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Praise Google: My news alerts from the web crawler turned up this interesting blog post from an Iowan and former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, questioning whether school districts really need search firms to find superintendents. Nicholas Johnson writes:

What is it about elected and appointed board members and administrators? Why this compulsive, knee-jerk sprint to search firms and consultants whenever they come face to face with the real job they’re there to do? Honestly, what is it?

This is an issue that San Diego Unified is wrestling with as it starts to head into its next superintendent search, as we wrote today. The blogger links to an Administrator Magazine article that quotes San Diego Unified board President Richard Barrera questioning the value of a traditional closed search run by an outside firm:

Barrera acknowledges this type of search would, no doubt, be longer, and would be unlikely to result in a candidate who pleases everyone. But, he predicts, “We’ll have someone who can unite our community because everyone will have ownership over selecting that person.”

— EMILY ALPERT

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