NAACP calling for transparency in firing of Saginaw superintende - WNEM TV 5

NAACP calling for transparency in firing of Saginaw superintendent

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Source: Saginaw Public Schools Source: Saginaw Public Schools

The NAACP is calling for transparency in the firing of a Mid-Michigan school district’s superintendent.

Saginaw Schools Superintendent Nathaniel McClain was shown the door after a recent vote to rescind his contract.

Now, the NAACP wants answers.

"If it looks like collusion and quacks like collusion, it probably is collusion," said Ruth Ann Knapp, Saginaw Board of Education trustee. "As one of a seven member board, I guess if four people get together and decide what to do they have the majority."

McClain's contract was supposed to run through June of 2019, but after a school board meeting last month his contract is expected to wrap up this June.

Knapp voted to keep McClain in last month's meeting. She said if the public had a vote, they would do the same.

The NAACP said they plan to seek answers from the board about the decision, as well as information on the process to hire a new superintendent.

"We don't have those answers and I think those have to come from the school board who made the decision. So, we're joining that voice in the community that's saying, look, help us understand why you've made this decision. And how are you going to move the district forward in light of the decision you've made," said Terry Pruitt, vice president for the Saginaw NAACP.

Pruitt expressed the community's concern and uncertainty for the district's future without McClain.

The NAACP said from their understanding, McClain did everything the board ever asked him to do to work on the Saginaw Public Schools and to make Saginaw a better place.

"We've dug ourselves out of a deficit. The academic progress of the district is moving forward. His performance reviews over the last couple years have been favorable. So, the question becomes why are you making this decision at this time," Pruitt said.

The NAACP is urging the board to precisely explain why they didn't renew McClain's contract, their plan for his replacement and the criteria for that search. They want the board to answer those questions in 30 days.

Rudy Patterson, president of the Saginaw Board of Education, issued the following statement to TV5:

Mr. McClain has been most respectful during this negotiated process and I thank him for such. Mr. McClain has two sides to his employment. 

 The evaluation on performance and the written contract on stipulations.  

Mr. McClain has not been terminated or fired from this district as reported. His contract has not been renewed under the provisions of the last signed contract and the revised school code MCL 380.1229.

The law and our policy concur that Mr. McClain has the right to direct the Board on his evaluation process. Mr. McClain chose to have his evaluation in closed session. Therefore Saginaw public schools must retain that level of respect throughout this process.

Mr. McClain does not have the right to discuss his contract in closed session. The terms of his contract has always been public knowledge.

Last night the media reported only one of our school's index rating, SHS at 28% success, below the 31% red flag threshold, while reporting Midland, Bay City and Grand Blanc in the mid to high 80's.

The community deserves the best possible solution to a successful school District. 

There are officers of the Saginaw NAACP Chapter which are also elected trustees on the Saginaw Public School Board, who may be in a questionable range of conflict of interest. Expending efforts to win over public opinion at a Non Official venue to offset their elected minority opinion. All without delivering public facts which they were privey to.

Again Saginaw Public will not breach the personnel file or discredit Mr. McClain and his family simply to ward off those seeking publicity and political gains.

SPSB will address the Superintendent replacement when there is a vacancy to be filled. Mr. McClain remains the superintendent until June 30, 2018.

The Saginaw Public Board of Education will continue to work extremely hard keeping your kids first.

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