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At HISD, The Human Resources Department Is Now The "Department Of Human Talent" Department

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The HISD board is having perhaps the most boring workshop ever this morning -- talking about Human Resources.

Thank God Houston Chronicle education writer Ericka Mellon is there to blog it.

She reports a momentous change in HISD policy: The Human Resources Department will henceforth be known as the Department of Human Talent. (We guess HISD's ultra-busy drug-sniffing dogs won't be involved.)

Uhl confirms this to Hair Balls.

"It will be called the Department of Human Talent and reflects some new directions in how we approach human capital in terms of recruiting and retaining the best possible talent and intervention strategies to provide professional development for our employees whose evaluations indicate that improvement is needed," he says, probably not all in one breath.

Already you can feel the surge of increased self-esteem coursing through the veins of HISD employees -- and not just the ones doing drugs.

Heading up the new department will be Ann Best, who has been executive director of Teach for America, the program that gets college kids to take two-year stints as inner-city teachers.

That doesn't sit well with Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. She told Mellon that the job should go to someone that doesn't see teaching as a short-term thing.

"We need long-term employees who consider teaching their profession," Fallon told the Chron.

We have a message in to Fallon -- who hasn't been in the classroom herself in a while, her critics are quick to point out -- but the Fallon-Press relationship can be tenuous at times, and we're not sure where it stands now.

Update: We have heard back from Fallon; and she says the appointment was a surprise not only to her but to all the administration officials she's talked to.

"Their questions -- all of the ones I've talked to -- have been something like 'Well, she doesn't have much experience,'" Fallon says.

"I do have a bit of concern as far as Teachers for America -- they bring people into education who have no intention of staying; they look at teaching like a domestic Peace Corps. That's not what we need to be recruiting. [Best's] background worries me, but she may turn out to be perfectly competent."

-- Richard Connelly

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