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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Remember, Pasco superintendent Fiorentino doesn't work for the School Board



Heather As the Pasco School Board and superintendent Heather Fiorentino head toward a face-off over the district's direction tonight, it is perhaps instructive to recall some of the comments Fiorentino made to a New York newspaper in 2006.

The Journal News was reviewing the pros and cons of having an elected superintendent as some of its districts explored the option. Naturally, it turned to Fiorentino, who leads the largest district in the country to have an elected CEO.

Here's what she said:

"My board didn't like me when I was elected. If they had an appointed superintendent, they would have appointed him (opponent Chuck Rushe). I always do what's right for kids. It doesn't matter if I'm being careful that I don't do something that hurts the board because I don't work directly for them. I report to them, but I work for the people. I was elected by 350,000 people, not by five board members."

The obvious question that arises, then, is whether the public hue and cry over Fiorentino's decisions to not reappoint some popular and well-regarded administrators under the guise of going in a new direction will prompt the superintendent to break her silence and talk about her plans. If not, the public will see how far the board will go in forcing her hand, and more pointedly, if she's right that the board has no real power over her at all.

Heck, even the notably hard-nosed Hernando superintendent Wayne Alexander relented under pressure and reappointed the facilities director he planned to let go. But then, he works directly for his board, and he didn't get the out of town job he was angling for.

We'll let you know what happens. The meeting begins at 6 p.m.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:26am]


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