Does Clayton mess reveal a larger truth: School boards don’t work any more?

Haven’t we been here before with Clayton County? (And other counties as well, including several in rural Georgia.)

Did we learn anything from Clayton’s earlier woes or does the latest friction point to the larger problem of having citizens run school systems?

The AJC has a news story about the Clayton County school board chair suggesting that the governor intervene and remove some school board members to save the school system from losing accreditation again.

“We’ve had troubles on the board. We’ve had troubles for a long time,” Chairwoman Pamela Adamson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Wednesday.

Jacob Vigdor, a Duke public policy and economics professor whose writings I have run on the blog, issued a statement yesterday on the antics of the Wake County, N.C., school board, which fired its superintendent.

I thought Vigdor’s comment applied here:

When contemplating the ongoing soap opera that is the Wake County School Board, it is important to bear in mind that Wake is one of the 20 largest school districts in the United States. There are more than 17,000 districts across the country, the vast majority of them much smaller than Wake County. If the nation’s largest districts, those we might think of as having the best shot at professional management, can’t take care of themselves, how can we expect anything of the thousands of tiny districts across the country?

The United States delegates important education policy choices to over 17,000 local school boards and administrators. The overwhelming majority of these officials have minimal expertise in policy analysis — and clearly some have penchants for political vendettas that trump policy analysis. This has to be considered one of the key reasons American students lag behind those in other developed countries.

It’s time for a discussion of whether school boards work any more, given the complexity, costs and consequences of education today.

Consider the Clayton saga: In 2008, Gov. Sonny Perdue intervened after Clayton lost its accreditation and ordered the removal of four school board members. The district got a new board and a new school chief and regained accreditation.

But now, Superintendent Edmond Heatley departs tomorrow, and the district is again on shaky ground with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools for school board governance issues that could jeopardize accreditation. The issues include board member conflicts and attacks by some members on the school system and its personnel, wrote Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvancED, the parent company of SACS, in a letter.

According to the AJC:

Adamson said a majority of the school board members are working diligently to help the school system, which regained accreditation in 2011. But “certain board members have caused trouble almost since Day 1,” she said. Adamson declined to identify the school board members, but said one board member sent about 1,000 emails to Heatley in a 20-month period.

“He was so inundated he couldn’t do his job,” Adamson said, adding that a majority of the school board voted to change its protocol for how board members should communicate with the superintendent.

The board also has issued reprimands and imposed sanctions on individual members. Board member Jessie Goree was barred from serving as board chair or vice chair for two years and from collecting expense money for conferences and other travel, according to information on the school system’s website.

Goree was rebuked twice by the board — once for making derogatory remarks about board members and the superintendent and once based on a complaint by Heatley about her conduct at a meeting with parents, according to news reports. Goree acknowledged some friction on the board. “It’s normal stuff that happens when you have nine people trying to have a discussion,” she said. “There’s no perfection here.”

New SACS scrutiny comes just as Clayton is losing its superintendent. Heatley leaves the school system Friday after three years. He was in his office Wednesday but did not respond to requests for interviews.

Asked whether his departure is related to conflicts with some board members, Adamson said: “I wouldn’t be surprised. I know he has endured constant attacks since he’s been here.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

114 comments Add your comment

jd

September 27th, 2012
1:36 pm

Now, that is a question worthy of considerable discussion (i.e. more than the 10 minutes allowed for committee hearings) in the General Assembly.

Beverly Fraud

September 27th, 2012
1:36 pm

Does Clayton mess reveal a larger truth: School boards don’t work any more?

As much as anything, it reveals SACS is more than willing to play politics with the lives of children.

Aren’t these are the same guys who praised APS when it was actively covering up the largest cheating scandal in United States educational history, and if THIS paper is to be believed actually try to strong arm the APS board into keeping in power the board member who worked hardest to coverup the cheating!

And even as foolish as the citizens of ClayCo have shown themselves to be, we are supposed to trust this report?

“There are reports that individual board members are operating independent of the school system and under the influence of outside agents,” Elgart’s letter said.

