Last Thursday, the Professional Standards Commission -- charged with the oversight of the states educators -- kicked back to the Bibb County Board of Education a complaint that had been lodged against Bibb Superintendent Romain Dallemand and dropped another because of its similarity to a complaint already referred back to the board. The complaint the PSC addressed, charged Dallemand with falsifying his résumé. One of his jobs in the 1990s was listed as mental health therapist. There is no record of Dallemand having been licensed, as required, to practice in Florida. Dallemand explained that he worked under the license of another practitioner. In some states that is standard procedure. According to Telegraph reporting, officials in Florida concede that while Dallemand could not call himself a mental health therapist under current law, changes in the statute had occurred since the period of time (1994 to 1998) Dallemand worked in the field. State officials did not say definitively whether Dallemand would have met any exemption.
The PSC issued no deadlines or timetables and the school board has no obligation to look into the matter further, but that should not be the end of it. The board has the obligation, for the superintendents sake, to know all there is to know about the résumé entry. After all, its his credibility at stake as well as that of the systems hiring process. ProAct, a search firm, was paid more than $20,000 to find and conduct background checks on the applicants for the superintendents job. The board should be assured that it got its moneys worth.
On the spending, the board has already addressed the travel expenditures and it is up to it to rein in what it considers unnecessary in other areas. But another side issue is communication. Though the complaint about spending had been referred back to the system two months ago, board members said they werent aware of the PSCs decision.
Dallemand and his administration continue to be its own worst enemy. If questions about his résumé had been answered before it became a flashpoint, the story would have quickly played itself out. The result is more damage to him and the school system that is so desperate for improvement.
Dallemand knows his every action will be scrutinized under a high-powered microscope, so why provide ammunition to his detractors? Were still looking for that promised transparency.
-- Charles E. Richardson, for the Editorial Board