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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rejoinder - Cathleen P. Black Is Out as New York City Schools Chancellor

Rejoinder - Cathleen P. Black Is Out as New York City Schools Chancellor

Is anyone surprised by this? We seem to continue to view non-educators as the new trend in educational leadership in America. Why is it that we take non-educators and place them into high ranking leadership roles within school districts. While superintendents/chancellors must possess a high degree of knowledge with respect to education law and finance, equally if not more important is the knowledge in what is quality instruction.

As a superintendent/chancellor the main job is to ensure quality achievement for all students. In order to do that the leader must steeped in educational pedagogy and have a deep understanding of what quality instruction looks like. They must be versed on the latest educational research, professional development, and be able to establish and sustain quality relationships with the educators that make up the district.

We have watched as other “education reformers” have come into American school districts with the mentality that they are going to bring about drastic change. While this is admirable, approach matters. In order to move forward student achievement, one begs the question isn’t it about the teachers? Isn’t it about the principals? The superintendent/chancellors must be able to know what traits quality principals possess. They must be able to serve as matchmakers to ensure that the right principals are in the right schools and the right teachers are in the right positions.

Former Chancellor Rhee of Washington DC public school and former Chancellor Cathleen P. Black New York public school came into their positions with a bang and left with a bang. Have any of the changes that either Chancellor made brought about substantial gains in student achievement, elimination of the achievement gap, better teaching and learning throughout the district? Quality educational leaders build a system of schools that will stand and continue to grow long after that leader has left.

When the leaders don’t have a basic understanding of quality teaching and learning, how are they to be successful? It’s time to ensure that we have superintendents/chancellors that are steeped in educational pedagogy, that are experienced education leaders, and that have strong business and financial acumen. These are the individuals we need to bring about the quality reform to our schools!

Guest writer:
Dr. Nee Schouweiler

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nigeria presidential debate an act of political Kangaroo

Nigeria presidential debate an act of political Kangaroo

Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan debate alone

Hmmm...there are so many different directions in which to go with this fun little ditty regarding Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan and his approach to Nigeria presidential debates. My working definition of a Presidential Debate is that all candiates participate in discussing their viewpoints with respect to current issues that are of concern to voters. Clearly Goodluck Jonathan's definition is different. His definition is going to the debate of his choice in which no one else attends and then grandstand acting as if he is the be all and end of all of presidential candidates for Nigeria. I have to give Goodluck Jonathan credit (those of you that are regular readers of mine blog know that this is few and far between), he was able to manifest one of the most unique excuses of why to not attend the debate.

I believe Jonathon's refusal to attend the debate was not about the media network carrier, and was more about his lack of confidence in himself. Perhaps Jonathan you are not able to articulate your views for Nigeria, perhaps you are not sure of the direction the country is headed, perhaps you're not sure of your ability to lead the country. Perhaps Jonathan you shouldn't be the president.