Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dallemand's protectors

Rochester school Superintendent Romain Dallemand, whose contract is currently up for renewal, has some powerful friends. Stories about him in the Post-Bulletin, for instance, routinely have their comments section disabled. Others use the Obama defense, “if you have anything against Dallemand,” they opine, “you are a racist.” One told critics to “take off their hoods.” Such drama is hardly helpful for the students.

Here’s the hard truth. Dallemand must go (and so should his unapologetic enablers). He’s surrounded himself with expensive (and controversial) cronies and squandered not just $5000 on a desk, but a great deal of his political capital, as well. When the next levy request comes down, taxpayers will remember how the last bag of loot intended “for the kids” was spent.

“Give him props,” the Post-Bulletin’s editor said on his BLOG, for answering critics’ salvo by “waiving” an $8,200 raise. In fact, this clever maneuver was not as much a measured response as it was a nose-thumbing. Dallemand only *symbolically* waived the raise. He was never actually offered one. His magnanimous gesture merely staved-off the (potentially scathing) performance review that was scheduled. Now it’s time for the board to make a clever maneuver of their own.

What does Dallemand know about closing the so-called “opportunity gap” that no one else seems to know? Probably nothing. But let’s find out by looking at other candidates. Candidates that are less divisive.

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