Watch CBS News

Urban League President T. Willard Fair Urges More Time To Find Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - The longtime President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami is urging Miami-Dade School Board members to take more time in finding a successor for Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

"What's the rush," said the Urban League's T. Willard Fair. He told CBS4's Peter D'Oench "Don't we owe it to the future of this community to find the best possible person in the world."

Fair said there should be a nationwide search for Carvalho's successor.

The Miami-Dade School Board voted last Wednesday to advertise and give candidates until 5 p.m. Wednesday to apply. The Board could give candidates more time to apply if they fail to agree on a successor. Carvalho has said he plans to leave on February 3rd but could stay a little longer if necessary.

So far, 16 people have applied for the job.

The 57-year-old Carvalho plans to take over as Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District on March 1st. He was the second longest-serving superintendent. He took over in 2008 after starting his career as a math and physics teacher at Miami Jackson Senior High School.

Fair said of the 9 School Board members, "They are moving too quickly. It is a done deal. A decision of this magnitude should not be done in this fashion. It is a miscarriage of justice. It is obvious they have decided what must be done. They are selfish. It makes no sense to me. And you say 7 days. You are going to find somebody for the 4th largest school district in the world in 7 days."

Fair said, "This is unfair. They are there to make a decision for the children. The children do not belong to them. They belong to the adults so it seems we must exhaust all possibilities."

School Board Vice Chairman Steve Gallon took issues with Fair's comments.

He said, "I am not clear on Mr. Fair's role on going through the search process having been part of the search in the past myself for Superintendent. I have been part of the process on both sides so I don't want to dignify the aspersions that have no merit and no foundation and are purely based on speculation."

He said the School Board wants the next Superintendent "to first be an educator and to have school side experience as a building administrator and have experience at the district level and have a master's degree and preferably a doctoral degree and even more importantly understand the nuances and the dynamics and the challenges of Miami-Dade County."

D'Oench asked him, "Have you put your name in the ring? Are you a candidate for Superintendent?"

Gallon responded, "I am immensely qualified to be Superintendent but as I made t very clear last week, at this time I will honor my commitment to the voters of District 1 and I will not be elected to Superintendent at this time."

Carvalho was present at the School Board meeting on Wednesday.

Officials said the public would be allowed to comment at 6:30 p.m.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.