Friday, August 24, 2007

Textbook manager was fired from same position before

This just takes the cake:
The manager of the D.C. Public Schools' textbook department found in disarray by schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee this month was fired almost a decade ago from the same position after books were not delivered to schools in a timely manner.

Donald Winstead, who has been the only employee staffing the school system's troubled textbook department, was fired by former Superintendent Arlene C. Ackerman after a "protracted process to determine why books did not arrive on time for the opening of school," Mrs. Ackerman told The Washington Times.

Rhee spokeswoman Mafara Hobson said Mr. Winstead was fired in June 1998, but he was reinstated in December 2000. She said information about Mr. Winstead's reinstatement was not immediately available yesterday.
Frankly, this speaks volumes about how the DC bureaucracy is run (or, more to the point how it isn't run). I will give DCPS some benefit of the doubt and assume that Winstead's reinstatement was forced due to the filing of a grievance of some sort. Considering that every year the distribution of textbooks was fubared why didn't a single superintendent over the last 7 years either a) build a solid case for Winstead's dismissal if he truly was derelict in his duties or b) increase his staff if he really was doing a good job but was overwhelmed? Is the bureaucracy in the District that thick that change is damn near impossible? Or did past superintendents care so little about the doing even the minimum required to run a school district.

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