Editorial: Not so transparent at Jeffco school board

Littleton Independent: To conduct a nationwide search for a new superintendent in 2014, Jefferson County Public Schools hired consulting company Ray & Associates. The firm notified hundreds of potential candidates and received more than 60 applications, then used feedback from the community and the school board to identify 11 top candidates. The school board then interviewed five individuals — without revealing their names and backgrounds to the public — before naming a lone finalist.

The process — met with loud outcry from the community over a lack of transparency — resulted in the selection of Dan McMinimee, then assistant superintendent in Douglas County.

The only variables that were different in the district’s superintendent search this year that resulted May 1 in the naming of lone finalist Jason Glass, currently the superintendent of Eagle County Schools, is that the five-member board is entirely different and it interviewed six candidates instead of five.

Twice, the Jeffco school district denied requests from Colorado Community Media to release the names of the six candidates who were interviewed. “Dr. Jason Glass was the sole finalist made public pursuant” to the statute, stated the district’s May 4 response to our second request. “The remaining applicants are not considered finalists and their names and current positions will not be released.”

Under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), all finalists for a high-ranking or CEO-type position such as superintendent must be named publicly at least 14 days before an actual job offer is made, giving the public time to weigh in on the choices. (The board will meet again May 16 to vote to approve Glass.)

In our view, one person hardly seems like a finalist.

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