Monday, November 29, 2010

In response to: New York State Grants Waiver for New York City Schools Chancellor Cathleen P. Black

In response to: New York State Grants Waiver for New York City Schools Chancellor Cathleen P. Black
State Grants Waiver for Schools Chancellor

Why is that non-educators can get waivers to lead our schools. Would you be comfortable if your MD got a waiver and really didn't complete medical school or residencies? How about going to see an attorney who did not get a law degree or pass the bar exam? Why is education any different?  While I can see some parallels between corporate America and running a school district, there are staunch differences. For starters businesses choose their clientele, have relatively adequate funding, and are able to adhere to fairly few federal and state guidelines. Superintendents of school districts, however, are charged to serve the students that walk through their door, are given ever shrinking budgets, and have to adhere to a plethora of state and federal laws.
Generally speaking, superintendents posses a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, a post-master's certification. They have commonly served as teachers, assistant principals, principals, as well as in other facets of education. Superintendents posses a teaching license, a principal's license, and a superintendent's license. Superintendents have also complete internships in school administration.
What have the education "reformers" who come through the non-traditional route done for our schools and our students. Let's take the most recent example Michelle Rhee, while she made some progress in Washington DC Public Schools, she left after just three years on the job. She has polarized a city in which teachers are afraid for their jobs, families feel betrayed, and the city schools are still failing by a large margin when measured by the No Child Left Behind standards.
You wouldn't consider going to a doctor that has a "waiver" to practice medicine...why would you send your child to a school district that is being led by a person with a "waiver."

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