12 Reasons Jame McCall Isn’t Qualified to be Superintendent

Some members of the public are worried that Sue Kelly and her band of merry men are about to anoint Jame McCall as the next TCAPS superintendent. Why they didn’t just do this and spare Ann Cardon the trouble is another question. But we’re here now. McCall is one of five finalists for the position.

Someone asked a great question – Why isn’t Jame McCall qualified to be the next superintendent?

Here are 12 reasons that Jame McCall isn’t qualified to be superintendent:

1. She is the least educated of the finalists

Jame McCall has a master’s degree and “some graduate work.” (See the qualifications chart below. She is Candidate B.) By comparison, most of the other finalists have Ph.D.’s. Wouldn’t it be very unusual for a district of TCAPS’ size to have a top leader without a doctorate? The Detroit Public Schools superintendent has one. So does the Flint superintendent. So does the Grand Rapids superintendent. TCAPS deserves the very best.

Why would they relax what is truly the minimum educational requirement for the top job in a district of their size, just so they could anoint an insider? Paul Soma didn’t have a Ph.D. either. Let’s learn from our mistakes.

2. No experience as a superintendent

Two of the finalists have experience as a superintendent. Jame McCall has never been a superintendent. Again, to offer the position to McCall seems like tweaking the actual requirements in order to match the desired person to the position rather than find the best candidate for the job.

(summary of superintendent qualifications)

3. Couldn’t keep Ann Cardon

Jame McCall was a major player in the disgraceful chain of events that caused the ouster of the previous superintendent, Ann Cardon, along with a big payout on the way out the door. One measure of effective leadership is the ability to not just attract, but retain, quality people. With Cardon’s departure only shortly after her arrival to TCAPS, McCall illustrated that her leadership abilities are lacking.

4. Insubordination

Sue Kelly and Jame McCall negotiated a new contract for McCall without Cardon’s knowledge. Kelly gave McCall the latitude to dictate her own terms without Cardon even knowing what was going on. In doing so, McCall showed insubordination and an inability to put the needs of the district above her own.

5. Loyalty to Grant Chandler despite his mysterious resignation from Calhoun ISD

Grant Chandler submitted his resignation from Calhoun ISD after an audit revealed that he was providing Blueprint installation services to non-qualifying schools. Despite this, McCall remained loyal to Chandler to the point that she conditioned her new contract on TCAPS continuing to pay Chandler personally when Calhoun ISD could have provided similar services for free. McCall has never explained why she believed it was in TCAPS best interest to pay Chandler personally for a service it could receive for free from another source. McCall’s actions call her integrity into question, at best. Without a satisfactory explanation, we cannot trust McCall to put the interest of TCAPS students and taxpayers ahead of her own.

In fact, the continued funding for Chandler and the surrounding controversy all occurred at or near the time of Cardon’s departure. We still do not have a clear answer on what, if anything, McCall’s desire for Chandler to continue working with TCAPS at the District’s expense had to do with the angst against Cardon. If McCall is not willing or able to answer that question to reasonable satisfaction, she should not be superintendent.

6. Lack of support for the Student Finance Research Collaborative

Sue Kelly and Paul Soma want us to believe that they’re novel in their opposition to the Student Finance Research Collaborative, when actually, the only thing novel these days is Coronavirus. As the only district publicly opposed to the SFRC recommendations, Kelly and Soma are leading TCAPS down a rabbit trail and ultimately hindering state progress in school funding equity – progress that would benefit TCAPS students. TCAPS students deserve a leader who is on board with the Student Finance Research Collaborative and who can join statewide leadership in progress towards the implementation of funding equity on a statewide level.

7. Loyalty to the Blueprint despite no evidence that it’s working

McCall has taken the reigns of the TCAPS Blueprint bandwagon, or should I say BRANDWAGON. Yet, for all that cheerleading, we have yet to see any evidence that it has worked or is working in the district. Is the Blueprint working in TCAPS? Show me the stats. If not, you’ve wasted a whole lot of people’s time implementing it, and you tried to waste District dollars, too with the Chandler contract. McCall has been a central player in the TCAPS central administration for a long time. Whether or not the Blueprint has worked up until this point is on her. She needs to defend her record.

8. Student count fraud

Let’s keep calling it fraud because that’s what it was. McCall was part of the administration that knowingly padded TCAPS’ student count numbers in order to inflate dollars flowing into TCAPS. Since the man responsible for bailing TCAPS out of trouble is now facing felony charges for his own malfeasance, similar schemes in the future on McCall’s part could not only cause financial ruin to the district, but also additional bad press. The students deserve someone who can not only demonstrate honesty and fair dealing, but who brings positive repute to the district.

9. FOIA failings

TCAPS is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit about FOIA. There have been criticisms of meeting procedures and the fact that the Ann Cardon brouhaha went down without public discussion. The board stands accused of FOIA violations, round-the-table board decisions in violation of the Open Meetings Act and throwing Ann Cardon out the door without a true public discussion. McCall has sat by and watched the entire thing go down. We need a leader who knows FOIA and the Open Meetings Act, because the TCAPS board obviously doesn’t.

10. Closed school buildings and programs

Under her watch, TCAPS closed the Interlochen School, sold the Old Mission school and lost a lot of those students, and started and closed an IB program that never had a chance to begin with. We need a leader who grows the district programs and opportunity and makes them more available to students throughout the district, not shrinks it. We also need a leader who does the work in advance to know whether a program is sustainable.

11. No Ann Cardon answers

There are still a whole lot of questions about what happened to Ann Cardon. Was it Sue Kelly, in the closed session with the complaint? Or was it Jame McCall, in the administration building, with the Grant Chandler contract? We have not gotten transparency from McCall, and we cannot trust that she would be transparent as the leader of TCAPS.

12. Public confidence

Jame McCall brings with her unnecessary controversy. TCAPS has the opportunity to choose a leader who will unite a divided district. There are millions of people in the State of Michigan, and 4 outstanding finalists. To choose McCall is to invite continued derision and hostility where it doesn’t need to be.

How about you? Do you think Jame McCall should be the next superintendent of TCAPS? Why or why not? Post your opinions below.

P.S. — Someone accused me of reporting false information for stating that Chris Parker resigned from TCAPS to accept a position with MI Excel. Here is the source from the Record Eagle, and the source from The Ticker saying that he did just that.

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25 thoughts on “12 Reasons Jame McCall Isn’t Qualified to be Superintendent”

  1. Thank you for writing this. I can only hope they will hire a more qualified candidate based on many of your reasons, we deserve better, and the BOE should respect our community better. Unfortunately most board members view Grant Chandler and his BP as a positive. I hope concerned community members will write necessary letters based on what you’ve shared.

  2. Many false statements in this article and on the not so “Transparent” TCAPS truth page. This small group of bullies does not represent the community. Have you ever spoken to Mrs. McCall? Try setting up a meeting with her, zoom is available. But no one on that page has or will.

    1. I don’t think I would call my dealings with Mrs. McCall a conversation. I was part of a group of loyal, hardworking special education assistants who were berated, demoralized, flat out shrieked at for some unknown reason. That demonstration of her “leadership “ is why I would never support her in any TCAPS position.

    2. “Many false statements in this article”

      MANY? And yet you did not specify even one.

      I think it goes:

      One, a couple, a few, several, many.

      Maybe you could name “a few”, to support your contention.

      Otherwise, someone might declare “many false statements” in your comment.

      1. Maybe its time for TCAPS Truth to take off their tinfoil hats and realize there are more important things to be doing right now then throw mud at each other under the order of “federal investigator” Deyar and deceptive “muckraker” Dirty TC. I quite frankly have disconnected from this transparency BS because it is minuscule compared to the other stuff I have going on (i.e. grieving the death of my mother, making sure my 200+ seniors at Holland can still make it to college next year). I am sick that in the rare time I have checked in on this irrelevant drama that I see some anonymous poster calling the kettle black by advancing some “mass conspiracy” behind what’s going on in TCAPS. I wish everyone would just use this COVID-19 crisis to log off and remind themselves of what is really important instead of letting their cabin fever boil over and damage this community further. If you truly want to help the kids, I push all of you to donate your money not to the opaque GoFundMe set up by TCAPS Truth and donate to our community foundation’s scholarship funds (like the one in my mom’s name here: https://www.gtrcf.org/give/our-funds.html/290/). I am tuning out so I can use my time to actually benefit the students.

