No conciliation could be reached in the sex discrimination complaint made against D.C. School Superintendent Vincent E. Reed by a woman seeking to become superintendent of Region 5 school district, according to James Baldwin, director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights.
The next step for the dispute is a public hearing, where an examiner will determine whether Reed's actions were discriminatory. No date has been set for the hearing.
Baldwin said no agreement was reached in a half-hour meeting this week between Reed's legal counsel and those representing Marllyn Brown, former assistant to an acting superintendent of Region 5.
According to sources, Reed did not attend the meeting, which was prompted by a letter last week from Baldwin. In that letter, Reed was told there was "probable cause" to believe he discriminated on the basis of sex when he nominated William J. Saunders instead of Brown as regional superintendent, a position Brown had sought.
George Margolies, legal counsel to the superintendent, denied that Reed discriminated against Brown. He also said this week that he could not explain what had occurred during the conciliatory meeting because he had agreed to keep the proceedings secret.
Brown was the first choice for regional superintendent of a panel of parents, administrators and school board President Conrad Smith. Saunders was the panel's second choice. According to the selection process, the superintendent has the option of choosing any of the top three persons recommended by the panel.
Baldwin's letter to Reed, however, said that Brown is "significantly better qualified" than Saunders for the regional job.
Brown, who has a doctorate in education, served two years as assistant to Gilbert Diggs, former acting superintendent of Region 5. She is now assistant to the assistant uperintendent for research and development.
Saunders has served as principal of Eastern High School for the past time years.