With staff cuts, furloughs and increasing pressure to raise test scores, does anyone want to be superintendent of a major school system any longer?
With the announcement at Thursday’s Cobb school board meeting that he is retiring, superintendent Fred Sanderson is leaving behind a system very different from the one he took over in 2005. Stable and high-achieving, Cobb has been rocked by the economic upheavals confronting systems across the state. It has laid off teachers and then rehired some, creating a vat of ill will that I think will last a while.
The system has a year to find a replacement for Sanderson.
Many people always want to see a national search for a new leader, but I wonder if that is wise in this wild climate. Is there something to be said for hiring someone within who knows already what the system has been through this year and knows the players?
It didn’t work in DeKalb to hire an outsider or an insider, so I am not sure there is any right answer. I am also not sure that the job is that attractive anymore, despite the six-figure salary.
A friend of mine is a former superintendent. He is now a college professor. He says it wasn’t the management of the schools that wore him down but the politics of the job.