Friday, August 30, 2013

Uniquely Unqualified

In case you missed it because it's the end of August and you're on a news embargo, Governor Christie has appointed a new Superintendent for the Camden City schools. The governor says that his new appointee, Paymon Rouhanifard, 34, has "a proven track record" in educational administration. I don't mean to knock someone who's trying to be a successful educator, having spent the last 30 years doing it myself, but a look at Mr. Rouhanifard's resume yields the following information:
Paymon Rouhanifard's Experience

Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer
Educational Institution; 5001-10,000 employees; Primary/Secondary Education industry
November 2012 – Present (10 months) Newark, NJ

Chief Executive Officer, Office of Portfolio Management
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Education Management industry
June 2010 – Present (3 years 3 months)

Chief of Staff to Deputy Chancellor
Government Agency; 10,001+ employees; Education Management industry
August 2009 – June 2010 (11 months)

Privately Held; 51-200 employees; Venture Capital & Private Equity industry
July 2007 – August 2009 (2 years 2 months)

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; GS; Investment Banking industry
July 2005 – July 2007 (2 years 1 month)

6th Grade Teacher
Nonprofit; 1001-5000 employees; Education Management industry
July 2003 – July 2005 (2 years 1 month)

Paymon Rouhanifard's Education
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BAEconomics & Political Science
1999 – 2003 
So let's see. He has two years and one month of experience in the classroom, which is not even enough to know whether you're an effective teacher and to refine your craft, and then he takes the Teach for America "out," meaning that he put in his noble time and left to make more money. Now, with his BA (!) he's going to lead one of the most challenging, political, dysfunctional and poor school districts in the country? This is not a proven track record. Don't get me wrong; he might succeed brilliantly, in which case I will apologize profusely and sing his praises. But for Governor Christie to believe that this is the right person for the job is just one more example of his utter disdain for experienced educators and the public schools in general.

And if Christie gets reelected, he will have free reign to cause more mischief for schools as he tries to build a national portfolio of his own.

For more, go to and on Twitter @rigrundfest

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