Come “Work” for Us

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.matthewktabor.com/images/gcs_logo.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. With thanks to “Stormy,” we have the so-called official job ad, announcing the search for our next superintendent, as found on the website of Education Administration, a monthly journal for school district administrators:

Superintendent
Guilford County, NC

The Guilford County Schools system seeks an experienced professional with excellent leadership and interpersonal skills for the position of Superintendent. The primary educational approach in our district is to emphasize the tenets of multiculturalism and diversity as fundamental values.

The applicant will not be expected to provide a framework in which order and discipline are maintained in the classroom, because our objective is to assure that chronically misbehaving students remain viable in the educational system. Supporting teachers in the classroom on matters of discipline is not our primary orientation, so you would not need to be concerned about assuming undue risk in this regard.

The applicant also should not expect to be held accountable for the educational outcome of the students in the system, because our orientation is to assure the perception of equity, not achievement.

We pride ourselves in our progressive approach. Previous superintendents have used their experience here with our approach to move on to bigger challenges in places like the Washington, DC metropolitan area and southern California. We will build your credentials so you can later compete for higher paying positions in communities such as these.

We would not expect you to assure that parents are satisfied, or that students are safe. We will not hamstring you with unreasonable expectations as long as you help us achieve our social objectives. You will not be pestered over matters such as economic efficiency with new school construction; and instead will be free to concentrate on creating as many educational programs as possible to create the appearance of progress. And you will not have to worry about being held accountable for the success of those programs.

Particularly important in our district is the ability to assuage racial sensitivities, even if it means making conditions in the schools very difficult for teachers and motivated students.

You will also, however, be expected to advocate aggressively for ever-increasing amounts of capital and operational funding on a continuous basis regardless of need. We will need you be skilled at making it appear that we are collectively doing good things even though we are turning a blind eye toward more fundamental issues.

We are looking for that special professional who can help us uphold some mighty traditions.

Interested parties may inquire about this outstanding opportunity by calling our Human Resources department at (336) 370-8348.

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As I await the actual Web address for Education Administration (a simple Google search came up empty for me), I’m suspicious of a number of things.

How the ad is worded…that’s number 1. There are an inordinate number of examples of irony in this ad:

Supporting teachers in the classroom on matters of discipline is not our primary orientation, so you would not need to be concerned about assuming undue risk in this regard.

The applicant also should not expect to be held accountable for the educational outcome of the students in the system, because our orientation is to assure the perception of equity, not achievement.

We will build your credentials so you can later compete for higher paying positions in communities such as these.

…and instead will be free to concentrate on creating as many educational programs as possible to create the appearance of progress. And you will not have to worry about being held accountable for the success of those programs.

Particularly important in our district is the ability to assuage racial sensitivities, even if it means making conditions in the schools very difficult for teachers and motivated students.

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I mean…is this someone’s idea of a joke??? Is this ad actually for real or are we being “punk’d?”

And number 2…why an ad like this would surface ONE DAY after the announcement was made. If this is a real ad, maybe I wasn’t clear or maybe the poor souls downtown didn’t hear me. So clean the junk and gook out of your eyes and ears and hear me very clearly…

I hope our current Board takes its time in both appointing an interim superintendent and permanent chief. I still think the GCS Board should wait until after the elections to begin a search, and we should do it locally, looking for homegrown talent only. The community and school staff should be involved at every crossroads.

If this ad is for real (and this is a stunning find, by the way), then we’re not getting off to a good start with this.

(if after this you’re still reading this, then you have been “punk’d”)

E.C. 🙂

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What we need in a new school chief

Where the Camera Goes

(TV PhotogBlog)

Now that we are preparing to talk transition, a transition-team, a changing of the guard and beginning the search for a new superintendent, what are the top three-five qualities we need out of our new superintendent?

News & Record’s Amanda Lehmert is blogging about this today on the Chalkboard.

Some of the commenters have said the following so far:

*If the school board has any interest in passing the school bonds, they must conduct an open, participative interviewing and hiring process for new superintendent. Include the people in the process in the manner that Charlotte did awhile back. We don’t need a dog and pony show from the board trying to establish what the credentials should be.

*One that won’t waste millions of taxpayer dollars on dropout prevention programs. I mean really, how much are we going to cater to these young people whose parents don’t give a rip if they stay in school? When I was growing up, those who dropped out were shunned as total loosers. Some went back to night school to get their GED. That’s what I call “keeping it simple”.

*evaluation is crucial — it’s not possible to evaluate every change; however, big initiatives should budget and plan for a comprehensive evaluation; rigorously documenting the success or failure of initiatives is necessary for good decision-making down the road; the GCS has two big advantages in this regard; first, it is large enough that it can try initiatives at a pretty large scale while still only affecting a subset of students (this permits a later comparison of students, teachers, schools, etc. that were and were not affected); second, the GCS can draw on the resources of excellent and independent university faculty skilled in conducting program evaluation.

*We want a leader that does not put fear into their employees.
-get discipline back in the classroom- every middle and hs should have an ISS teacher paid for by the county
-understand that the good kids have a right to learn in a peaceful and safe environment. The troublemakers rights don’t supercede the kids that follow the rules

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I agree with everything that has been said…and then there’s this…communication is key. Meet the parents, the community, go into ALL of the schools/ALL of the classrooms. Communicate with your staff, including the rank-and-file. Be open, be honest.

Like Amos Quick said yesterday, I’ll be looking for someone who can get right in and dig their heels in on day one.

Comments?

E.C. 🙂