Nov 16, 2016

Allentown School District Color Lesson

Shown above is one of the three finalists for Allentown School Superintendent.  All three are minorities, two blacks and a hispanic.  Part of the selection process requires meeting the parents and community,  and answering their questions.  The gentleman shown,  if selected, indicated that he would spend three months interviewing parents, before he designed a program for Allentown.  For these public interviews, the cast of Russ Mayo critics were present.  Mayo was the previous white superintendent,  apparently a mistake of color, which will not be made again.  Although, the school board is making the final choice,  they designed this politically correct dog and pony show.  Because the majority minority of the district is Hispanic,  if he can present himself as well as the two blacks,  he should be the odds on favorite.  If you detect disdain in my description of the criterion being used,  please do not protest outside the headquarters of  molovinsky on allentown.

photocredit:The Morning Call


Scott Armstrong said...


While on the board I discussed with both black and Latino leaders the question of minority representation in the district staffing and administration. One thing became clear, African Americans wanted African Americans and Latinos wanted Latinos. One Latino leader told me the the new "Black" principal we had hired at Allen wouldn't help "us" with the Latino population. And so it goes. I don't feel any pity for the board members who have their priorities mixed up. They somehow thing the color of someone's skin is the most important determinant for their selection. How suspect is that thinking?

Steven Ramos said...

If these candidates do not address the real problem in Allentown, a lack of discipline, parents not demanding that their children focus on learning and respect for our teachers, and a student body not arriving ready to learn, they too will be burdened with the disappointment of low scores and continued violence.

Steven Ramos said...

I remind people that want to blame the ASD for failure; we have a free public library and all of our schools have teachers ready to teach. Imagine what we could accomplish if all of our students arrived ready to learn?

Dave said...

Clearly, what is needed is a Black Cuban hispanic; whom English is a Second language for this position.

No qualified White American Citizen need apply

Jamie Kelton said...

I'm confused. If part of the selection process is to meet with parents and others, why does this gentleman say he will meet AFTER he is selected?

Isn't it important that all the candidates meet before they are selected so that the information gathered during the meetings be considered as part of whom the school board will select ?

michael molovinsky said...

jamie@2:03, the gentleman did interview with the public, but stated that if he is selected for the position, that he will then spend several months more meeting with parents and community members, before he formulates a customized plan for the district.

doug_b said...

Then entire government school thing would be laughable, if it wasn't so critical.

I attended Allentown government schools in the 50's and 60's. They were the most uninspiring, non-energetic, non-engaging, tiresome, incarceration that I ever had to endure. There was no stated purpose, no end-game, except a real fuzzy goal of: 'go to college'.

It doesn't look like anything has changed, except that 'go to college' now has the added burden of being at least $50,000 in debt, for a degree of dubious value.

I've lived in several larger cities. It's all the same when searching for a government school superintendent. He / She is simply a figurehead. No, wait, they are the next savior (each savior lasts about 2 years), but they have a NEW plan... well I ask how did their last plan work out? If anyone of these superintendents ever improved the educational outcome of the students, they wouldn't be looking for a new position.

IMO, the government schools are now more into indoctrination of all sorts of PC things, and don't offer a clear path (that the students can understand) of where there education will take them.

We home schooled our children - never would put them through the government school experience.

The US desperately need vouchers.

Jeffrey Anthony said...

With all due respect, Mr. Molovinski, I don't think race should be brought into the discussion, given that all three candidates are clearly eminently qualified by any criteria.

No, the problem is not that these three qualified professionals *were* chosen; the problem is the way the selection process was driven, at least in large part, by ASD bashers.

And ASD bashers there are aplenty. Whether it is P.O.W.E.R, the Michael Frassettos and Ed DeGraces of the city, or the cretins at the propagandizing hate blog Lehigh Valley Somebody, the ASD Board and Administration seems always to be the elephant that somehow has to be frightened by mice.

The problem isn't in any way that all three candidates are people of color -- given that their credentials, experience, and demonstrated ability are all beyond question. The problem is that the ASD leadership would have borne the brunt of viscous, unsubstantiated, and slanderous accusations if they *hadn't been*.

And that potential perception of racial favoritism (as opposed to reality) is supremely unfair to the three fine candidates and their unquestionable qualifications and outstanding reputations.

Scott Armstrong said...


These three candidates may be superbly qualified to serve as superintendent of the Allentown School District. However, the fact is only minorities were chosen as finalist. That raises a red flag for those who believe that a merit based, color blind process would best served the district and its students. This same process, if allowed to play out, could have lead to the same result.One more point, board president David Zimmerman made a public statement sometime back that having a more representative person as superintendent would be a priority. Therefore why not conclude that this selection process was driven out of desire rather than fear.
Again, it is sad that people in positions of power would consider race, gender, or ethnicity as a qualifier for such an important position.

Jeffrey Anthony said...


In your second paragraph, we are in complete agreement.

In your first, we are separated by only the most subtle of distinctions.

Overall, it is unfortunate in the extreme that the selection of these three fine candidates has to be called into question by the actions of the misguided in coming to that selection.

Suburban Dad said...

Silly question, but did any white men or women apply? I agree that race shouldn't matter, but if these are the best candidates, then skin color should not be a factor. BTW, wouldn't it be illegal to choose one based on race?

Scott Armstrong said...

Why not do a freedom of information request to see if you can find the answer to that question.

Scott Armstrong said...


Then these three candidates should be offended that they made the final cut based on genetics rather than brains. It is a sad state of affairs all around.

Scott Armstrong said...

By the way, any candidate that would tailor is plans for the district based on input from the parents is not a leader but an appeaser. The ASD needs strong leadership from someone who understand how to steer a high poverty urban school district in the right direction. If he/she needs input from parents(who have no background expertise in this matter)then that should be a giant red flag.

AuH20 said...

Scott's last post was dead on. I am reminded of Hillary Clinton's (sorry to bring up that name again) 'listening tour' as she began her first campaign for NY Senator. If she wanted that job so badly you would think she knew the problems and needs of the citizens of that STate. Hire a qualified administrator and let him have at it.


TRENT HALL said...

And yet most of those who disdain input from parents are usually the ones screaming the most against Common Core & the Department of Education and any attempt to raise educational levels to some kind of national minimum standard that would help ensure a student graduates with some ability to succeed in the modern world.
Local control & home schooling & charter schools all rob resources & funds from public education.
I went through the Allentown public School system in the 1940's/1950's and students could receive business & vocational & college prep educations that prepared them for whichever course they wished to pursue. Yes, the times &
demographics were vastly different and there was common goal sharing, unlike today.

School Principals & Superintendents basically held those jobs until retirement.
Today, everything is polarized, and School Superintendents are like NFL coaches.....a revolving door and few last more than 5 years in the same school system.

Jeffrey Anthony said...


Yeah, definitely; we don't disagree.

Robert Trotner said...

Michael, I think this makes sense only if you would also complain if a white school district appointed a white superintendent (and I'm betting you wouldn't, on that fact alone). Even then, I'm nit sure it would be equivalent.

Scott Armstrong said...

Robert, If a "white" school district used race to select a "white" candidate I think we would all agree that would be a big problem.

So sad that Americans now routinely refer to each other by skin color.

Jeffrey Anthony said...

I'm no Jonah Goldberg fan anymore (and definitely no National Review fan ever again), but Mr. Goldberg's article below is well done and apropos to this discussion: