Last night, the public got a chance to question the finalists for Kansas City School District superintendent. So it's as good a time as any to check in on KC's last superintendent, Anthony Amato.
After less than a year, Amato was pushed out, leaving a lot of arguing behind. Were his key programs just canned plays he always implemented? Was he a decisive leader willing to do what needed to be done to turn Kansas City's schools around or just an asshole who couldn't work with anyone? Based on the reporting we did, it seemed like the latter. And it's looking more and more like we were right.
After leaving his job here with an ungodly severance package, Amato took over Stockton, a school district in California. And just as in Kansas City -- and everywhere else he'd worked -- he immediately announced that the district would implement the Success For All reading program. According to the Stockton Record, the program is being phased out because Amato didn't bother to get it approved by the California Department of Education (but did it anyway). Shocker. Which means the $6 million the district sank into the program was totally wasted, as was the academic year they spent training students on the program.
Amato said he was disappointed and maintained that the program helped students. But considering his history, we have no idea how he can be so sure the program actually works, because he can never have it in place or keep his job longer than nine months.