denied twice… once when her former high school student/former Board chair, Torey Alston, recommended her and once when current Board chair, Lori Alhadeff, placed her name on a BB agenda item.
As a former superinten-dent of McCormick County and deputy superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction in Broward county, Dr. Smiley seems well prepared with the institutional knowledge to serve as interim.
Another Florida connection, Wayne Alexander, is a former superintendent from Hernando County. He served in Hernando for two short years and relocated to Bridgeport Public Schools in Connecticut to join his family.
Traceit hesitated to include Adam Taylor but did so because he has superintendency experience. Detective Traceit surmises if past decision making of this Board means anything, Taylor’s bad behavior may make him a front runner. Taylor served as superintendent for Rutland City Public Schools in The Big Apple for a New York minute. He took an indefinite leave of absence after about 16 months on the job because of controversy. During a speech Taylor made at a local university, he compared the teacher-student relationship to the relationship of a pimp and prostitute. Wait. What? He further used a pedophile, priest, and a victim to compare. Hummm. This sounds like another superintendent who tells band students that she played in the band and came from poverty, too. Poor judgment. But, if past behavior is an indication of future decisions, this Board might just like him.
It appears all candidates are interested in not only becoming interim, but permanent Super. Let’s hope the Board makes it clear and keep the lines un-blurred for those who may want to do both.
The dirt got better and better first thing Tuesday morning. Tuesdays are usually Board meeting or workshop days but having the day off for the King holiday pushed the Board meeting to Wednesday. The Street Detective learned that the Board will be selecting a firm to drive the process for interim and permanent Super selection, but it’s confusing because at the last Board meeting they reinstated Cartwright because of process errors. It appears to Traceit that the manner in which they are currently conducting business is a huge process problem in and of itself. Board member, Alan Zeman, is bringing a BB item to terminate Cartwright’s contract effective June 30, 2023, on the same day as her January 24, 2023, meeting to discuss the progress of her 90-day plan. Humm. Process. Yeah right. Process. Pete is scratching all over and bets are that Oz and Oz Jr. are surely planning a response. This is getting cornbread and collardgreens good.
Zeman, though bringing forward the BB item, said he is unsure if he would even support it. Huh? The Broward School Board members continue to work hard at reigning as the laughingstock of all governing boards in the county. Ol Pete believes they are in first place without a close second.
Interestingly, the Detective has learned that Cartwright was not even there when they talked about her tenure. Cartwright was summoned to Tallahassee on Wednesday to meet with state officials to discuss the delay in providing teachers with pay raises provided by the State. It appears Super Cartwright has been focused on anything and everything to keep her job except the stuff to keep her job.
So much is buried in the sand and Ol’ Peter Traceit, The Street Detectie will continue dragging in search for clues.