And of course he can’t name them; is it the Illuminati?

ABC

September 27th, 2012
1:37 pm

I’ll go with that, but what’s the alternative?

Beverly Fraud

September 27th, 2012
1:45 pm

“The AJC has a news story about the Clayton County school board chair suggesting that the governor intervene and remove some school board members to save the school system from losing accreditation again.”

Gee, a school board member wants to work with an organization long known to place petty partisan politics over what’s best for children in order to strike back at a political opponent?

Yep, perhaps citizens CAN’T be trusted to run school boards.

Beverly Fraud

September 27th, 2012
1:59 pm

“Did we learn anything from Clayton’s earlier woes or does the latest friction point to the larger problem of having citizens run school systems?”

Well, ASTUTE people learned. They learned that not a SINGLE child is in the REMOTEST danger of leaving Clayton County schools with an unaccredited diploma.

Now they may not be able to read what’s written on the diploma, but it WILL be accredited.

gsmith

September 27th, 2012
2:00 pm

school boards do not work in certain areas and clayton county is one of them.the govornor should take over dekalb clayton and fulton counties for obvious reasons. until the electorate is considered capable of electing people in powerer they should not be given the opportunity to elect school board members. the problem with districts with a majority electorate of low income families is that they elect crooks and hacks based on race and not on compitence. the black officials voted into office are incapapble of doing th e job then they proceed to steal from the county and hire friends and family members to jobs they are not qualified for.

Just A Teacher

September 27th, 2012
2:12 pm

“School boards don’t work anymore?” That is far too easy. Teachers work. Custodians work. Principals work. But no, school boards don’t work. They sit around and make bad decisions which have a negative impact on those of us who do “work.”

Know A Little Something

September 27th, 2012
2:16 pm

Dear Just A Teacher,
You said it all, the posting can stop at his point!

Mortimer Collins

September 27th, 2012
2:17 pm

LOL…nice try. Clayton County is a wreck and the citizenry just re-elected Victor Hill as their sheriff. Thats all one needs to know.

Chuck from Waycross

September 27th, 2012
2:20 pm

Don’t get mad, get busy.

Solutions

September 27th, 2012
2:24 pm

Do I sense a PhD dissertation in this topic? Taxpayers could save a bundle by eliminating entire school boards and their associated staffs, with the functions assumed by the State. Hmmm, but what about local control, what do we lose in surrendering local control to the State? Come on PhD candidates, collect the necessary data, analyse, and report!

teacher&mom

September 27th, 2012
2:42 pm

This is typical of so many education issues. We ignore the successful districts where school boards are working. We lump everyone together with the dysfunctional boards and throw them over the cliff in an effort to “fix” everything.

Just because a few school boards are bungling idiots, we should not dissolve all local school boards.

Besides….what is the alternative? Hand over more control to the state and/or federal government?

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

September 27th, 2012
2:59 pm

Actually under the SACS/AdvancED standards both the school boards and the local governing councils have an obligation to defer to the super or principals in case of a dispute. In Georgia the supers have close to dictatorial powers as long as they are doing what SACS wants them to do.

http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/who-is-really-in-charge-the-school-board-the-super-the-accreditors-or-unesco/ is a post I wrote back in June after attending the training session for prospective school board members or state legislators put on by GPEE and GSBA. (Yes I do get out and away from reading reports for action research). Jessie Goree sat at my table and asked me some questions about what was really going on in American and global education.

And honestly Professor if you are not aware of the real causes of the declines in American education we should talk. What a stupid statement given the facts.

Maude

September 27th, 2012
3:01 pm

Why is noone talking about the damage done by Heatly??

