EDITORIAL | Vetting the search process

Over the weekend, it was revealed that the Seattle School Board may offer interim Seattle Public Schools (SPS) Superintendent Larry Nyland the permanent position. They will vote today, Wednesday, Dec. 3, on whether to bypass the typical superintendent candidate search.

The school board said during an executive meeting that Nyland was doing well and deserved the job, but that would go against the standard protocol to do a vast search for superintendent candidates. Parents feel they should get the same chance to vet Nyland as they would the candidates in a wider search, according to a Seattle Times article.

If the school board goes through with it, there would be no public opinion process. This comes at a time when SPS is already under fire for not including parents on decisions like locating the new Interagency sobriety school across from John Hay Elementary School in Queen Anne.

Whether Nyland is performing well is not what’s at stake here. Shuffling a candidate into the position without any sort of vetting process or public outreach is a disservice to the community. SPS could and should still do a much shorter version of the public process with just Nyland if the board decides to offer him the job. Getting parents on board is in everyone’s best interest.