Interview with Rhody McCoy
QUESTION 5
LOUIS MASSIAH:

Could we just stop a second. Now what do you mean? You, you saw people coming out, and they looked, and you knew some sort of game was being run, and also explain what you meant by the proposal, ah, so you're sitting in the hall, what are you seeing?

RHODY McCOY:

I was reading this, ah, proposal. It was a proposal drafted by the Ford Foundation and the Union for a pilot program, experimental pilot program, with some six or seven schools for the summer. It was designed to see if community people could do something with their schools. Basically, it really was, ah, tantamount to a needs assessment, that these people would be assembled over the summer, and they would sit down in some sort of organizational structure and tell what was wrong with the schools. So, once I read it, you could see that nothing could possibly happen of any consequence from that kind of proposal and over the summer. What was significant is it had some dollars in it, so that's the first thing that alerted me. But while I was sitting there, I watched a number of people leave the interview room, which I knew was going on at that time, and I knew these people. I knew them. I knew what kind of educators they were or were not. And, I knew that they were not serious and they were looking for summer jobs. I mean, I had had the experience with them, I knew them all on a first name basis. So, I decided, at that particular point, that if the community was in fact looking for a director, those guys were not the one. I, I didn't have any intention of being the one at that particular moment until I walked into the room and talked to them, and, ah, Claire Marshall said to me, she said, "Who do you think you are?" and she called me a few choice names and said, "What makes you think you can do this job? And, if we did give you the job, what would you do with it?" And I said, "First thing is, everybody's going to have to follow my directions, I'm the pro. If you hire me, I'm the pro. And, I'm going to put it together for you, but we have to all make a commitment that we going to do it." And that's when it started. And what we did was we organized, each parent representing a school.

LOUIS MASSIAH:

OK, stop. Rollout.