Old timer

September 27th, 2012
3:09 pm

I think most school boards do work. You can look at the areas with high achieving schools…..see the SAT list. It is when uneducated voters go to the polls and make decisions based on no real knowledge of the people running you get this mess. Clayton Co. In general is a mess. One of the ladies governor Perdue removed from the school board is a state representative. I. Annot imagine who would vote for her. The county commissioners may be improving. Hopefully some new blood on the school board will improve things.

northern neighbor

September 27th, 2012
3:15 pm

SACS bears most of the blame for this. The accreditation process and audits are not rigorous.
School board training, although well intended, is inadequate. The legislature passed a law requiring training, but it is inadequate as well.
There are many very good school systems with very good school boards. I hate the alternatives to a local school board. Those that have difficulty are salvageable. A mandatory board mentoring program would be a good start. Mentoring would include guidance on the role and limitations of the school board, how to conduct meetings, how to conduct board business, how to hire a qualified superintendent, and how to effectively evaluate the superintendent’s performance.

bubba

September 27th, 2012
3:16 pm

School boards are far from perfect – like everything else in the universe.
Yet they are necessary and for the overwhelming majority of districts – they get the job done.

The more relevant question is:
Does Clayton mess reveal a larger truth: Clayton County don’t work any more?
Time for North Fulton to become Milton (SSprings, Ros, JCreek, Milton, and Dunwoody) followed by South Fulton and Clayton Merging with hopefully? a broader brain pool to pick from for both County and School government.

Ron F.

September 27th, 2012
3:17 pm

Clayton’s board only proves that any idiot who knows enough people can get elected. I’ve seen elections where only a few hundred votes total were cast in a Clayton BOE district. Boards work where’s there higher voter participation in elections and in smaller systems where the board members are well known in the community. In larger systems with lower total voter participation, they tend to become dysfunctional groups of selfish people on power trips.

ABC

September 27th, 2012
3:31 pm

But I still don’t understand what the alternative could be. The governor (oh gawd forbid)? The federal DoE? I don’t see what could be done different. Clayton Co is run by idiots elected by bigger idiots, but that doesn’t seem to be the case everywhere.

MAY

September 27th, 2012
3:31 pm

I think many boards get too caught up in the politics and forget they’re there to serve the children. The reason there is a charter school amendment on the ballot in November is because most of the school boards in Georgia will not even consider allowing one of these schools of choice to exist….even with the proven community support for such a school. Charter school petitioners need a place to appeal (just in case their school board didn’t giving them a fair shake).

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
3:52 pm

Can someone tell me what school boards do? In my own experience, they mostly instill fear in people, in workers. I know there is a component where school board members can exploit commercial real estate in the building of a new school. This is what I know of them. They are like some outside entity that meddle and intimidate. Considering the work load, lack or resources, and responsibility that teachers have today, I have little humor for it. School boards seem to fit the mode of deeply, and I mean deeply, entrenched local person who are prone to meddle and toy with people, the real working professionals. They develop real estate and every once in a while feel compelled to make a public humiliation of someone with their private “school board court.” That, and they feed the local newspaper in a sort of circular systems where the two work together to support each other, because most local newspaper both thrive on gossip and are pretty close to obsolete with the advent of the internet.

If anyone knows what a school board does that is productive, I would not mind to be enlightened. What I’ve seen are very arrogant deeply rooted local people who do a lot of favors for their own and sometimes are profoundly abusive to education professionals. It usually the good education professionals who have planned, and gone places, and done things, and gone into debt to get a professional education, meanwhile most of these local power persons have gone nowhere, do not put themselves out there on the line, tend to be far less educated than the professionals they sometimes harass. Invariably, these local persons have done one thing: stayed home in the town/city where they were born and made unbreakable networking and bonds with their friends, and obviously this quality of friendship is reserved for the few, the local who must “do something” to set a marker and make their power.

Marcus Dyer

September 27th, 2012
4:25 pm

What have we all learned from this isuue? I think that I’ve learned not to EVER move to Clayton County, it seems that every school board member has their own personal agenda. Instead of doing what’s best for the children they are finding ways to move their own political future forward.

Football Widow

September 27th, 2012
4:33 pm

So, the board is supposed to just allow the superintendent to do whatever he wants and not correct him when he is wrong? I thought the board was supposed to represent the people who elected them – the parents and students of the county. I also thought the superintendent is an employee of the board who is hired and fired at its will.

