KC schools' new human resources director a no-show

Monday, June 18, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The new human resources director for Kansas City schools has failed to show up for his job, the fourth personnel leader the district has hired, or planned to hire, since last fall.

Michael Ford, who was introduced to the public at a board meeting in May, didn't come to work as expected more than a week ago, district officials said.

Ford, who came to Kansas City from the Cedar Hill Independent School District in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, could not be reached for comment Monday. The Cedar Hill human resources department said it didn't know how to reach him.

The human resources director hires staff, deals with the district's high turnover, manages benefits and payroll and disciplinary incidents. The Kansas City School District is also in the middle of moving staff around for a massive reorganization, including reassigning more than 100 teachers and staff members.

The district needs to complete the rearrangement of teachers so it can make new hires before too many prospective teachers take jobs in other districts, said Associate Superintendent Don Bell, who is serving as an interim human resources director.

The other hires for the job in the past year included one who lasted only months, two recruits who never made it for their first day and a fourth who had problems with his resume.

At least one school board member blames Superintendent Anthony Amato's leadership style, but others said past administrations have also had trouble retaining the department head.

"We do have a history of jettisoning HR directors," board member Bill Eddy said. "We're all frustrated."

On the Net:

Kansas City School District: http://www.kcmsd.k12.mo.us/

Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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