Anchorage School District skips rules in superintendent choice, ignoring required certification

27
1503

By DAVID BOYLE

Most large organizations have basic requirements for positions within that organization. When you apply for a position, you must meet those minimum requirements. 

The Anchorage School District School Board hired a contractor, Ray & Associates, to adequately screen the superintendent candidates for further evaluation based on the board’s requirements.  It doesn’t appear the minimum State-mandated requirements even mattered. 

As noted in a previous article, the selection of the new Anchorage School District superintendent, Dr. Jarrett Bryantt, was faulty. The selected person did not meet the minimum requirements — at least three years of classroom teaching. 

Yet somehow his application was accepted by both Ray & Associates for consideration.  

The ASD superintendent application form was problematic. It was very general and did not reference Alaska law or regulation regarding qualifications. However, most of us when we apply for a position look up the qualifications ourselves to ensure we meet them.  

The application form asks the following questions of candidates regarding superintendent qualifications: 

These are open-ended questions that have no references to Alaska State requirements.  These minimum requirements are spelled out in Alaska Administrative Code 4 AAC 12.345. 

The selected candidate, Dr. Bryantt, answered “YES” to all three questions.  Here are his answers:

By his own admission, Dr. Bryantt states he has verified his eligibility for the position. How can that be when the regulation requires three years of classroom experience?  

Likewise, the remaining two questions should also refer directly to the requirements for the position.

Dr. Frank Hauser, one of the non-selected candidates, answered the questions as follows:

Note that Hauser answered the first question as a “NO.” He then fully explained why he did not hold a superintendent license further down in the application. He stated that his “Superintendent endorsement was in progress, with June 2022 completion date.”  He is completing his superintendent endorsement at the University of Alaska Southeast.  

By the time Dr. Hauser would have filled the superintendent position he would have held a superintendent license and have been fully qualified.

The third non-selected candidate, Dr. Mathew Neal, answered the questions as follows:

Dr. Neal received a superintendent’s certificate from Harvard University in 2014.  

Both of those non-selected candidates appear to meet the qualifications and one even explained when he would have fulfilled the requirement. 

The question is, did Dr. Bryantt, a human resource officer, verify he met that requirement?  Or did he falsify his application?  Did the contractor, Ray & Associates, adequately vet the candidates regarding there three-year classroom mandate?

Even Andy Holleman, ASD board member, commented publicly on Nextdoor, “I can’t say for certain he (Dr. Bryantt) qualifies, but I think he will, but only DEED can answer that question” (May 8, 2022). Here is a screenshot of Andy Holleman’s comment:

Once Dr. Bryantt was selected as the best-qualified for ASD superintendent, his information was sent to the State’s Department of Education & Early Development. The certificate details are listed below :

Note that Bryantt was not given a provisional endorsement by DEED.  He was only given a temporary “limited” endorsement and granted only a limited administrative license at the request of the ASD. And it is only good in the Anchorage School District.  

The regulation, 4AAC 12.346 is very clear concerning the issuance of a “limited” superintendent certificate.

The department will issue a limited administrative certificate (Type B limited) with a superintendent endorsement, valid for one year if: “The school board for the district in which the applicant will be employed, through its school board president, has requested issuance of a limited administrative certificate for the applicant…”.

How many other “highly qualified” candidates like Dr. Bryantt did not apply because they did not know ASD would ignore state regulations?  ASD could just have asked for this special limited certification for anyone.  

The regulation goes on to state, “The school board for the district in which the applicant will be employed has to provide an experienced mentor for at least the first two years of the applicant’s employment with the school district as the superintendent; the mentor must hold or have held the position at superintendent in a school district in this state under a valid certificate.”

So, the ASD must employ a mentor for two years to get Dr. Bryantt qualified as a superintendent. And this mentor must also have a valid superintendent certificate issued by the State of Alaska.

One of these possible mentors could be Dr. Bishop, the current ASD superintendent. What will be the cost to the district of hiring a mentor? 