It’s interesting to me that Elgart chooses to step in now when Heatley has lost his new job. He had no interest in CCPS when Heatley was filling all of the principal and administrator positions with his fraternity brothers. It was well known that if you were not a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, you were not getting promoted and no help would be given to you.

The insinuation that black people cannot govern themselves is ridiculous and ignorant. Elections are open to the public and they can cast their vote for any reason they want. Bush was President for two terms, right? There you go.

Sandy Springs Parent

September 27th, 2012
5:18 pm

The real problem is with these huge districts. Wake is number 17, too big. The ones in Metro Georgia are too big. I grew up, up North in the high performing districts, where a large district consisted of 2 high schools, with 1,500 students each and their feeder school. The board are not paid, but elected. The problem is with is when people think they can make being a board member their primary job. They then are a “Power Broker” they use their paid position for shake downs for Real Estate deals, book deals, software deals, family and friends deals.

There is none or very limited when it is volunter positions and you only have 1 high school and their feeder school districts. There are no big contracts to let. Their are no Family and Friends posititions to hid in administration.

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
5:37 pm

Football Widow,
You’ve got it, you tell it well. “board was supposed to represent the people who elected them” and “the superintendent is an employee of the board who is hired and fired at its will.”

In a professional work environment, you have just described … agitators and trouble makers.

What exactly is to be “represented?” I’m genuinely curious. Do you want to work somewhere where your boss is hired and fired at “will?” What does that mean, the super serves at “the pleasure” of “the board.” It sounds perverse, but even more so, dysfunctional. And you do this “in the name of the children.” Sounds like a crazy-house to me that leads to systematic “child abuse.”

Wow, this is sick. If I had a say in the matter, I would vote that the school board system of management is not the best way. The economist from Duke is right. And mainly, I think if you look at international comparative education, as the principal from the high performing school in Finland stated, “I run this school. No politician tells me what to do.” Well, his country makes the Nokia phone (that I use), meanwhile in the U. S. A., Motorola is pretty much out of business.

Schoolboards – bad. Please keep up the good work on this weblog.
And Football Widow, have a good day and it wouldn’t hurt you to look up some books or internet video on international comparative education. My alma mater is 175 years undefeated in football. That’s because they don’t have a football team. They have a research hospital instead. What are your priorities? I know what mine are.

bu2

September 27th, 2012
5:39 pm

Sounds like Clayton County doesn’t work. Shut it down and fold it into Fulton. And then you automatically expand MARTA as well.

Dr. Monica Henson

September 27th, 2012
5:53 pm

Many (most?) district school boards operate jobs programs for adults and call them “schools.”

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
5:54 pm

If school board members “use their paid position for shake downs for Real Estate deals, book deals, software deals, family and friends deals” and a superintendent is “filling all of the principal and administrator positions with his fraternity brothers,” then these are ethics violations that should be defined and addressed through rule of law and real courts, just like any other type of graft. Maybe a weakness of the “school board system” is that it does not adequately define legal code or enforce same in an ethical manner.

Reminds me a person who works in government public health care and “does so much good,” meanwhile the U. S. A. stills does not have universal health care, is the only modern country without universal health care, and people still get $1900./month insurance bills, $3000. co-pays, $20,000. invoice for 2 days in the hospital uninsured, and some hospitals in Georgia seize people’s homes and sell them if they are unable or unwilling to pay the medical invoice. Treatment is withheld until the paper work is signed to enable home / property to be seized. But my friend, “does a lot of good.” In context, I don’t think so. Just an opinion, but when you see it done differently outside the U. S. A., it grinds a little.

catlady

September 27th, 2012
5:54 pm

I blame SACS to a large extent for many of the problems. In our area, the board is scared witless that it might transgress, so it does little to “lead” and “direct” the superintendent.

