The state Department of Education has ruled that a woman hired to be a districtwide director of arts for Hartford's public schools does not have the certification required to match the current job description.
Jackie Coleman, 41, has bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts and was most recently director of education for Hartford Stage, but she does not have an 092 administrator's license, which the state requires to hold a districtwide director position.
Tom Murphy, spokesman for the state Department of Education, said that without the state-required certification, which in most cases includes five years of classroom teaching experience, Coleman was not qualified to hold the position as it is described. Murphy said that if Coleman works without the appropriate certification, she would not be eligible to participate in the state teachers' retirement program and that the department also has the authority to fine Hartford for employing someone without proper credentials.
The Hartford Federation of Teachers had questioned Coleman's credentials, as well as those of former longtime Courant columnist Stan Simpson and chef/restaurateur Deborah Raviv, whom the district hired to be directors of Weaver High School's new journalism and media and culinary arts academies, respectively.
Murphy said the department would be reviewing their job descriptions and qualifications as well.
"We like to work with districts but these requirements were created by the legislature," Murphy said.
First, in these times of economic crisis, the very first cut in the State budget should be the complete and wholesale elimination of the Department of Education. This malfeasant band of overpaid, educational miscreants needs to be shown the door as quickly as they can be booted.
Secondly, the idiot legislators who pass these special interest protection schemes needd to back off and let some fresh air into the education system. By loosening the ingrown requirements for education positions, the state will not be lowering the qualifications but broadening the richness of candidates to do the job.
The last thing Hartford needs is more inbred incompetency running the show.
Christ, when will this state grow a brain?