A group of Williamson County parents came forward Tuesday to question why their local school board members are considering hiring a man with no formal education experience to replace Mike Looney as superintendent.
This, one day after board members unanimously voted to enter formal negotiations with Jason Golden to take over at an annual salary of $250,000.
Members of the Williamson County-based group Parents Want Facts are unhappy.
“Mr. Golden has no classroom experience, or educational training whatsoever. He does not possess a Masters or Doctorate in Education. He has never even spent a day (as a) substitute teacher to anyone’s knowledge. Many school board members have acknowledged his shortcomings and have stated that he will have a quality team around him to provide support in these deficient areas (an admission he is not wholly qualified),” members said in a press release Tuesday.
The parents said their concerns about Golden are not personal.
“One of the reasons cited by those in power, is that he is the obvious choice because of the enormous amount of educational time lost if someone else were considered or hired. Funny, nobody in Fulton County, where Looney is heading thought educational time would be lost by going outside their system,” according to the group’s press release.
“The board also alluded to a rumor that several central office employees would leave if they hired outside the district. There were no candidates of color or females considered for this position. There were simply no other candidates considered. There is speculation that there were many others qualified, including Superintendents across the state and nation that would have welcomed the opportunity to lead Williamson County Schools. We will never know. Many would have appreciated if others had been fairly considered, merely from within the school system or county. The way the board orchestrated this appointment was terribly unfair to Golden as well.”
As The Tennessee Star reported, various people spoke out against school board members’ plans at Monday’s county school board meeting, for similar reasons.
According to the Williamson County School System’s website, school system officials hired Golden as the district’s attorney in 2006. They promoted him to chief operating officer four years later. Golden took over as general counsel in 2012.
Members of Parents Want Facts said in their press release that it “is likely these board members will have to explain this decision to voters, taxpayers and parents over the course of Mr. Golden’s tenure, for the remainder of their time in office.”
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