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
6:00 pm

If you have to “lead” and “direct” a superintendent, then you are incapable of hiring / choosing a professional to do their job, or are unwilling to allow the person to do their work without harassment. At this point, it should be clear the level of amateur hour antics has no place in a productive environment. How about “lead and direct” UPS or Delta Airlines? Any capable manager will not appreciate this type of interference and if they’re any good, will be unwilling to work in such an environment.

bootney farnsworth

September 27th, 2012
6:12 pm

I think its not so much that school boards can’t work, ours choose not to.

obviously the minimum criteria for service needs evaluation and updating, and we desperately need some kind of watchdog group to help keep school boards and regents in line.

its an unpopular thing to say, but I stand by it. until the citizens of a system stop voting their skin color, gender, political affiliation, and vote instead for qualified canidates…..same crap, different day

bootney farnsworth

September 27th, 2012
6:14 pm

oh, and they desperately need guidelines to keep them in line. too many are far too focused on getting their “rewards” and social engineering than to do any real work

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

September 27th, 2012
6:38 pm

Private Citizen-I don’t want to hear about high performing schools in Finland. Coincidentally I just finished reading a John Hattie interview of Pasi Sahlberg. I guess because it was in Australia Pasi was pretty honest about how different the schools are in Finland in terms of goals than what any taxpayer or parent thinks they should be getting from schools.

Plus I know a lot about PISA is actually measuring.

And honestly most supers insist on being addressed as Doctor to obscure their ignorance. Classic Appeal to Authority Fallacy. Too many are parasites without enough knowledge to know the policies and practices they are mandating to get their next promotion will kill the host. And then where will they be?

The world is just full of alternative possibilities for the erudition of an Ed Leadership degree.

crankee-yankee

September 27th, 2012
6:41 pm

You cannot take a scatter-shot approach to this. I think it is a poorly worded headline. Clayton County is a mess, I know an excellent, highly lauded teacher who has worked there for decades who, when given the opportunity, fled to greener pastures at the start of this school year. He cited the administrative mess as a primary reason for his decision.

If you believe representation is a reflection of the electorate, just look at whom the electorate has put into power recently in that county. I’m glad I do not live there, I’d have to move, take a loss on the house & everything. The county, as a whole, seems to act as if it is dysfunctional, or, at least, certain sections of the county. So why would we expect some of their elected officials to act any differently?

But Clayton is an outlier, I have not seen any hard numbers on what percentage of boards are considered to be operating poorly, either statewide or nationally. The outliers get the headlines, the seeming majority, who are doing the job to which they were elected, do not make the news.

As I remember, were not many superintendents in this state elected in the past? Perhaps this is still part of a learning phase for some communities who switched late in the game away from supt. elections. I don’t know, just throwing it out there.

I would not want to make a blanket statement about elected Boards of Ed based on a few schizophrenic examples that seem to repeatedly make headlines.

Cobb History Teacher

September 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

How about Cobb’s board? Anyone remember the calendar fiasco? The board votes to change the calendar to “balanced” calendar for three years ostensibly to collect data on whether it would improve student achievement. Citizens get upset elect four new board members who promise to change the calendar back before we even get through a year of it.
To the credit of the board (this may have been the idea of the remaining three board members) they decide to send out a survey to gauge the public’s sentiment towards changing the calendar back. Eighty two percent (in the de-rigged poll) are in favor of keeping the balanced calendar and what does the board do? They vote to return to a “traditional” calendar. On top of that when a board member brings it up at a board meeting the next year the four board members immediately vote to table the discussion for that year.
Talk about an establishment that has outlived its usefulness. Why don’t we just leave education up to the professionals?

Hillbilly D

September 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

Bad cases make bad law, so they say.

School boards have their drawbacks but I’ll still take that over some appointed state or federal person running things. The people can always vote them out and if they don’t…….well, they get what they deserve, don’t they?

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

The world I know does not use “leadership” degrees. Leadership is a quality, not a content area. You do not get degrees in human qualities unless you are a propagandist. How about a Kindness degree? Or a degree is Courage?

I say run for your life from anyone with a “leadership” degree.

