October 1st, 2007 | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: CLEAN UP

PPS Superintendent Search: It's not Cathy Mincberg


The Portland Public Schools board of education announced its pick for superintendent this morning: Carole Smith, former superintendent Hurricane Vicki's old chief of staff.

The question is, was Smith (pictured above) really the board's pick? As long ago as July, WW suggested Phillips would add her two cents to the selection -- dare I say -- process. Having an ally run Portland Public Schools sure helps Phillips keep an eye on the changes she implemented then abandoned to take a job at the Gates Foundation. Making sure those changes remain in place helps Phillips' legacy.

Two bits of good news out of the Smith appointment: In announcing its decision, the school board put Smith's resume on the Web. The lengthy document is more descriptive than the one the school district sent me back in July when I asked. And the latest one actually contains a definition for what a chief of staff does besides pull in an annual salary of $117,000. Check it out:

Work with the superintendent and senior team to provide strategic direction, financial oversight and leadership for the district. Along with the superintendent, responsible for orchestrating the full scope of strategic and operational initiatives, insuring that work is proceeding smoothly and that accountability is where it belongs

As opposed to where it doesn't belong? Where did this COME FROM? A presidential stump speech? BLAH-BLAH-BLAH-BLAH.

Here's the second bit of good news, for some: The school board did not pick Cathy Mincberg, the school district's chief financial officer. Mincberg never confirmed she'd applied. However, she did say before the application deadline she would be honored to lead Portland Pubilc Schools. After the deadline, she declined to comment.

Mincberg, for all her work behind the scenes, still managed to be a polarizing figure in Portland. Folks in Texas say she's gunning for a superintendent gig, which may mean she'll pick up stakes in Portland soon to find her glory elsewhere.
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