Interview with Rhody McCoy
QUESTION 10
LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK. What was the process for appointing new principals to the school? How did that work? And also the process for appointing new teachers? Can you just describe that?

RHODY McCOY:

Well first thing we had to do was agree that it should be the right--

LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, could you just say the process of appointing principals and teachers?

RHODY McCOY:

The, the process for appointment teachers and, ah, principals, or, or the administrators was based on the community feeling that it had a right to appoint those who taught their children, and appoint those who would set the educational tone for their children. Ah, since we had opposed the strike, we had then become a public issue, that this district is operating when all the other school districts are closed. And so it became a strike issue. Close 'em down or we'll continue to strike, ah, ah, that kind of thing. So in an effort to deal with that, ah, they allowed, that is the school system, the, the parents' school system, the New York City school system allowed us to appoint these principals, ah, using the state criteria, which is quite different from the city. So it allowed the governing board members to select the principals. Now what they did was they interviewed every candidate as a group first and then the particular board member for the school that we were, or I was making the assignment for that person, would also inter- interview them. And if they concurred, they were selected. When they began to interview for teachers, they set up a gymnasium and put tables around and brought in all of the governing board members and as many parents who were interested in talking to perspective teachers. And they, they did it well. They did it smartly. They knew that you had to have a license, so they knew anybody coming to teach would have a license or could get a license, so that was not a criteria. They wanted to know what they would teach their youngsters, did they like children, were they afraid of Black children, would they come to their homes, could they come to their homes. They, they asked the kind of mundane and important questions to the parents because once the parents had selected them, then they counted on us professionals being able to do the job. And obviously they're going to hold me, as the, at that time then called a unit administrator, responsible for the educational program.