Marsha Sutton in San Diego provided an analysis of what is going wrong with San Diego Schools. From what I have read about schools in general across the country, her insights are all too common a problem.
When school Boards hire a superintendent like Alan Bersin, they must surely know what they are getting. Bersin, five years ago, shook up the education establishment by doing something almost no one in public education does these days--he put the kids first. He didn't pander to the school board, the teacher's unions or anyone else but students and their parents. The result--his contract has been bought out and the programs he championed are being dismantled.
So why does this happen? In my view the school boards are getting too involved in the mircomanagment of schools. Like most agencies with power, school boards want to expand their power and influence. Unfortuneately, most voters let them do so, there is no check on their activity. It appears in San Diego that if a the Board doesn't like a principal, or the principal gets too popular and becomes a threat to the school board, they reassign him. A move that guarantees parental anger.
By Bersin's plan to improve student achievement foundered on the shoals of school politics. But as Sutton reminds us:
"Kids don't wait for egos to be stroked and feelings to be massaged. They need attention and they need it yesterday. There isn't the time to pussyfoot around and soothe ruffled feathers.
Patience is needed for the adults, but urgency is required for the kids. And adults should remember why they are there - to provide the kids with a decent education."
The rapid increase in education politics means that the kids get lost in the shuffle. It is time for the school boards, the teachers unions and politicians to realize that the failure of our children to lead the world in educational achievements lies not with the kids, but with the adults. Now if only these adults will stop acting like three-year-olds, we can get something done.
Education - Voice of San Diego