Portland Public Schools has delivered another self-inflicted wound.
The PPS board is going to announce later today that Donyall Dickey, whom they named as the "sole finalist" for the superintendent's job on March 3, will not be coming to Portland after all.
The March 3 announcement was always slightly puzzling—while it said Dickey, the chief academic officer in the Atlanta public school system, was in line to replace Carole Smith who resigned last year, the hiring was not a done deal.
"The vetting process will continue over the next several weeks as additional references are checked, which will include a site visit to Atlanta by members of the Board to meet with staff members, students, parents, and community members who have worked with Dr. Dickey in his current role," the district's March 3 announcement said. "Conditional contract negotiations will begin but an official contract approval and appointment will require a vote of the Board, which will occur upon completion of the vetting process."
It appears that vetting process did not go well, although it is unclear why Dickey won't be coming.
He's got the resume of a high-flyer: he moved from a principal's position in Baltimore to senior administrative roles in the Philadelphia and Atlanta districts in less than five years.
But for reasons that remain unclear, he and the PPS board have decided there is not a fit, two sources tell WW.
That's embarrassing news for a district that is currently seeking $790 million from voters in the May 16 election.
Update, 2:21 pm:
The PPS board issued a statement, confirming Dickey isn't coming but shedding no light on the reason for the about-face.
"Today our finalist for PPS Superintendent, Dr. Donyall Dickey, withdrew his candidacy," the statement says. "We know his decision was not made lightly and we respect it. After a thorough and comprehensive process we came to a mutual understanding that our expectations for the job were not in complete alignment."