Rob Christensen’s March 5 column “Former general now wields pen” profiling Tony Tata, the former superintendent of the Wake County Schools, wrote Tata was “hired as Wake County Schools superintendent by a new Republican school board majority, serving from 2010-2012 before being pushed out when the Democrats retook control.”
As board chair at the time, it is important to point out that politics played no role with his dismissal as superintendent. AdvancED, the accrediting agency for Wake County Schools wrote, “There is considerable work to be done with (an) unsettled community and with improving board relations.”
It became increasingly clear to many in leadership positions, from the building level, across central services and reaching to the Board of Education, that Tata’s leadership style was far from the collaborative approach needed to truly examine ideas and proposals. This was evidenced by the many issues tied to the roll out of the Choice Plan and Leadership Academies that highlighted a leadership style that prevented a true widespread exchange of ideas with the superintendent.
The bond for an effective board-superintendent relationship was broken by a lack of effective communication between the superintendent and the board. Tata is a likeable individual who invested tremendous time and effort for our schools. He simply lost the confidence of the board. A majority of the board believed they were not being dealt with in a forthright manner and could no longer place their trust in the superintendent.
Party politics played no role in the events leading to Tata being dismissed.
Kevin L. Hill
Former Chair, Wake County Board of Education