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Decision No. 13,365

Appeal of CAL HUNTER from action of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York regarding appointment of a community superintendent.

Decision No. 13,365

(February 23, 1995)

Hon. Paul A. Crotty, Corporation Counsel, attorney for respondent, Masako C. Shiono and Patricia B. Miller, Esqs., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges a determination of the Board of Education of the City School District of the City of New York ("respondent") upholding the appointment of a superintendent by Community School Board No. 27 (CSB 27). The appeal must be dismissed.

On February 17, 1994, CSB 27 adopted a resolution establishing a committee to develop procedures and criteria for the selection of a superintendent. In developing procedures and criteria, the committee referred to the Chancellor's Special Circular 37, Minimum Standards and Procedures for the Selection Process of Community Superintendents. On March 24, 1994, CSB 27 adopted the procedures and criteria developed by the committee.

Thereafter, the selection process moved forward and resulted in the selection of a candidate for superintendent. In accordance with Special Circular 37, CSB 27 submitted on June 9, 1994 an evaluation of the candidate to the Chancellor for his review. On June 9, 1994, petitioner wrote to the Chancellor asking that the candidate selected by CSB 27 not be appointed as superintendent. On June 22, 1994, the Chancellor dismissed petitioner's challenge. On or about June 27, 1994, petitioner appealed the Chancellor's decision to respondent. In a decision dated September 14, 1994, respondent dismissed petitioner's appeal.

While petitioner's papers are not clear, he appears to contest the selection of the candidate chosen by CSB 27 as arbitrary and capricious because the "background and experience" of that candidate do not meet the selection criteria established by CSB 27. Specifically, petitioner contends that the candidate does not have a "strong `academic' background in elementary and secondary education," has not served a sufficient amount of time as a principal and has not supervised any staff. Respondent denies those allegations.

As a preliminary matter, I note that petitioner has not joined CSB 27 or the individual selected as its superintendent as parties to this appeal, even though petitioner seeks to annul CSB 27's selection of that individual. Because a decision on the merits of this appeal would involve the rights of CSB 27 and the individual selected, they are necessary parties to this proceeding (Appeal of Moessinger, 33 Ed Dept Rep 487; Appeal of Kalinowski, 32 id. 476). Therefore, the appeal must be dismissed for failure to join them.

The appeal must also be dismissed on the merits. Petitioner alleges in a conclusory manner that the individual in question does not have an adequate academic background in elementary and secondary education. In an appeal to the Commissioner of Education, the petitioner bears the burden of establishing the facts upon which he or she seeks relief (8 NYCRR 275.10; Appeal of Stopka, 34 Ed Dept Rep 157; Appeal of Singh, 30 id. 284). Petitioner supplies no evidence regarding that individual's academic background. Without evidence to support this claim, it must be rejected.

Petitioner's contentions that the candidate selected has insufficient experience as a principal and supervising staff are also rejected. The criteria adopted by CSB 27 do not require service as an appointed principal as a prerequisite for consideration for the superintendent's position. In any event, the record shows that the individual in question served as an acting principal in two of respondent's schools and as such, supervised numerous staff members.

I have reviewed petitioner's remaining contentions and find them without merit. Based on the foregoing, there is no basis to overturn respondent's decision in this matter.