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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Diana Greene the Teflon superintendent, part 1, Scandals follow Greene to Duval

Diana Greene seems immune to scandal, a performance that would have arguably gotten her fired elsewhere has garnered nothing but accolades from the gentrified class in Jacksonville.  It may be her chameleon-like ability to speak public education to one group and corporate reforms to another or it is her don't make waves demeanor but regardless of the reason her leadership has been anything but good. First, let's take a look at the scandals that should have prevented her from being hired in the first place.  

Holy lack of due diligence Batman.

Superintendent Greene came from Manatee County, which was plagued by one scandal after another during her tenure or that raised shortly thereafter, which had their roots in her leadership.

DCPS has not met a software program they didn't like and it was similar in Manatee County.

From the Bradenton Herald, 

The School Board of Manatee County has agreed to pay $525,000 and resolve a lawsuit with Ciber Global LLC, a key player in the district’s troubled ERP project. 

The ERP software, or enterprise resource planning system, was prepared under then-Superintendent Diana Greene between 2015 and 2018. School board members — including Karen Carpenter, John Colon, Robert Gause, Charlie Kennedy and Dave Miner — were told in 2016 that new software would modernize the district for less than $10 million.

According to a document later obtained by the Bradenton Herald, the true project cost was more than $27 million when labor, travel and other expenses were taken into account. That analysis included both paid and unpaid invoices. 

Somebody should be looking at the cost of our ESS system

Then there was a grading scandal

From the Bradenton Herald,

Cynthia Saunders, interim superintendent for the School District of Manatee County, is accused of abusing her power and inflating graduation rates, according to a notice from the Florida Department of Education.
In a letter dated Dec. 6, Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart said she found probable cause to justify sanctions against Saunders’ educator certificate, citing alleged misconduct between 2014 and 2016.

The state accused Saunders of:

Personal conduct which seriously reduces effectiveness as an employee of the school board, in violation of Florida Statutes.

An offense against the Principles of Professional Conduct for the Education Profession, in violation of Florida Statutes.

Intentionally distorting or misrepresenting facts concerning an educational matter in direct or indirect public expression, in violation of Florida Administrative Code.

Using institutional privileges for personal gain or advantage, in violation of Florida Administrative Code.

Failing to maintain honesty in all professional dealings, in violation of Florida Administrative Code.

Using coercive means or promised special treatment to influence professional judgments of colleagues, in violation of Florida Administrative Code.

Submitting fraudulent information on a document in connection with professional activities, in violation of Florida Administrative Code.  

But perhaps however the most damning accusation was that she manipulated the district’s graduation rate.

Saunders was named interim superintendent after Diana Greene left to become superintendent of Duval County Public Schools in late June…

Earlier in the day, Scott Hopes (Manatee County school board member) said any allegations should be directed at the former superintendent. 

Then let's talk about cost overruns with the Manatee County referendum 

From the Times Union,

Construction costs in the Manatee County School District have clocked in at 84 percent over budget over the last three years.

The original approved budget for 20 major construction projects completed in the district from 2015 to 2018 was roughly $27 million. The final price tag for those projects came in at more than $49.9 million, according to project summary sheets obtained via a public records request. 

I supported our referendum here, after some assurances from the district that staff would be taken care of, but if the past is prologue with Greene's leadership we should all be very wary.

Part 2, will look at her scandals and missteps in DCPS. 

1 comment:

  1. Water under the bridge. As I recall you were one of her biggest fans when we recruited her from Manatee. When she got pushback from Curry types on the board you labeled them as sour grapes with zero vision. She was brought in to do one thing. Pass a sales tax like she did in Manatee. She's done that. Mission accomplished. Everything else is gravy. Sometimes esp. here in Jax you reap what you let go of the past cuz that train has sailed my friend.