Only three candidates have applied for the position of Orange County Superintendent of Education, in the wake of the announcement by the current Superintendent, Bill Habermehl, that he is going to retire this year.
The candidates include former SAUSD Superintendent Al Mijares, who is currently working at The College Board, a non-profit membership association of more than 6,000 colleges, universities and schools, as well as other educational organizations. They are best known for administering the SAT test.
Other candidates include Gregory Haulk, the Superintendent of the Huntington Beach City School District, since August of 2011, and Dr. Raghu P. Mathur, who currently chairs the College of Education at Argosy University. Mathur was the Chancellor at the South Orange County Community College District, from 2002 to 2010.
Mathur left that job, at the SOCCCD, under some fire, according to the Mission Viejo Dispatch. A commenter on that article noted that Mathur had the support of now deceased SOCCCD Trustee Tom Fuentes, but it wasn’t enough, particularly when former SOCCCD Trustee Don Wagner tired of Mathur’s antics and voted to move him along. Mathur retired instead. He had been making $20,000 a month, which is an amazing amount of money for an administrative position.
Mijares left the SAUSD under bad circumstances as well, as the district faced budget troubles and the corruption that grew under the Mijares administration spread like a disease outbreak.
Of the three candidates who have shown interest in replacing Habermehl, only Haulk appears to be worth considering. He returned to Huntington Beach with much fanfare, as he grew up in Surf City. I have not read any negative accounts of his work there so far.
While I would love to see this important job go to a minority, neither Mijares nor Mathur are, in my opinion, worthy candidates.
Whoever does get the job faces a daunting task of dealing with massive state budget problems, a terrible State Legislature, a lame Governor and the possibility that we might get stuck with four more years of President Obama’s uneven leadership in education. Hopefully more candidates will emerge soon…