    3. Will you please identify the false statements to which you are referring and why you believe they are false?

    4. Please elaborate on those false statements you are referring to commenter #2 “concerned community member?” You do not make a case unless you can provide evidence.

    5. Many false statements. This small group that continues to bully her haven’t made a difference. The people have spoken Deyar, you has the least votes out of all of the school board candidates last election. The community has spoken; stay out of our education community.

      1. +The people have spoken Deyar, you has(sic) the least votes out of all of the school board candidates last election+
        You has??
        Please, don’t be an English teacher.

    6. There are many false statements in this article. You can’t validate any of them. If you could, she would not have a job people. This site and the transparency site are a bunch of bullies. Most of the teachers that comment on this page have probably been removed from TCAPS by Jame McCall. The community has spoken, you and your group lost in the election the seats you we’re trying to gain. In fact, Deyar had the lowest points out of anyone. I believe the community has spoken – stay out of our community educational system.

      1. Concerned Parent:
        Worse is you can’t invalidate any of them. It seems whomever posted the reasons McCall isn’t qualified made it very easy for you. He/She made it pretty simple for you by even numbering the reasons one to twelve. All you have to do is say number five or number seven etc.etc. is wrong because etc etc. and give your reason.. Instead, behind your fake monikers you keep repeating the same mantras. You must be Foxnewsphiles and learned from them that if you lie enough times about something, the lie becomes the truth.

    7. Maybe its time for TCAPS Truth to take off their tinfoil hats and realize there are more important things to be doing right now then throw mud at each other under the order of “federal investigator” Deyar and deceptive “muckraker” Dirty TC. I quite frankly have disconnected from this transparency BS because it is minuscule compared to the other stuff I have going on (i.e. grieving the death of my mother, making sure my 200+ seniors at Holland can still make it to college next year). I am sick that in the rare time I have checked in on this irrelevant drama that I see some anonymous poster calling the kettle black (I, Angelo, have never used a fake name unlike some) by advancing some “mass conspiracy” behind what’s going on in TCAPS. I wish everyone would just use this COVID-19 crisis to log off and remind themselves of what is really important instead of letting their cabin fever boil over and damage this community further. If you truly want to help the kids, I push all of you to donate your money not to the opaque GoFundMe set up by TCAPS Truth and donate to our community foundation’s scholarship funds (like the one in my mom’s name here: https://www.gtrcf.org/give/our-funds.html/290/). I am tuning out so I can use my time to actually benefit the students.

    8. Dear Concerned Community Member:

      Please elaborate on the false statements of which you speak. I know I am personally anxious to read your reply.

      – Standing by

    9. This whole thing with JM is so ridiculous and see through to anyone who looks for more than five minutes. A bunch of sore losers over last years board election and their sorority girl best friends rallying against someone with more class than they have combined. Absolutely pathetic. Mccall has dedicated her career to TCAPS and this is how we as a community treat her? What example are you setting for your kids? I have worked with JM for over ten years and even though we have disagreed on certain issues, she has always treated me with respect. I have always left the table feeling heard and cared about. She is an outstanding candidate and should she not get the position, I think she could sue the folks responsible for this smear campaign. Defamation of character- the only thing I see that could be missing is damages…. Shame on all involved.

  3. All of the reasons above are valid.
    And the lack of trust from the community as well as the teachers in the district are a HUGE concern.
    That this board would spend even more money hiring a consultant to help select the best candidate, yet McCall is even ON the short is truly fraud. They full well intend to “anoint” her, and wasting the other candidates time and taxpayer dollars simply to make it appear as though they are making a careful selection is reprehensible.

  4. All of the reasons above are valid.
    And the lack of trust from the community as well as the teachers in the district are a HUGE concern.
    That this board would spend even more money hiring a consultant to help select the best candidate, yet McCall is even ON the short is truly fraud. They full well intend to “anoint” her, and wasting the other candidates time and taxpayer dollars simply to make it appear as though they are making a careful selection is reprehensible.

