Thursday, December 4, 2008

School Board Should Drop Superintendent Search

Posted by on Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 10:22 AM

A lot of people are scratching their heads over what the school board thinks it's doing. It's one thing to look for a new superintendent. OK, why not? But now we have the list of applicants, and it reads like the education field's equivalent of the cauliflower-eared pugs at the bottom of a Saturday night boxing card in Palookaville.

It's time to give it up. Instead, the board is talking about signing the new schools director to a three- or four-year contract. When Mayor Karl Dean takes control of the district next year--an event that's almost inevitable--then we probably will wind up buying out this contract to get rid of this superintendent. That's wasting money when the district faces spending cuts and layoffs.

We have gone to a number of our city's leaders asking what they think about the school board's search. We're getting replies like "unbelievable" and "it never ceases to amaze me."

We haven't found anyone yet who thinks the board ought to go ahead and hire one of these also-rans who want the job. They say it's time to face up to the fact that our schools are too screwed up to hire a superintendent now. "Think about the kind of person that job would attract," one observer points out.

They say the board shouldn't hire anyone, but should ask Chris Henson to continue as acting director until the district is in better shape and can attract a dynamic new leader.

For more, see The Tennessean and the City Paper.

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