Members of the Association of Supervisors and Administrators of Rochester, the union that represents city school district principals and administrators, will hold a vote of no confidence against Superintendent Bolgen Vargas. Union members voted to pursue the no-confidence vote yesterday afternoon.
The ballots will be mailed early next week to ASAR's nearly 400 members and the results should be known shortly afterward, says Deborah Rider, ASAR president. She says that principals and administrators are concerned about Vargas's lack of strategic vision, poor communication, and a general lack of support.
Many administrators are not being granted tenure, Rider says, which is another issue. And they are not receiving clear guidelines on how to change that.
In an interview earlier today, Vargas said tenure has to be earned.
"Yes, I'm the only superintendent who has denied tenure at this rate," he said. And he said that there is a strategic plan and a vision that was intentionally narrowed from more than 150 priorities to just five: improving student achievement, effectively managing schools, involving parents and families, allocating resources efficiently, and communicating with staff and parents.
"Their concerns should be about bringing confidence to students and parents," Vargas said. "Even though we have some great programs, we have far too many parents who are actively looking for alternatives to city schools."
Contract negotiations between ASAR and the district are scheduled to begin soon. Vargas said he plans to make some changes to the contract, which he inherited from an earlier superintendent.
"I understand that these changes cause discomfort for many administrators," he said. "But it is regrettable that their union leaders are choosing to create friction among adults instead of focusing on solutions for children."