A note on leadership succession in Hartford Public Schools 2016

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Last week, Superintendent Beth Narvaez announced that she had accepted another position abroad and will leave the Hartford Public Schools within the next few months. The news was surprising to me and others in community.

As the district moves forward, it’s helpful to review the Board of Education’s rules regarding “leadership succession.” Many, but not all, school districts have some written policy on “leadership succession”, or the process by which a Superintendent is replaced in the event of an emergency, resignation, firing, etc.

Over the past few years, there have been two very different leadership succession policies for HPS – the first in 2010 favored internal candidates and the revised policy in 2013 favored a more open search. Below is the most recent version of the Hartford Public Schools’ succession policy.

Download (PDF, 50KB)

The policy suggests that a Committee of the Whole (all board members) meeting take place to evaluate the situation and come up a plan. Then, there are a series of steps to take for a new Superintendent search. Note that this policy doesn’t specify a national or local search, just a “search” process.

Like many Superintendent contracts, Narvaez’s contract requires a 90 day notice to the Board of Education to terminate the contract. With 90 days to plan, there is the possibility for a search.

Happy reading!

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Robert Cotto Jr.

Robert Cotto, Jr. is a Lecturer in the Educational Studies department. Before his work at Trinity, he was a Senior Policy Fellow in K-12 Education for CT Voices for Children where he published reports on Connecticut’s testing system, public school choice, and K-12 education data and policy. He taught for seven years as a social studies teacher at the Metropolitan Learning Center for Global and International Studies (MLC), an interdistrict magnet school intended to provide a high-quality education and promote racial, ethnic, and economic integration. Born and raised in Connecticut, Mr. Cotto was the first in his family to go to college and he earned his B.A. degree in sociology at Dartmouth College, his Ed.M. at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and an M.A. in American Studies at Trinity College. He is currently completing his Ph.D. in education policy at the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education. Robert lives with his wife and son in the Forster Heights area of the Southwest neighborhood in Hartford. Views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Trinity College.