Holmes got lowest score, FAMU records show
The FAMU committee that interviewed the three finalists for the director's job at the FAMU Developmental Research School gave Ronald Holmes – who ultimately got the job – the lowest score, according to public records obtained last night by The Gradebook. Holmes is the brother of influential trustee R.B. Holmes, and his selection by President James Ammons (left) and the Board of Trustees on Dec. 31 has kicked up accusations of cronyism.
The three finalists – Holmes, the assistant principal at an Atlanta-area high school; Rose Campbell, the K-6 principal at the research school; and Richard Williams, an administrator and former assistant principal in the Miami-Dade school system – were rated by seven committee members on how they answered a series of 14 questions, including how they would turn around a troubled school (FAMU DRS got an F from the state last year) and their experience in starting new programs despite budget constraints.
Ronald Holmes got an average score of 48.2, the tallies show. Campbell got a 50. Williams got a 51.25.
Asked by The Gradebook for Ammons' response to the ongoing criticism, FAMU spokeswoman Sharon Saunders e-mailed this statement last night: "Dr. Holmes met all of the qualifications and is a seasoned professional. His area of specialty is on test score enhancements. He has been especially successful in this area which is a critical need for FAMU DRS students."
Reached by phone this morning, Williams, who graduated from the FAMU research school and earned his bachelor's degree from FAMU, said he was "overwhelmed" when told by The Gradebook that he was the top scorer. But he also said he had no hard feelings. He said he did not know whether Ronald Holmes' family ties played a role in his selection, and was not concerned about that issue. Ultimately, Ammons had the option to choose who he thought was best for the job, he said: "That's the choice the president made, and I support it."
- Ron Matus, state education reporter