In the end, it appears that the process was flawed, prejudiced, and not thorough.  The board did not show due diligence in ensuring that candidates met the basic requirements and may have changed the requirements as the process went forward to meet its goals.

Transparency and equity are values of the ASD, and it should be held accountable for all decisions. Taxpayers and parents are the stockholders, the ASD Board is supposed to represent them.   

Was Dr Bryantt the ‘best qualified’ to lead our largest school district?  Or was he the candidate the school board wanted regardless of qualifications/state regulations to meet the board’s number one priority of equity and inclusion? 

We deserve the best to lead this district out of the educational hole it is currently in. It doesn’t appear that was the School Board’s priority.  

David Boye is former executive director of Alaska Policy Forum and is Must Read Alaska’s education writer. 

27 COMMENTS

  1. ……But the Assembly insists on a Library Science Masters for the library directors job. Liberals just want it their way because they consider themselves special.

    • It’s simple – although none dare say it.
      This was an “affirmative action” hire in the name of racial equity and equality of outcome.
      Whatever happened to “merit” – oh yeah, that’s racist.
      Ain’t mediocrity just grand…

  2. What a surprise! Why haven’t the other well-qualified candidates (that don’t need 2 years of mentoring to do the job) file lawsuits in court against this flawed decision making by the school district for “equity and inclusion”?

    • [email protected], you don’t even need to be ‘well qualified’ to claim the actions of the board were prejudicial and harmed you… Potentially, anyone could be given the waiver provided the president of the board asked Deed for one….

  3. ASD School Board doesn’t feel it should follow the State Requirements. Taxpayers need to remember this when bonds come up. Too many politicians feel that they don’t have to follow the rules when it comes to what they want. Time to consider homeschooling, private and Christian schools.

  4. I hope someone at least makes sure this ladyboy gets the monkeypox shot before he(?) is allowed around the kids. This a valid concern considering the spread of the pox among the ‘no rules for us liberals’.

  5. Requirements apply only to non-party members.

    There must be some reason we ordinary people pay attention to rules and laws.

    But since our legislators, assembly members and board members pay no attention it does call into question why anarchy does not (yet) rule. One way or ANOTHER we should work on that!

  6. If the illegitimate selection doesn’t have the quals, de-select him and save the taxpayer’s the cost of the lawsuit from the two qualified candidates. Simple economics, but the Los Anchorage School Board still doesn’t have a clue of how much or our hard earned Tax Dollars they are literally letting go down the urinal!

  7. And we wonder why students don’t follow any rules… The school board doesn’t follow any rules. However, my guess is he won’t be here long. The Good Old Boys club of ASD will not only run him but run him on his way.

  8. Why is the ASD not being taken to court over their own rules violations? Most parents in Anchorage appear to be weak and easily pushed around by the gaystapo.

  9. David Boyle: Thank you for your research and reporting this violation of state law. Now, what can be done to rectify the violation and punish those responsible for it? It seems no matter what conservative candidates that run for school board at ASD, the public votes in a largely liberal school board, and even those conservatives that do get elected, cave in to such skullduggery.

  10. One there very interesting note: Dr. Bryantt did NOT disclose his current salary on the application form. The other 2 candidate finalists did disclose their current salaries. Very interesting.

  11. Basic requirements are only for the troublesome peons the elites want to keep out. They don’t matter for the supplicant applicants who will gleefully further their agenda.

  12. ASD is a sewer. They really don’t give one fat rat’s backside about educating students. They only care about feathering their own nests. The truth came out years ago, when teachers claimed to be professionals while also being union members, which are by definition labor. They hold two conflicting positions at one time, which is also the definition of progressive radicals. Hiring this flamer for superintendent just solidifies ASD’s position as a sewer, and it will remain so until parents rise up and take back their schools.

  13. Everyone commenting here let come together to fight this off… let’s bring this up at school board meetings and whoever else we can pressure to make this right. There is power in numbers…. Email me and let’s start collecting signatures or something ’[email protected]

Comments are closed.