Is Diligence on New Superintendent Sufficient?
Original post made by RWE, South of Midtown, on May 2, 2007
If the current first choice for Sperintendent holds up, I wish him well.
What many are curious about at this point is how much input from teaching and administrative staff was solicited for this decision.
In past posts, I've pointed out the closed-loop systems that the rarified world of Superintendents live in - i.e. 3-5 year appointments, start a few initiatives, move on to the next six-figure opportunity - all led by elected BOE officials who also come and go, and more often than not leave in their wake one or another mess for the educational professionals, who have become unfortunately far-too-impacted on decisions made by elected non-experts in education. And we wonder why American public education is challenged...
Here, we have what appears to be a good candidate that works under a prior Superintendent, Don Philips, who left Palo oAlto prematurely to seek a "better opportunity" in San Diego. Philips left after a few years and a few more half-started and half-completed initiatives - par for the course.
If it turns out that little or no input was accepted (or is to be accepted) from teachers and site administrators as a *strong* prerequisite for the hiring of whoever turns out to be the new Superintendent, then a loud cry of "fou!l" should be raised up.
We have had a series of very average senior administrators in PAUSD over the last 10-15 years, administrators that have traveled in a closed bureacreatic system of rotating appointments and mobile careerism.
I hope whoever is next is up to the task of LEADING, and realizing that education happens primarily in the classroom, and not within the hackneyed political dealings fomented by elected officials who have themselves - for the most part - never spent a day in the classroom.