  5. There are many false statements in this article. If these were factual you would have a case and you clearly do not. You and your group fought to get seats on the board and lost. You are a group of bullies with your sites set on Jame McCall. Ann Cardin requested a closed session – clearly you know that means that she didn’t want her departure leaked. Any teacher that posts negative comments on Jame McCall has probably had disciplinary action taken against them. The community has spoken about your groups affiliation with education in TCAPS. As a matter of fact, Deyar has the least number of votes out of anyone. The community has spoken. Stay out of our educational community.

    1. Whaat? TCAPS Parent:

      Very interested to learn what the false statements in the article might me. Looking forward to your detailed reply.

      Also interested to learn how questioning the “authorities”, investigating curious conduct, etc. makes this group “bullies”.

      Touching on sensitive subjects makes you uncomfortable perhaps?

      Me thinks you doth protest too much. If there is nothing untoward in the TCAPs operation – questioning and investigating shouldn’t bother anyone.

  6. I find it interesting that the comments disagreeing with the article are not using their names. Makes me suspect they too have something to hide.

  7. Thank you, “TCAPS Parent.” Perhaps you would like to include your name as I am including mine. As requested above, it would be most beneficial if you could cite to specific statements you believe to be false, and the sources for your proof. As for the number of votes I received, you are absolutely correct. I have also stated repeatedly that I have no desire to run for TCAPS Board again. However, the community does seem very interested in the factual information I share, so it seems that I should continue as a watchdog speaking for the TCAPS employees and parents who reach out to me with their stories of intimidation and bullying, lack of due process, and unfair treatment. After all, that is who the board is supposed to represent.

    1. Hmm, something about your comment is different than everyone else’s…I wonder why?

      Please define “the community”. Knowing you have blocked any opposing views from your page as you have managed it is interesting. You also only comment on sites that you have control over the narrative. I wonder if you are truly looking for truth, have you ever considered there may be a side to the story you are told that the person hasn’t shared? I am guessing there is. Motive is always a question that you should consider as a person seeking truth. I also found it incredibly telling that the RE reported YOU have never met with Jame McCall. One should wonder why. A request for meeting with her would have been part of the FOIA documents you secured. Do you think the truth may not support your narrative? Because I think that is exactly why you have avoided actually looking at the facts not the way you have put pieces together. Your connections never make sense and prove nothing against Jame McCall.

      The only reason to not include names for this blog is because authors of opposing opinions are subject to defamation by your group.

      1. Concerned Parent:

        You wrote, “… authors of opposing opinions are subject to defamation by your group.”

        I haven’t seen anyone here defame anyone. Where is your proof? Is the act of asking honest questions an attempt to defame? Cripes, don’t be so dramatic. You should welcome opposing viewpoints to help you understand and strengthen or weaken your own.

        Don’t like the blog OWNER from “controlling the narrative”? Really? It’s the right of the owner…the owner of the blog. Start your own blog if you want control.

        Oh and I am personally not part of any “group”, “movement” or any other manufactured conspiracy. I am only interested in knowing what in the heck is going on in TCAPS’ world.

  8. This whole thing with JM is so ridiculous and see through to anyone who looks for more than five minutes. A bunch of sore losers over last years board election and their sorority girl best friends rallying against someone with more class than they have combined. Absolutely pathetic. Mccall has dedicated her career to TCAPS and this is how we as a community treat her? What example are you setting for your kids? I have worked with JM for over ten years and even though we have disagreed on certain issues, she has always treated me with respect. I have always left the table feeling heard and cared about. She is an outstanding candidate and after all of this is over, I think she should sue the folks responsible for this smear campaign. Shame on all involved.

  9. ‘I quite frankly have disconnected from this transparency BS because it is minuscule compared to the other stuff I have going on (i.e. grieving the death of my mother, making sure my 200+ seniors at Holland can still make it to college next year).:
    Angelo, I’m sorry and I’m sure everyone else is also sorry about your own personal
    troubles, but the key word here is YOUR OWN PERSONAL TROUBLES. Since, I don’t know you I’m interested in the the lack of transparency that affects me and my city such as TCAPS doing everything in the shadows and the dishonesty of the local judges and prosecutors. I have my own personal troubles and I’m sure everyone else does too, but they are our own troubles.

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