In the Words of the Forever King of Pop: They Don’t Really Care About Us

Vickie Cartwright

By Bobby R. Henry, Sr. 

Jeff Holness

I want to first apologize for my actions at the board meeting on yesterday of exhibiting my frustration in an outburst of anger when the mic was turned off during my discourse. I do understand the need for control but to be disrespectful in a controlling fashion is not good for anybody. I also understand and see that this board most of them are exhibiting characteristics with that statement, that is recorded in the law from Brown versus the Board of Education Topeka, Kansas, “that with all deliberate speed” our educational system will be made equal. It is obvious that this board is extremely incompetent, malfeasant, and do not, I repeat do not want change.

Sometimes you just must take a huge step back to get a clear understanding of a confusing moment. Most things rarely happen by chance. They are designed in such a way that they may be hidden in plain sight.

I attended the School Board meeting on Tuesday to speak on the BB-2 item brought forward by new member, Jeff Holness (appears to be an opposition of what a true Dillard Panther is) Holness’ first action as a new Board member was to undo action of the previous Board.


Debra Hixon

Superintendent Vickie Cartwright was terminated on one day and the next day the termination was challenged by a motion and subsequently upheld. It became confusing and obvious when Interim General Counsel, Marilyn Batista flip-flopped multiple times on whether the action violated Florida Sunshine Laws, that she is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. She finally concluded in a detailed letter that the action did not violate the law.

Despite this, five Board members used, the process and the “spirit of Sunshine” to challenge the Board action to fire Superintendent Cartwright and overturned her termination on Tuesday.

Interestingly, they left some things on the table that should make Cartwright feel extremely uncomfortable. They are continuing the process to search for an interim and permanent superintendent.

As I reflected on the events of Tuesday, it became clear that the vote to keep Cartwright was simply a delay (with all deliberate speed) to circumvent the selection and appointment of an interim. This Board, even with its new members, demonstrated what former board member, Daniel Foganholi has been screaming from the rooftop for some time. They do not want competence. They do not want a Superintendent who knows the job and can execute with fidelity. They are unwilling to hire someone with a high level of leadership competence and skill that would expose their incompetence as a group and disable their ability to continue the corruption that is commonplace with this Board. The corruption it is embedded in the culture of the entire district, and it has been that way for decades.

Allen Zeman

Dr. Earlean Smiley was sitting in the Board room and a BB item had been submitted by Lori Alhadeff to name her interim superintendent.

Have you seen her resume? Dr. Earlean Smiley’s education and experience demonstrates a proven track record of leadership excellence, and she did it right here in Broward County Public Schools. The Board continues to say it wants to focus on students and regaining the A-rated designation. Smiley was Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction at the time Broward Schools earned the A-rated designation. She is a Black female who leads with integrity. Someone recently described her to me as “straight Bourbon no chaser, no ice”.

Simply put, this Board does not have a palate for this level of competence and integrity. They want to continue the dysfunction that allows them to maintain their jobs, continue the favors and rewards to their friends and exacting the inequitable treatment of those who do not for or push back on them.

The choice yesterday was to uphold the legal decision made by the previous Board and appoint a competent proven leader or maintain a chaotic, failed leader who lies and breaks law, statute, policy, and protocol consistently to secure results she values at any cost. Cartwright has violated Sunshine herself by not adhering to public records requests until ordered by a judge to do so. She has circumvented Board policy to hire people who are not qualified for positions. Board Chair Lori Alhadeff sat next to Cartwright and repeated to the Super and her Board colleagues that Cartwright is simply in over her head. Who remains in a job where the Board chair says to you publicly that the job you are in exceeds what you can intelligibly perform?

For those of us who witnessed and were disappointed by the ineptness and willfully shown disrespect by this band of deceit, do not be dismayed. Cartwright’s termination is coming… again.

Read between the lines of what happened there yesterday. They kept Cartwright because they did not want the competent Black woman sitting in the audience.

For those cringing that this is not about race, let me provide further proof.

If this Board follows the norm of most sane Boards, Earlean Smiley would not even be considered because upon firing Cartwright, they would have gone inside to name the most competent employee as interim. They would have named Dr. Valerie Wanza as interim. They would have named her upon former superintendent, Robert Runcie’s resignation. This is what sane Boards do to maintain calm and keep the ship on course.


Nora Rupert

Miami-Dade quickly secured Dr. Jose Dotres when their 14-year tenured superintendent, Alberto Carvalho secured a superintendent job in Los Angeles. Palm Beach county named its chief financial officer, Mike Burke as interim and then appointed him a few months later as superintendent.

Don’t be fooled or mislead by Partisan politics. Even though Governor DeSantis appointed some members to the school board, remember his appointments in other areas prove that they are not controlled by him people do have their own and minds, integrity and they do what is right.

Hear me clearly. THEY DO NOT WANT A COMPETENT, BLACK WOMAN WHO LEADS WITH INTEGRITY. It is beyond intimidating to them.

I have heard all kinds of reasons why Wanza has not been named. From an old text message and emails; due to her weight and style of dress. Yet, the fact that Vickie Cartwright has erased text messages and circumvented public records requests( to which I have never received my third request from months ago)is no problem for this Board. It is not about text messages and emails or weight. It is about this Board not wanting to be controlled or their ineptness exposed. They don’t want competence and integrity, especially by a Black woman or man. Mr. Torey Alston has shown that he is head and shoulders above others when it comes to conducting meetings and the command and knowledge of Roberts rules of order far above the “others”. They don’t want Smiley and Wanza in the same way the Dolphins owner, Steven Ross did not want Brian Flores. This Board wants to run amok with corruption. They don’t care about winning games (graduation rates and test scores), winning championships(being A-rated) or their fans (students, teachers, and the community) needs. They don’t want Vickie Cartwright, but more than they don’t want Cartwright, they don’t want a competent, integrity driven Black woman. They settled for Cartwright in the moment and left the search for an interim open so that they can come back with a pool of candidates and select and appoint someone who will be in line with the corruption… someone that they can control.

To further demonstrate my point, a new Board member who claims to want to do a national search also floated the name of a sitting principal to be named interim superintendent. The sitting principal at Fort Lauderdale High School is a white female with about three years as principal. This is not at all a dig at Erin Brown, the principal at Fort Lauderdale High School. I understand she is doing a great job at her school. It simply demonstrates that they are willing to appoint a White woman who is clearly not qualified to be interim superintendent and pass over overqualified Black women like Smiley and Wanza. The expectation of Wanza would be, to be the de facto superintendent and do the work.

Ask yourself what would make this board bend over backwards and risk tearing this community apart with partisan politics and injected PoliTricks with jacked up, orchestrated lies, and outright deceit, to want to keep an obviously and proven incompetent person in this position as a school superintendent in one of the largest school districts in the nation? Vicky Cartwright may be good at something else however her track record has clearly shown that this job is just a bit too much for her.

Mic Drop.

I am done… for today


About Carma Henry 25108 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.