Are you telling me that a Master’s of Public Administration is not the correct credential for government management position? Are their any good MPA programs? I think I know of two, one at the Kennedy school at Harvard, and the other at the LBJ school at UT/Austin. Now, with the national condition of higher education, I am neither recommending or endorsing Harvard or UTA, and methinks I would prone to avoid either, but is there not a correct path of credentialing for those who manage government work, be it the Highway Department (that makes roads) or the Social Security Administration (that looks after the infirmed and disabled)? Why should someone be embarrassed about their job and why do you insist on the concept of harassing them? For not caring about education in Finland, you sure seem to know a lot about it. :-) I’m having trouble interpreting your post, what is sarcasm and what is serious. To reduce, do you support politicizing education management? I suggest that it is counter productive.

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
6:54 pm

(post addressed to: Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar,)

Maureen Downey

September 27th, 2012
6:59 pm

Crankee, Atlanta, Randolph, Warren, Coffee. Montgomery and Appling were on accreditation probation last year.
This year, Miller and Sumter were placed on probation. And Gov. Deal ordered the entire Miller school board board removed from office because of fighting among board members.
Major cause of all these actions in all these places: School board governance.
Maureen

Beverly Fraud

September 27th, 2012
6:59 pm

As foolish and ignorant as members of the Clayton County School board have been, you are talking about an organization, SACS who according to THIS VERY PAPER (Maureen can correct if this is in error) tried to strong arm the APS school board to keep as board chair a person who tried to cover up cheating.

How can you take seriously the ETHICS of an organization who, (again, according to this very paper) ACTIVELY tried to keep cheating enablers in power?

Yes, I know this doesn’t fit the “narrative” of this story, that the ClayCo school board is foolish and ignorant.

But we already knew THAT; heck what do you expect from people who voted Walking Small back?

It still leaves the question, who holds accountable the organization that, at least indirectly, was complicit in trying to whitewash the nation’s largest cheating scandal?

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
7:05 pm

Hillbilly D, What do school boards do? What is there function? They certainly do not protect anyone from having to go along with the “state or federal person running things.” In fact, it is local school boards who act as the enforcement to make local persons go along with the state and federal mandates, as you say. This is part of the problem. By signing on to “Race to the Top,” the school systems who have done this have just exempted themselves from any management competence other than to act as the enforcement portion of the national mandate complete with its various payout provisions for for-profit testing companies. This is “big money” going to these testing companies and the local school boards are co-opted to force the local workers to follow these mandates to a “T” whether it takes 10 instructional days out of the school calendar or 40. It is the local school boards that are co-opted to enforce on teachers this bizarre Mao Tse Tung era official “self criticism or you will be sent off to be re-educated.” This is right out of communist China circa 1954. The local school boards certainly do not protect the communities from state and national political mandates the directly instruct this intrusion into local education.

And I hope everyone know that in the recent Chicago teacher union strikes there was a conflict of interest because the parent company of FoxNews owns the testing company that is in use by Chicago Public Schools. So go figure that out, any specialists in corporate mono-culture.

Beverly Fraud

September 27th, 2012
7:13 pm

“Crankee, Atlanta, Randolph, Warren, Coffee. Montgomery and Appling were on accreditation probation last year.”

When the school board was marching in lockstep to cover up cheating they were “award winning”

When a majority finally got fed up and, in an action a judge ruled perfectly LEGAL, made changes to expose the cheating, SACS put them on probation.

What’s the greater crime against children, the antics of the ClayCoClowns, or the schemes of SACS?

Beverly Fraud

September 27th, 2012
7:23 pm

Maureen was I in error to state that your paper reported that SACS and Mark Elgart tried to strong arm the APS school board into keeping as board chairman a person who again, this very paper DOCUMENTED, actively conspired to cover up cheating? (By deleting the Porter report.)

Is this an erroneous conclusion to draw about your paper in this particular matter? And if not, what does that say about Mark Elgart and SACS?

