So the Cincinnati School Board names five semifinalists for the position of Superintendent and within twelve hours has to withdraw one of the names -- Earl Watkins of Jackson Mississippi -- because of a male on male sexual harassment charge that no one, including the hired search firm, knew about. How stupid and inadequate can a process possibly be? What kind of politics is driving this process?
As an experiment, I sat down at my computer this morning and Googled the following: "Earl Watkins" Jackson Mississippi. The very first listing on my search results was a December 2006 television report from WLBT of Jackson with the headline -- "Principal Alleges Sexual Harassment by JPS Superintendent". The JPS Superintendent referred to here is Mr. Watkins. Result No. 2 from my Google search was an April 7, 2008 report from the Jackson Free Press (who knew Jackson, Mississippi had an alternative newspaper -- probably has a "creative class" population about the size of Cincinnati's "creative class) with the following lede: "JPS Superintendent Earl Watkins Resigning: After months of controversy stemming from a sexual harassment charge by a male educator, JPS Superintendent Earl Watkins announced tonight that he is resigning, effective June 2009."
Now the Cincinnati School Board paid some search firm $40,000 to vet these candidates. Nobody paid me anything to do a two second Google search --- who generated a better product? So here's a challenge readers, help the CPS out and do quick Google searches on the remaining four candidates and report your findings to the School Board. Maybe we can send them an invoice for our consulting work.