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The Cambridge School Committee voted 4-3 last night to ask Theodore R. Sizer, Dean of the Faculty of Education and four other local ed school deans for help in selecting a new superintendent.
Sizer said yesterday that the five deans "will find out what the committee wants and then go out and find the best man in the country. The final decision will remain theirs," he added.
Specifically, the deans are asked to oversee advertising and recruiting for the post, which will become vacant when Superintendent John M. Tobin resigns next June. They will also "interview and evaluate all candidates," making recommendations to the School Committee.
Olsen Reverses Stand
The motion was introduced by Committeeman George F. Olsen who has frequently attacked Harvard and M.I.T. for "trying to take over the Cambridge schools." But last night Olsen was arguing, "Since we are in the center of an educational complex, we should take advantage of these resources."
It was the first time in a long time the School Committee has formally come to Harvard for advice. An Ed School professor did help choose a new principal for Rindge Tech a few years back, but the last relationship before that which Sizer remembered was a "very unpopular" survey of Cambridge schools by an Ed School professor 15 years ago.
Another 4-3 vote last night defeated a violently debated motion to appoint a third assistant superintendent. Committeeman Francis Duehay, assistant dean of the Ed School, had called the appointment "a flagrant violation of sound educational practice" and an exercise in "cronyism," because the petition hasn't been advertised yet and the Committee hasn't received applications.
The third assistant superintendant was created last spring, and Duehay charged them that it was a tool in a political deal to pass budget cuts.
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