Wilbur

September 27th, 2012
7:28 pm

I don’t think that the Clayco Mess de Jour proves anything about school boards. It might though, indicate something about schools systems in general. As the rough congruence of values and aspirations of parents in our communities has broken down, its increasingly difficult to educate the children. Some level of social consensus is needed for schools to function effectively. When this underlying congruence is gone, it’s impossible to make and sustain the priority decisions needed for education.
This is one reason that the age of public education in the US is drawing to a close. One size no longer fits all. Not even poorly.

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
7:30 pm

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serf’s Collar,
“The world is just full of alternative possibilities for the erudition of an Ed Leadership degree.”

Okay, I get it now. You are saying that persons in management who are credentialed with this degree are basically in the business of promoting and advantaging themselves. It does seem like there is a weird pattern of many education management positions being a brief stop on the turnstile. With the crashed economy, there may be less of this, less places to go for the “up up and away” “in my beautiful, my beautiful balloon.” Collar, are you saying that a “leadship degree” is actually a metaphor for “My beautiful, my beautiful balloon?”

What ever happened to the days when a regular capable person was one principal at a school for a long long time? And one capable nice people-manager person was a superintendent for a long long time until they retired and then after they died, someone named a building after them? What I have seen from local “school boards” is that they move principals around like they are playing checkers and every time there is a good team accomplishing something, the team gets split up and reassigned to meet some “need” or “concept” usually from a principal who has been there for no longer than a year or two. The degree or instability is frightening. Corporate spouses of teachers are shocked at what they are told are some of the management moves and modes. As if… the manager says to themselves…. “Well, if I can’t get moved up the ladder to even more power or pay… I’ll just move everyone else around me.”

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

September 27th, 2012
7:32 pm

Private Citizen-Education Leadership is the “coursework” that is the basis for many an administrator insisting they are a Doctor. I find education management a misnomer because it is not your money and there is no real downside.

Of course I know what is going on in Finland. Heck, I know what is going on most places in ed but it gets held out as the model. Plus Maureen and I had an ever so much fun game of link to the sources in a debate over Finland.

I know some wonderful supers who care deeply about each student. But I also know the model and a fair number are essentially Fifth Columnists with a political agenda they are not being honest with the public about. I don’t say that lightly or without a tremendous amount of documentation.

I am merely pointing out that in this day with the various unappreciated incentives in place trusting a Principal or Super to be guided by doing right by the kids and taxpayers is a dangerous thing.

We have a Transformational game afoot and ed is merely a tool.

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

September 27th, 2012
7:34 pm

PC-the term is Gypsy Principals and Gypsy Supers. And yes I did invent it and I did it to draw attention to an expensive destructive pattern that hurts kids. Especially ones without recourse from home.

claytondawg

September 27th, 2012
7:36 pm

Oh, well. “Clayco Clowns” is a very appropriate name for Clayton County. I do not see it MERGING with Fulton to help with (as someone above stated it) “brain power.” All Boards of Education are directly proportional to it electorate. Society has created its own mess with education and government; in fact, government is why education is in its horrendous state now. I say: let Clayton County’s Board be run with no more than five (5) retired teachers, each with 25 years or more of classroom teaching experience. Wild? Yes. At least someone knows the needs of both the classroom and students.

claytondawg

September 27th, 2012
7:38 pm

grammar problem: sorry “proportional to ITS…”

Private Citizen

September 27th, 2012
7:40 pm

“Beverly,” I think you’re going after the wrong scapegoats. Saturation testing may be the problem and it may due to a very smoothly orchestrated political control that sends a lot of money to certain companies. This same sort of thing is happening in the lesser universities, except that it is one or two publishers and “a single textbook” from them for each course. Yes, there are added readings and internet discussion activities, but the single book publisher sets both the tone and content of the university course and it tends to be the same publisher or two over many many courses. For public K-12 schooling, you might look into who are the testing companies, how much are they walking away with, so to speak, per student or per school district. I suggest this is the cause of many of the things that you are concerned with and upon examination, you may find a pretty full scale marauding is taking place involving very few “players.”