For those of you who haven't read it yet, the latest issue of the liberal Independent Weekly has a not very flattering account of how some staff members say former Wake County Schools Superintendent Tony Tata berated and belittled them.
The article by Will Huntsberry quotes named and unnamed current and former Central Office staffers who accuse Tata of leading by using tactics of fear and intimidation. The article comes as members of the Democratic board majority have charged that Tata's relations with staff were one of the reasons they fired him.
One example in the Indy article is how former staffer Meredith Weinstein complained that she, a person with a Ph.D. was "told I'm not allowed to speak unless spoken to or interrupt him." She also charged that, rather than motivating them to do well, Tata essentially threatened them they could be replaced.
"The basic fear was that if you disagreed with him, you were done," the article quotes Kirsten Justice, who resigned as a senior administrator in Wake's magnet program. "It's ironic in a school culture that is about inquiry and learning, there would be a culture of, if the general doesn't like you, you're out."
The article quotes an unnamed former staffer who accused Tata of being "very disrespectful, downright rude at times to staff members."
The Indy article says that 39 central service employees left during Tata's tenure.
Amid the various complaints made about Tata in the article is one unnamed staffer who says that while higher-ups may have had problems with him, teachers "loved him." That could explain the glowing comments made at the last board meeting by former Wake Teacher of the Year Rene Herrick, who said teachers want Tata back.